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Japanese Box Set 3" CDs RARE



I just found this and thought it might be of interest to anyone out there who would like more info on this rare Madonna gem.....

Madonna – CD Single Collection (Japan Box Set): The Exclusive Versions

September 16, 2009 at 11:09 PM | In Madonna | 17 Comments
Tags: Angel, Borderline, Box Set, Burning Up, Holiday, Japan, Jellybean, La Isla Bonita, Like A Prayer, Madonna, Papa don't Preach, Patrick Leonard, Pop, Remix, Stephen Bray, True Blue

6 Votes

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“CD Single Collection” is a Japan only limited edition singles box set by Madonna. It was released in November 25, 1996 by Warner Music Japan to commemorate 15 years of Madonna’s single success in Japan. The 3″CD format was shortly to be terminated by Warner in that country and is now a very rare format.

This box set contains every single released in that country from “Burning Up” to “One More Chance“. It holds a set of forty 3″ CD singles and an inlay booklet containing track listings and lyrics of each title song in both Japanese and English.

This compilation includes the Japanese only singles “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” (released in 1985) and “Spotlight” (released in 1988). Every single contains the artwork used in the Japanese releases, some of which are unique to that market and were not used on the international releases.

None of the single reissues on this box set are available separately.

My Review:


I was very excited when this came out and bought it shortly after its release. When I received it, there were mixed feelings. Packaging is pretty rudimentary for a Japan release. The heavy cardboard black box edges scuff very easily, and these are noticeable because the inside is white.

The CD’s are organized inside similarly to tea in envelopes are presented in a tea box. Although the idea is cool, the slots are diagonal, so pulling singles out and making them fit back in can get annoying. Click here to watch a video showing the box and discs, and here for a slideshow depicting photos of the box, lyric booklet, and each front sleeve.

The singles packaging looks pretty cheap. Most 7″ singles in Japan where released with a front picture insert on a record company sleeve, so there was usually no back artwork. That accounts for the identical look of the back of each single on this set. Again, it looks rather plain.

The quality of the front photos is rather mediocre, definitely not as good as that of the original releases. Artwork is somewhat blurry, colors washed out, and contrast is poor.

Here’s a comparison of the artwork of the original “Open Your Heart” Japan 7″ single and the 3″ CD version from this box:

open your heart comparison 2

open your heard from box

Sound Quality

That being said, the sound quality is simply unbeatable, japanese masterings live up to their reputation on this set. Every single has been remastered and sounds crystal clear. The songs are louder than on their original masters but not overly as in today’s remastering, where peaks are oversaturated and dynamic range killed, often times resulting in muffled and overall unpleasant sound.


Another nice thing about the box set is that it featured several rather scarce tracks, and remastered. But only those on this post made their very first CD appearance here.  Most of these if not all still remain otherwise unavailable on CD. That may change with the release of the new “Celebration” compilation, I will update this post as necessary.

All in all, the “CD Single Collection” is undoubtedly a highlight in any Madonna collection, but it’s for the completist collector in my opinion. Most of the versions found only on this box set are edits and early fades which can nowadays be recreated with audio editing software. The only single version impossible to recreate is “Borderline”.


Warner-Pioneer Corporation

Box Set Catalog Number:


Selected Tracks Information:

1. Burning Up (3:53) Produced by Reggie Lucas. An edit of the 12″ version. To my knowledge, Japan was the only country where this version was released. All other single releases use the 3:41 or 4:48 album versions. Only released as a 12″ single in the US, it didn’t chart on the Hot 100.

madonna burning up

2. Holiday (4:08) Produced by John “Jellybean” Benitez. This is an edit of the album version. It was used as the single version in most countries. The song was Madonna’s first entry on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. It debuted in October 29, 1983 and peaked at number 16. Picture sleeve unique to Japan.

madonna holiday3. Borderline (3:58) Produced by Reggie Lucas, remix by John “Jellybean” Benitez. This version is unique as it cannot be recreated using the extended remix. It debuted March 10, 1984 and reached number 10 on the Hot 100 chart.


4. Angel (3:43) written by Madonna and Steve Bray. Produced by Nile Rodgers. An early fade of the album version, it was the single version in the US, UK, and Japan. “Angel” entered the Billboard Hot 100 in April 27, 1985 and peaked at number 5.

5. Angel (Dance Mix Edit) (4:55) written by Madonna and Steve Bray. Produced and remixed by Nile Rodgers. An edit of the extended dance mix. It was the b-side in the US, Japan and Canada. The UK backed the single with the 4:48 album version of “Burning Up”. Picture sleeve unique to Japan.


6. Papa Don’t Preach (3:50) Written by Brian Elliot, additional lyrics by Madonna. Produced by Madonna and Stephen Bray. This is simply an early fade of the album version. It was the single version in some countries including Japan, but not in the US where the album version lead commercial and promo single releases. “Papa Don’t Preach” entered the US chart in June 28, 1986 and peaked at number 1 for two consecutive weeks. Picture sleeve unique to Japan.

papa dont preach

7. True Blue (4:06) written and produced by Madonna and Stephen Bray. As with “Papa Don’t Preach”, an early fade of the album version was the A-side in Japan. In the US, the album version lead the single releases, and in the UK it was the remix/edit. “True Blue” entered the Hot 100 in October 4, 1986 and peaked at number 3. Picture sleeve unique to Japan.

true blue

8. La Isla Bonita (Instrumental) (4:20) Written by Madonna, Patrick Leonard, and Bruce Gaitsch. Produced by Madonna, Patrick Leonard. Remixed by Chris Lord-Alge. This is an early fade of the 12″ instrumental remix. It was the b-side in most countries. “La Isla Bonita” entered the Hot 100 in March 21, 1987 and peaked at number 4. Picture sleeve unique to Japan.

la isla bonita

9. Like A Prayer (5:09) written and produced by Madonna and Patrick Leonard. An early fade of the album version, it was used only in Japan for the single as far as I know. Some copies included the 7″ remix instead, more about that here.”Like A Prayer” entered the Hot 100 in March 3, 1989 and peaked at number 1 for three consecutive weeks.

like a prayer


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