CD Singles: Review of European Card Sleeves

Date: 2010-07-26 Autor: Kamil

text and pictures by Kamil Kaznowski and Maciej Stańczak

Card sleeve is a format of single which was marketed in Europe by Warner Music France. This Used To Be My Playground [9362-40510-9] (1992) became the first European single released as a card sleeve. If you look at CD you can easily find Made in France by MPO [A]. Since Bad Girl [9362 40812-9] single released in 1993 CDs were marked by SACEM logo [B] on the CD label as well.

[A]             [B] 


All card sleeves [Secret [9362 41785-9] released in 1994 was the last one] were released with MPO or MPO and SACEM logos. CDs were marked in every detail and their origin was clear and understandable. The complete package of French card sleeves (click cover for details):
Some problems with classification of origin appeared when Take A Bow [9362 41874-9] single was released in the end of 1994. For the first time there was no Made in France on CD label. You should notice that Made in Germany appeared on a single but (what is very important) SACEM logo was still present!
What is SACEM?
Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Editeurs de Musique (SACEM) is the organisation of French authors, composers and musical publishers. SACEM logo should persuade about French origin, but what about Made in Germany? All these information together mean that CDs were made in Germany but were intended for French market. CDs should have been sold in France, but we have no information if CDs could also be sold in Germany - it's possible, but unlikely. Anyway, Don't Cry For Me Argentina [9362-43832-9] (with alternative cover) is the final German card sleeve made only for French market.
These are the titles Made in Germany with SACEM logo (click cover for details):


Bedtime Story [9362 41977-9] and Human Nature [9362 43535-9] were released with Made in Germany, but this time SACEM logo did not appear. Also, as a curiosity we would like to add that Bedtime Story has misprinted tracklist - there are 2 tracks listed on a back cover, but CD plays 5 tracks (click cover for details):
Bye Bye BabyOne More Chance and Another Suitcase In Another Hall were not released in Europe as card sleeves.
Frozen [5439 17244-9] was released as the first card sleeve Made in Germany but not only for the French stores (SACEM logo finally disappeared). It was special period in history of European card sleeves. Warner Bros. completely reorganized and assigned new series of catalog numbers for card sleves with prefix 5439 (go to article: History of German catalog numbers based on CD singles pressings).
Since Frozen [5439 17244-9] (1998) to Miles Away [5439 19909-2] (2008) card sleeves were Made in Germany for every European market. Sometimes they were marked by info-stickers characteristic for the country where they were sold, especially France. In Madonna Discography database we keep this kind of classification which is a result from the presence of info-sticker. Below you find all 15 card-sleeve singles released by Warner Music Germany between 1998 and 2005 (click cover for details):
Another change happened in 2005. Since Hung Up, after 11 years of break, card sleeve again started to be produced in France. However, production in Germany was not stopped and both were released in Europe but French CDs were limited only to domestic market.
Singles whiche were Made in France had SNA logo close to CD-hole [A], [B]. SNA is a company which made CDs in France. But unexpectedly, the last card sleeve single to date - Celebration [5439 19853-7] - was made by MPO [C] (with SACEM logo on CD) , which was responsible for the first French card sleeves:


[A] [B] [C]



French and German card sleeves usually have no differences. However, there were occasional exceptions. Sometimes French pressings give us some surprises. For example, Hung Up  as a first French single after break was released as a 2 CDs set: 2-tracks Hung Up [5439 15896-2] (the same as German pressing) and exclusive French-only 3-tracks Hung Up [9362 42886-2]. There can appear differences in layouts of back covers as well - take a look at German Give It 2 Me [5439 19925-6] and French Give It 2 Me [5439 19925-6] - and differences in CD layouts - German 4 Minutes [5439 19939-4] [A] and French 4 Minutes" [5439 19939-4] [B]:


[A] [B]



German card sleeves (2005-2008) (click cover for details):



French card sleeves (2005-2009) (click cover for details):



European Card Sleeves:

This Used To Be My Playground MPO

not released
Deeper And Deeper
Bye Bye Baby no
I'll Remember MPO/SACEM  
Take A Bow Made in Germany / SACEM
Bedtime Story no relenot releasedased Made in Germany
Human Nature
You'll See Made in Germany / SACEM
Oh Father not released
One More Chance
Love Don't Live Here Anymore Made in Germany / SACEM
You Must Love Me
Don't Cry For Me Argentina
Another Suitcase In Another Hall no released
not released
Made in Germany
Ray Of Light
Drowned World / Substitute For Love
The Power Of Good-Bye
Nothing Really Matters
Beautiful Stranger
American Pie
Don't Tell Me
What It Feels Like For A Girl
Die Another Day
American Life
Nothing Fails
Love Profusion
Hung Up *2 SNA
Hung Up *3 no not released
Sorry Made in Germany
Get Together
Jump not released
4 Minutes SNA
Give It 2 Me
Miles Away not released
Celebration SNA not released
Celebration feat. Akon MPO / SACEM
Revolver not released

Since Love Don't Live Here Anymore (1996) untill Love Profusion (2003) card sleeves which were released by Warner Music Germany for French market were marked by French info stickers.