While we wait patiently for The Hurting deluxe box set, for our rather irregular ‘Japanese CD of the Day’ feature we thought we’d look at the 2010 Japanese Paper Sleeve (mini-LP CD) reissue of Tears For Fears 1985 album Songs From The Big Chair.
This replicated the audio from the 2005 two-disc deluxe edition, but presented it with the usual Japanese panache. Each disc in this set was housed in its own wallet, with the sleeve for disc one replicating the original UK vinyl and the second disc in a wallet that used photographs from the era. The inner sleeve design was recreated and shrunk down to CD size, while this set even came with a two-sided, numbered card which reprinted the original vinyl label designs.
A larger-than-normal booklet contained Paul Lester’s essay about the album, and although largely in Japanese, the folded paper poster contained lyrics in English (even for the bonus tracks).
Catalogue number for this release was UICY-94430 and as stated on the OBI strip this was part of a “Golden ’80s Paper Sleeve Collection” (The Seeds Of Love was also issued at the same time). This is an “SHM-CD”. The SHM stands for Super High Material and it is suppposed to provide “enhanced audio quality through the use of a special polycarbonate plastic”. Although playable on all CD players, many remain unconvinced by the merits of SHM-CDs.