this article made me laugh!
Just to be fair, we all know full well that there are many Japanese collectors who place value on
great and important American and European recordings. I note in particular the man who ran Polygram
Japan in the 80's and 90's. For one thing, his division made the first digital masters of numerous
Verve and Mercury jazz masters, travelling to the US and transferring the master tapes at Polygram's
Edison NJ studio and tape vault, recording them to a Sony PCM-F1 and Sony Betamax recorder (or so I
was told by former Polygram studio personnel). He not only got those jazz classics back in print as
LPs, but then he was ready to get them right into the market when CDs came along a few years later.
Also, his division was first in the world to reissue several Mercury mono classical titles, putting
them back in print for the first time since the late 50's. Japanese divisions of the major labels
continue to keep American jazz and classical titles in print and take great care with some of the
Plus we have Kohji's superb Mercury discography site, and the jazz discography site that he and
others maintain. No such a public, online discography resource has been built by anyone in any other
But then we have the strange obsessions with hair-metal, syrup pop and cheezy movie soundtracks. Oh
well, it keeps the old records spinning.
-- Tom Fine