It looks as though Universal International, Japan will be re-issueing eleven of Olivia's albums on newly remastered SHM-CD format on November 25, 2009. The CD's are listed on HMV and CD Japan. Cardboard sleeve reissue from Olivia Newton John featuring the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD players). Part of eleven-album Olivia Newton John SHM-CD cardboard sleeve reissue series featuring 2009 latest DSD remastering. Includes Japanese obi.
The albums to be released are as follows:
Long Live Love SHM-CD 25 Nov 2009
Have You Never Been Mellow: SHM-CD 25 Nov 2009
Clearly Love SHM-CD 25 Nov 2009
Come On Over: SHM-CD 25 Nov 2009
Don't Stop Believin: たそがれの恋 SHM-CD 25 Nov 2009
Totally Hot: SHM-CD 25 Nov 2009
Physical: SHM-CD 25 Nov 2009
Soul Kiss: SHM-CD 25 Nov 2009
Rumour: SHM-CD 25 Nov 2009
ABOUT THE SHM-CD:
The high quality SHM-CD (Super High Material CD) format features enhanced audio quality through the use of a special polycarbonate plastic. Using a process developed by JVC and Universal Music Japan discovered through the joint companies' research into LCD display manufacturing, SHM-CDs feature improved transparency on the data side of the disc, allowing for more accurate reading of CD data by the CD player laser head. SHM-CD format CDs are fully compatible with standard CD players. Experience the high-fidelity audio quality of the SHM-CD format!
SHM-CD: New and improved CD format from Japan!
by Robert H. Levi
With all the work being done to upgrade CD materials these days, it’s no wonder Universal/JVC would actually discover a new material that really does something…a big something at that! SHM-CD, or Super High Material CD, is an improved version of the Compact Disc material that uses super quality, enhanced transparency polycarbonate material developed for use in LCD screens. They will play in any CD player. Universal Music Japan and JVC co-developed the SHM-CD. They report that the new material allows the pits to be formed more precisely plus eliminates laser splatter. The signal characteristics are improved as a result with overall lower distortion and better musicality. Universal Japan is reissuing a ton of albums in their catalog in all genres as SHM-CDs and this is the first report of their CDs to reach these shores!
Eastwind Imports sent me a two disc Jazz Sampler with one CD made of regular aluminum and the other an SHM-CD. Made from the same masters (newly re-mastered in Japan without any use of equalizers or compressors) and pressed with the same stamper, they sound very different. Taken from the vast catalog of Universal which includes Verve and Impulse labels, each CD contains 13 famous jazz numbers recorded in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. The artists include John Coltrane, Stan Getz, Oscar Peterson, and Anita O'Day.
I first listened to the regular CD supplied, focusing on Stan Getz/Joao Gilberto "Corcovado." It sounded quite smooth and focused with very good definition and depth. I then played the Verve 20 Bit CD Reissue from 1997 which sounded a tad brighter, but that’s about it. I then listened to the SACD Verve Reissue from 2002 on my ModWright 9100 with tube power supply …it was improved in every way. It was SACD of course, but it had substantially more definition and air …better depth, too. It was then I played the SHM-CD of this cut. Oh boy, it sounds like the SACD!
What? How could this be? A CD formulation that actually works? I tried the SHM-CD on all my CD sources: ModWright Sony 9100, 999, E.A.R. Acute Tube CD Player, and Alesis Masterlink. I heard improvement on ALL players with the SHM-CD versus the regular editions.
I heard more definition, more air, smoother textures and nuances, a lot more depth, reduced digititus of all types, more of an analog sound and feel, bigger dynamics micro and macro …the whole ball of wax. I put some L’Art du Son on the SHM-CD for even better results.
Will I replace all my CDs with SHM-CDs? Probably not. But, I will look for Universal releases I don’t have in this format for sure! It closes the gap by 80-90% between CDs and SACDs on top audiophile machines and this is quite an achievement. Compatibility appears perfect, too. The sound just pops with a sense of reality I rarely hear from CDs or SACDs for that matter. Harmonious sounding CDs…how very nice!
SHM-CD (Super High Material Compact Disc)
This new CD manufacturing process which was developed by both Universal Music and Victor Japan promised a new high sound quality. The sound transparency and brightness are improved in view of the use of newly developed and more sophisticated materials which were the result of their joint research into LCD manufacturing processes.
WHAT IS A MINI LP'S
A mini LP is a CD version of something that was originally released as a 12" (12 inch) vinyl LP.
They are also known as LP replicas as they tend to exactly replicate the original packaging of the first vinyl release.
In many cases the packaging is superior to, or at least more elaborate than the majority of vinyl releases. The reason being that many follow-up vinyl releases were inferior to the first vinyl release (or at least lacked some of the extras found in the first release - such as postcards, posters, lyric sheets etc).
They are often refered to as "cardboard sleeves" and "paper sleeves" being made exlusively from paper or cardboard (other than the CD of course). Other names and abbreviations include: "jpn lp sleeve cd" and "kami-jacket". (The last of these I guess is an indication that they are held in high esteem by many who collect them.)
WHAT IS AN OBI STRIP?
It is the small piece of paper included with a CD or LP usually wrapped around the left hand spine of the item.
An obi strip is, for all intents and purposes, a disposable item. It provides information to the seller and to the buyer (mostly in Japanese) about the item being sold. Once the item has been sold to the consumer it is basically useless (it has served its purpose).
To non-Japanese reading buyers, the dates on the obi provide an indication of when the item was made or became available.