Ryan Adams has just unveiled his new Prisoner: End of the World box set, and it’s probably the coolest thing you’ll see all day. For those of us who are obsessed Adams fans, it’s likely that you already know that he was working on a more personalized box set for his new release, and you also probably know what the anticipation has been like. In a word: agonizing. Well, fret no more!
So there’s a lot to unpack (literally … sorry) here. First thing’s first, the $150 box set obviously includes a digital download for Adams’ highly anticipated new album Prisoner, due out on Feb. 17. He’s also included some vinyl, but it’s not just one pressing of the album. He has pressed all 12 tracks onto their own individual seven-inch vinyl, each of them coming in its own unique color. Also, Adams has scattered 17 previously unreleased B-sides among the various LPs. And then he went and added an additional seven-inch vinyl that features Adams performing a unique, acoustic one-take version of one of the new tracks from Prisoner through the Voice-O-Graph machine, which also won’t be released anywhere else.
And if that’s not plenty already, the man has also included a 2-D action playset with action figures of the full band. Seriously. The playset is Adams’ stage set-up, complete with working stage lights, sounds and an assortment of objects and animals to really tie the room together.
This whole package is literally insane, but also a really cool way for Adams to give his fans a more personal experience to go along with what sounds like will be his most personal album to date. He wrote Prisoner as a direct result of his divorce from Mandy Moore, so expect a lot of heartbreaking soul-searching. But let’s be honest, that’s one of the things he’s best at. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about his influences for the new album, Adams said:
When I run, I listen to [an iPod] Nano that I have. I put all the AC/DC records on from back to front, or I’ll listen to the best of stuff from the ’80s: Springsteen, or [Bruce] Hornsby, and I’ll listen to what is going on there. I was listening to AC/DC’s Fly on the Wall and that’s when I realized what I had to do for the record.
Prisoner is Adams’ 16th studio album, and follows the very successful Ryan Adams in 2014 and 1989, a Taylor Swift cover album he released in 2015. Prisoner releases Feb. 17 via Adams’ record label, Pax-Am. You can pre-order the Prisoner: End of the World box set here starting at 3 p.m. EST today, and find Paste Cloud audio from a 2006 Adams show below.