"In 2002, the first four Camel albums were reissued with remastered sound and extra tracks in regular jewel case versions.
Later, followed LP-mini-sleeve versions of those four titles. "Moonmadness" & "Snow Goose" were issued in mini-sleeve format in 2001; "Camel", "Mirage" & "Live Record" in 2002.
The first two titles, "Camel" and "Mirage", in their mini-sleeve incarnations, are the same exact remasters/extra trax versions as their jewel-cased counterparts.
"Moonmadness" is not. It has no extra tracks, and sports a remaster that is quite a bit louder than the first two titles.
The same is true for the "Snow Goose" jewel-case & mini-sleeve versions; the MS has a different (louder) master and no extra tracks.
It's unfortunate that JVC did not avail themselves of the expanded versions of "Moonmadness" & "Snow Goose", and anyone who buys these mini-sleeve versions should be aware of the difference.
In the case of "Moonmadness", the loss of the extra tracks is especially unfortunate: Not only 30 minutes of fantastic live material, but a beautiful and haunting solo acoustic piano studio demo of Peter Bardens performing the main melody of "Spirit In The Water".
WHAT IS A JAPAN "MINI-LP-SLEEVE" CD?
Have you ever lamented the loss of one of the 20th Century's great art forms, the 12" vinyl LP jacket? Then "mini-LP-sleeve" CD's may be for you.
Mini-sleeve CDs are manufactured in Japan under license. The disc is packaged inside a 135MM X 135MM cardboard precision-miniature replica of the original classic vinyl-LP album. Also, anything contained in the original LP, such as gatefolds, booklets, lyric sheets, posters, printed LP sleeves, stickers, embosses, special LP cover paper/inks/textures and/or die cuts, are precisely replicated and included. An English-language lyric sheet is always included, even if the original LP did not have printed lyrics.
Then, there's the sonic quality: Often (but not always), mini-sleeves have dedicated remastering (20-Bit, 24-Bit, DSD, K2/K2HD, and/or HDCD), and can often (but not always) be superior to the audio on the same title anywhere else in the world. There also may be bonus tracks unavailable elsewhere.
Each Japan mini-sleeve has an "obi" ("oh-bee"), a removable Japan-language promotional strip. The obi lists the Japan street date of that particular release, the catalog number, the mastering info, and often the original album's release date. Bonus tracks are only listed on the obi, maintaining the integrity of the original LP artwork. The obi's are collectable, and should not be discarded.
All mini-sleeve releases are limited edition, but re-pressings/re-issues are becoming more common (again, not always). The enthusiasm of mini-sleeve collecting must be tempered, however, with avoiding fake mini-sleeves manufactured in Russia and distributed throughout the world, primarily on eBay. They are inferior in quality, worthless in collectable value, a total waste of money, and should be avoided at all costs."
Another Album at the Peak
R. Langdon | Four Oaks, NC USA | 12/26/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Camel is the best surprise I've discovered lately (yeah, I know I'm about 30 years late but I was SOOO young back then ;-) ... Moonmadness, along with The Snow Goose, represents a peak period for this group. If you like 70s progressive music (Pink Floyd, Yes, Jethro Tull, KANSAS, etc.) I don't see how you could possibly not like Camel ... give it a shot ..."
One of the finest
Björn Nilsson | Salt Lake City (unfortunately) | 01/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you are a fan of "progressive" 70s rock music, this is an album you do not want to miss. Aside from the vocal efforts it is a fantastic musical performance. (A note to all drummers out there: Andy Ward is probably the most underrated drummer ever. His hi-hat work is unrivaled)."
Sounds real good
K. Cooper | Phila. area | 10/11/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'ma fan of progressive rock- Yes, Rennaissance, King Crimson, ELP, ETC. Listened to clips of this one and got me hooked. I would say if you are fan of other progressive rock bands, you'll probabaly like this too."