"Rock The Nation Live!" Japanese Packaging

Details for the Japan only "Rock The Nation Live" EP have been added to the discography. And audio samples on the... audio page.

01. King Of The Night Time World (3:59)
02. All The Way (3:05)
03. Psycho Circus (5:34)

Japanese fans are often treated to bonus items in and on their domestic releases, as a method that has been suggested provides an incentive for purchasing those higher-priced rather than cheaper imports. For example, the domestic version of "KISS Symphony" sells for ¥ 6,248 versus 4,925 for the import on one popular Japanese vendor's site. That's $56 versus $44.23 by today's exchange rate!

Economics and math aside, why would anyone outside of Japan be interested in their domestic "Rock The Nation Live!" DVD release? Simple, it includes a 3" CD that features three additional songs recorded during the "Rock The Nation" tour in 2004, but not included on the US or other international versions. The songs: "King Of The Night Time World," "All The Way," and "Psycho Circus." Tracks 1 & 3 recorded live at Virginia Beach, VA on July 25, 2004. Track 2 recorded live at Bristow, VA (Washington DC) July 24, 2004. In comparrison with the "Instant Live" recordings of this material, very little, if anything at all was apparently done to the recordings apart from them having a unified "audience track". That's it. For most fans, having the Instant Live recordings of either of the two concert dates will sufice. And in the case of "All The Way," having the Instant Live recording of the superior Concord, CA concert will be enough of that song. The 3" CD is housed in a protective dust sleeve inside a printed slipcase. It looks good, making me tempeted to compile an audio-CD of the full show for the car. Nah, already got the compilation of the "rare" live songs from that tour there. Oh, and audio samples of these three songs are on the audio page...

The first noticeable difference between the US and Japanese versions (at least my copies) is the quality and contrast of the printing. On the slipcases the color of the American version is washed out while the Japanese version is vivid. The "2 DVD Set" notice is at the top, rather than the bottom. Both share the silver embossed KISS logo. Apart from the US version having a UPC barcode, the two slip covers are nearly identical. Once you get the digipak housing out of the slipcase, the same printing quality differences are obvious. The outsides of the digipaks share the same differences as the slip-covers. The insides and screen-prints on the DVDs are also the same.

Both include a 12-page booklet. Again, the quality of print and vividness of color are the only mayor differences, though the US version is printed on better paper stock than the rather flimsy Japanese stuff. Also included in the Japanese version is a 8-page Japanese language biography and liner notes booklet.

Apart from that the Japanese version comes with a massive "obi" with the contents and track titles translated into Japanese. It indicates a price of ¥ 4,935 ($44.37) - You'll certainly pay more than that to get this item outside of Japan. My invoice from CD Japan indicates that I paid ¥ 6550 including EMS postage. That's essentially $58.89 for a 3" CD whose contents is sure to circulate in collector's circles shortly. The DVD appears to be region free, as I had no problem playing it on hardware that has been verified to choke on other region's DVDs. Amusingly, the DVD even has the standard FBI warning at the beginning, totally pointless in Japan (and elsewhere for that matter. Is it worth it? That's for the collector's brain to decide...