Japan half-speed mastered vinyl sets

Japan / Gentlemen Take Polaroids

The half-speed mastered vinyl editions of Japan‘s Gentlemen Take Polaroids and Tin Drum (that SDE told you about earlier this month) are now available to pre-order.

Both albums were remastered at Abbey Road Studios by Miles Showell, but fans have a choice of the single vinyl 33RPM versions (not half-speed mastered) or the more audiophile half-speed mastered double vinyl cut at 45RPM. You pay around a £7-8 premium for the latter.

Both these titles will be released on 24 August 2018.

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Gentlemen Take Polaroids - 45RPM 2LP half-speed mastered


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Gentlemen Take Polaroids - 33RPM single LP remaster


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Tin Drum - 45RPM 2LP half-speed mastered


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Tin Drum - 33RPM single LP remaster


Gentlemen Take Polaroids 2 x 45 RPM half-speed mastered

Side A
1 Gentlemen Take Polaroids

2 Swing

Side B
1 Burning Bridges

2 My New Career

Side C
1 Methods of Dance

2 Ain’t That Peculiar

Side D
1 Night Porter

2 Taking Islands In Africa

Tin Drum 2 x 45 RPM half-speed mastered

Side A
1 Art of Parties

2 Talking Drum

Side B
1 Ghosts

2 Canton

Side C
1 Still Life

2 Visions of China

Side D
1 Sons of Pioneers

2 Cantonese Boy

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[…] shunned their past. There were half-speed remasters of Gentlemen Take Polaroids and Tin Drum in 2018, but the new boxset for 1979’s Quiet Life is a welcome surprise. The album where Japan […]

Martin Power

Just a heads up – HMV still have both 1/2 speed remasters at 2 for £50 – Saving around a tenner


Did somebody compare the 33 rpm with the 45 rpm [halfspeed mastered]?


I finally managed to pick up my half-speed masters today and I noticed that GTP does not *seem* to be the same as my original copy of GTP.
My original (which is an early copy with the addendum sticker regarding ‘Some Kind of Fool’) has name of the group and the album on the cover. The half-speed doesn’t. Whereas Tin Drum seems to be faithful to the original.
Seems like an odd choice to me…

Haven’t played them yet but they look great – nice having the lyrics.


The 45 rpm half speed mastered version of Tin Drum arrived in the mail today. I am now halfway through side 3 and I should say: it sounds impressive. Great clarity and detail, silence is real silence, and the layered synth keyboards merge beautifully with Karn’s fretless bass and Sylvian’s voice. Jansen’s percussion, marimba and drums sound very natural. Am eagerly awaiting delivery of GTP…


Completely agree re. Tin Drum. It’s a fabulous pressing. Unfortunately my copy of GTP leaves a lot to be desired and is the polar opposite of TD. Very noisy, slightly warped and there’s a small ‘dink’ in the vinyl on the first track of side 2 (Burning Bridges) so it’s going back. Hoping the next copy will be vastly improved.


Vinyl lovers must be incredibly patient to play 4 sides of vinyl with only 2 songs on each side.
Despite how great they must sound my Oppo CD player is good enough for me.

Manuel C.

Here’s hoping that there will be a CD edition of these – and of Quiet Life. I would say that the last CD attempts may not have been definitive in terms of sound quality.


Wish they would do this for the early Sylvian solo stuff – I have something like 4 vinyl copies of Words with the Shaman, and they’re all noisy as anything (the curse of buying 30+ year old used records). A smart reissue campaign of that peak pre-Gone To Earth stuff would be amazing.


Pre Gone To Earth is one album and an EP….


So, I accidentally pre-ordered the single disc for Tin Drum the other day, thinking that was the 2lp version. It surprises me they are releasing both options at once. So, I will need to re-do. But, I guess the single disc is a different new remaster after the Back to Black series remaster?


a half-speed mastered album that plays at 45rpm just sounds…. odd. Is there a noticeable increase in audio quality? My original copy of Tin Drum still sounds superb, and there’s just SO much stuff out there – like the gold vinyl issue of Juju which arrives next week. That’s had the half-speed treatment too, so I’ll be able to test it against my original copy. A BIG treat for me, perhaps not so much for the neighbours…


The UMC website Reads as if both single and double lp versions are mastered at half speed but that the double is also 45rpm for extra high fidelity. Amazon have also used this blurb.


Yes. Thanks for the clarity Paul.

David Perry

HMV are doing both half speed masters for £50. Free postage.

Annabel Lecter

So pleased I spotted your comment, David. I’ve cancelled my Rough Trade order and have ordered the HMV deal.

David Perry

Nae bother, I tend to scan HMV for offers also!

Andrew F.

David, HMV was my go-to store before they originally went bump. It was free P&P if memory serves, but I might be romanticising the past.

I bought tons of vinyl singles, as they did loads of good deals.

I ought to keep my eyes peeled and visit their site, now they’re a contender again. I bought an exclusive clear vinyl album from them earlier in the year and it was a smooth experience.

Thanks for the heads up.


Two of the best albums of the 80s.


I might order the 33rpm version of GTP just for the sleeve to use in one of those album display frames…

P. E.

Drift Records in Totnes has the 2xLP versions for £25.99 each. Ordering both qualifies you for free postage (orders over £50.00). Presently both are still available.


I ordered mine from them. Very helpful store…and indie, too

alan hansen

although i have no personal interest in these apparently lovely vinyl editions (i’m quite keen on my remastered japanese cd incarnations from a few years ago, and i have my original japanese-pressed vinyl w/OBI’s from the 80’s in my collection), i’ve already texted to apprise a vinyl-hound and audiophile friend. “gentlemen take polaroids” was a mind-expanding aural experience for me.


Cheers Paul!

Annabel Lecter

Nice to see GTP receiving a vinyl rerelease, as the other four albums have all been repressed prior to this year.


tin drum out of stock already?


Demand has massively outstripped initially anticipated supply so Universal are having to up their expected orders.
The product manager knew the potential but the pen-pushers were sceptical.
Amazon is probably reflecting the fact that they were given an initial allocation and are waiting for confirmation they can get more before rather than setting false expectations in buyers (which is fair enough).
I wouldn’t worry though – there will be enough to go around I’m certain.


I thought that about the best of DVD. Then it got deleted!

Tony Orwell

What records are doing both the half speed remasters for £22.99, + £8 postage, so it is beneficial to find some other goodies as £8 covers you for as much as you want to buy