For me, this re-issue/re-master was a must-buy, because it came with a second disc, Peace.
Peace is The Cult's legendary, unreleased opus. It was fabled to be some sort of cross between Led Zeppelin IV, Nirvana's Nevermind, Electric, Love, Van Morrison's Astral Dreams, The Beatles' Rubber Soul, The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, Guns N' Roses Appetite for Destruction, and Hanson's Middle of Nowhere. The album was finally made available as part of the limited run of The Cult's Rare Cult Box Set, which quickly sold out. In this mp3 day and age, there are few true rarities out there -- this is one of them.
Let's get the boring part out of the way: Electric STILL kicks serious ass. The 26-year anniversary edition (really? 26?) is an amazing rock album, and a tour de force from front to back. Still completely listenable after a quarter century.
Now, to the main event. There's no way else to describe it: Peace sucks.
Don't just take my word for it. Here's the blazing opener from Electric, "Wild Flower":
Here's the Peace version: (link only, as YouTube is being weird) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LbrioVdYtI
Let's try "Love Removal Machine." Here's the Electric version:
And the Peace version:
And every single song comparison is like this. Except most are worse than this.
I seriously have listened to this album twice. Listening to it a third time should violate some portion of the Geneva Convention. It's brutally awful.
Peace proves that Rick Rubin (who turned Peace into Electric) is truly a genius, and just how valuable a producer can be. He unearthed the great songs that lie buried under crappy mixes; it's amazing that this gold could be mined from the steaming pile of Peace he was handed.
CD Placement rating: Electric - can I go higher that Car iPod? Peace - can I go lower than Pile of Death?