SDEtv / Classic albums re-packaged as Japanese-style CD vinyl replicas


Sony impress with their newly presented Legacy Editions

A series of newly reissued ‘Legacy Editions’ from Sony are presented as (almost) full-blown Japanese mini-LP CD / vinyl replica sets and the series boasts classic albums from Jeff Buckley, Dennis Wilson, Billy Joel, Elvis, Miles Davis, Iggy Pop and more. SDE has created the ‘unboxing’ type video (below) to illustrate the new packaging.

Be careful with the links below. Many marketplaces sellers may be quoting for the previous packaging. Amazon themselves should refer to the new packaging in the product description. The release date for these was 7 October 2016.


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peter wolf

Paul i am with you although they’re not on the Sony label the Japanese issues or reissues are amazing in comparison to a number of other labels, they literally crap over the rest of them. I remember buying last years Led Zeppelin remasters with the extra discs, i’ll give you a sample of the contents, Physical Graffiti standard if i can use the pun a 16 Page book, an extra 22 Page insert & lyrics and plastic inserts a one Page flyer! Coda standard 16 Page book an extra 18 Page
insert once again & lyrics a flyer and plastic inner sleeves! One of the funniest things i have read about the photos inside as the guys were not getting along too well to make them look happy it was decided to get a lady completely naked & spread eagled on the bonnet of a car hence the smile on their faces! In Through The Outdoor standard 18 Page book & an extra Page insert & lyrics & plastic inner sleeves & flyer.Presence standard 16 Page book an extra 14 Page insert & lyrics, plastic sleeves you get the picture Zeppelin 4 same as the rest, having bought too the 3 Bad Company reissues & the live 1977-1979 album, Straight Shooter an extra 30 page booklet & lyrics, Bad Company S.T. an extra 30 page insert plus lyrics and the live album an extra 38 page insert & lyrics! Last but not least a Judas Priest reissue anniversary edition Defenders Of The Faith standard booklet & an extra 30 page inner sleeve & lyrics as suggested we are paying a lot more but gee the presentation packaging is spectacular in comparison to other labels!

John Moore

These are great collection of releases- would appreciate getting full links for all the titles- prices have jumped up since the announcement

dave s

Ordered Ozzy Osbourne, Dennis Wilson and Iggy Pop reissues, these look so impressive, I’ll probably get Santana as well.


According to the DeepDiscount site, these are listed as Holland imports (?). That said – I sprung for the Jeff Buckley & Dennis Wilson, because I never got the domestic Legacy digipack versions of these titles (far prefer this mini format anyway). Great price at < $9 U.S. each…but they're backordered. Fingers crossed that they actually ship.

Tino Stabile

Well, I have to say that I am really pleased to hear that Sony have released these in this way.
I prefer CD’s this way because they seem more authentic, reminiscent of the album… a great part of my childhood… the care gone into it. I do too concur that jewel cases take more space and are nothing special. These on the other hand are nice to look at, to listen to and easy to store as well because they take less room. Yes, I am a fool for presentation and repackaging… especially in mini vinyl replica formats. I find that Japanese ones are very expensive and thanks to you Paul, I have picked up four (Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jeff Buckley that I do not own and the Billy Joel and Dennis Wilson simply on collector impulse on my part). I was able to pay about $ 9.00 Canadian for each (about 4 British pounds) which is incredible.

Thank you Paul for all of us that really like to have music reissues repackaged in beautifully presented versions making us want to rediscover them over and over again.




What’s the next batch? :)


One other thing about these is something I haven’t seen mentioned yet. They are double disc, pretty much deluxe editions! For the price of a single CD. I like the packaging but these are more then just repackaged albums but deluxe editions repackaged. I don’t have the two disc Buckley or Wilson album so I will be buying these. Anyone know why most of these links are saying they are not available?


I saw the Raw Power disc a few weeks ago and thought at first it was a CD issue of the double vinyl with the remastered Bowie and Iggy mixes. Disappointed that it was a straight reissue of the Legacy Edition that I already have. I’d recommend it to anyone as the only place to currently get the Bowie mix on CD, though.

Emmanuel Trouillet

Thank you Jim. I didn’t know which mix was on the Legacy Edition. Glad to know it’s the Bowie one.


I think some very good points have been made on this thread. Indeed, just prove it’s not all about packaging, I’ve cancelled my order for the compete Dylan Live 1966 box. Instead, I’ve put all my CD-Rs if Jeweks And Binoculars in an old shoe box and written “Bob Dylan – Live 1966” on the lid in red marker pen. Job done. £100 saved.


I’ve taken the same step as Paul and am ditching jewel cases for polythene sleeves, a tough decision at first but now I have no real issue with it. For me jewel cases were never aesthetically pleasing! Continuing buying music was more important for me along with not destroying my marriage:)
I agree that the genuine Japanese mini sleeves are a thing of beauty and can see why people collect them, what I find curious about these debates is that sometimes people struggle to just accept that different people look for different things in their collecting/music appreciation.
Each to their own in the end!

Emmanuel Trouillet

What I like with these classic albums re-packaged as Japanese-style CD vinyl replicas is the music offered at that price : They are the double disc editions at a decent price.

As I already own the Dennis Wilson one, I picked up The Stooges’s Raw Power, Santana’s Supernatural and Billy Joel’s The Stranger.

Thank you Paul for the information.


Thank you Paul for all your hard work on putting this website together , it’s the first thing I check each morning and while it’s fair to say that probably more than half the posts on here I have no interest in I fully appreciate that other people do and I don’t feel or see the need to rip into anyone over their musical tastes or what format they like to listen to them on or how they like their music packaged. I am enjoying the passion of this debate which shows me that there are still plenty of people out there who still love their music on a physical format …… cheers keep up the good work

sesame street

Buy the CD, copy it to lossless, read the liner notes etc., sell the CD on eBay.

Massive lossless digital library for little outlay.

Thanks technology and the internet.


And this is illegal. If you sell the CD you should delete what is effectively your backup copy. Or has the law changed yet again?


How sterile and boring that must be.


I love the Japanese mini LPs. They’re larger than a standard card sleeve, which means you get a bit more art than you do with your jewel case booklet.
Most of all though I really don’t like jewel cases. I can’t fathom how anyone designed them like that in the first place. Having the square cover, and then another section of plastic to the left, to make it rectangular. And popping anything appealing in a cheap plastic box is going to make it look much tackier. Not to mention the fact that the case uses about three times as much plastic as the disc itself, which is completely wasteful, especially in this day and age.
I’m gradually in the process of replacing my jewel case CDs with digipaks, digifiles or mini LPs, depending on availability. Not only do they look nicer and are more environmentally friendly, but they free up lots of space on my shelves without losing the handiness of having the title on the spine.

I don’t get the anger on here about them, especially given that this site is obviously for avid collectors and not just your average listener. I can never fathom why people buy a CD ones to rip it and never touch it again. Isn’t it cheaper and more environmentally friendly to just purchase the FLAC? There’s no right or wrong way to enjoy albums, so I can’t see why people are getting upset about how other people do it…

Anyway, happy that Sony are doing this, and hoping there are more to come. Is there a full list of titles?

adam shaw

Paul ,
Keep telling us about all this stuff please .
Most of your readers do want to read about these releases .


I for one like the mini-album replica’s
I have dozens of box sets from over the years
and to this day some of my favorites are the Bruce Springsteen mini LP replicas that came out in Japan around 2005 and the Led Zeppelin set that was released in Japan around 2008.
To me the Zep set is still superior to the recent Jimmy Page remasters. I appreciate the care that went into the design and packaging and I hope this sort continues. I store the cd carefully and always leave them in their plastic sleeves to protect the cd lp artwork. If the plastic sleeves deteriote over time they are easily replaced with an order to Bags Unlimited. As far as this posting , other than the titles selected I’m happy to see Sony do this.

Mark Bumgardner

I never got around to buying the Dennis Wilson album. This appears to be an excellent opportunity to pick it up at a decent price with interesting packaging. Thanks for the heads up.


All I can say is that this debate has amused me today whilst suffering from man flu. I think it is great that this debate is happening at all, given that for years we have been told the end of CD is nigh. I personally am a sucker for Japanese CDs and thought that Sony’s move was positive and shows they realise how much interest there is elsewhere for this kind of packaging.

Paul E.

@DaveM- happy to entertain here. If we continue to go off course, perhaps we can debate the industry’s forced retirement of the CD Longbox? Remember those colorful 12″ cardboard enclosures? Found them great to display on the wall as a teenager AND longboxes always housed a well protected jewel cased CD! They could hold two jewel cases – amazing stuff.


@Paul E. Longboxes, now younare talking! I only had three back in the late eighties / early nineties I think. They were Elton John’s 11/17/70 and Blue Moves and The Doors Soft Parade as buying US versions was the only way to get those albums on CD at the time. I always thought they were just a way of using the existing vinyl display racks and never thought to put them on my wall. Then again, I was twenty-six.


As a collector of ” Jap Mini’s” since 1995..I have about 700 titles.. I also have 3 titles of the UK Version called”Limited Millennuim Edition” from 1999 and all these are numbered..”Bat out of hell”, “Oxygene” and “London’s calling”.

Bob M

I think it is great that you created the video – it is good information and people can do what they want with it. I am always hunting for the best audio available on CD, and since I don’t have any of these releases, it is a bonus for me to see them in packaging that appeals to me personally, in a less expensive way to boot. Keep up the good work and I look forward to all sorts of exciting news!


the point of this post for me is that if Mr Sinclair hadn’t written it, I wouldn’t have known that they were available. I just like to be informed – that’s why I subscribe.


Hi Paul, I tend to prefer jewel cases over digipacks because I find that digipacks aren’t manufactured correctly, with the fold never being perfectly even or the digipack itself being bent even when brand new. However, I do agree that storage of all of my jewel cases has become an issue and it’s rare when I receive a jewel case from Amazon that isn’t cracked somewhere. However, my main reason for responding is that I can’t understand why people have to react negatively in such a violent fashion. You can disagree without going overboard. I may not like everything you post or agree with all of your opinions, but that’s not the point. The point is that you are telling us everything that’s happening in the world of physical music releases, which I truly appreciate. Without SDE I wouldn’t have even known about these new Sony releases. This is why SDE is always the first site I look at every morning. Keep up the good work.

Mark A

Hard for me to fathom all the negative reactions to the mini-LP CD “paper sleeve” replicas. They are a joy to behold as well as to hold in one’s hand. It’s true that they are pricey, but when has quality been cheap? Anyone who claims to be a music collector who cannot at least acknowledge the contribution of these editions to quality collecting is simply a run of the mill consumer as opposed to a collector.


I do feel for Paul cause recently it seems when Paul posts about a release it can get negative style comments

Paul: there’s a new vinyl re-issue of xyz
Replies: why would people buy that it can be bought for 2p at a car boot etc

Paul: there’s new Japan mini LP style releases
Replies: all above

anyone would think Paul was in charge of ALL record releases and in this video he had outlawed any release ASIDE from mini sleeve ones!!! he was just making a video of *some* new releases available on this format. I just hate when a post ends up a x VS z debate. there is room for everything and all types of releases. people have difference preferences. unsure why this video started such a debate. I’m just happy physical product is being produced.

I prefer Jewel cases. but I buy digi packs if it’s all there is. I really like Japan mini LP sleeves. the Tracey Ullman ones look great. I always mean to get more, definitely want some of the Madonna ones.

I love this site and don’t want Paul to ever feel disheartened when he’s getting replies like this, when he’s having to almost defend/justify a release and how it’s being released.

keep up the good work Paul


Here here. Too many keyboard warriors

Randy Metro

A couple years ago, I was lucky to find a Japanese replica CD of T.Rex Zinc Alloy with the “cage” LP design at a normal CD price (plus a couple bucks maybe). Happy birthday to me, I said, and bought it. Lovely to look at but I have the super deluxe 12×12 Tanx/Zinc 4CD book box set to listen to. So, yup, I guess I bought the mini replica Japan CD for the packaging only.


Not much of a story but I bought some of the Rykodisc Bowie CDs a while back and totally hated them. I couldn’t stand the extra tracks crashing in at the end after the “last” song had played. But more than that I absolutely loathed the cheap fold out inlays. Especially Heroes with the colour pictures of Bowie showing that what I’d always thought was a really cool jacket was some horrible blue/purple vinyl affair. I now have them in the Japanese vinyl replica packages and could not be happier. Obviously the music on the discs is the main reason for buying these things but the packaging is vitally important too.


Personally whenever I buy a jewel case CD I take the CD and the sleeves out of it and throw the plastic away. I put everything in blank paper sleeves (the type with the round transparent window) and that means I store about four CDs in the same space taken by one jewel case. Keeps them in much better condition too. Jewel cases are overdesigned and soon turn into powdery yellowing cracked junk. I really like mini LP sleeves.

Randy Metro

Me, too. I also – maybe redundantly – put them in slimline jewel cases with the booklet. All depends. To be honest, I am mostly doing downloads but still need to burn to CDR. I still have my CD collection from the the mid 80’s to very recently to maintain, so there is still ongoing maintenance. My downloads are backed up as data discs on DVD since I can’t trust external drives (thanks a lot Passport crap).

My most recent purchase was the overpriced Grace Jones Warm Leatherette CD. The leatherette case looked and felt like textured cardboard with a gloss coating.


I quite like these slim designs and do welcome digipaks nowadays whereas years ago I used to hate them. I’d guess that about 75% of the new release CDs that I buy nowadays are presented in cardboard sleeves / digipaks. The only thing I really dislike are bulky over-engineered box sets.

Paul E.

@RJSWinchester…”bulky over-engineered box sets”. Hysterical. The bulkier the better. Big and fat with booklets, multiple discs, etc. [hopefully even in jewel cases]. Mr. Sinclair has shown me the way to at least 12 such box sets this year alone and November is another expensive month for bulky things. Must have something to do with the whole “Super Deluxe Edition” site/name/theme I suppose.


Thanks for the video, Paul.
It’s a nice idea and an extra for the fans. The CD’s are in regular form available.

Kris from Perth

Wow…all you do Paul is go out of your way to make a video showing these great replica album sleeves from Sony Legacy (thankyou Sony for your efforts) and the amount of ‘flak’ you get is amazing…at least you can say that the people who visit this web site are passionate…but at times also a bit precious!


The reaction is not against you or your video, just the format for these reissues. No problem with them myself. Jewel case is a somewhat dull format nowadays but they are easier for storage I suppose.

David M

I did the same.

We are obviously both on the same page regarding needless obsession over 1 or 2 tiny “scratches”


Paul, you did WHAT?????????!!!!!!!!!!!! Haha…you’re worse than my girlfriend. But then, neither she nor you have storage-issue-meltdown-syndrome, whereas for me and my trusty piles of 80s and 90s jewelcase CDs it’s a different story.

I just couldn’t do it, or only as a very last resort. The whole look and feel of those CDs, with the distinctive spines for each record label/corporation, the inlays, the memories associated with them, and seeing them lined up in release date order…..it wouldn’t be the same with everything bunged into wallets and folders.

It’s a wonder I ever learned to cope with iTunes!

(For what it’s worth, I enjoyed this video and from an aesthetic viewpoint, really like the gatefold vinyl replica concept….The Smiths and Joni Mitchell boxes in recent years are beautiful…100% accuracy be damned).


I did that with my CD singles a few years ago after ripping them all to my computer, and am now tempted to do the same with my albums too.

On the contentious matter of debate, both the music and packaging are important to me. It’s nice to hand over your cash and get something that is visually pleasing as well as aurally pleasing. I’d be shocked if anyone that frequents this site, or the Hoffman forum, hasn’t at least once take a blind chance on a record based on the sleeve/packaging. It’s all part of the fun.


Nice packaging, really like the gatefold artwork. Looks like a fair bit of effort has gone into these. OK, some deluxe releases have suffered from poor packaging that damaged the discs e.g. Tabu reborn but these releases seem like they offer nice packaging and protection. BTW excellent video, explained the product well.


If what you want is a CD with LP replica packaging, why on earth would you want that replica to come 5″x5″?

I’m literally shocked the industry hasn’t arrived at the obvious solution for people who prefer hard copies and are willing to spring for second copies in deluxe packages, especially in this era of the deluxe vinyl renaissance: they should put it in an actual 12″x12″ gatefold LP package.

Upon opening the 12″x12″ gatefold LP package, inside could have have an indentation to securely hold the CD not unlike a digipack, or for that matter a CD-sized side slit from which slides the CD in a static-free sleeve. This would present the art in its original and proper size. It would even allow for the other no-brainer, a combo package with the actual LP in a padded sleeve on one side and the CD centered on the other.

We have the choice of combo packages with visual media, Blu-rays combined with DVDs and even a third 3D disc.

I get that people have invested in furniture that holds 5″x5″ CDs (let’s face it, little of that is very expensive or attractive or even sturdy) but then there’s the actual CD-sized package for you. If what you want is deluxe LP packaging, why in this precious bastardization Muppet-Babies “mini” style? It’s like choosing a bubble gum card over a magazine, much less an art book, which isn’t what you’d do if you really cared about the artwork and wanted to read lyrics and liner notes.


I didn’t know about the Sony packages, or the Bowie set. I do have the last three Muse sets, The Resistance and The Second Law in 12″x12″ boxes and Drones in more of a typical 12″x12″ LP gatefold, all with both LP & CD plus bonus materials.

The problem with the Sony thing is fourfold: 1, It’s new hits collections with nothing new. 2, It’s new/not new hits collections from artists with a gazillion out already. 3, It’s artists who are, respectfully and with the exception of 75yo Dylan, dead. 4, The selling point, the only added value other than dimension, is pin-ups of dead people. Creepy.

Some of my favorite artists are dead people (he tried to quip), and those 4 Sony artists are represented in my collection to varying degrees (lots of Jeff Buckley), that wasn’t a slight, but they did it all wrong.

Who’s the target audience for the Sony sets: someone who didn’t already have their couple-dozen most obvious hits on CD/iTunes by 2013, yet want 10 framable, mostly b&w photos. Huh? I’ll give them this, good price point around $20.

CDs didn’t take off with samplers (though they did a lot of those), they took off when we could buy the latest album we didn’t already have by our favorite new or classic artist, often with a bonus track, and oh by the way their last three classic albums so we could hear them without pops (no, not another ageist remark).

The way this works is take an actual album, classic or new. The iconic art & logo/typeface we associate with it, in full, crisp 12″x12″ rendering. Now make it the sort of Super Deluxe Edition we’d welcome and be willing to buy regardless of size (the best stuff we ever heard, stuff we never heard, stuff we had on vinyl but never before available on CD). For photos, album-specific shots: outtakes from those iconic covers; stills and behind-scenes shots from music videos; live and publicity shots from the period.

A 12″x12″ book could fit four CDs (a-ha’s 10″x10″ Super Deluxe Hunting High & Low has five, right?). So those with casual interest can get the CD-size 1- or 2-disc version, those who see value in larger images will buy the 12″ CD pack for that, and those who don’t (in the age of watching movies on an iPhone) might be enticed by format-only bonus tracks.

I’d imagine it would work best with the sort of artist whose persona and albums and tours are more visual to begin with (Bowie was a good choice), and with the sorts of artists who sell a lot of peripheral promotional material. The Disney Blu-ray sets Daran mentions are a perfect example of something where the visual element already has premium market value.

The forthcoming expanded remaster of Purple Rain. Your Wham! reissue (without shuttlecocks!). Not my personal first choices but I’d buy both of those, great albums to “make it bigger” if you wanted to really give a shot to the format with or without vinyl. A 12″x12″ CD compilation of 12″ remixes with full-size prints of the original covers. Your Justins, your divas, your next-big-things, and yeah, your all-time icons living or passed, but with more audio value and contextual specificity than those anodyne Sony sets.

If I ran the zoo…

Great to read all the responses!


“they should put it in an actual 12″x12″ gatefold LP package”

That would be over-excessive. CD’s are not 12″x12″. There has to be a compromise.



The compromise of CDs is that album covers are not 5″x5″.

I don’t mind the 10″ a-ha Hunting High and Low box size, but it’s a little random. Music lovers probably already have a shelf or two sized for vinyl, or at least coffee-table type books.

And as I said, I’m also thinking in terms of combo-pack potential. Personally I have no use for the DVDs or digital copies in the video version of SDE, bonus-laden Blu-ray packs, but I’d LOVE the opportunity to buy similarly value-priced combo-packs of vinyl and CD/iTunes-uploadable versions of a new or classic album, with the benefit of full-size art.


Disney are doing blu-ray releases like that.

Randy Metro

From memory: Wasn’t Bowie’s Heathen CD packaged in an LP sized sleeve? I bought mine in the digipak with the bonus CD. Then again, I could be wrong.

Randy Metro


Here it is on Ebay, Paul. Though, in the details it says enhanced CD.

David Bowie Heathen CD Limited Edition LP-Sized Gatefold SEALED 2002


I think what the argument is in regards to the use of Jewel Cases and/or Digipaks vs. cardboard sleeves/jacket is that one doesn’t want scratched and/or scuffed new CD’s right from the start when you first open up a CD. I am for plastic inner sleeves to be used for any cardboard sleeves/jackets to protect the CD’s if you’re not going to use cases/paks. Cardboard inner sleeves are a crapshoot in regards to protecting the CD. Plastic and paer are better. At this point, record labels need to standardize this use as they did with LP’s.

David M

I find the people who obsess about scratched discs amusing. I have hundreds of cardboard packaged CDs and have never noticed any significant scratches and certainly none that affect playability. Small scratches do matter on vinyl, they rarely do on cheap plastic reflective discs.

Those of you who are examining your discs looking for scratches are really missing the whole point of listening and enjoying music. Unless, of course, you are only concerned with selling them as mint one day which is a market that has almost disappeared anyway.


I am also on the side of the Japanese mini-LP. So far, I have not found too many non-Japanese reissues that are true to the art, other than Culture Factory in terms of the style, size and detail.

I never liked the jewel case and always wondered why they never miniaturized the LP in a CD format from the very start. I find the “mini LP” to be more aesthetically pleasing given that you get the full artwork, albeit scaled down, but still a piece of art nonetheless. I have some anti-static sleeves for CDs that I got from Japan and if they work, sometimes I’ll use them with CDs that don’t include them. I also like how you can store the CDs like they are vinyl. In fact, my cover photo on FB is the spines of my mini-LP CDs.

Regarding these specific releases, I may consider the Jeff Buckley reissue. It certainly is a nice price, even if it may not be exactly as a Japanese mini-LP.

Julian H

But Culture Factory reissues aren’t true to the original sound, because they compress everything to bits :(


Look, any effort these days that a record co puts in to packaging is a grest thing and to be wecolmed. Not sure what the gripes are about. In an era of cheap jewel or digi releases pushed out to meet the supermarket crowd, the fact that Sony did not reissue these albums like that is to be applauded. I think as a package they look neat. I would not buy an album all over again just because of packaging, but for a 1st time purchase surely you would take these new versions over a standard jewel version off Ebay?


Not necessarily. Jury is still out as to whether the Sony mini-LP’s do a better or worse job than jewel case of protecting discs. Other factors such as audio quality and tracklisting difference (if any) are also to be considered, with the visual/cosmetic superiority of mini-LP packaging being the least of them for me, a tiebreaker at best. Truthfully, I generally have no interest in the mini-LP segment due to their typically strict adherence in reproducing original album tracklisting i.e. no bonus material. Given that many titles have reissued (or should reissue) in expanded or deluxe format to some extent, that’s a big strike against mini-LP’s which I often cannot overlook. If more deluxe editions were to materialize in “mini-LP” style packaging (which has happened only very occasionally), the scales would tip more favorably in that direction. The fact that a deluxe edition mini-LP edition would not be the authentic true replica of an original vinyl release would be of zero relevance to me. IMHO, simply putting out same old album tracklisting in 2016 and beyond is a detriment not successfully camouflaged by the use of more visually-pleasing packaging unless such packaging is singularly & stunningly so.


Dumb question, but why is an Obi strip so called, and why does it seem that they only exist on Japanese albums?

Mark A

An “obi” is a belt, in it’s primary meaning a cloth belt that is wrapped around the waist to secure a kimono, the Japanese traditional belt. Vinyl albums released in Japan had a paper strip wrapped horizontally around cover, which came to be known as an obi. The mini-LP replica CDs have an obi that replicates the original in principle, with contemporary release data, UPC, and sometimes additional information added, such as the other discs if it is a series of releases, etc.

Mark A

“vertically wrapped” not “horizontally wrapped”; sorry.


Wow there seems to be some heated debate over this issue , maybe some of your followers Paul might be better off visiting standardjewelcaseedition.com instead ?


if a cd comes in anything that’s not a jewel box, and especially from boxsets.

i take them out, and put them in replacement ones.

that way i can still enjoy the mini LP sleeves, and not worry about
having to take the cd’s out of them.

best of both worlds.


Phil WIlson

On a slightly related topic, I went to play my Beatles – the US albums box set the other day, to my horror all the discs were marked from the plastic sleeves that housed the actual discs inside the sleeves. I have other sets like this, Beatles mono and Led Zeppelin to name just two and those are fine. I tried ordering a replacement from Amazon, new and sealed, but the same problem. Can anyone else check theirs and see if they have the same problem? Have they used inferior plastic liners in these because they certainly weren’t like this the last time I played them, all the plastic liners have gone somewhat wrinkly, so am guessing something is wrong somewhere.


Yes, I have just checked and mine are the same. Looks like a chemical reaction between the CD and the ‘inferior’ lining but you can only see it by turning the CDs into the light. Not sure if this was there from new or not. Does it affect playback?

Randy Metro

Which reminds me:

Several years ago I invested in 200 plastic pocket CD holders from Univenture. The CD went in one side with a textured cloth protector for the playing surface and the booklet went in the other pocket with an extra pocket for possibly a second disc or whatever. After about a year – to my horror! – the plastic adhered and lifted the CD’s print from the discs!!! Not all CDs were affected, but I wasn’t about to wait and see who else would be affected. Most notable were CDs by Atlantic (Bette Midler).

Randy Metro

PS to my post. Those Univenture plastic sleeves also lifted the print/coating off my Bowie Ryko CDs.


As a buyer of many Japanese mini LPs I can tell you they are lovely, you will be amazed how many standard Jewel case/ digipak crop the original artwork or just get the colours way off, if you value the whole package and are not a vinyl person then they are the way to go.
They give you a sense of ownership that a 4.99 budget jewelcase version just doesn’t have,
They don’t necessarily always come with fresh remasters btw but a lot seem to be either Bluspec or SHM these days but that’s another whole can of worms.

Paul E.

Not necessarily a matter of protection, but wear and tear. Removal of the disc, however infrequent or cautious, is a risk. The jewel case at least allows the disc to sit suspended in the case. Yes they occasionally fall off the center but that is still less likely to scratch the play surface than my experience with card sleeves [especially those without any inner sleeve]. The card sleeves are also harder to read when displayed in a media organizer and don’t necessarily fit the size of CD media shelves. Just my take…I have thousands of these round shiny things and that’s been my experience.


The CD tray in jewelcases let the disc sit without touching the plastic, so if you keep it with enough care you will never scratch it. I have CDs I bought 20 years ago that still show no sign and look just like new. When you have no plastic tray, as happens in a lot of digipack/cardboard sleeve releases, you always risk to scratch the disc any time you handle it.


Paul, could you show the Elvis on Stage in detail ? I’m very interested in that one

Stuart S

Nice touch, Mr. S. !

Peter Tiel

I thought you wanted to send me detailed pictures by mail, but you actually want to send me the cd – thats very, very nice and unexpected… thanks Paul, you’re too kind!

Miguel Rocha

I hate plastic jewel cases from both aesthetic and practical perspectives. I’m not a vinyl fetishist but I’m definitely in the camp that believes mini-LP replica packaging is really quite attractive. And what a bonus at this price!


I listen to the music and to be honest I don’t care about the packaging while I’m sat back enjoying the tunes.

The artwork is sometimes a way of letting you know what may be contained inside and is sometimes linked directly to the music, other times it’s abstract or completely irrelevant. It’s a marketing tool that is occasionally interesting but to me of little consequence. The music is the same whether the artwork is there or not and for me it adds nothing.

If Dark Side Of The Moon was re-released with a chicken sandwich on the cover, it would still be the same album and sound exactly the same and the prism or the chicken sandwich doesn’t affect that. There are some iconic album covers, which are only iconic because the music was great. If DSOTM was garbage we wouldn’t have heard the story about the prism cover or how it came about because nobody would care.

I would also rather all my CD’s came in a plain jewel case rather than scuffed up in miniature replica LP cardboard sleeves. I want my music to be on a disc in protective packaging, which I can remove and replace easily, not have a knackered disc but a nice clean bit of cardboard.

Considering the amount of ‘deluxe’ sets now, the design of the way the discs are stored in the majority of cases is a fucking disgrace and the people involved should be ashamed. They are selling the music to us in fancy packaging that looks good but damages discs and at a premium price. Where’s the logic in that? Pay us for this fancy package we’ve designed to hold your favourite album which we don’t actually give a fuck about because we’ve rammed into this tight cardboard sleeve you can barely get the disc out of and if you do it’s scratched.

I’d actually stopped buying certain reissues because of the stupid design of the package and the likelihood that the disc or the crappy cardboard package itself will arrive damaged. I’m pleased and less stressed about the issue now that I store and play music through a digital source and don’t have to handle the discs or packaging more than once, so can look past the appalling design choices.

If you buy the same music over and over because of different packaging, like these Japanese ones here I think you’ve been suckered by the marketeers but it’s your choice as a consumer.


Excuse me if I join in the “heated debate”, I thought this music-blog was primarily… ehm… about music. You’re saying now it’s mostly about the packaging…
Now you tell me!
To me it’s never – EVER – been about the packaging, just the quality of the music, and of the sound. That’s what I only ever inquired about – mostly in vain. I think it’s the same for 90% (my estimate) of the people reading these pages.

Simon F

Well said Paul. I can’t believe there are still people out there who like those horrible plastic “jewel” cases with the front case that always end up with a crack in them and get scratched to hell, with those bloody arms that get snapped off ( and I’m very careful with my CD’s) and the teeth that hold the disc in place that sometimes just fall out because the plastics worn out. And then there’s the booklets’ ;be they thick or thin they get caught round the holding bits and get crushed or they get torn slightly when you remove them. If CD’s had been packaged up in miniature vinyl sleeves when they were first introduced back in 1982 I think there would be a lot more love for them. You can not love a CD in the way you can a vinyl record. Thank you and goodnight.


So … all you Need is a plain paper sleeve with a handwritten title and the artists Name, and that would be enough for you to buy an Album?


Yes. I buy music not packaging. They are two different things.

I bought the Stones Mono box recently. Weak liner notes, poorly done reproduction art, box doesn’t close properly and I don’t care because I won’t touch it again. Copied it via lossless to my system and play it back through there. Is the cardboard sleeve or art relevant when listening to those albums? No, not at all.

Sounds great and that is the most important thing to me when buying music.

To come back to your comment Paul. I like music, that’s why I visit this site. This site does a competent job of announcing most important music releases and giving the details of the music contained therein.

I would be surprised if there weren’t a lot of people like me who visit this site. Enjoy the music discussion but find the packaging obsessions irrelevant. I listen to music, I don’t get excited by what it comes in but I do get regularly annoyed by modern music packaging as it completely fails in it’s primary function as a way of conveying and storing music.

The design should focus on storing discs appropriately first and foremost. The look should be secondary to that.

This site has got a bit like the Hoffman forum where they use music to listen to their sound equipment. The people here seem to buy music to look at the packaging. I get that you want the physical product but the main part of the physical product is the disc that holds the music, be it CD, DVD/Bluray or vinyl. If you don’t care about the condition of the product then you are buying packaging not music and this site should be a packaging blog with music as an afterthought. I don’t know, maybe it is.


Frank, you are the perfect customer of the nowadays record industry; a customer who is not interested in the looks (the package) and even not in the sonical aspects of the music. On behalf of the CEO who does not care at all for any music: thanks!


Nothing wrong with the Hoffman forum, nothing at all. Unless of course you dislike very knowledgable music collectors who are looking for maximum sonic quality to give maximum listening enjoyment?

I have read and learned loads from the posts on Hoffman, mastering and production nuggets that have helped me to understand and enjoy the world of music listening and collecting more than I otherwise would have (just like SDE has of course….).

I mean, who would know that the best sonic bang for buck vanilla CD of Pet Sounds was the 1999 Stereo mastering, not the 2000 mono remaster? Well, the guy on Hoffman who has bought and listened intently to every single version of PS, that’s who! The version he recommended to me was £3.50 second hand on Ebay. Listened to it against my 1999 mono and guess what – he was right. Saved me a ton of money buying a hi-res version. What is not to like about that sort of dedication to our passion?

CJ Feeney

For those that used to collect white label 12″ singles, then the answer is probably yes.


Yeah. And no.

The thing about Japanese Mini-LP’s, and the collectors, is that they want things as close to the original as possible. I recall reading an article about the making of Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out” as a Mini-LP, and the amount of work they put into it is just amazing. Authentic Japanese Mini-LP’s are correct down to the individual weight of the card used, the amount of gloss on the sleeve, and how the cover was folded. For the AC title they got hold of an original cover and took it apart to make sure the glue went in the right place, and the folds were just so…..

So really, Japanese Mini-LP’s are an artform, and I don’t think these will be nearly as accurate. Take the inner sleeve for the disc – was the inner bag plain white, or did it have a marking or writing on it? If so, what font, what point size? Did it has an anti-static lining? Where on the spine did the text start?

On top of that, the Japanese usually do a remaster at the same time, so they’re unique to that market.

So while these are “Mini-LP Style”, they’re likely to miss the mark. Sadly I can’t compare, because the vast majority of the titles listed are appalling. Still, the price is right.

As for them being “fiddly”, I don’t agree. How are they fiddly? You remove the CD, you play it. :)


I can’t stand those so-called “mini LP vinyl replicas”, and I can’t understand how people is so fascinated with them.

I’m the type of guy who hates cardboard sleeves and digipacks cause they deteriorate very easily, especially if you handle them frequently. Not to mention that if they don’t have proper trays the CDs are often affected by scratches and damage in general.

That said I can live with them, and I understand that is the common trend for packaging physical releases these days, but those LP replicas, why? You get a CD in a packaging that replicates the 12″ format in small, even keeping the side A/side B configuration of the tracklisting, for what? Buy the actual LP instead!

I had the Roxy studio recordings and Bowie box sets, both had that style of packaging and I sold them with no regret. I have all those albums in the standard format anyway, but if they were in a different style of packaging I would have probably kept them just for the remaster and extra material.

Hopefully Bowie albums will keep being released in the standard jewelcase format, like the first six from the ‘Five Years’ box set.


Forgot to mention The Smiths ‘Complete’ box set. Had that too because I like the 2011 remaster of The Smiths catalogue and I got it for cheap on Amazon, but when I found all 8 individual albums for a fiver each on Ebay I just swapped the mini LP style boxed versions with standard jewelcases. And I have the 1993 WEA CDs to give away somewhere.

Andrew Mogford

These are lovely, and I’m interested in The Stranger as for some reason the second disc of my existing set won’t rip. Any more links Paul? Particularly The Stranger and Supernatural? Would like you to get the commission if possible……

Paul E.

These cardboard packaging (gatefold or otherwise) always worry me. Be it a single, double, or worse- SDE box set….sometimes the discs have scratches or sleeve liner transfer marks. The Japanese packaging includes the clear plastic inner sleeve to house the disc(s). Never had an issue with those. I am hyper critical of my collection and do all that I can to keep things in good condition. I just hate opening a brand new item and finding scratches – nightmare stuff. Not saying these are going to present a problem, but my preference has always been jewel cased product.

Mark A

Might as well just buy WAV or FLAC files and be done with it, then, since the music is the only thing. You can burn them to a lovely CDR and play them that way if you don’t want to play through the computer only. And how do you reckon you can “guarantee” anything about the behaviour of people you don’t know anything about?


I’ve never understood why someone would want to replicate the record. Who’s the market? CD buyers who are closet vinyl junkies? hmmmm


If you like nice packaging why do you put the way something looks over how it actually performs as a package? Most modern CD packages do not even perform the basic function of safe storage for a CD.

If you get a kick out of these miniature sleeves but already own the specific master of the album contained within then would you not be happy just collecting mini sleeves without even having the CD inside. The music doesn’t even seem to feature when people are banging on about packaging.


In what sense is ‘get a kick’ derogatory. It means enjoy. If you don’t like hearing opinions, don’t have a comments section.


So everybody defending this type of useless reissue because of pretty packaging is saying why are you here to the detractors. I would ask them the same question. Do you like music or just staring at cardboard. Why is this site restricted to music then, why not toys or perfume or sound equipment in nice packaging?

Everybody here that is so overly concerned about packaging I will guarantee rarely even plays the music within and just looks at it, spends hours choosing the right shelving and organising their box sets on that shelf to look nice. You buy it as a commodity or art to display you frauds. You think you like music but you don’t.

What has an obi strip got to do with listening to an album? You’re buying music for all the wrong reasons. You collect cardboard art and colourful boxes, not music. Paul seems to be the worst for this as he’s created a packaging website masquerading as a music blog.


They look slightly smaller than standard Japanese mini Lps or is that just me?


Must be those big hands of yours then ;)


any new Elton john mini vinyl replicas deals


Nice packaging, but not truely “vinyl replica”.

All of my Japanese vinyl replicas have the original Side 1 / Side 2 track listings. Any bonus tracks etc are only listed on an insert or possibly the obi. Also the spine letterings are in the original fonts and colours. So far as I can see from this (very useful) video, that is not the case here.

Still, as I said, these are very nice, particularly for the price. I stopped importing CDs from Japan when the Yen/£ exchange rate virtually halved a few years ago, and now with this year’s Sterling movement I’ve stopped importing anything from anywhere!

Julian H

Can you list the albums reissued in that format?

dave s

Going by the YT video the following albums have been issued in addition to the others Paul has mentioned.

Billy Joel -“The Stranger”
Elvis – “On Stage”
Ozzy Osbourne – “Diary of a Madman”
Stevie Ray Vaughan – “Couldn’t Stand the Weather”
Santana – “Supernatural”
Miles Davis – “Kind of Blue”