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!

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It is now summertime here on keithhirsch.com, but we keep plugging away, writing about early, collectable CDs.  Today, we review a John Coltrane compilation released by MCA/Impulse! entitled From The Original Master Tapes.  As the title suggests, this compilation called to the audiophile, who demands the best sound obtained from the best source.  It is worth nothing that a series of compilations was released under this and similar banners by MCA in 1985.  All of them were mastered by Steve Hoffman, who is well known in audiophile circles for his attention to detail in mastering to CD, LP, and Super Audio CD (SACD).  MCA released Buddy Holly and Bill Haley and His Comets From The Original Master Tapes compilations.  Similarly, MCA released a Billie Holiday compilation titled From The Original Decca Masters and a compilation of The Mamas & The Papas named 16 of Their Greatest Hits (some CD pressings of this compilation show the title as “FROM ORIGINAL MASTER TAPES”).  All of these compilations were introduced on CD in the U.S. as Japanese pressings.

John Coltrane From The Original Master Tapes is a 7-track compilation from his years on Impulse! records.  It was released on CD in the U.S. in 1985 under catalog number MCAD-5541.  The first copies to appear on store shelves were pressed in Japan by JVC.  U.S. pressings followed.  Interestingly, this album saw a very limited release in Japan in 1989 on a 24-karat gold CD.  The gold CD was released in Japan by MCA/Impulse! in conjunction with Warner-Pioneer Corporation under catalog number 43XD-2009.

The back cover of the booklet for both releases of From The Original Master Tapes states “Digitally remastered from the original Impulse stereo first generation masters.”  This statement also appears on the discs.  Additionally, both CDs state “Compiled and remastered by STEVE HOFFMAN”.

Shown below are the inserts and CDs for the two releases of John Coltrane From The Original Master Tapes.  For the U.S. issue, the original Japanese pressing is shown.

 

coltrane master tapes cover_400

The cover for the U.S. issue of John Coltrane From The Original Master Tapes (MCA/Impulse!, catalog number MCAD-5541).  The gold CD released in Japan has the same cover artwork except that it has the original Impulse! logo in the upper right corner (orange and black logo inside a white circle).

 

coltrane us master tapes back insert_500

The back insert for the original Japan-for-U.S. pressing of John Coltrane From The Original Master Tapes (MCA/Impulse!, catalog number MCAD-5541).  Note that there is no barcode.

 

coltrane us master tapes_500

The original Japan-for-U.S. pressing of John Coltrane From The Original Master Tapes (MCA/Impulse!, catalog number MCAD-5541).  This CD was pressed in Japan by JVC.  Note the mastering and source tape references beneath the CD format logo.

 

coltrane gold master tapes back insert_500

The back insert for the Japanese gold CD pressing of John Coltrane From The Original Master Tapes (MCA/Impulse!, catalog number 43XD-2009).  Unlike the U.S. issue, this back insert takes on the motif of original Impulse! records.  Note the reference to the original stereo master tapes in the bottom left corner.

 

coltrane gold master tapes_500

The Japanese gold CD pressing of John Coltrane From The Original Master Tapes (MCA/Impulse!, catalog number 43XD-2009). This CD was pressed on a thin layer of 24-karat gold instead of the conventional aluminum.  It is shown on the original gold-tone plastic disc tray with which it was issued.  As with the U.S. issue, mastering and source tape references appear beneath the CD format logo.

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A number of early commercial and promotional CD samplers have been posted here over the years.  These samplers were issued to promote the new music format and, often times, a particular record label’s artists.  Here we have an unusual promotional sampler, titled Quasar Digital Demonstration Disc.  This CD was issued by Quasar in conjunction with Philips under catalog number QUA-VOL2.  Quasar Digital Demonstration Disc is a classical music sampler and contains 12 tracks.

The Philips connection to this CD is no surprise.  Philips co-developed the CD format with Sony.  Additionally, Philips maintained a classical music label and began turning out classical music CDs in 1982.  However, the Quasar connection is a surprise, at least to me.  Back in the early ’80s, Quasar was owned by Matsushita, which also owned Technics.  Technics is a well-known name for audio components — receivers, turntables, cassette decks, and yes, CD players.  Various promotional CD samplers were issued under the Technics banner in the ’80s.  Quasar, on the other hand, was known as a video brand — TVs, laserdisc players, and VCRs.  (My parents bought a Quasar VCR in 1983.  Solid unit.  We got many years out of it.)  As the CD format gained steam in the ’80s, it seemed that Matsushita felt the need to put the well-known Quasar brand on CD players.  Hence the sampler discussed here.  Quasar CD players were uncommon, so it is believed that this CD sampler is rare today.

Quasar Digital Demonstration Disc was pressed in Japan by the parent company, Matsushita.  Although the disc and inserts are undated, the CD is an early Matsushita pressing.  It has “MADE BY MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC IND.CO.,LTD.” and the Technics logo stamped on the clear plastic ring at the center.  The inserts were printed in Japan.  Both the disc and inserts are labeled “Not for Sale”.

Shown below are various pictures of the inserts associated with Quasar Digital Demonstration Disc, as well as the actual CD.

 

quasar cover_500

The cover for Quasar Digital Demonstration Disc (Philips, catalog number QUA-VOL2).  Note the statement “Not for Sale” printed in the bottom right corner above the catalog number.

 

quasar inside page_500

A page inside the booklet for Quasar Digital Demonstration Disc (Philips, catalog number QUA-VOL2) promoting the CD format.  At that time, the format was promoted as providing 60 minutes of music playback.  The actual capacity of a compact disc is approximately 80 minutes.

 

quasar booklet back cover_500

The back cover of the booklet for Quasar Digital Demonstration Disc (Philips, catalog number QUA-VOL2).  Since the CD was new, it was common for handling and storage instructions to be included with promotional samplers and some discs sold at retail.  As noted in the bottom left corner, the booklet was printed in Japan.  Someone stamped the back cover of the booklet “SEP 3 1985”, which could indicate that this sampler CD was issued in 1985.  However, the disc and inserts do not show a copyright or phonogram date.

 

quasar back insert_500

The back insert for Quasar Digital Demonstration Disc (Philips, catalog number QUA-VOL2).  This CD contains 12 classical music tracks.  As noted in the bottom right corner, this insert was printed in Japan and is labeled “Not for Sale”.

 

quasar spine_500

A spine label for Quasar Digital Demonstration Disc (Philips, catalog number QUA-VOL2).

 

quasar disc_500

The early CD sampler Quasar Digital Demonstration Disc (Philips, catalog number QUA-VOL2).  This CD bears both the Philips and Quasar logos and is labeled “Not for Sale”.  The disc was pressed in Japan by Matsushita and has “MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC IND.CO.,LTD.” and the Technics logo stamped on the plastic ring.  The matrix code is simply “2-4”.

 

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In August 2012, a rare variation of the West German Target pressing of The Doors’ debut album was featured on keithhirsch.com.  The common pressing has a silver target motif against an orange paint background with silver text and silver CD format and Elektra logos.  The rare variation has the same color combination for the target and background, but the text and logos are black.  More information on this rare pressing is available Purchasing Tramadol Overnight.  At that time, it was promised that another Doors Target pressing variation would take the top spot here.  Well, here it is.  Enter a rare pressing of The Doors Morrison Hotel.

Morrison Hotel was released in 1970 as The Doors’ fifth and second-to-last studio album with Jim Morrison.  A concept album, perhaps, the first side of the original record was titled “Hard Rock Café”, while the second side was titled “Morrison Hotel”.  Morrison Hotel followed The Doors’ 1969 effort, The Soft Parade, which was a departure from their well-established amalgam of rock, blues, and poetry.  After The Soft Parade was not well received, The Doors went back to their original formula with Morrison Hotel (well, somewhat; no two Doors albums are quite alike).  With Morrison Hotel, the intensity and full-scale Morrisonesque imagery was back.  The opening track and hit, “Roadhouse Blues”, as the title indicates, also made a clear statement that The Doors were going back to their roots with this album.  Other well-known tracks from Morrison Hotel include “Waiting For The Sun” (which did not appear on the 1968 album of the same title), the groove-driven “Peace Frog”, and the ballad showing off Jim Morrison’s smooth, warm vocals, “Blue Sunday”.

Elektra Records released the Morrison Hotel LP in 1970 under catalog number EKS 75007.  Jumping ahead to the mid-’80s, Elektra introduced Morrison Hotel on CD in the U.S. as a West German Target pressing under catalog number EKS 75007-2.  Thus, this original CD borrowed the LP catalog number and added the ‘2’ suffix assigned by the music industry to designate the CD format.  There are two variations of this Target pressing of Morrison Hotel, and they are the reverse in terms of rarity relative to the two aforementioned variations of the debut album.  In the case of Morrison Hotel, the common West German Target pressing has the silver target motif, orange paint background, black text, and black logos.  The rare variation, and it is very rare, still has the silver target and orange paint, but the text and logos are silver.

It would seem that WEA could not settle on a text/logo color for Elektra Target pressings, as some pressings across the series have black text and black logos and others have silver text and silver logos.  However, variations exist for only a few titles (Mötley Crüe Shout At The Devil is another one existing in both forms; black is common, silver is rare).

The two pressing variations of Morrison Hotel share the same matrix code — “75007-2 2893 280 01 #”.  The inserts are also identical.  Shown below are the cover and back insert for the West German Target CDs of The Doors Morrison Hotel, along with the rare silver-text/silver-logo pressing.

 

morrison hotel cover_400

The cover for the West German Target CD pressings of The Doors Morrison Hotel (Elektra, catalog number EKS 75007-2).  This is the standard cover artwork used for releases of the album on a variety of formats over the years.

 

morrison hotel back insert_500

The back insert for the West German Target CD pressings of The Doors Morrison Hotel (Elektra, catalog number EKS 75007-2). As indicated along the bottom, this insert was printed in West Germany. Note that there is no barcode.

 

morrison hotel target_500

The rare silver-text West German Target CD of The Doors Morrison Hotel (Elektra, catalog number EKS 75007-2).  The compact disc format logo and Elektra logo are also printed in silver.  It can be seen along the perimeter that this disc was pressed in West Germany by Polygram. The matrix code is “75007-2 2893 280 01 #″. The common West German Target CD of Morrison Hotel has the text, Elektra logo, and compact disc format logo printed in black.

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Stan Getz has gone down as one of the great jazz tenor sax players.  His deep, lush tone is instantly recognizable.  Getz broke onto the jazz scene in the 1940s and ’50s.  In the ’50s, he released several well-known albums and recorded with such legends as Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, Cal Tjader, and Gerry Mulligan.  He is also credited with discovering piano great Horace Silver in 1950.  Despite his productivity and accomplishments in the first two decades, Getz is best known for his work in the early 1960s, in which he was instrumental (pardon the pun) in the bossa nova movement, which swept the jazz landscape.

The pinnacle of Getz’s bossa nova efforts was the 1964 collaboration with Antonio Carlos Jobim and João Gilberto released by Verve and simply titled Getz/Gilberto.  This jazz staple is best known for its opening track, “The Girl From Ipanema”.  The song was composed by Jobim and João Gilberto and features vocals by João and his wife, Astrud.  Interestingly, Astrud Gilberto was not a professional musician at the time and was not intended to appear on the album.  She is not even credited as a performer on the original LP, yet it is her sultry vocals that made “The Girl of Ipanema” a surprise hit and launched her lengthy singing career.

It should be no surprise that Getz/Gilberto was among the first Verve jazz albums to be released on CD.  The original issue was pressed in West Germany and released under catalog number 810 048-2.  For the collector, there are a handful of West German pressings to collect that vary by disc label design, channel orientation, and inserts.

The original West German pressing of Getz/Gilberto features a black paint coating with silver text.  The channel orientation is incorrect in that Astrud Gilberto’s vocals on “The Girl From Ipanema” are in the right channel.  The original tapes have Gilberto’s vocals in the left channel.  Although various CDs have been released over the past 20 years with the incorrect right-channel orientation, subsequent West German pressings were released with the correct left-channel orientation.  These later West German pressings will be featured in a subsequent post here in a few months.

The matrix code for the original West German pressing is “810048 2 05”.  A West German pressing without the black paint coating (i.e., black text with an aluminum background) is found with this same matrix code and therefore with the same incorrect channel orientation.  The black-paint pressing featured here is the rarer of the two.  The matrix code format indicates this to be an early pressing.  Note that there are no spaces in the 810 portion of the matrix code and also there is no dash before the 2.  Later West German pressings with the correct channel orientation have a matrix code of the form “810 048-2 XX”, with the last two numbers varying.

Although the channel orientation is incorrect on the original West German pressing, the sound is still very good.  Shown below is the cover, back insert, and West German black-paint pressing associated with the original issue of Getz/Gilberto.  Details about the unique features of the inserts for this first issue are provided in the figure captions.

 

getz gilberto cover_400

The cover for the original West German pressing of Stan Getz and João Gilberto featuring Antonio Carlos Jobim Getz/Gilberto (Verve, catalog number 810 048-2).  The catalog number does not appear on the cover.  The cover for some later West German pressings has the catalog number printed in the top right corner.

 

getz gilberto back insert_500

The back insert for the original West German pressing of Stan Getz and João Gilberto featuring Antonio Carlos Jobim Getz/Gilberto (Verve, catalog number 810 048-2).  The track times do not appear next to the song titles.  The back insert for some later West German pressings has the track times printed next to the song titles.

 

getz gilberto black_500

The original West German pressing of Stan Getz and João Gilberto featuring Antonio Carlos Jobim Getz/Gilberto (Verve, catalog number 810 048-2).  This disc is unique by virtue of the black paint coating.  Later and more common West German pressings have black text with an aluminum background.  The matrix code on this black-paint pressing is “810048 2 05”.

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When the CBS/Sony family of record labels began releasing CDs across the globe in 1983, these discs were pressed in Japan.  CBS/Sony opened its own pressing plant in Tokyo named CSR Compact Disc, with CSR standing for CBS/Sony Records.  Thus, Japanese pressings began to appear on store shelves not just in Japan, but also in the U.S. and Europe.  Reference has been made here frequently to Japan-for-U.S. and Japan-for-Europe pressings.  These CDs are accompanied by custom inserts for the intended market and bear a catalog number specific to that market.  Thus, for CBS/Sony titles, there could be three distinct original Japanese pressings, one for Japan, one for the U.S., and one for Europe.  Each one has its own distinct label design, catalog number, and inserts.  An example of an album existing as three distinct original Japanese pressings is the classic 1976 pop album from Boz Scaggs, Silk Degrees.  Information on the three Japanese pressings is listed below.

These Japanese pressings were manufactured between 1982 and 1985.  Towards the end of 1984, CD demand in the U.S. had increased to the point that CBS/Sony could justify opening a CD manufacturing plant in the U.S.  In September of 1984, CBS Records opened the Digital Audio Disc Corporation (DADC) plant in Terre Haute, Indiana to manufacture CDs.  By 1985, U.S. DADC pressings of CBS titles began to appear in the U.S. in place of Japanese pressings.

Similarly, in 1986, the demand for CDs in Europe had increased such that CBS Records could justify a local pressing plant.  As a result, CBS Records opened a pressing plant in Salzburg, Austria in 1986, also named Digital Audio Disc Corporation.  In 1986, Austrian DADC pressings of CBS/Sony titles began to replace Japanese pressings in Europe.

The transition from Japanese to Austrian pressings in Europe was not always direct.  To meet local demand in the early days of the CD format, record labels often contracted manufacturing to different pressing plants, including at times plants that would not be expected for that label.  As an example, CBS Records in the U.S. had some CDs pressed in Japan in 1985 and ’86 by JVC and Denon.  This was done to meet demand that the new U.S. DADC plant could not handle.  CBS Records in Europe also outsourced CD manufacturing even after the Austrian DADC plant opened.

A select number of European CBS issues were pressed at the U.S. DADC plant in 1985.  These U.S.-for-Europe pressings are quite rare.  They bear resemblance to the earlier Japan-for-Europe pressings and the more common early Austrian pressings.  However, inspection of these CDs clearly reveals that they were made in the U.S.  It is presumed that pressing runs of these European issues in the U.S. were rather limited.

Shown below is the cover, back insert, spine label, and a U.S. DADC pressing for the first European issue of Boz Scaggs Silk Degrees.  Silk Degrees was very popular by virtue of the included hits “Lowdown” and “Lido Shuffle”.  This popularity could very well have played into a need for CBS in Europe to source copies of the album from the U.S.

 

silk degrees cover 2_400

The cover for the U.S.-for-Europe CD of Boz Scaggs Silk Degrees (CBS, catalog number CDCBS 81193).  This cover has been used since the album was originally released in 1976.

 

silk degrees back insert_500

The back insert for the U.S.-for-Europe CD of Boz Scaggs Silk Degrees (CBS, catalog number CDCBS 81193).  There is no barcode.  This back insert is similar to the ones accompanying Japan-for-Europe and early Austrian pressings of Silk Degrees.  Note the statement in the bottom right corner, “Made in Japan by CBS/Sony Distribution…”, obviously a holdover from the original Japan-for-Europe pressings.

 

silk degrees spine_500

A spine label for the U.S.-for-Europe CD of Boz Scaggs Silk Degrees (CBS, catalog number CDCBS 81193).  This is the same design used for the Japan-for-Europe and early Austrian pressings.

 

silk degrees dadc_500

The U.S.-for-Europe pressing of Boz Scaggs Silk Degrees (CBS, catalog number CDCBS 81193).  The label design is the same one used for Japan-for-Europe and early Austrian pressings.  This disc was pressed by the DADC plant in the U.S.  It has “Made in USA – Digital Audio Disc Corp.” stamped on the clear plastic ring at the center.  The matrix code is “DIDP 50020 41A5” and follows the form used for early U.S. DADC pressings of Silk Degrees issued in the U.S.  Finally, although difficult to read in this picture, the disc has “MANUFACTURED BY CBS/SONY INC. IN U.S.A.” printed along the perimeter.

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Vince Guaraldi is considered one of the great jazz pianists. From the early 1950s until his untimely death in 1976 at the age of 47, he turned out numerous albums showcasing his unique talent across many different jazz styles. Guaraldi is best known for his scores accompanying Charles Schulz’s animated Peanuts specials, but he first gained widespread acclaim with his 1962 album entitled Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus. The album was released by the Fantasy label under the Vince Guaraldi Trio, as Guaraldi was joined by Monte Budwig on bass and Colin Bailey on drums. The album derives its title from its first half, which are Guaraldi’s versions of songs from the 1959 Brazillian film Black Orpheus (original soundtrack by Antônio Carlos Jobim and Luis Bonfá). Although the album drew inspiration from a well-known film of the era, it is an original Guaraldi composition on its second half that put the spotlight on him. Track 5 is Guaraldi’s “Cast Your Fate To The Wind”, a hopeful, moving piece that became an unexpected hit. In fact, Fantasy quickly reissued the LP with a banner on the cover to advertise the hit. As a result of this banner, the album has often been mistakenly referred to as “Cast Your Fate To The Wind” over the years.

Fantasy first released Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus on CD as a U.S. release in the mid-1980s under catalog number FCD-607-8089. This release exists as two Japanese pressings — a CBS/Sony pressing and a CTA pressing. Both are very rare. Featured here is the CTA disc, though the two pressings are very similar in appearance and share the same inserts.

To be clear, the CD featured here is not the U.S. issue released by Fantasy under the Original Jazz Classics banner (OJC; catalog number OJCCD-437-2). The U.S. OJC CD was released in 1991 with a new mastering and only exists as U.S. pressings. This OJC release is very common.

George Horn is credited with mastering the first CD issue of Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus. The two Japanese pressings and the accompanying inserts bear “DIDX-116” as a project number, and the CBS/Sony pressing contains DIDX-116 in the matrix code. The CTA pressing shows DIDX-116 on the label side of the disc, but the matrix information is “FCD 607-8089 X-39 1A1 CTA CO.LTD.JAPAN”.

Given its popularity, Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus has been reissued several times on CD, including an audiophile gold CD issued in the 1990s and a hybrid Super Audio CD (containing CD and SACD layers) in 2002. For the collector, the original Japanese pressings of the first U.S. issue are the rarest versions. Shown below is the cover, back insert, and spine label for this first release, as well as the Japanese CTA pressing.

 

guaraldi black orpheus cover_400

The cover for the Japan-for-U.S. CD of Vince Guaraldi Trio Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus (Fantasy, catalog number FCD-607-8089). This is a reproduction of the LP cover modified by Fantasy in 1962 to feature the hit “Cast Your Fate To The Wind”.

 

guaraldi black orpheus back insert_500

The back insert for the Japan-for-U.S. CD of Vince Guaraldi Trio Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus (Fantasy, catalog number FCD-607-8089). George Horn is credited as the mastering engineer on the left side. Note “DIDX-116” in small print beneath the Fantasy, Inc. address.

 

guaraldi black orpheus spine_500

A spine label for the Japan-for-U.S. CD of Vince Guaraldi Trio Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus (Fantasy, catalog number FCD-607-8089). Note that the album title is shown as “Cast Your Fate To The Wind”.

 

guaraldi black orpheus_500

The Japanese CTA pressing of Vince Guaraldi Trio Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus (Fantasy, catalog number FCD-607-8089). The disc has “DIDX-116” printed beneath the catalog number at 3 o’clock. Although the disc does not state that it was made in Japan within the label text, it is revealed in the mirror band. The matrix information is “FCD 607-8089 X-39 1A1 CTA CO.LTD.JAPAN”.

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As we close the book on 2012 and stare at a blank slate for 2013, it’s O.K. to accept that not all things must change.  Here at keithhirsch.com, we will continue to focus on early CDs.  Sure, we’ve been doing that since 2007, but there are still a lot of interesting discs that have not gotten their due here.  Enter a 1982 CD sampler from the British classical music label Chandos entitlted The Special Sound of Chandos.  Like most other labels, Chandos prepared this sampler to promote their musicians and excellent sound on the new digital music format.  The Special Sound of Chandos contains 10 selections from legendary composers such as Tchaikovsky, Strauss, and Stravinsky, performed by well-known British orchestras.

The Special Sound of Chandos was pressed in West Germany by the Polygram plant and was released under catalog number 000 8301.  Both the disc and accompanying inserts are dated 1982.  The back insert does not have a barcode.  While this sampler has the appearance of a promotional issue, there are no promotional statements on the disc or inserts.  Thus, this sampler may have been sold at retail.  Given that the catalog number ends in 8301, this may have been the first title produced on CD by Chandos.  As it is dated 1982, it certainly is among the earliest Chandos CDs.

Another indicator that this is an early CD is the label design.  As with many other labels, Chandos used a solid paint coating for its earliest CDs pressed in West Germany.  The Special Sound of Chandos has a bronze paint coating with black text.  Later West German pressings on the Chandos label have black text with a red ring and red Chandos logo and no paint coating.  The bronze-painted Chandos CDs are sought after by many collectors of early pressings.

The Special Sound of Chandos is yet another early CD sampler that appears to be quite rare.  Shown below is the cover, back insert, and spine label for The Special Sound of Chandos, along with the CD.

 

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The cover for the CD sampler The Special Sound of Chandos (Chandos, catalog number 000 8301).

 

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The back insert for the CD sampler The Special Sound of Chandos (Chandos, catalog number 000 8301).  There is no barcode.  The back insert is dated 1982 along the bottom.  Note also that the insert was printed in West Germany.

 

chandos spine_500

A spine label for the CD sampler The Special Sound of Chandos (Chandos, catalog number 000 8301).

 

chandos cd_500

The CD sampler The Special Sound of Chandos (Chandos, catalog number 000 8301).  Note that the disc states “MADE IN WEST GERMANY” beneath the CD format logo at 12 o’clock.  The bronze paint coating only appears on the earliest Chandos titles pressed in West Germany.  The matrix code is “CHAN 8301 2893005 01”.

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Happy Holidays!  Stores and retail web sites are in full holiday mode, so why not get things into gear on keithhirsch.com?  It’s time once again to feature an early pressing of a Christmas CD, a holiday tradition here since 2007.  This year we consider a rare Japan-for-U.S. pressing of Barbra Streisand’s 1967 holiday offering, A Christmas Album.  This album consists of 11 Christmas classics, including “Jingle Bells”, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, and “White Christmas”.  A Christmas Album was originally released on CD in the U.S. on the Columbia label under catalog number CK 9557.  It first appeared on store shelves in the U.S. in 1984 as a Japanese CBS/Sony pressing.  U.S. pressings followed bearing the same catalog number.

The Japanese pressing is pretty typical of a disc made at the CBS/Sony plant in 1984.  It has “CSR COMPACT DISC” repeating in the plastic ring, and the matrix code is “DIDP-20108 11A3 +++++”.  Later U.S. pressings are found with a back insert having “Now Made In The U.S.A.” stamped in the white space next to the barcode.  As expected, the back insert accompanying the Japanese pressing lacks this manufacturing pronouncement.

Shown below is the cover, back insert, and Japanese CBS/Sony pressing of A Christmas Album.  Any pressing of this classic compilation is a must-have for the holiday season, but the Japanese pressing is quite rare and worth searching for if you are a collector.

Here’s hoping you have a safe, relaxing, and enjoyable holiday season.

 

The cover for the Japan-for-U.S. pressing of Barbra Streisand A Christmas Album (Columbia, catalog number CK 9557).  Later U.S. pressings are found with the same cover.

 

The back insert for the Japan-for-U.S. pressing of Barbra Streisand A Christmas Album (Columbia, catalog number CK 9557).  Note the text along the bottom stating “Disc manufactured in Japan by CBS/Sony, Tokyo, Japan”.  Also note the blank white space next to the barcode.  Later U.S. pressings have the “Disc manufactured in Japan…” statement along the bottom but also have “Now Made In The U.S.A.” added in the white space next to the barcode to signify the switch in manufacturing from Japan to the U.S.

 

The Japan-for-U.S. pressing of Barbra Streisand A Christmas Album (Columbia, catalog number CK 9557).  Although difficult to see in this picture, the disc has “MANUFACTURED IN JAPAN” printed along the perimeter near 6 o’clock.  The disc has “CSR COMPACT DISC” repeating in the plastic ring at the center, and the matrix code is “DIDP-20108 11A3 +++++”.

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