I am a big music fan and so buying cd’s here is of great interest and fascination to me as so many international bands seem to add one or two bonus tracks on to their albums. Is there any reason why Japan gets singled out for such extras or ‘lazy’ Japan-only releases of b-sides or live versions? Or is it just the record companies trying to take advantage of what they maybe consider to be a gullable Japanese market who will buy anything and everything connected with that band? Maybe by releasing these ‘limited edition’ cd’s in an economy like Japan then allows for a higher demand for importing these Japan-only releases into Europe or America.
I have to say that i’ve been taken in by it all and buy many of these cd’s as they’re not available in Europe. It has to be said that the extra tracks are usually pretty average at best.
I think the reason is that the import version of the album is available cheap here but the japanese version requires lyric translations, artist biography (as non-Japanese artists may not be well known here) and some more exclusive features. Japanese label also demands 2-4 weeks of time for promotion such as TV or magazine articles which inevitably pushes up the price. Of the 4 big music economies – USA, UK, Australia and Japan – only the latter gets these extras at a much higher rate than the other three put together. Sure, there are a few UK or USA only releases but Japan has absolutely loads in comparison which are just crying out for someone like myself to flog on e-bay!