Given the quite short running times of TD releases of that period, all five albums easily fit on the three CDs of this box set, leaving enough spare room for a number of bonus tracks to be added:
The first disc features the complete material from Phaedra and Rubycon, as released on the original albums.
Disc two starts with three bonus tracks, the first being the excerpt from Rubycon, Part Two that originally was released on the vinyl-only boxed set '70-'80 (1980), the other two being the two edits from Rubycon, Part One that were released as 7" single Extracts From "Rubycon" (1975) in Australia. The material then continues with the album Ricochet in full length as well as the first two tracks (making side one of original vinyl release) from Stratosfear.
The third disk continues with the remaining two album tracks from Stratosfear, followed by two bonus tracks, this time the single edits from the Stratosfear/The Big Sleep In Search Of Hades (1976) vinyl release. Then the complete material from the album Cyclone is featured, followed by an excerpt from that album that again was released on '70-'80. The disc closes with two original radio adverts, one for Phaedra, the other for Rubycon. By the way, the latter had been censored by the Independent Broadcasting Authority (the regulatory body in the United Kingdom for commercial television) as it apparently featured the sound of a car crashing, followed by the voice of an announcer saying "Don't ask a man to dream and drive".
Given the fact that the bonus tracks are merely edited excerpts from the original albums this box set does not feature any 'must have' for the TD fan; on the other hand, none of the edits had been previously released on CD, so at least they make a nice addition to this box set.
The cover of the box features the reworked artwork from Stratosfear, nicely incorporating the covers from the featured albums. The eight page booklet features the double side photography from the Cyclone gatefold cover (showing the 1978 TD line-up of Klaus Krüger, Edgar Froese, Chris Franke and Steve Jolliffe) as well as the original front covers of the five albums and their original credits. The three discs are designed very similar to the labels of the Extracts From "Rubycon" single mentioned above.
A collector, expecting a chronological order of the material, might be puzzled about the fact that both TD's first soundtrack album Sorcerer (1977) and the essential live album Encore (1977) have been left out -- they even are not mentioned at all in the liner notes (see above). Regarding Sorcerer, there might be copyright issues preventing Virgin from re-releasing this album (as it had been released by MCA originally). On the other hand, featuring the double album Encore instead of Cyclone might have gone beyond the scope of a three-disc set, The Virgin Years 1974-1978 might be bound for. So Encore was released a year later as part of the The Virgin Years 1977-1983 box set.
While the European version of this compilation comes in a standard triple jewel box, the Japanese SHM-CD version is issued in cardboard sleeves.
3CD: 50999 9 08637 2 1; triple jewel case; white/black discs; identical to UK release
3SHM-CD: VJCP-98012; cardboard sleeve, obis
3CD: VTDX 7478; triple jewel case; white/black discs; identical to European release