Editors just released their new greatest hits compilation, Black Gold: Best Of Editors. Comprised mainly of 13 beloved singles spanning their six albums, the compilation also features three brand new songs, “Frankenstein,” “Black Gold,” and “Upside Down.” While we already know and love all of those 16 songs (well, “Upside Down” is new, but we’re loving it already), today we’re reviewing Black Gold‘s deluxe edition bonus disc, Distance: The Acoustic Recordings.
Editors have performed their songs acoustically before, but this may be the first time they’ve added cello to the mix. Tom Smith, Elliott Williams, and Justin Lockey perform the songs, with Brione Jackson on cello. These intimate recordings are the perfect companion to Black Gold, highlighting seven extra songs that didn’t make the main greatest hits collection.
Track by Track
Distance: The Acoustic Recordings opens with a new version of “Violence,” the title track from Editors’ last studio album. The song works surprisingly well in the acoustic setting, and with the new instrumentation and subtle changes to the vocal melody, “Violence” takes on an entirely new atmosphere. This version may surpass the original Violence recording. It’s a stunning way to open the Black Gold bonus disc.
We then move into “Walk The Fleet Road,” the closing song on standard editions of In This Light And On This Evening. The austere song feels warmer here, in spite of its winter setting. Tom’s voice is as grand as in 2009, but sweeter backing vocals near the end of the track give it a new sense of optimism.
Next up is “Blood,” a single off of Editors’ debut album, The Back Room. Although it didn’t make the cut for Black Gold, “Blood” is a worthy inclusion on Distance: The Acoustic Recordings. Editors slow it down a bit, making the song sound sadder than the cheeky Back Room recording we’ve loved since 2005.
Keeping with The Back Room, the most unexpected inclusion here is “Let Your Good Heart Lead You Home,” a bonus track that appeared on the Cuttings bonus CD back in the day. It wasn’t a proper album track, let alone a single, but it is beloved among Editors fans. This new acoustic version amplifies the already stunning song, the intimate setting highlighting the tender lyrics.
Editors previewed Distance: The Acoustic Recordings a few weeks ago with “Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors,” the hit single from An End Has A Start. This new rendition feels warmer and as poignant as ever. Yet it also captures the song’s signature epic build-up as we reach the singalong climax. This is the only song that appears both on the main Black Gold release and on the deluxe bonus disc.
The Back Room ballad “Fall” arrives next. In contrast to that original version, this recording drops the punchy guitars and the song’s screeching ending. Instead, we settle into the song’s somber, dusky mood. Tom’s voice echoes in the room, acoustic strumming, sliding cello, and tiptoeing piano providing a rich backdrop. The song cuts just as deep now as in 2005, proving how powerful “Fall” still is.
From The Weight Of Your Love, we get an acoustic rendition of “Two Hearted Spider,” one of the album’s most heartbreaking moments. This recording stays true to the low, melancholy sound of that recording. (As opposed to recreating the earlier, dancier version Editors debuted live when Chris Urbanowicz was still in the band.) “Two Hearted Spider” is rejuvenated here, reminding fans how impactful this song truly is.
Distance: The Acoustic Recordings ends with its own title track. “Distance” ended The Back Room back in 2005, and it’s a fitting way to close the greatest hits, too. The new recording feels more open and sweet, and the angelic chorus is as heavenly as ever. The song has grown up in the last 14 years, and yet it feels just as honest now. It’s a beautiful ending to the acoustic set and greatest hits.
Listen to Distance: The Acoustic Recordings – Disc 2 of Black Gold: Best Of Editors – below:
You can stream or purchase Black Gold: Best Of Editors from all the major music providers here. Be sure to check out the deluxe edition so you can hear Distance: The Acoustic Recordings.
For additional intrigue, ordering the album from Editors’ official site will get you a bonus 8-track CD of The Snowfield Demos. It’s is an extremely rare recording from 2003, before Editors were even called Editors. (Indeed, they went by Snowfield when they made that EP.)