Anniversaries have always been used as an excuse in the music industry to release and/or re-release things. Most times a re-release is not necessary. This is one of them. Could people have lived without the bonus material, which is a live show? Absolutely.
Insomniac was apparently last pressed way back in 2009. But since it’s steadily available, I highly doubt it hasn’t been re-pressed, or at least kept in print, since then. Did Reprise Records do anything for the album’s 20th anniversary? Nope. Granted the silver anniversary is a big one, but in reality, for this album, it’s not. If this were Dookie, which has never received any sort of anniversary release, or even a deluxe edition, it raises my eyebrows even higher regarding Insomniac.
Had this been more thought out and nicer release my opinion might be swayed the opposite direction. Most of it seems like an afterthought. We have more material than can fit on a single LP, but not enough to fill out the d-side of a second LP? Throw on a pointless etching of the artwork on it! I guess it’s better than leaving the d-side blank. But etchings only driving up the cost to the consumer. Don’t get me wrong. Some etchings are nice. But using the album artwork or the band’s logo does not show much, if any, creativity. Throw in the fact that this double LP is stuffed into a oversized single pocket jacket instead of a gatefold jacket. Add up the price for this; close to $30 retail, and it leaves me far from impressed.
And of course there are variants for this pressing of Insomniac. There was a band exclusive variant, which was pressed on orange vinyl. With the other variant being black vinyl. Though pressing info has not, and likely never will be released. It didn’t stop the orange variant from selling out, and it did so despite it cost more than the black variant; $32 before shipping instead $30. I will add that the etching looks far better on black vinyl than it does on the orange.
The artwork was slightly tweaked for this 25th anniversary edition; getting the holographic treatment, or what the band/label calls “prismatic silver foil.” Google doesn’t even come up with any search results for that term. Other than that the artwork is the same as the original release from 1996. The center labels were changed to, wait for… silver. You know, to keep with the 25th anniversary theme that has been found all over this release.
The records themselves come housed in printed dust sleeves. The artwork used for the first sleeve is a carbon copy of the insert included with the first pressing of the record. The second sleeve simply has promo photos; with one side of it literally having several practically identical images from the photo shoot put together like a collage.
I mentioned above the bonus material, which is a show recorded in Prague on March 26, 1996. And the creativity continues to flow with the title of the bonus material/disc; Live In Prague. On top of, one actual good thing about this 25th anniversary re-issue is that it was re-mastered. Not solely for vinyl, but the album was re-mastered. This record does sound good. And while it does not come with a physical download card/code (not sure if the Green Day store sent out to anyone who ordered; I highly doubt it) if you get your hands on the digital files you can hear the difference there too if you do a side by side comparison between the original 1996 release and this one.
Price was mentioned above and how the orange variant is sold out. While the black variant is still around, it is becoming slightly harder to find as time goes on. If you’re like me and waiting for a good sale from somewhere, it may not happen before this 25th anniversary pressing goes OOP.