a short site about The Divine Comedy

French version

A Secret History – Rest of the world

A Secret History

  • Formats
    CD (Sony Music):
    5099 7 495 196 2 6 (XCD 495196)
    CD (Double T Music / Sony Music):
    5411 5 822 241 1 4 (DTM 224101-2)
    CD (Epic / Sony Music Argentina):
    5099 7 495 196 2 6 (2-495196)
    MC (Sony Muzik Turkiye):
    5099 7 495 196 4 0 (SM 5881)
 
A Secret History… was also released worldwide by Sony Music in CD and cassette.

The CD


The CD has the same tracklist as the regular UK release of the album, therefore it is often mistaken for it. The main differences are on the back cover, which features a different bar code, different catalogue numbers (two above the bar code, and one on each side) and the words ‘Distribution Sony Music’. Also the Setanta logo has been edited to get its postal address removed. Additionally, the original jewel case features, on the back, the engraved words ‘Sony Music’, probably because the case was manufactured by Sony.

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The serial number is also to be found on the bottom of the back of the booklet. While the inside of the booklet is exactly the same as the UK release, the front cover is a bit different though. The very top of Neil’s head has been cut off on this release.
Setanta releaseSony release
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Image The CD features the same copyright notes as the UK release, but with the Sony serial numbers. It also got various logos including the SACEM’s logo, or a Compact Disc Digital Audio logo. Around the centre of the CD we can read: Sony Music IFPI L552 S4951962000-0101 12 A3
and on the centre spin is engraved IFPI 944C.


The Double T Music release


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Image A different version of the album was also issued by Sony Music’s branch Double T Music, probably for Belgium. The back cover and the CD feature a Double T Music logo as well as a different catalogue number. On the back cover is bar code is also different, and the Setanta logo, this time, still features the address.
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On the last credit pages inside the booklet, the Double T catalogue number can also be spot.
On the centre spin of the CD is engraved Sony Music IFPI L552 S4951962000-0101 12 A3.


The Argentina Epic CD release


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Image The album was also distributed in Argentina by Sonic Music through their Epic label. This sound like this could be a bootleg, like the Russian bootlegs of the album, but there are many elements which make the copy looking being a genuine release by Sony Music Argentina, such as a shining sticker authenticating the release.
Despite the artwork seems to have poor colours (notice the cloud on the top-left corner, or the blue marks around the titles), it has a Sony Music logo printed on the bottom-left corner. This logo uses the same typeface as the other Sony Music release. The inside of the booklet is identical to the regular Sony release or the UK release. But the back features a Sony Music Entertainment (Argentina) logo, as well reference so Sony’s websites (in Argentina and worldwide).

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The back cover features a different copyright text: in addition to the copyright mentions, a text in Spanish about the forbidden reproductions. Then, references to different organisms such as SADAIC, BIEM, AADI and CAPIF.
The Barcode number is the same as the regular Sony Music release, but it features here ‘Industria Argentina’. The Setanta logo this time has not been edited, still featuring their London address, and it features an Epic logo with the catalogue number (2-495169; see that the 2 comes before and not after unlike the regular Sony Music release).
The sides features as well the Epic catalogue number references. And the inlay too on the bottom-right corner.

Finally the CD features copyright notes in Spanish, title, catalogue number, logos and still the ‘Industria Argentina’. On the other side, near the centre of the disc we can read: LASER DISC - MID 7156 - SONY 2-495196


The Cassette


While the CD release can be found in Sony’s listings for Canada, Eastern Europe (Poland, Czech Republic…) or Russia, we don’t have any information about the cassette, except that it was at least distributed in Turkey (The Divine Comedy get some press coverage there at the time).

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This release is probably a genuine release as it, like the Thailand MC of Fin De Siècle, comes in a Sony Music blister pack, and ‘Sony Music’ is printed on the tape itself.
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The sleeve is a small inlay, which features on the front cover the usual album cover as well as a yellow frame advertising the best-of (this is not a sticker). You can notice also that the photo has been vertically stretched. The side features the album titles again, a Setanta logo and the catalogue number. A Dolby System logo is also to be found. The back features the tracklisting, the bar code, and some Turkish copyright notes.
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Inside, the inlay features the photo of Neil Hannon walking in the forest, and no more, not the usual photo of Neil Hannon behind the window of Enniskillen’s Williams Blake pub. The other side features full credits of each song and on the right the band line-up and some contact info which are printed in Turkish.

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On the tape itself, are printed on both sides:
  • the band and album names
  • a Setanta logo which has been flipped
  • the side number
  • some information about the cassette being manufactured in Turkey
  • a Dolby System logo