Japan UK ‘Old Gold’ 3 Track 5″ CD Single (Old Gold, OG 6187, 1992)

After I had finally taken to the charms of the silver CD disc as a format, there was no stopping me, and that included re-issues of all kinds – even these rather generic, budget-price compilation series – not least because on occasions they were useful for tracking down hard to find versions (or even hitherto unreleased versions, in the case of another Japan CD-only compilation, ‘Souvenir From Japan’ and its exclusive mix of Life In Tokyo’ – another story…

Japan 'Old Gold' 3 Track 5" CD Single front cover design
^ Japan ‘Old Gold’ 3 Track 5″ CD Single front cover design

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Side by side: 1988 Japan 3” CD singles

These two small objects of desire were 1988 era 3” CD format singles from a range of releases by Virgin that ostensibly looked to mimic original vinyl releases from back in the day. But the devil is in the detail…

Side by side: 1988 Japan 3” CD singles - 'Gentlemen Take Polaroids' and Ghosts' front cover designs
^ Side by side: 1988 Japan 3” CD singles – ‘Gentlemen Take Polaroids’ and Ghosts’ front cover designs

First up was ‘Ghosts’ (Virgin, CDT 11, 1988) and it is the more interesting of the two releases by way of its inclusion on CD of the 3’55” single remix of ‘Ghosts’ as well as the 1981 live ‘version’ of ‘The Art Of Parties’ that was the B side of the original 1982 UK 7” and 12” singles. The live take is an interesting alternative as this was the tour that saw Steve Jansen play a Simmons electronic drum kit (as briefly mentioned on Steve’s excellent Sleepyard blog and on stereoklang.se) while the scorching lead guitar duties are from the wonderful David Rhodes on a short-lived stint as live guitarist with Japan on the 1981 ‘Visions of China’ tour, his distinctive tones more familiar from his work with Peter Gabriel, Talk Talk and Kate Bush amongst others. There is a third track this CD by way of ‘Visions Of China’ (in its familiar 3’38” album mix) – it bears no relation to the original ‘Ghosts’ single and seems an odd inclusion here. Continue reading “Side by side: 1988 Japan 3” CD singles”

Scritti Politti ‘Cupid & Psyche 85’ Japanese re-issue CD [Rough Trade / Beat Records, RTRAD695CDJP, 2022]

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…

Scritti Politti 'Cupid & Psyche 85' 2022 Japanese re-issue CD - front cover design and some of the additional inserts/disc
^ Scritti Politti ‘Cupid & Psyche 85’ 2022 Japanese re-issue CD – front cover design and some of the additional inserts/disc

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. Continue reading “Scritti Politti ‘Cupid & Psyche 85’ Japanese re-issue CD [Rough Trade / Beat Records, RTRAD695CDJP, 2022]”

Side by side: XTC ‘King For A Day’ CD singles UK/US

When looking out these CDs to photograph for this post, and looking back on previous VersionCrazy posts for XTC… I was surprised to find nothing other than a passing mention in the ‘Machines’ 1980 compilation album on Virgin! How could I have managed not to feature this wonderful band in any detail in the 14 years of the blog so far? Anyway, what was exercising me was the various versions of a later period single, from when the band’s star was much higher stateside than in their native UK – ‘King For A Day’.

XTC 'King For A Day' UK and US CD singles front cover designs
^ XTC ‘King For A Day’ UK and US CD singles front cover designs

Lifted from 1989’s glossy album production, ‘Oranges and Lemons’, it seemed a fairly surefire selection from the album’s tracks as a radio-pleasing drive-time number in much the same style as Tears For Fears has scored a few years earlier with ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’ – it has quite a resemblance to that track. What’s interesting here is that there were major differences between the UK and US releases – the American release also saw fit to procure some radically changed remixes of the song for its outing. Continue reading “Side by side: XTC ‘King For A Day’ CD singles UK/US”

Simple Minds – ‘X5’ UK/EU CD Box Set (Virgin, SMBOX2 / 50999 956473 2 6, 2012)

Bang for buck, in a world that has seen a proliferation of Simple Minds box sets and re-issues in numerous varieties (from budget no frills to kitchen sink ‘n’ all), this modest set from 2012, ‘X5’, was an instant go-to when announced.

Simple Minds 'X5' CD Box Set edition - box front
^ Simple Minds ‘X5’ CD Box Set edition – box front

Gathering together the first five Simple Minds albums (should be six if you count the pair from 1981 separately) with a small selection of bonus tracks on each and simplified facsimiles of the original cover art, it was a budget proposition when released but one which soon disappeared from the shelves and for which you might well be asked reasonable sums for now if you were to need a copy. The replica sleeves are just the outer sleeves and there is no accompanying booklet – but as a way to scoop up those early, seminal albums and good deal of bonus B side and extended mixes, you can’t go wrong with this set – it’s a pity it has not remained on catalogue longer.
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