It’s a particular favourite of mine, this album, what with its high-tech, high-sheen finish of meticulously crafted pop – it got a vinyl re-release last year on Rough Trade and for some reason the CD issue was delayed… and now there is a Japanese issue too with one extra track…
It was going to be just a straight re-release of the existing CD incarnation, which featured the original album tracks plus four additional bonus tracks of some of the ‘Versions’ from the contemporary single B sides. As it turns out, it is not just a straight re-issue and there are differences… and to add to that, there is this, the Japanese CD re-release which comes with an extra bonus track for Japan only.
So, the main differences to be aware of straight off the bat;
- On both the European 2022 CD edition and this Japanese 2022 CD edition, the original UK album/CD album mix of ‘Perfect Way’ has been dropped and is replaced with the UK 12″ A side mix* (duration approx. 4’33”) in its place (as far as my ears can tell, as it does not definitely state this in the track title credit). I think this mix was on the US CD editions of the album?
- Is this mix by John Potoker or Francois Kevorkian? The UK 12″ sleeve/labels credit Kevorkian, the US album credits John Potoker. Doesn’t help that the UK 7″ credits are definitely mixed up, with discrepancies between the sleeve and the label.
- On this Japanese edition, the ‘Version’ of ‘Hypnotised’ is the shorter version from the B side of the original 7″ release (duration: approx. 4′ 22″) – whereas the previous UK CDs featured the longer version from the 12″ B side. (Interestingly, looking back on things, the Japanese CD editions always seem to have featured the shorter ‘version’ of this track all along…)
- The bonus track on this CD ‘for Japan only’ is the ‘Perfect Way (Version)’ (duration: approx. 5′ 04″) that was featured on the B sides of the UK 7″ and 12″ singles (and is credited to Francois Kevorkian). I could be wrong, but I think this is its first appearance on CD. Note: Although the sleeve of the UK 12″ of ‘Perfect Way’ states ‘Long Version’, both 7″ and 12″ versions of the B side were in fact the same duration.
It comes in a beautiful replica album sleeve recreation, as you can see reimagined as a gatefold edition – as well as this there are two inserts a full colour gloss fold-out (same as the European edition) with album lyrics and credits on one side and new sleeve notes from Green and David Gamson on the other. There is also a Japanese text booklet too as well as the customary ‘obi’ too.
So, its a pity that there couldn’t have been a more definitive re-release that compiles more of the various mixes out there – not least to include even one of the multitude of ‘Perfect Way (Way Perfect)’ mixes released in the US. Looking back on other issues on CD has revealed for me the fact that there is actually quite a bit of regional variation out there, so I expect to revisit this before too long… for example, I didn’t realise that the US CD edition included the shorter, remix version of ‘Lover To Fall’ that I assume is the same as the version issued as a single in France.
A word of caution however – this one hell of a loud CD – the mastering is HOT! A couple of screenshot comparisons below of ‘Absolute’, from my original CD issue from the ’80s and this 2022 Japanese edition.