Full U2 Catalog Reissue in Japan to Celebrate The Joshua Tree 2019 Tour
Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2019-09-13)
We’ve just updated our article about October on cream coloured vinyl and Pop on orange coloured vinyl including information on where to purchase them outside of U2.Com, but this evening we have another catalog re-issue to report on.
To commemorate U2’s first visit back to Japan in 13 years, Universal in Japan is issuing new versions of U2’s discography including all of the albums from Boy to Songs of Experience including the three compilation albums, The Best of 1980-1990, The Best of 1990-2000 and U218 Singles.
Each of these will be released on CD, and each will be a single CD release. In speaking to Universal we are told that the collections will use the most recent masters used for the most recent Japan CD pressings, and would not include any new mastering or editing. This is likely to be the same masters used for the 2017 release of U2’s discography in SHM format, although unlike that pressing, these releases will closer resemble the original CD pressings, and will not attempt to look like mini-vinyl releases.
The full set of releases is:
- Boy (UICY-79030)
- October (UICY-79031)
- War (UICY-79032)
- Under a Blood Red Sky (UICY-79034)
- The Unforgettable Fire (UICY-79034)
- The Joshua Tree (UICY-79035)
- Rattle and Hum (UICY-79036)
- Achtung Baby (UICY-79037)
- Zooropa (UICY-79038)
- Pop (UICY-79039)
- All That You Can’t Leave Behind (UICY-79040)
- How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (UICY-79041)
- No Line on the Horizon (UICY-79042)
- Songs of Innocence (UICY-79043)
- Songs of Experience (UICY-79044)
- The Best of 1980-1990 (UICY-79045)
- The Best of 1990-2000 (UICY-79046)
- U218 Singles (UICY-79047)
These CDs are all being priced as a special low price to celebrate U2’s return to Japan and are priced at ¥1,500 (Excludes tax) and these prices will be in effect until March 31, 2020. The promotional materials refer to this being a “Time-Limited Low Price Campaign.”
As to which versions will be released, press information with the releases include that it will be the “30th Anniversary Edition” of The Joshua Tree and it will be the deluxe version of Songs of Experience that is released in this set including the Japan only bonus track of “The Blackout” (Jacknife Lee Remix). The other releases will contain the usual bonus tracks that are found on Japan pressings, including “Holy Joe” (Guilty Mix) on Pop, “The Ground Beneath Her Feet” on All That You Can’t Leave Behind, “Fast Cars” on How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, “No Line on the Horizon 2” on No Line on the Horizon, and “The Crystal Ballroom” (12-Inch Mix) on Songs of Innocence. The typical Japan bonus tracks will also appear on the compilations, with “One Tree Hill” appearing on The Best of 1980-1990, “The Fly” appearing on The Best of 1990-2000 and “I Will Follow” appearing on U218 Singles. The press release lists “Window in the Skies” on the last as the bonus track, but it does list “I Will Follow” at the start of the track listing which is the bonus track.
A known error in the 2014 release of Songs of Innocence on the track, “The Troubles” was fixed for the Japan release in 2017 on SHM-CD. It is not yet known if this will remain the case on these upcoming CDs.
Reissues of CDs is common in Japan, and when done there is a new catalog number designated, and often the strip artwork changes with each new release. The catalog has been reissued a number of times, with many of the CDs first sold in 1987, being repressed and sold again in 1989, 1992, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2008, 2010, as well as other years and the most recent versions in the SHM-CD format in 2017. In many cases the releases correspond to U2 visiting Japan, such as the releases in September 1989 in advance of LoveTown, and February 1998 in advance of PopMart.
These releases will be held at the low price point until March 31, 2020, after which time retailers will have the option to set their own pricing. These copies will be the versions available in the Japanese market for some time, until the next catalog refresh down the road.
All 18 reissues will be released on the same day, November 6, 2019. They are now appearing in online shops as available for pre-order. Many thanks to Pawel for his contributions to this article. For information on all of U2’s upcoming releases, check out our upcoming section.