In September of 2012, Universal purchased EMI’s recorded music operations. Now, almost a year after that purchase, the company is looking to make a splash by opening the vault for past soundtrack releases in Japan. Making many titles available again, some for the first time in over decades, soundtrack collectors can now grab some contemporary and older Toho related titles.

July 12th 2013 update

On September 18th, 2013, Universal and EMI will be reissuing 100 soundtracks in Japan. The releases will be budget titles, priced at a very reasonable 999 yen (around $10) a piece, and will be limited editions. Some of these are well known Hollywood productions, such as Jaws and Goldfinger, while others are Japanese productions.

A number of the reissues are of Toho films, most of which are contemporary such as the Bayside Shakedown Final CD (UMCK-1428) but there are a few older titles mixed in such as Masaru Sato‘s score for The Tower of Lilies (1995). One of the titles making waves is a reissue of the Bye-Bye Jupiter soundtrack (CA35-1073), which had become a holy grail among soundtrack collectors due to its rarity. First released in 1984, when CDs were only a few years old from their commercial debut, the soundtrack was never released again until this year, almost 30 years later.

Below is a full list of the 12 Toho titles (produced and distributed) to be released in a few months, in chronological order:

· Bye-Bye Jupiter (1984)
· Formula 2 Grand Prix (1984)
· A Taxing Woman (1987)
· A Taxing Woman Returns (1988)
· The Tower of Lilies (1995)
· Yomigaeri: Resurrection (2003)
· Swing Girls (2004)
· Spring Snow (2005)
· Udon (2006)
· Hero (2007)
· Suspect X (2008)
· Bayside Shakedown 4: Final (2012)

The titles can be pre-ordered from places such as Ark Square and CD Japan. Ark Square charges more per CD ($9.99 vs. $9.31) but has much lower shipping fees than CD Japan, so if you plan to buy more than one Ark Square is the way to go. The titles can be found on Ark Square by searching for “Release Date: 2013.9.18”.

November 15th 2013 update

After the first round of soundtrack reissues on September 18th from Universal and EMI, the companies have announced a second run with new titles on December 4th, 2013. The new CDs will all be limited edition at a budget price of 999 yen (around $10).

Just like before, the releases are diverse, with everything from Japanese movies, to James Bond and Jurassic Park. Given that this is a pooled library from EMI and Universal, there is a deep archive to choose from. However, with this collection, in terms of the Japanese material, a lot of focus is placed on TV shows. Naturally, and unfortunately, this means there are fewer Toho releases in this run, with there being 8 titles versus the 12 in the previous reissues. Half of these are devoted to the Bayside Shakedown series and its spin off films, but does contain a few outliner soundtracks such as the long out of print, although not incredibly hard to find, Tokyo: The Last War (1989).

Below is a full list of the 8 Toho titles (produced and distributed) to be released next month, in chronological order:

· Antarctica (1983)
· Tokyo: The Last War (1989)
· Bayside Shakedown (1998)
· Bayside Shakedown 2 (2003)
· Negotiator: Mashita Masayoshi (2005)
· The Suspect: Muroi Shinji (2005)
· Suite Dreams (2006)
· The Magic Hour (2008)

As before, the titles can be pre-ordered from sites such as Ark Square and CD Japan. Ark Square charges more per CD ($9.99 vs. $9.57) but has much lower shipping fees than CD Japan, making Ark Square the overall price winner. The titles can be found on Ark Square by searching for “Dec 4, 2013”.

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