Photographers: Frank Jenkinson; Vincent McDonald; Andreas Schlegel.
The standard two-disc edition of History of the Future, an anthology covering the Orb's years on the Island label, is basically an update of and slight variation on 1998's U.F. Off. Released the year of the Orb's silver jubilee (1988-2013), this factors in one more studio album (2001's Cydonia) with a similar format. There's one somewhat skimpy singles-oriented disc -- a 53-minute program that includes the U.K. Top Ten hits "Little Fluffy Clouds," "Blue Room," and "Toxygene." Disc two, consisting of remixes, features Coldcut's dub of "Little Fluffy Clouds" and Andrew Weatherall's "Ultrabass 1" version of "Perpetual Dawn," as well as a pair of previously unreleased tracks: "Close Encounters [Smile, You're on Camera Mix]," executed by the Orb and Slam, and "Majestic [Heavy Mix]." The 3CD/1DVD edition adds a fanatics-only live audio disc and an incomplete compilation of videos, Top of the Pops appearances, and a live clip. Most of the contents of the live audio disc are taken from a 1993 Copenhagen gig performed at sunset, and there's also a version of "Assassin" from Woodstock '94. The deluxe edition booklet offers not just extensive notes but loads of photos and scans of press releases and articles as well. ~ Andy Kellman