When looking at early CDs, one of the more intriguing labels is CBS Records. In the 1980s, the CBS umbrella included titles across many genres under the parent label, as well as Columbia, Epic, and several smaller labels. It seems that CBS had the collector in mind, as a particular album was given distinct CD releases for the Japanese, U.S., and European markets. The original CBS CDs for these three markets were pressed, for the most part, at the CBS/Sony production plant in Japan. Early Japan-for-U.S. and Japan-for-Europe CBS/Sony pressings of CBS Records titles have been discussed here many times over, and scans of some of these discs, many of which are quite rare, appear in the Gallery.

As the demand for CDs grew globally, record labels could justify domestic or regional production, resulting in supply efficiencies and lower costs. By 1985, CBS in the U.S. replaced Japan-for-U.S. with domestic pressings from its Digital Audio Disc Corp. (DADC) plant in Terre Haute, Indiana. Similarly, CBS opened a DADC plant in Austria in 1987 to supply CDs to countries across Europe.

Focusing on Europe, the transition for CBS can generally be thought of as Japan to Austria. In reality, the transition was not always so straightforward. Recall the point of growing local demand for CDs. In Japan, CBS saw the need to direct production at its CBS/Sony plant to meet demands at home. As a result, CBS in Europe turned to various countries to meet demand. For certain mid-’80s European CBS releases, we see pressings from France, the U.K., and West Germany. Occasionally, U.S. pressings were released Europe. In this post, we consider a U.S.-for-Europe pressing for CBS.

1983 saw Billy Joel release another hit-filled album, An Innocent Man. Included on this 10-track effort are the radio staples, “The Longest Time”, “Tell Her About It”, “Uptown Girl”, “Keeping the Faith”, and the title track. An Innocent Man was originally released on CD as distinct Japanese CBS/Sony pressings for the Japanese, U.S., and European markets (recall that CBS is an intriguing label for collectors). In the U.S., the Japanese pressing was replaced by seemingly countless U.S. DADC pressings (quite easy to find used). In Europe, Austrian pressings became the norm. However, there is a very rare U.S. pressing of An Innocent Man that made its way to Europe.

CBS released An Innocent Man in Europe under catalog number CDCBS 25554. The U.S.-for-Europe CD of An Innocent Man was pressed by DADC in Terre Haute. Typical of an early U.S. DADC pressing, the disc has “Made in USA – Digital Disc Corp.” stamped on the clear plastic ring at the center. It also has “MANUFACTURED BY CBS/SONY IN U.S.A.” printed along the perimeter. The particular DADC pressing considered here has matrix code “DIDP 50077 11A4”. This matrix code is unique to the U.S. pressing in that “DIDP 50077” is not found on later Austrian pressings. By virtue of the matrix code, the U.S.-for-Europe pressing was made from the same glass master used to produce discs for the U.S. market. Only the label designs differ between the U.S.-for-Europe and U.S.-for-U.S. discs. The label design on the U.S.-for-Europe disc is the same as that found on Japan-for-Europe and early Austrian pressings of An Innocent Man.

The U.S.-for-Europe pressing of An Innocent Man is accompanied by European inserts. The same inserts are found with earlier Japan-for-Europe pressings. In fact, the back insert with the U.S.-for-Europe disc states “Made by CBS/Sony in Japan”.

Shown below is the booklet and back insert for the U.S.-for-Europe issue of An Innocent Man, along with the U.S. DADC pressing. U.S. DADC pressings exist for several early European CBS releases, and they are all very rare in my experience.

 

The cover for the U.S.-for-Europe pressing of An Innocent Man (CBS, catalog number CDCBS 25554). This is the standard cover artwork for this album.

 

The back insert for the U.S.-for-Europe pressing of An Innocent Man (CBS, catalog number CDCBS 25554). There is no barcode, which is typical of early European CBS releases. This same insert was issued with the earlier Japanese CBS/Sony pressing as noted by the statement “Made by CBS/Sony in Japan” in the paragraph at the bottom.

 

The U.S.-for-Europe pressing of An Innocent Man (CBS, catalog number CDCBS 25554). The disc was pressed by DADC plant in Terre Haute, Indiana. It has “Made in USA – Digital Audio Disc Corp.” stamped on the clear plastic ring at the center, and “MANUFACTURED BY CBS/SONY IN U.S.A.” printed along the perimeter. The matrix code is “DIDP 50077 11A4”.

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