"Genesis Bonsai" - the Genesis Japanese re-issues examined by Alan Hewitt.

When I heard about the prospect of yet another re-issue of the Genesis back catalogue I was not exactly pleased to put it mildly. After all, over the years I have invested a fortune in the original vinyl albums, original CD issues and subsequent re-issues, so what (if anything) could persuade me to invest in this lot?

Fortunately, my fears were instantly assuaged when I heard that this series, specially produced in Japan were intended to as faithfully as possible recreate the "Original" vinyl versions in miniature including all the original features which vinyl freaks like me miss so much about compact discs.

Virgin have obviously spared very little expense on recreating faithfully the original artwork details; inner sleeves and lyrics with a little help from their friends (myself included) and on the whole the effect is spectacular, even down to the textured feel sleeves on "Trespass" and "Wind and Wuthering". There are, however, a couple of minor points which need to be made; the reproduction of the original artworks is, in the main excellent, however, certain mistakes have been made i.e. the use of the blue "Virgin" inner label on the discs for "A Trick of the Tail", "Wind and Wuthering" and "And Then There Were Three" and the use of the "Mad Hatter" label on "Trespass" and "Nursery Cryme". However, the latter in particular can probably be put down to Virgin Japan not actually having copies of this artwork.

Click to see full-size picture

Perhaps the most disappointing thing about these releases to purists is that Virgin did not take the opportunity of making the final step in the re-mastering process and transferring the discs to 48 bit. However, that quibble aside, these discs finally restore the catalogue to the condition which it should have been in when originally transferred to compact disc and for that fact fans should be grateful and I can wholeheartedly recommend these discs to Genesis fans everywhere.