My thanks to maryr for the informed review and to Sound Advice, David R Taylor and K Johansen for their comments which directed me toward buying the 1999 Sony Columbia 2CD version (in perfect new condition from Amazon UK's marketplace). I am very impressed with the beauty and quality of those stereo recordings. I had recently bought the single CD version in a "bargain bin" at a newsagent and suspected that something dodgy had been done with the editing, even though I had not heard either album before. I didn't realise just how badly the original stereo recordings had been compromised.
I've used my multitrack audio editing software to compare the versions of all tracks. The single CD (non-Sony/Columbia) is not only mono (as those others had pointed out) but it also has a maximum frequency response of 17kHz, whereas the stereo Sony/Columbia CDs use the full 22kHz potential of the format.
Tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 13, 14, and 22 have between 34 and a whopping 73 seconds missing from their intros, while tracks 12 and 24 have 12 and 21 seconds missing , respectively. The intros are absolutely vital aspects of these songs and arrangements and it is a travesty of the worst kind for them to have been so savagely edited.
When the stereo versions are forced to mono they don't sound anywhere near as impressive (this certainly was not a mono compatible recording) - and I would have to seriously question the musical credibility and taste of anyone who has heard the complete and lush stereo versions and yet claims to be satisfied with the bland and flat butchered mono edits which appear on the single CD (which is on the "Delta Leisure Group UK" for my copy, and which has exactly the same cover and contents as the one Amazon has listed for the "Xtra" label).