Out This Week / on 24 August 2018

Japan / Gentlemen Take Polaroids

Japan / Gentlemen Take Polaroids and Tin Drum half-speed mastered vinyl Vinyl

Half-speed mastered vinyl editions of Japan‘s Gentlemen Take Polaroids and Tin Drum are released this week. These are pressed at 45RPM.

Douglas Adams / The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Vinyl

The original six episodes of Douglas Adams’ classic BBC radio series The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy available on vinyl for first time. This first volume (others are planned over the next year), known as Primary Phase, is presented on triple 180g RED vinyl and housed in a 12″ x 12″ hardcover book, which features newly commissioned sleeve notes and an essay from author Neil Gaiman.

Bob Marley / Kaya 40

Bob Marley & The Wailers / Kaya 40 CD, Vinyl

Bob Marley & The Wailers‘ 1978 album Kaya is being reissued as ‘Kaya 40’ a double-disc (2CD or 2LP) deluxe edition. The first disc offers the offers the original album while the second features new ‘authentic’ mixes by Stephen Marley.


Michael Jackson / vinyl picture discs

Michael Jackson / Vinyl picture discs Vinyl

All six of Michael Jackson‘s studio albums from 1979’s Off The Wall are issued as special vinyl picture discs. Dangerous, HIStory and Invincible are all double albums.

Alice in Chains / new album Rainier Fog

Alice in Chains / Rainier Fog CD, Vinyl

Third album from the Seattle rockers since their reformation in 2007/8. The title is a tip-of-the-hat reference to their roots, as is the title track of the long-player. Amazon UK exclusive SIGNED edition available while stocks last.

Bad Manners / The Albums 1980-1985 CD, Box Set

The Albums 1980-1985 is a five-CD Bad Manners box set featuring five albums and plenty of bonus tracks, including remixes of many singles.

UK Subs / The Albums Volume Two CD

Delayed second and final volume of English Punk Band U.K. SUBS albums. The band are celebrating their 40th anniversary with a pair of box sets and this second 15CD volume (albums N to Z) is this week. It’s a 1000 limited edition and each is signed and numbered!

Neil & Liam Finn / Lightsleeper

Crowded House’s Neil Finn and son Liam have created their debut album together. It’s something of a family affair with Neil’s wife Sharon and his other son Elroy also contributing. New bandmate Mick Fleetwood also makes an appearance!

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Neil & Liam Finn

Lightsleeper - CD edition


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Neil & Liam Finn

Lightsleeper - vinyl LP


Gilbert O’Sullivan

This 12-track self-titled long-player is Gilbert O’Sullivan‘s 19th solo studio album.

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Gilbert O'Sullivan

Gilbert O'Sullivan [CD]


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Gilbert O'Sullivan

Gilbert O'Sullivan [VINYL]


Various Artists / Grease soundtrack 2LP vinyl

New double vinyl set for the 40th anniversary of Grease. This has been mastered from the original tapes and cut at half-speed for a superior sound. Replica packaging and it comes with a download code.

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Various Artists

Grease – The Original Soundtrack From The Motion Picture [VINYL]


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Andrew M

So has anyone got any of the MJ picturediscs yet and if so what is your impression? I got Thriller today and I am very impressed with the whole package. OK – it’s not an audiophile pressing but on my limited setup it sounds really good – some noise, but the separation is excellent and the sound is well balanced.

I want the rest now.

But they still ain’t worth the price. Might see what HMV are selling them for in store tomorrow.

Paul Taylor

Moving away from the excellent quality Japan reissues, the Grease album is an absolute dog. I’ve returned a copy to Amazon today with inner groove distortion that would make your ears bleed. A friend reported the same issue.
In the forlorn hope Amazon had a dodgy batch, I purchased a copy from Sainsbury’s this afternoon which is also getting a return ticket; exactly the same problems in exactly the same places.
I just wonder if they bothered doing any test pressings and listened to them. If so then quality control have been operating on half speed to let this abomination get out.
I was looking forward to this, even although my 40 year old original plays perfectly, as it would have been nice to compare them after a so called mastering upgrade. Very disappointing

[…] new self-titled album is released today and although it earned a mention in this week’s Out This Week post, it turns out you can buy SIGNED vinyl and CD editions from his official online store. The […]

Matt Piper

Did anyone see/purchase the SACD versions of GTP and TD from a year or so ago? I did. I think they were based on the last CD issue mastering and sound pretty good to me. I read somewhere a long time ago that Steven Wilson would like to do a 5.1 mix of TD. That would be great, but GTP would be wonderful!


Unfortunately I don’t see that happening as apparently Virgin have lost the original master tapes of Tin Drum (this according to Steve Jansen himself).
Virgin seem to have a history of not taking great care of master tapes – the have also lost the master tapes of another of my all-time fave albums XTC’s English Settlement.

In fact it has just occurred to me that all three of my favourite albums (namely English Settlement, Tin Drum and Low by Bowie) are unlikely to see 5.1 mixes.

Steven Roberts

I bought the Japan SACDs as well. So that’s at least two copies of each that they sold:)

Annabel Lecter

Beyond excited about the Japan releases. I indulged in the MOV deluxe editions a few years ago, for the three Hansa albums. Tin Drum got a vinyl rerelease a couple of years ago, but this is the first time Gentlemen Take Polaroids has had a vinyl pressing since the eighties.

Still a fair few Japan single mixes that have yet to be released on CD or download/streaming. It’s been 15 years since the Virgin years material of Japan and David Sylvian had any attention. I have a Japanese double CD called The Singles, which includes the Hansa single variations. It’s long out of print, however.


@Annabel Lecter : Yes I have the Japanese double CDs of the Singles and of Assemblage (I’m a bit of a Japan completist) and they are both very nice releases.
However I was not aware of the MoV Hansa releases. Unless you mean Adolescent Sex, Obscure Alternatives and Quite Life (I always think of Quiet Life as being a Virgin Records release). In which case I purchased Quite Life after seeing it mentioned on SDE and now based on your mention of the other releases I have sourced a copy of Obscure Alternatives.
The MoV release of Adolescent Sex seems less interesting as it only comes with a 7″ single as opposed to the other two which include extra discs.

I’d like to have seen expanded vinyl versions of Gentlemen Take Polaroids and Tin Drum – I know there is not much extra material but probably just about enough…

Chris Squires

My special edition double play cassette of Assemblage almost got played to death on my little Walkman and Sharp vertical in 1982.
I missed the 2CD which seems to have 19 tracks instead of 18 tracks but I can’t be arsed right now to work out which one it is.

I missed the first three albums first time ’round and it was Assemblage that made me get them as I loved the live renditions of the really early material.

I wonder if any of those Sharp vertical decks still work, I miss it and have extremely fond memories of it. When you are 14-16 it was your life…..

Annabel Lecter

Yes, Trash, the Adolescent Sex repress via MOV was less interesting than the subsequent two Hansa represses.

The thing I disliked about the Adolescent Sex release was 1) the 7” single was in a plain sleeve and 2) the paper labels on the red vinyl album were quite generic.

The Bowie box sets proved that you could pay tribute to the old RCA logo without using it.

I’ve asjed MOV about their disc label choices before and received a reply that they can licence audio content, sleeve artwork but can’t replicate original album disc labels, as it would give the impression the original label has pressed the discs.

Paul Rymer on the Nightporter website has mentioned previously that there isn’t a plethora of unreleased Japan tracks from any of the album sessions.

Different band members also have had conflicting memories of rumoured unreleased Polaroids sessions. There’s a track called Angel in Furs, I think, which is supposed to have come from the Polaroids sessions. I believe Virgin denied this, back in 2003, when the last set of CD reissues were procured.


The two things I would love to hear are:
– The original ‘Some Kind of Fool’. Sylvian did a remake a while back for the compilation of his work but I hope to hear the original someday
– The Penguin Cafe tapes. A piece of background music that Sylvian and Barberi put together for Mick Karn’s ‘pop-up’ restaurant at that time. Barbieri has a tape of it (and Anthony Reynolds mentions hearing it in his excellent Japan book).

Other than that I would really be interested to hear any demos that may be in existence.

Annabel Lecter

@Trash, I wouldn’t have put it past Sylvian to erase the original vocal track on Some Kind Of Fool, when he was putting Everything and Nothing together.

Interesting fact: Virgin were set to release Some Kind Of Fool as a single in November 1982 and issued it with a catalogue number. Sylvian asked Virgin to release Nightporter instead, which used the same catalogue number as the aborted SKOF release.

He planned to record the track as a duet with Pierre Barouh, but then abandoned the idea. I was delighted we finally got to hear a version in 2000, though. My original copy of Gentlemen Take Polaroids refers to side one, track three featuring Some Kind Of Fool. A sticker next to it says erratum and the track title Burning Bridges is mentioned.

The only place I’ve heard the original is a bad tape recording of a social gathering where the track received a play. It’s muffled beyond distraction though.


£32.26 incl p&p for HIStory when ordered from Amazon Italy. Fingers crossed the pic disc is sgt pepper standard and not George Michael freedom ‘90 (sub) standard

elliott buckingham

looking forward to hearing the kaya 40 remixes and also released Friday is alabama 3 greatest on dbl coloured vinyl

anthony orwell

With regards to the Michael Jackson picture disc issues I am led to believe that they are extremely limited (whatever that means) to the point where one of my regard suppliers has embargoed a 1 per person policy when normally you can buy as many as you want, the box set seams to be the cheapest option assuming you want them all

Bradley A Chase

Found an original NM/Still in shrink (JC Penney – $11.99) Grease earlier this year for 99c plus tax. I’m good.

Alan B

I know it was covered in the Michael Jackson piece but it needs saying again – the prices of these picture discs are outrageous. I hope no one buys them to give the Record Company a bloody nose. £72 (both HMV and Amazon) for a 2 disc picture disc is frankly disgusting. It all started with RSD when vinyl records all of a sudden doubled in price and the public bought it – literally. We are now in a post RSD face where they are pushing the boundaries again to see what they can get away with. I hope they end up with loads of unsold stock.


Totally agree with your comments re the MJ lets rip off the fans campaign,i’d rather do without than pay these extortionate prices,also when there is no actual figure for a “limited release” that usually means it isn’t that limited a release.BAD more ways than I can say/sing.


UK readers should check out importcds.com for the Michael Jackson picture discs as they appear to be a lot cheaper than amazon.

Andrew M

Hang on!

Is History not the complete album? Just seen it might be just the second disc.

Cancelling if so…….

Auntie Sabrina

Yes, the original had 30 tracks on 2 CDs or Cassettes…

Andrew M

Thanks. Yeah I have the original CD set. I didn’t realise it only contained the second disc and have now cancelled. Not paying that for half an album. I’ll stick to Thriller.

Chris Squires

I have a vinyl box set of HIStory Book I in my hands that I bought a decade or more ago from eBay and having just checked Discogs…. I don’t know how but it is the US Box set. Just checking…It was never released in a box in Europe (US, Colombia, Brazil and Jamaica only) only as a gatefold sleeve made in Holland. It has all 30 tracks across 3 LPs. For some reason I now have the urge to go and play it for the first time in about 8 or 9 years. Shamonnnnnnne.


Wasn’t there a Prince Anthology 1995-2010?


Digital only, to celebrate his catalogue from those years hitting Spotify etc.

O(+> Peter B

Yes, all the albums from that period are on Spotify, iTunes etc, so all officially released Prince albums bar The Black Album can be streamed or downloaded. Hopefully physical releases will follow (many are expensive second hand).

David B

From previous experience, the Abbey Road half speed remasters are a real step up in quality, even though they are often taken from digital sources. Will defo be buying both Japan albums.

Le Baron

Gilbert o’ Sullivan is an unknown genius!!!
I love the way some of his songs are contructed…have you ever noticed songs like Clair or Alone again have no chorus?
Thanks for the info, Paul, I didn’t even know this great man was still active.


Unknown?! Both songs you mention were massive hits in the US and UK, with Alone Again spending six weeks at No.1 in the US.

Stan Butler

For reasons well documented, Gilbert fell by the wayside chart wise in the late 70’s, but he has continued to release quality material. A brilliant lyricist and melodist. His peak years were a little before my time but I always liked the hits. However, it took the reissue series earlier this decade for me to start collecting his work and truly appreciate what a great artist he is.

Chris Squires

I would suggest a “forgotten” genius rather than an unknown one. Rather like Sparks. But somehow they have come back with some really solid work. If this is anywhere near Gilbert’s 1970s work he won’t be “forgotten” for long.

Plus from age 8 he lived 150 yards from where my wife was born and about a mile from where we live now and he went to the same school most of my family. He was the biggest selling solo artist in the world the year my wife started the same school he went to about 15 years previous. Quite the coup for a little backwater comprehensive school to have an ex-pupil do that.

All my old school can boast is Cat Deeley, so I’ll keep quiet about that.


I went to Grove Vale Junior School and Dartmouth High School as well !

Chris Squires

Apologies for the off topic – it won’t happen again.

Small world – I was a St. Margaret’s child meself……. Too many hills and Redhouse Park to climb between us and Grove Vale,

Paul Spurgeon

Bizarrely the 500 only signed hitchhikers is still available AND cheaper than the std version??!!

Personally I think amazon are rather creative on the numbers when it comes these limited runs.


“Personally I think amazon are rather creative on the numbers when it comes these limited runs.”

Been saying the same thing for years.

Chris Squires

Hah, I don’t think they would dare. Too many people in the loop for it not to come out. If you are someone like Belinda Carlisle and you have to sign 500 12×12 prints would she really want to be in on a conspiracy to sign 1,000 or 1,500. Once it was discovered, and it would be discovered and leaked by someone…. for every artist who did this…. their name would be mud. It’s conspiracy to commit fraud at it’s core.
The manufacturers would have to be in on it as well making 1,000 of a record when there are only supposed to be 500 leaves a paper trail. Someone would tell someone, even if it was just the wife or husband (should I say partner these days?). At most I would concede there might be a 10% spoilage “Can you sign 530 or 550 in case of damage” kind of thing.

Personally I think it is two things.
a) pre-selling items with a flawed system means record keeping is hard to do, even if it is just one outlet, amazon. How many do you pre-sell 400? 450? in case of damage and returns. I have seen on SDE people seeing the fact that a limited item can come in and out of stock 8 or 9 times before a record is released and taking that to mean more are being manufactured. But I think it’s people ordering, maybe even ordering multiples and then cancelling at some point before release thus freeing up more items for sale. I have done it with limited editions for The Creation, Five Star, Robert Reed, Suede, Hitchhiker’s and a few others. Once cancelled these can be bought up. And we all know why we cancel… price doesn’t drop or drop enough, you get it from elsewhere if it isn’t amazon exclusive (Burning Shed / What records etc.), reviews lead you to believe it’ll be very poor or you just decide you plain don’t want / need it.

ah yes the second reason b) There are just not that many of us out there interested in buying this stuff. In our own SDE / Classic pop (etc.) bubble it is easy to believe there are dozens of thousands of us in the UK but I just don’t think there are. There are not 500 Pete Shelley fans out there who want to buy new Vinyl and snap it up off the shelves before release. Hence 9 copies still available (even though mine took weeks after release to arrive).

Finally we assume that these companies don’t make mistakes, they do…. Conspiracy or cock-up. I ordered Luke Haines “Sometimes I dream of glue” from Cherry Red on the day it was announced so I ordered a signed copy. I was emailed on the week of release that due to an administrative error I would not be getting a copy. They must have oversold I thought.

Fair play to Cherry Red though…two days later they rang me up and asked if I still wanted a copy as one of the researchers had just returned off holiday and found a box of them under her desk and they chucked in Hollywood Beyond and Kissing the Pink CDs as a sorry….good lads.

I go with cock-up.

Peter Muscutt

Bah, desperately wanted the Hitchhiker’s vinyl but alas cancelled my order as the perils of fatherhood impeded on my available budget and am struggling through til payday! My decision to purchase nappies and formula will be rewarded in years to come…plus my wife would have had my guts for garters if this landed on the doormat while I was “low on funds”!

On the plus side I have pre-ordered the new League of Gentlemen 12LP vinyl set which comes out in November – my early Xmas present to myself!!

Andrew M

Ha ha.

A 2 year old and a one year old here, and I feel your pain. I swear that formula is more expensive than weapons grade plutonium! :D

Plus side is it gets better. Once they kick that formula habit.

I’ve got history and thriller coming this week and looking forward to them. trouble is, I forgot about them and bought two vinyls on spec last week for the hell of it……..

Peter Muscutt

Good to know there’s someone else out there Andrew M feeling the baby-related pinch!! God bless the Deal Alerts is all I can say!!!

(And yes, haven’t we all forgotten about those pesky pre-orders from months ago then wonder why several LPs or boxsets have arrived!!! I’m still waiting/hoping that the cheap as chips Brian Eno set on the foreign Amazon site is honoured and arrives sometime in October or November…)

Chris Squires

I hate compromises and that what I am forced to do this week. I cancelled my pre-order of the two Japan half speed releases at £26.13 as although I really, really want them most of these sets have been sold at £14.99 (e.g. Arrival and Abba The Album) if you keep a close watch and are prepared to wait and gamble. I have one of the limited edition Hitchhikers sets coming and you can’t have everything!

The odd thing to note is that the unsigned hitchhikers is £76 on am.uk and the signed, limited version is only £64. That’s an ego crusher if you let it. As it is a signed picture, not a sleeve there is no damage to the album…..

Do people prefer the actual album cover / book inside cover to be signed or a separate sheet / photograph / plate to be signed?

Pete Muscutt

Have to say I prefer an actual signed item Chris – a signed print is nice to put on the wall or keep with the album/box set if reselling, but I do like an actual signed item and am sometimes a bit miffed when I see “signed!” on an item description then find it’s just a postcard/print/insert etc. It’d be a bit odd if meeting a celeb for an autograph and instead of them signing your book/t-shirt/LP you gave them a printed photo to scribble on then tucked it inside the sleeve…although each to their own, I get that some people don’t want an item “marked” or whatever and might prefer to keep the autograph separate.

Alan B

I definitely prefer the actual sleeve to be signed although I don’t mind autographed 12 inch prints of the album artwork. I get a bit miffed when (especially Recordstore) advertise something as signed which I take to mean the sleeve is signed and you end up with a signed photo or art card. They also advertise many items as coming with a signed card so when it is advertised as signed it is a bit of a lottery as to what you will get.

Chris Squires

I have to say I agree with you both. I think it’s a mixture of lazyness and economics. If that sounds harsh I will concede that sometimes it is difficult to pin people down in a timeframe that suits, particularly if you are extremely busy.

If an artist has to sign 500 copies of an album / boxset or a book they have to actually go to where the heavy items are or the 500 heavy items have to be sent to where the artist is. Much easier to post a small box of 500 postcards or photographs to the artist’s house. Even 500 12 x 12 prints is a lot easier to deliver in one box than 500 trifold LP covers with or without the 1,500 or 2,000 pieces of vinyl inside.

It makes you realize who the real good guys are when someone like Paul Young takes time to go where the booksets are and actually signs the package cover rather than sticking a cheap print inside the cover. Ditto Fish…..

Peter Muscutt

Good point re: the location Chris, I admit I hadn’t thought of that.

There are a few musicians/artists who sell through their own websites who will quite happily sign items before they go out – folk duo Gilmore & Roberts, Matt Berry (featured here recently) and Graham Fellows (he of Jilted John fame!) will sign the actual items/CDs bought via their online stores. Graham Fellows actually personalised mine and even wrote me a note about the Isle of Man where I live when he sent the CD through… Something like that goes a long way in connecting with an audience!

The Golden Age Of. _ _ _ _ _ _ ' _

I’ve never given a flying goat about signatures/signed items.

If I order an LP/CD/Box Set I listen to the music and admire the artwork.

If I buy a Bluray/DVD I watch the movie/performance.

However if signatories are what moves the earth for you, enjoy.

Chris Squires

To me, if we are considering the package as a whole, to include the artwork as you suggest and I also adore great artwork, then a real signature is part of that art.

Just looking at my Paul Young set, Paul held that, all those years of being a fan, all those years of his hard work and talent, yes the music first, as ever, but art is more than just notes on a record or paint on paper (Oil on Canvas?) it’s about the soul and talent of the person who poured their life into it and the signature of that person (to me anyway) only adds to the entire package.

Peter Nicholas

Very much looking forward to the Japan releases, be good if Oil On Canvas and Exorcising Ghosts and the the earlier albums get the same treatment too.


Excorcising Ghosts would definitely metric a half-speed remaster/reissue. It is a great complication and a superb intro purchase for anyone wanting to investigate Japan (albeit their latter releases only). Plus the original release was on very thin/lightweight vinyl and thus easily prone to surface noise – even with great care being taken.

Oil on Canvas has always been a bit of a curates egg for me. I’m not a big fan of live albums and Japan live in particular I always found a bit antiseptic/clinical (possibly due to their extensive use of backing tapes). As much as I adore and admire them as a band and individual musicians (and would have loved to have seen them live) all their live recordings (official and bootlegs) have not really added much to their oeuvre – for me at least.

Looking forward to these half-speeds and the second part of Anthony Reynolds History of the band too!


Oops that first sentence should read:
“Excorcising Ghosts would definitely *merit* a half-speed remaster/reissue.”

I wish there were a way of editing your own posts…