April 18th, 2015
Rick Springfield began his musical career performing in his native Australia in the late ’60s, but did not gain real stardom until turning to acting and earning the role of Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital in 1981. Springfield, still a musician at heart, used his sudden TV fame to give his first profession a much-needed shot in the arm. In 1981, Springfield, under contract with RCA, released the album Working Class Dog. While Springfield’s TV celebrity acted as a springboard for his musical revival, the mega-hit off the album, “Jessie’s Girl”, cemented him as a legitimate pop rocker.
Since we’re talking about Working Class Dog, you’re probably guessing that there is a rare, early CD worthy of discussion. Of course, there is. Let’s take a look at the original U.S. issue.
RCA released Working Class Dog on CD in the early ’80s. The U.S. issue was assigned catalog number PCD13697. The catalog number itself indicates that Working Class Dog was an early RCA release. RCA used the PCD1 prefix for rock and pop titles in the U.S. for several years, but by the mid-’80s, catalog numbers took on the form PCD1-####. Note the hyphen separating the PCD1 prefix and the four-number suffix. The earliest U.S. RCA titles, including Working Class Dog, lacked the hyphen.
The original U.S. issue of Working Class Dog was pressed in Japan by Denon. You may be thinking that is not so significant since Denon pressings are ubiquitous among early CDs. We always speak of early pressings here, but the significance in this case is how early. A few years ago, we examined what we called “Early” and “Standard” Japanese Denon pressings of Cat Stevens Tea for the Tillerman (click here for details). The variations noted for Tea for the Tillerman also exist for Working Class Dog. We focus on the Early Denon pressing for the Springfield album below.
The more common, Standard Japan-for-U.S. pressing of Working Class Dog has the typical Denon dot-matrix font for the matrix code. The inserts with this pressing were printed in U.S. The earlier and much rarer version has the Denon matrix code stamped in a crude font on the clear plastic ring. The matrix code is “PCD13697 A-12”. The inserts with this earlier pressing were printed in Japan. It is estimated that the Early Japanese Denon pressing of Working Class Dog was released in 1983.
Shown below are the booklet and back insert for the Early Japanese Denon pressing of Working Class Dog, along with the CD.
The cover for the Early Japanese Denon pressing of Rick Springfield Working Class Dog (RCA, catalog number PCD13697). This is the standard cover artwork for this album. Note the RCA CD logo in the bottom right corner.
The back insert for the Early Japanese Denon pressing of Rick Springfield Working Class Dog (RCA, catalog number PCD13697). As stated to the right of the photo, this insert was printed in Japan.
The Early Japanese Denon pressing of Rick Springfield Working Class Dog (RCA, catalog number PCD13697). The label design is typical of early RCA CDs released in the U.S. in the 1980s. The disc has “Made in Japan” printed at 3 o’clock. Although difficult to see in this picture, this disc bears the Early Japanese Denon type of matrix code in which the characters are stamped in a crude font on the clear plastic ring at the center. The matrix code is “PCD13697 A-12”.