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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443696604577647870908169992.html

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 
deluxe reissues.

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 
place.

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