EXCELLENT 2009 EXPANDED REMASTER
BOB | LOS ANGELES, CA | 06/29/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Be aware that the Amazon text above ("Features the same remastering from the 1999 issued pressing") is incorrect.
This new 2009, Japan-only mini-sleeve remaster has been remastered and expanded to two discs. It contains two additional tracks, "Little Wing/Third Stone From The Sun [11:13]" and "The Sky Is Crying [7:19]" (both of which appear on the "SRV" box set).
The mastering on the Japan set is a definite improvement over the old 1990 domestic, single disc CD.
This 2CD set is part of an nine title, all mini-sleeve SRV release, where some the albums are the same '99 remasters, but the three live albums, "In The Beginning", "Live At Carnegie Hall" and "Live Alive" are newly remastered.
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."