Pretzel Logic, Steely Dan’s 1974 studio album, has already celebrated its 40th birthday this year, which may or may not be related to the fact that Universal Music Japan will reissue the album in three formats this later this summer.
Dan’s third LP (which features the single Rikki Don’t Lose That Number) will be reissued on SHM-CD, Platinum SHM-CD and an SHM-SACD. If you’re unaware of SHM, here’s the ‘science bit': the ‘SHM’ stands for Super High Material a manufacturing process used in Japan to improve the accuracy of the reading of the CD by the laser head. You either buy into this or you don’t, but there is more information here.
The Platinum SHM-CD is different to the SHM-CD because it uses platinum in place of the aluminium to form the reflective coating. Again, this is claimed to be advantageous. Both the SHM-CDs are compatible with all CD players (with the platinum discs there is a proviso that the player should be CD-R compatible also) although it should be noted that the SHM-SACD is not hybrid, therefore you can only play using SACD hardware (it’s also stereo-only, no 5.1).
This Pretzel Logic reissue features a new remaster with a flat transfer via HR cutting from DSD master in 2014 from the original US analog tape. The cardboard sleeve faithfully replicates the first pressing US LP artwork and includes an ‘OBI’ strip replicating the one included in the first pressing edition of Japanese LP.
The packaging for these releases is normally superb, but the SHM-SACDs in particular are exquisite, with the mini-LP vinyl replica sleeve sitting inside a video-game style outer box (they are rigid board, not plastic).
These Japan-only Pretzel Logic reissues are out on 27 August 2014.
Pretzel Logic SHM-SACD
Pretzel Logic SHM-CD