There’s been such a torrent of Japanese reissues over the past few years, it was probably only a matter of time before the crate-diggers stopped rifling through records and turned their attention to the CD racks. The dawn of the Heisei Era (1989-2019) coincided with a definitive shift in the music industry from vinyl to compact disc, and there’s still a surprising amount of music from the time that’s only available in that format.

Heisei no Oto” (“The Sound of Heisei”) revisits the glory days of the CD, when labels were so flush with cash that it seemed like almost anyone could land a deal. It’s compiled by Osaka record store owners Eiji Taniguchi and Norio Sato, who — together with Tokyo’s Chee Shimizu, who contributes liner notes — have played a crucial role in unearthing choice morsels from Japan’s musical past.

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