John Foxx ‘Metamatic’ Japanese mini-LP sleeve CD (Imperial Records, TECI-23190)

So, how many copies of ‘Metamatic’ must I have on CD by now?! Well, at last count, this tasty little item makes it four separate releases. I’m afraid I couldn’t resist this one as it made such a nice go of reproducing the original album sleeve artwork, which remains one of my all time favourites in its cool grey precision.

Front cover and obi

^ Front cover and obi

Musically, the CD is the same as the 2001 Edsel label re-issue (EDCD 702), so you get the original album plus 7 bonus tracks, taken from singles of the era. If you are happy with that CD then only packaging junkies only need apply here. I am fully paid-up, card-carrying member of that fraternity, for sure.

Fronts of the cover, insert, booklet, obi and label design

So, as well as a miniature reproduction of the outer sleeve there is single sheet reproduction of both sides of what was the original inner sleeve, complete with lyrics (which you will need a magnifying glass to decipher, quite probably) – additionally, there is a booklet mostly in black and white with Japanese text plus the obligatory obi strip on the outside.

Backs of the cover, insert, booklet, obi, plus disc label

As well as ‘Metamatic’, there was also a similar reproduction LP sleeve edition for ‘The Garden’ too, which I hope to feature in a future post. And yes, it does come complete with a miniature reproduction of the ‘Church’ booklet as per the original UK LP release!

Additional booklet, pages 2 and 3

^ Additional booklet, pages 2 and 3

So, tracklisting for this edition of ‘Metamatic’ is:

  1. Plaza
  2. He’s A Liquid
  3. Underpass
  4. Metal Beat
  5. No-One Driving
  6. A New Kind Of Man
  7. Blurred Girl
  8. 030
  9. Tidal Wave
  10. Touch And Go

Bonus Tracks:

  1. Film One
  2. Glimmer
  3. Mr No
  4. This City
  5. 20th Century
  6. Burning Car
  7. Miles Away

3 Responses to “John Foxx ‘Metamatic’ Japanese mini-LP sleeve CD (Imperial Records, TECI-23190)”

  1. I was just looking back on this and it seems like the color correction to the cover brings it within spitting distance to the color tint on the original 1980 LP version, which has been missed wildly on all subsequent UK CD pressings, which gravitate to greens and warm browns. Crucially missing the steely gunmetal grey of the original LP.

    Leave it to the Japanese and their tiny four color presses. That’s why Japanese CDs look so good. When printing small items, the Japanese developed table sized 4 color presses, so there’s less chance of misregistration. Here in the West, we cheaply gang many small jobs to fit the bed of a standard Heidelberg and when misregistration occurs, it really shows up on small items which will be trimmed out of the press sheet!

  2. admin says:

    Aloha Monk!

    Your knowledge of the printing processes and accompanying hardware is well beyond my ken, as it were… but you are correct in that this release has very faithfully nailed the colouring and easily wins hands down against all other CD re-issues in coming close to capturing the beauty of the original LP print. The one major difference worth commenting on is that this CD cover has a very high gloss finish, where as my copy of the vinyl ‘Metamatic’ (and all others I’ve seen) has a supremely matt finish.

    But given the significance of this album and its design, they have done it proud with this replica.

  3. davip says:

    Man, if they would start selling these covers separate from the discs I would be all over that. Owned ‘Metamatic’ since its release-date and I well remember the extraordinary sound of this on vinyl, never to be repeated digitally (Universal SHM-SACD compiler listening?)


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