I'll be honest. I'm not completely sure why I dig these Japanese paper sleeve editions so much, but I do. The latest batch (related to Jeff Lynne's producing) comes from Tom Petty. Full Moon Fever and Into The Great Wide Open were released in Japan last week on higher quality Super High Material CDs or SHM-CDs.
As mentioned previously, this is the first re-issue of any kind for Into The Great Wide Open. On the downside, there's not much to it. You get a plain lyric booklet and the sleeved plainly designed CD. There was indeed a vinyl edition of this album, though not many were pressed.
Where this Mini-LP CD lacks in physical content, it gains in sound quality. It's a definite improvement over the original CD, and it has nothing to do with SHM-CD format. Although there's nothing in the credits to suggest it, the CD sounds remastered to me. Maybe it's mentioned in Japanese, I don't know...
Geffen released a remastered Greatest Hits for Tom Petty last year. The sound quality on the Mini-LP CDs pretty much matches that.
Now, to Full Moon Fever. Quite simply, the sound quality blows the doors off of the original CD and even beats the MFSL Gold edition. Again, nothing in the credits suggests it's remastered, but the sound is much stronger and some finer details are more prominent than before.
Funny, they never "officially" remastered this landmark CD and it was released 20 years ago next month.
The contents of the Full Moon Fever Mini-LP are much better and include the plainly designed disc, a replica of the original inner sleeve, a lyric booklet, and a numbered card certificate (pictured above) with an image of the original LP label.