Wasn't this one of the first problems encountered with CDs where the ink bled and dissolved the playing surfaces, hence the reissue?
"Prentice, Will" wrote:
> We have two sets of "The Complete Caruso" (GD60495), a 12 CD boxset in
> the RCA Victor Gold Seal series, published in 1990 and manufactured by
> BMG Music, New York. One is suffering from a problem I haven't come
> across before.
> The two sets are largely identical, although the label (upper) side of
> the discs in one set is printed in gold on red, and features what
> appears to be a date amongst the hub data: 10/90. The discs in the
> second (later?) set are printed in black with no background colour, and
> have 6/93 in the hub data.
> The 10/90 set have a curious crystalline frosted effect on the underside
> of the discs, rendering them unreadable. The interesting thing is that
> the frosting is on the outside of the polycarbonate, i.e. NOT in the
> metal reflective layer, where other problems such as bronzing manifest
> themselves. When gently rubbed with a lens cloth the frosting
> (crystals?) seem to come off, although I haven't attempted to clean an
> entire disc and play it, for fear of causing further damage. It appears
> to be a result of the exposure of the polycarbonate (or some element of
> it) to something atmospheric.
> Has anyone come across this problem? The 6/93 set is unaffected, while
> all the discs in the 10/93 set are affected to roughly the same degree.
> The two sets have different storage histories, but no other discs stored
> near the affected set show any such problem. The affected set have AFAIK
> been stored under archival conditions by us since they were purchased