In the world of rock bootlegs, it isn't uncommon for the same concert to result in different CDs. Garbage's June 20, 1998, performance at the Loreley Festival (Loreley Freilichtbühne, if you speak German) in St. Goarshausen, Germany, resulted in at least two bootlegs in the late '90s. One of them was Release 2.1 on the Roach label; another was 2.5 on Thunderball. There are very few reasons to recommended one over the other. They both focus on the same set and contain the same 14 songs, which include gems from their self-titled debut album ("Stupid Girl," "Only Happy When It Rains," "Not My Idea," "Supervixen") and their excellent sophomore effort, Version 2.0 ("Temptation Waits," "When I Grow Up," "I Think I'm Paranoid," and the hit "Special"). The sound quality is excellent -- both had a soundboard recording to work with -- and lead singer Shirley Manson sounds inspired throughout the set. So why would a Garbage addict choose 2.5 over Release 2.1 when there aren't any major musical differences between the two? 2.5 boasts more attractive art work; collectors will appreciate the lavish, full-color, 12-page CD booklet that Thunderball provides. And 2.5 is easier to find because the label is a more prominent bootlegger. But truth be told, collectors can't go wrong with either album. Neither will convert nonbelievers, but both are easily recommended to those who consider themselves die-hard devotees.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson