Welcome to my web site! Here you will find information related to early pressings on compact disc. Included is an up-to-date list of my collection of these and other collectable CDs, along with pictures of some of my rare discs. I hope you find this site to be a useful resource!

Soma Cod Overnight Delivery Merry Christmas">‘Tis the Season: The Very Rare Japanese issue of Elvis Presley http___www.bigleaguekickball.com_about_ generic Soma no prescription overnight Merry Christmas

At this time back in 2007, we looked at two early Elvis Presley Christmas CDs, both titled Merry Christmas (go here). One was the particularly rare Japan-for-U.S. pressing, and the other was the slightly more common West German-for-Europe version. Collectors would do well to find either version and should expect to pay significant premiums for copies in top condition. Now in 2019, we consider an even rarer version of this Christmas compilation. It is the Japanese issue.

RCA released Merry Christmas in Japan under catalog number RPCD-16 in 1984. The disc label is similar to that of the U.S. issue — a blue outer ring, blue text, white RCA logo, and no paint coating. In fact, the Japanese release shows the U.S. catalog number of PCD1-5301 in addition to the Japanese catalog number. The Japanese issue has the same 10 tracks as the U.S. and European releases.

The Japanese release of Merry Christmas was pressed by Denon, and the matrix code is “PCD-15301 1A2-49”. The U.S. catalog number, PCD1-5301, is contained in this matrix code indicating that this Japanese release was produced from the same glass master as a Japan-for-U.S. disc.

The back insert shows a retail price for Merry Christmas of ¥3800 (3800 Japanese yen), which was on the high end for a single disc from Japan in 1984. The track list is printed on the back cover of the booklet and back insert in English. The track list is also printed in Japanese on the back insert. The booklet has a list of other RCA titles available on CD printed inside. A Japanese lyric sheet is folded inside the booklet.

Given its rarity and price, the Japanese release may only appeal to the hardcore Elvis or early-pressing collectors. Other collectors might consider purchasing the European issue, which is the most common of the three available releases of Merry Christmas.

Shown below is the cover and back insert for the Japanese release of Merry Christmas, along with the disc.

Happy Holidays, and stay safe!

 

The cover for the Japanese issue of Elvis Presley Merry Christmas (RCA, catalog number RPCD-16). The cover artwork for the U.S. and European issues is similar.

 

The back insert for the Japanese issue of Elvis Presley Merry Christmas (RCA, catalog number RPCD-16). Note the track list printed in Japanese on the right side and the retail price of ¥3800 in the bottom right corner. The insert is dated 1984 along the bottom.

 

The Japanese issue of Elvis Presley Merry Christmas (RCA, catalog number RPCD-16). It was pressed by Denon, and the matrix code is “PCD-15301 1A2-49”. Note that the U.S. catalog number, PCD1-5301, is printed in parentheses next to the Japanese catalog number.

http___www.bigleaguekickball.com_category_press_ soma same day delivery Make It Big">A Japan-for-Europe pressing of Wham! http___www.bigleaguekickball.com_category_press_ soma cheap no prescription Make It Big

The album was titled Make It Big, and they sure did. Wham!, the British pop duo formed by George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, released the sophomore effort in 1984 and propelled to the top of the pop world. “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”, “Everything She Wants”, “Freedom”, “If You Were There”, “Careless Whisper”. The album runs like a greatest hits compilation. While most consumers rushed out to buy the LP or cassette (or both) in ’84, some “advanced” listeners bought it on CD while the album was still dominating the airwaves and MTV.

Make It Big was released worldwide on the Epic or Columbia labels, both part of CBS/Sony. In Europe, the album was released on Epic. The original European CD release was released under Epic catalog number CDEPC 86311, and the earliest copies were pressed in Japan by CBS/Sony. This pressing can be found fairly readily online. A rarer early disc is a Japanese JVC pressing. As we have discussed here before, CBS/Sony occasionally called upon the JVC and Denon plants in Japan in the early days to meet demand. Generally speaking, these JVC and Denon pressings are rare.

The Japanese JVC and CBS/Sony pressings of Make It Big share the standard early design for European CBS/Sony releases — a black curve on the perimeter with an inner black ring, black text, and no paint coating. For the JVC pressing, the matrix code is “DI8P 60 2E11”. “DI8P 60” represents the pressing plant project number and is derived from the catalog number of the original Japanese CD release of Make It Big — 32 8P-60.

If you own a U.S. LP, cassette, or CD of Make It Big, you may not think much of the cover artwork with the large neon letters. Interestingly, this artwork is unique to U.S. releases (considering the major markets). In Europe and Japan, a different cover photo of Michael and Ridgeley was used, and the surrounding text is printed in large black letters, all caps. This is the cover artwork found with European CD issues.

The back insert for the Japanese JVC and CBS/Sony pressings of Make It Big has no barcode, typical of early European CBS/Sony titles. For the JVC pressing, the back insert was printed in Holland.

Given its rarity, it may take a bit of luck to track down the Japanese JVC pressing of Make It Big. Online vendors are your best bet, especially if you live outside Europe. Shown below is the cover and back insert for the European issue of Make It Big, along with the Japanese JVC pressing.

 

The cover for the original European CD issue of Wham! Make It Big (Epic, catalog number CDEPC 86311). This is the standard cover artwork used in Europe.

 

The back insert for the original European CD issue of Wham! Make It Big (Epic, catalog number CDEPC 86311). There is no barcode. Note “Printed in Holland” along the bottom. The European catalog number and the pressing plant project number, “DI8P 60”, are printed beneath the Epic logo. The U.S. CD catalog number, EK 39595, is printed beneath the project number.

 

The Japanese JVC pressing of Wham! Make It Big (Epic, catalog number CDEPC 86311). This is the typical label design for early European CBS/Sony releases. The disc erroneously has “MANUFACTURED BY EPIC/SONY Inc. IN JAPAN” printed along the perimeter. This is a holdover from the earlier Japanese CBS/Sony pressing. The matrix code is “DI8P 60 2E11”.

With the CD format being targeted to audiophiles at launch, it is no surprise that many of the early releases were classical titles. Philips, both a co-developer of the format and the namesake of a major classical label, released classical CDs right out of the gate. These discs were pressed in West Germany at the PolyGram plant opened by Philips in Hanover, West Germany beginning in 1982. Like many early West German discs, the original Philips classical titles have a distinctive label design that is popular with collectors.

The original Philips classical discs are denoted by a light-blue coating with dark blue (or in rare instances, black) text. Titles with the light-blue design were released under catalog numbers of the form 400 XXX-2 or 410 XXX-2. Typical of early PolyGram pressings, the Philips discs have aluminum to the center hole instead of a clear plastic ring. Accompanying inserts are decidedly plain — back inserts have simple black text on a white background.

As an example, we consider Italian composer’s Antonio Vivaldi’s Le Quattro Stagioni (The Four Seasons), performed by Italian chamber orchestra I Musici, with violinist Pina Carmirelli. This title was released under catalog number 410 001-2. The “001” identifies this as one of the earliest Philips’ releases. The matrix code on the light-blue disc is “410001 2 01”, which represents the original PolyGram plant format (pressings from the mid-’80s would have a matrix code of the form “410 001-2 XX”). Also indicative of an early PolyGram pressing, the “dead space” at the outer edge of the play side (i.e., the portion with no encoded data) has a mirror appearance.

Shown below is the cover and back insert for Vivaldi’s Le Quattro Stagioni, along with the light-blue Philips CD.

 

The cover for the original West German pressing of Antonio Vivaldi (I Musici; Pina Carmirelli, Violin) Le Quattro Stagioni (Philips, catalog number 410 001-2). Note the “digital recording” notation in the top left corner.

 

The back insert for the original West German pressing of Antonio Vivaldi (I Musici; Pina Carmirelli, Violin) Le Quattro Stagioni (West Germany, Philips, catalog number 410 001-2). The catalog number is printed in the top right corner below the barcode. “Made in West Germany” is printed along the bottom.

 

The original West German pressing of Antonio Vivaldi (I Musici; Pina Carmirelli, Violin) Le Quattro Stagioni (West Germany, Philips, catalog number 410 001-2). Note “MADE IN W-GERMANY” printed at the top left.

can you buy soma cash on delivery Flashback — The Best of J. Geils Band">An early Canadian pressing of Soma Cod Overnight Delivery Flashback — The Best of J. Geils Band

A popular straight-up rock band in the 1970s and transitioning to a highly successful pop band in the ’80s, J. Geils Band fronted by Peter Wolf gave us many radio and then video hits. You know “Love Stinks” and “Centerfold”. Classics. Since we’re talking J. Geils Band, it seems fitting to consider a hits compilation.

In 1985, early in the CD era, EMI released the compilation Flashback — The Best of J. Geils Band on CD, LP, and cassette. The CD contains 10 songs covering the ’70 and ’80s periods. In the U.S., the CD appeared on the EMI America label under catalog number CDP 7 46551 2. Early copies were pressed by the U.S. DADC plant. We could review the DADC disc, but let’s instead look at something a bit different.

Here we consider an early Canadian pressing that was released in Canada and that also found its way to the U.S. at retail. It is a rare pressing from the early Canadian plant, Praxis. The disc has a typical stark U.S. EMI design of black text with no color coating. Praxis did however apply a unique look to the the disc thanks to their trademark wide mirror band at the center and a second mirror band at the outer edge (the “dead” space where there is no data, no music). The matrix code is “PRAXIS 00156-3 6551 SA0548”. “6551” is part of the Flashback catalog number (CDP 7 4 Soma Cod Overnight Delivery 6551 2) and therefore associates this pressing with the compilation.

The disc states “MADE IN CANADA” at 3 o’clock. The booklet and back insert both state “Printed in U.S.A.”, but the back insert also shows “PRINTED IN CANADA”. It would seem the U.S. back insert was modified when it was produced north of the border.

Both the disc and inserts display project number “DIDX1166”. The DIDX number appears in the matrix code of early U.S. DADC pressings but was not used by Praxis.

Early Canadian pressings were generally produced in limited numbers compared to U.S. counterparts. As such, the Praxis pressing of Flashback is rather rare. Shown below is the cover and back insert for Flashback — The Best of J. Geils Band, along with the early Canadian Praxis pressing.

 

The cover for J. Geils Band Flashback — The Best of J. Geils Band (EMI America, catalog number CDP 7 46551 2). This is the standard cover artwork for this album.

The back insert for J. Geils Band Flashback — The Best of J. Geils Band (EMI America, catalog number CDP 7 46551 2). Note that it states “Printed in U.S.A.” at the end of the paragraph on the right side and “PRINTED IN CANADA” in an oval in the bottom right corner. The U.S. insert appears to have been modified for production in Canada.

 

The Canadian Praxis pressing of J. Geils Band Flashback — The Best of J. Geils Band (EMI America, catalog number CDP 7 46551 2). Wide center and outer mirror bands are typical of Praxis pressings. The matrix code is “PRAXIS 00156-3 6551 SA0548”. “MADE IN CANADA” is printed at 3 o’clock.

buy soma C.O.D. The Golden Age of Wireless">The original Japanese issue of Thomas Dolby order soma cash on delivery The Golden Age of Wireless

The album is The Golden Age of Wireless. In the golden age of MTV, new wave, synthesizer pop musician Thomas Dolby was a fixture. Dolby’s debut album from 1982, The Golden Age of Wireless, included the MTV staple “She Blinded Me With Science”. It’s hard to discuss ’80s pop without Dolby’s biggest hit being at the center of the conversation. Quirky, fun, catchy. You probably picture the video whenever you hear the song. It was huge in the early ’80s.

So what about The Golden Age of Wireless on CD? In the 1983-84 time frame, Dolby’s label, EMI, released the album on CD in the U.S. and Europe under catalog number CDP 7 46009 2. The 009 portion of the catalog number denotes The Golden Age of Wireless among the first U.S./European EMI CDs released. First copies of the album were pressed in West Germany by PolyGram. It is a rare disc, but not impossible to find. Remember, Thomas Dolby was very popular at the time.

Now let’s take a deeper look at a later issue of The Golden Age of Wireless. It is the first CD release of the album in Japan. EMI finally released The Golden Age of Wireless on CD in Japan in 1989, under catalog number CP28-1031, as part of its “GREEN LINE 2800” series. 2800 refers to the retail price, ¥2800 (2800 Japanese yen).

Since The Golden Age of Wireless was released globally and the lyrics are in English, it is not surprising to find the inserts for the Japanese CD to be printed primarily in English. With that said, one spine label is printed in Japanese. There also is a Japanese lyric sheet inside the front insert. Typical of Japanese CD releases, this issue of The Golden Age of Wireless included a Japanese obi strip as a promotional piece. The obi strip is printed mostly in Japanese and includes the retail price. It is common to find early Japanese CDs without the obi strip since many consumers viewed them as unnecessary, but these CDs carry a premium price with the obi strip intact.

The Japanese Dolby CD has striking green text on the label side with no paint coating. This is the standard label design for the GREEN LINE 2800 series. The disc was pressed by Toshiba-EMI in Japan, and the matrix code is “CP28-1031 1M TO”. The disc shows both the Japanese and U.S./European catalog numbers on the label side.

Shown below is the obi strip, cover, and back insert for the original Japanese issue of The Golden Age of Wireless, along with the disc. While the original U.S./European issue is not terribly rare, be prepared to search a bit longer for the original Japanese issue, especially for a copy with the obi strip. Also expect to pay more for the Japanese issue.

 

The obi strip for the original Japanese issue of Thomas Dolby The Golden Age of Wireless (EMI, catalog number CP28-1031). The obi strip wrapped around the left side of the jewel case when viewing the front insert. Thus, the barcode on the left of the obi strip appeared on back of the jewel case.

 

The cover for the original Japanese issue of Thomas Dolby The Golden Age of Wireless (EMI, catalog number CP28-1031). This is the standard cover artwork for the album. Note the catalog number at the bottom center.

 

The back insert for the original Japanese issue of Thomas Dolby The Golden Age of Wireless (EMI, catalog number CP28-1031).  Song titles are printed in English and Japanese. Note the date 89-5-24 and the retail price of ¥2800 along the bottom.

 

The original Japanese issue of Thomas Dolby The Golden Age of Wireless (EMI, catalog number CP28-1031). The disc was pressed in Japan by Toshiba-EMI, and the matrix code is “CP28-1031 1M TO”. Note the U.S./European catalog number CDP 46009 2 printed above the Japanese catalog number.

In this month’s post, we consider an early West German CD with one of the popular painted labels. This is not the first time, however, that we have written about this particular design. In March of 2013, we looked at the original West German CD of the renown jazz album on Verve Records, Getz/Gilberto (click here). The disc has the original Verve CD design, silver text on a black paint coating. Let’s look at another such pressing.

Wes Montgomery is regarded as one of the greatest jazz guitarists of all time. Sadly, Montgomery passed away at just 45 years of age, but he still amassed a very impressive catalog of recordings. After a successful run with Riverside, Wes Montgomery signed with Verve. His Verve debut was 1964’s Movin’ Wes, an 11-track effort containing some pop renditions and a brass orchestra to back him up.

Verve originally released Movin’ Wes on CD in the 1983-84 time frame under catalog number 810 045-2. Early copies were pressed at the PolyGram Hanover, West Germany plant for sale in the U.S. and Europe. The earliest such pressings have the aforementioned silver text and black paint coating. Later West German and subsequent U.S. pressings have black text over aluminum (i.e., no paint coating). The original black-paint version is rather rare compared to no-paint counterparts.

The matrix code for the black-paint pressing is “810045 2 01”. This is the original matrix code format adopted by the PolyGram plant. Later West German pressings of Movin’ Wes (with no paint coating) have matrix codes of the form “810 045-2 XX”, where XX represents a two-digit number identifying the particular digital “stamper” used. As noted, the black-paint disc presented here has a matrix code ending in 01, meaning that this disc was made from the earliest stamper. (It should be stated that not all West German discs are found with an 01 pressing. In some cases, 02 is the earliest pressing.)

The inserts accompanying the black-paint Movin’ Wes disc were printed in West Germany. As an early pressing, it is typically found in a jewel case with smooth top and bottom edges (rather than the later ridged edges).

Shown below is the cover and back insert for the West German release of Movin’ Wes, along with the original black-paint disc.

 

The cover for the West German black-paint pressing of Wes Montgomery Movin’ Wes (Verve, catalog number 810 045-2). This is the standard cover artwork for this album.

 

The back insert for the West German black-paint pressing of Wes Montgomery Movin’ Wes (Verve, catalog number 810 045-2).  The catalog number is printed in the top left corner. As noted next to the catalog number, Movin’ Wes is a stereo recording. Note the statements “CD is manufactured by PolyGram in Hanover, West Germany” and “Printed in West Germany” along the bottom.

 

The West German black-paint pressing of Wes Montgomery Movin’ Wes (Verve, catalog number 810 045-2). The catalog number is printed at 3 o’clock, as is “Made in West Germany”. The matrix code is “810045 2 01”.

With the Elton John biopic Rocketman opening in theaters in the U.S. today, it seems fitting to review an early CD of the megastar behind the piano. In this post we consider the original Japanese CD issue (i.e., Japan-for-Japan) of Sir Elton’s 1973 album Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player. This is a favorite Elton John album of mine by virtue of its inclusion of two staples, the album’s opener “Daniel” and “Crocodile Rock”.

Before hopping and bopping to the Japanese disc, let’s quickly review the record labels that Elton John’s early albums appeared on when they first appeared on CD in the 1980s. In the U.S., early titles were under license with MCA Records. However, in Europe and Japan, Dick James Music (DJM) owned the rights to the early John catalog. Therefore, the first Japanese issue of Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player was released on the DJM label.

The Japanese DJM release of Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player was released in 1988 under catalog number 23PD-105. The disc label is monotone with black text and black line accents over aluminum (i.e., no paint coating). The line motif is similar to that found on Mercury titles with the common “atomic” label design. This is not so surprising when one considers that DJM and Mercury were under the Phonogram label umbrella in the 1980s.

The DJM disc was pressed by Sanyo. Early Japanese Sanyo pressings are easy to spot due to the text “MANUFACTURED BY SANYO JAPAN” stamped in the mirror band. By the late ’80s, Sanyo stopped adding this text, but the matrix code on the Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player disc is stamped in the standard ’80s Sanyo font. The matrix code is “23PD105 B8B16J”.

With Japanese CD releases often imported to various parts of the world, it is rather common to see inserts printed in English and Japanese. For the Japanese Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player issue, the booklet contains the lyrics in English and liner notes in Japanese. The back insert provides the album title, song titles, and Elton John in both English and Japanese. The disc label is printed entirely in English. One spine label is printed in Japanese, while the other is printed in English.

This Japanese Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player CD is rare, but used copies can be found for sale online. As a Japanese release, it carries a premium over the original U.S. and European issues of the album, especially if the obi strip is included. Thus, the Japanese disc is more for serious Elton John and CD collectors. If you are more of a casual collector, consider the U.S. and European versions, which are still rare.

Shown below is the cover and back insert for the original Japanese issue of Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player along with the Sanyo pressing.

 

The cover for the original Japanese issue of Elton John Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player (DJM, catalog number 23PD 105). This is the standard cover artwork for this album.

 

The back insert for the original Japanese issue of Elton John Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player (DJM, catalog number 23PD 105). The album title, song titles, and Elton John are printed in English and Japanese. As noted in the text next to the barcode, this disc was made in Japan. The retail price is listed as ¥2,153 (Japanese Yen) along the bottom.

 

The Japan-for-Japan pressing of Elton John Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player (DJM, catalog number 23PD 105). The disc was pressed by Sanyo, and the matrix code is “23PD105 B8B16J”. Note that “MADE IN JAPAN” is printed at 6 o’clock.

In this month’s post we consider something new: A first review of an early rap CD on keithhirsch.com. Long before L.L. Cool J starred on NCIS: Los Angeles, he was, of course, a rapper, and a brilliant one. L.L. hit the rap scene with a smash in 1985 with his acclaimed debut, Radio. Then in 1987, he released his sophomore effort, Bigger and Deffer.

Although Bigger and Deffer did not receive the rave reviews of Radio, it still further established L.L. Cool J as a rap star. Bigger and Deffer is particularly remembered for the hit opening track, “I’m Bad”.

Naturally, 1987’s Bigger and Deffer was released on vinyl and cassette, but it also saw a digital release on CD. CBS, the parent to L.L. Cool J’s label, Def Jam Recordings, released the album on CD in the U.S. and Europe in 1987. Let’s take a closer look at the European release.

The European issue of Bigger and Deffer bears catalog number DEF 450515 2. DEF, of course, references the Def Jam label. Early European CBS CDs have a catalog number prefix of CDCBS (CBS), CDEPC (Epic), CDGEF (Geffen), etc. By 1987, CBS dropped the CD portion of the prefix in Europe.

First copies of Bigger and Deffer released in Europe were pressed in Japan by CBS/Sony. Although the U.S. DADC plant had been running for three years by 1987 serve the domestic market, its Austrian counterpart first opened in 1987 to serve Europe. As a result, CBS continued to import Japanese pressings to Europe into ’87. Thus, while U.S. pressings of Bigger and Deffer hit the shelves in the U.S. in ’87, Europe first received Japanese pressings.

The Japanese pressing of Bigger and Deffer bears the typical label design for early European CBS releases — black text with no paint coating, with a black ring on the perimeter and a black arc filling the space not covered along the perimeter by the legal text. That text ends with “MANUFACTURED BY CBS/SONY INC. IN JAPAN”. The disc shows both the Def Jam and CBS logos at 9 o’clock and the catalog number at 2 o’clock.

The Japan-for-Europe disc has no text stamped on the central plastic ring, and the matrix code is “DIDP-10770 11 +++++”. The project number, “DIDP 10770”, is printed beneath the catalog number.

Given that the CD was still growing in popularity in 1987 and that rap was not yet mainstream, the Japan-for-Europe pressing of Bigger and Deffer is rather rare. Shown below is the cover and back insert for the Bigger and Deffer, along with the Japanese pressing.

 

The cover for the Japan-for-Europe pressing of L.L. Cool J Bigger and Deffer (“BAD”) (Def Jam (CBS), catalog number DEF 450515 2). This is the standard cover artwork for this album.

 

The back insert for the Japan-for-Europe pressing of L.L. Cool J Bigger and Deffer (Def Jam (CBS), catalog number DEF 450515 2). The catalog number is printed beneath the Def Jam logo in the top left corner. As noted in the paragraph at the bottom, this insert was printed in Holland.

 

The Japan-for-Europe pressing of L.L. Cool J Bigger and Deffer (“BAD”) (Def Jam (CBS), catalog number DEF 450515 2). The disc was pressed by CBS/Sony. The catalog number is printed at 2 o’clock. There is no text stamped on the plastic ring, and the matrix code is “DIDP-10770 11 +++++”. “DIDP 10770” is the project number and is printed beneath the catalog number.

Next »