The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Monday, May 19, 2008

Kami Sleeve CD Collecting

5-19-08 Kami Sleeve CD collecting

So, when did this phenomena of record collecting start? I got the ’98 set of Y.M.O. CD’s as little paper album cover CD’s (also known as kami sleeve CD’s). But I think things really took off in about December 2000, when this set of CD’s were released by Universal Records in Japan:

UICY-9028 Gentle Giant "Gentle Giant"

UICY-9029 Gentle Giant "Octopus"

UICY-9030 Tudor Lodge "Tudor Lodge"

UICY-9031 Gravy Train "A Ballad of A Peaceful Man"

UICY-9032 Gracious "Gracious!"

UICY-9033 Mellow Candle "Swadding Songs"

UICY-9034 Tom Newman "Faerie Symphony"

UICY-9035 T2 "It'll All Work Out In Boomland"

UICY-9036 East Of Eden "Mercator Projected"

UICY-9037 Khan "Space Shanty"

I didn’t know about them at the time they were released. I own the Gracious! title; I bought it in Japan last year. Of these 10 titles, I am not overly interested in Tudor Lodge, Gravy Train or Mellow Candle. I wish I could find this (or any other Japanese version) of the Tom Newman or East of Eden kami sleeve CD’s.

To be certain, Universal Japan has continued issuing incredible looking and sounding CD’s – with several sets of ‘kami sleeve’ CD’s each year – but these 10 were, for me, where it all started.

Within a few years – Universal Japan was making a truly remarkable product – often trying to match the paper texture of an original LP release. For the Vertigo label titles, they were even including a miniaturized Vertigo LP inner-sleeve replica!

It’s fun to consider these ‘replica’ CD’s, if you wanted to re-assemble your LP collection as CD’s – ostensibly for our new century. It’s so strange to think that CD’s may be going the way of extinction…these Japanese CD’s are so beautiful, and (usually) sound great. If I had to give up all of my original LP’s, I could be (somewhat) comforted with these Japanese CD’s.

Here we go again – I am thinking of my “Ultimate Collection” – where I only keep the ‘best versions’ of everything. So, how many titles would be in that collection? Certainly, I already own a lot of what I would consider to be a “Permanent Collection” – but I bet the Japanese companies will keep me on my toes for at least the next few years with new releases of paper sleeve (kami sleeve) ‘replica’ CD’s.

And I’m still buying LP’s, too. How is this still possible in 2008? Am I going to draw an imaginary line in the sand – No more buying LP’s after I turn 50 on August 10, 2008? We’ll see. What if some really good ones turned up? I can always dream!

(Pictured: 4CD + 1CD King Crimson "Epitaph" Japanese paper sleeve boxed set that I found last weekend)


Post a Comment

<< Home