Japanese CD of the Day / Dire Straits: 1978 debut album


Dire Straits debut album on SHM SACD released in 2010

With the recent news that Universal Music are issuing a Dire Straits Complete Studio Albums box set, we thought the band’s highly regarded 1978 debut album would be a good choice for our semi-regular Japanese CD of the Day feature.

This reissue dates from late 2010 and is actually both an SHM CD (Super High Material) and a (stereo-only) SACD (Super Audio CD). Universal Music Japan released a number of albums in this format at that time including titles from The Rolling Stones and Stevie Wonder.

The sound reproduction on this disc is superb, arguably the best digital version available, but the packaging is rather curious, and not wholly satisfying. It lies somewhere between a fully fledged vinyl replica Japanese mini LP-CD, and a standard jewel case package.

On the positive, the eight panel configuration (which folds in on itself) has superb graphics, text and photo reproduction, and has a lovely matt laminated ‘soft’ feel to it. The cover and rear designs of the original UK vinyl are accurately represented, as is both sides of the original inner sleeve.

However, on a less positive note, the other ‘side’ of this eight-panel wallet is taken up with Japanese text (white copy on a dark turquoise background) which looks like an extended sales pitch for the ‘benefits’ of SHM and SACD, or both! This was the same for all these reissues, not just for this Dire Straits package.

The disc is protected well, as usual with Japanese reissues. The reflective metallic green CD is housed in the rice paper-type sleeve, which resides in a white card wallet, with both SHM and SACD logos embossed into it.

No doubt about it, this is a desirable item, but as the full-panel wraparound OBI – with diagrams about DSD processes and Pulse Code Modulation – confirms, Universal Music Japan seemed to be trying a tad too hard to convince fans of the benefits of SHM and/or SACD. Let’s face it, you don’t need to carry on with the sales pitch once you’ve made the sale.

We should point out that this is NOT a hybrid disc, so you will need an SACD player to enjoy it. A quick look on amazon, confirms that you can pick these up – used – for around £50.


One side of the eight panel presentation replicates original design


The other side tries to ‘sell’ you what you’ve already purchased!

Japanese CD of the Day / Dire Straits 1978 debut


3 responses to Japanese CD of the Day / Dire Straits: 1978 debut album

  1. Steven Roberts says:

    Thanks, Paul. BTW, fans of this particular album may like to know that it has recently been re-released in Japan as part of a new “Platinum SHM-CD” line of titles. What makes the new release particularly interesting is for the first time it features a flat transfer of the original UK master tapes (the SACD in the above article was sourced from a Japanese copy tape) and comes in a rather swish clamshell box. And the playing surface is platinum rather than silver.

    Price is about $36/£24 plus postage from Japan.

    Note that this new disc is NOT a hi-rez release like the aforementioned SHM-SACD, but is in fact a normal 16/44.1 CD (despite the platinum moniker).

  2. Steven Roberts says:

    I should point out this is NOT a hybrid CD/SACD as appears to be suggested by the above text – it is in fact only an SACD and is not therefore playable by a normal CD player.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Hi Steven – thanks for this. We definitely should have pointed that fact out, so appreciate you letting people know. Will update the article so it’s clear. Paul

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