In January this year Pony Canyon reissued most of the Praying Mantis catalogue on Hi-Quality-CD
According to http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/popular_formats/HQCD/index.html “HQCD (HiQualityCD) format achieves high quality audio through the use of a polycarbonate plastic with improved transparency derived from LCD display manufacturing technologies enabling more accurate reading of the CD data. In addition, a special alloy is used as the material of the reflective layer instead of the standard aluminum. HQCD format CDs are fully compatible with standard CD players.”
I took a HQCD track “If tomorrow never comes” from The Journey Goes On and extracted it using Exact Audio Copy. I then did the same with my original Pony Canyon CD and compared the two files. There was a different amount of padding at the front of the file but comparing byte for byte the data was identical. I guess the advantage therefore is when the cd is played in a CD player and not extracted
The packaging for each disc is a LP sleeve type CD case. This is nice as the front artwork is about 1cm bigger in width and height. The back of the case is actually identical in size to the original back artwork from a Jewel CD release. The internal packaging is as per the original Japanese packaging. The difference being that on Demorabilia and Captured Alive in Tokyo city the extras like the photo booklets and family tree are missing. The photo booklet was probably only in the double CD version of Captured so this is not a big difference and I believe Demorabila has been hard to find for some time so it is good to have the discs available again.
The CD’s released are:
Live At Last: PCCY-50029
Predator In Disguise: PCCY-50024
A Cry For The New World: PCCY-50025
To The Power Of Ten: PCCY-50026
Forever In Time: PCCY-50028
Captured Alive In Tokyo City: PCCY-50027
The Journey Goes On: PCCY-50022
You will note that Nowhere to Hide is missing from the list and this was because Pony Canyon didn’t get clearance from their Legal department for this album.
Time Tells No Lies is an album Pony Canyon has always had to lease so that didn’t get covered by this batch either