"Japan SHM-CD Set" - U2


Track Listing:

Background Information

On July 2, 2017, Universal Japan announced that they would be re-releasing most of U2’s albums on SHM-CD for the first time. SHM-CD is a digital optical disc, with the same size as a regular compact disc. The biggest improvement in the disc is the use of a polycarbonate material that allows for less laser scatter during reading, producing fewer errors. SHM-CDs are capable of being played in a standard CD player. The digital information contained on the SHM-CD will be the same as that on a standard CD, the SHM-CD format just improves the ‘readability’ of this information. This is the first time that U2’s catalog has been available on SHM-CD. All of the albums have been issued in this format with the exception of Under a Blood Red Sky. The collection was originally planned for August 23, 2017, but was later pushed back to September 20, 2017.

The albums are each released in a cardboard sleeve, done up to resemble the first release on vinyl in Japan. These cardboard sleeves are sold inside a plastic resealable sleeve. The replications include OBI strips, and other features that match the early records including reproduction of inner sleeves, stickers on the sleeves etc.

When purchasing these in pre-order each copy came with a clear folder, provided by Universal Records, that folder was printed with artwork from all of the albums. As supplies of this folder dwindled, stores were providing one copy of the folder with three purchased CDs.

The releases in the set are the 2008-2011 remastered versions of the album if they were done on these pressings. Otherwise the master is the same as had been used to last release the CDs in 2008 in Japan.

A box set for this set with artwork from The Joshua Tree was produced for the store Disk Union in Japan. We are told that this box was produced for Disk Union itself and was not produced by Universal for promotion of this set. The box is an incentive to get customers to shop in their store, and Disk Union has produced boxes for many artists from many labels in the past.

In 2018, Songs of Experience was also issued in Japan on SHM-CD format. The disc originally announced for December 5, was released on December 12, 2018. Like the other releases in the set, the packaging is done to resemble the LP sleeves down to reproductions of the inner sleeves, and hype stickers that appeared on the vinyl. However, unlike other releases in the series, the SHM-CD disc actually has artwork rather than just print on the reflective surface of the disc. The box set for Disk Union was not reissued for this release, and the disc fits with the other discs in the original box.

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