Friday, October 08, 2010

Japanese records: a matter of sound & look!

What benefit could bring you the purchase of a music recording on a Japanese edition, instead of a regular local edition that you can find in the record store near your place?

The Japanese market gets exclusive titles and editions unreleased elsewhere. Recordings,  jackets, colored vinyl records, promotional materials- you name it, Japan will get it and you won't.

Let's take the vinyl record for example which remains a favorite amongst a loyal niche of consumers who love its unique and natural sound.
The remarkable quality of the Japanese recordings, emphasizes even more of those characteristics, it also is  a solid heavy manufacture, which give it more stability on the plate during spinning.

The sound is not all you want, however, the eyes must be satisfied!  And here we know Japanese are masters as usual. The jacket and inserts are usually full of surprises.

Learn more about Japanese records & the "OBI" below!

First of all, the cardboard is usually thicker and resistant compared to western releases, which permit to preserve a record at its best even after years of manipulations.
The graphic prints have vivid colors and to make the whole thing even more precious and "visually japanese,  comes the "Obi", a promotional paper ribbon for the service of the japanese consumer, which wraps the sleeve all around the left hand side, and has written on it the main informations regarding the record and the artist. The Obi has often an amazing "graphic impact".

Not being an actual part of the record, the "Obi" might have been removed by the previous owner in second hand vinyls and therefore be missing on some record on sale. Despite that, it has become a real symbol of the vinyl record Made in Japan, and most western collectors want it by all means!!

Have an eye also on the contents of the sleeves! Both the record protective envelope and inserts, booklets or posters, are often original of the japanese edition and (although you might consider as "not strictly indispensable" the fact of owing now the translations in japanese of the lyrics of your favorite artist) you will be pleased to get extra pictures never published before printed on those!

Check also Compact Disc editions, which features same kind of extra, including bonus tracks for the Japanese market only!


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