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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This is the final installment of the “Reprocessed Stereo” Elvis Presley CD series, which began in December 2009. Below are links to the first three installments.

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In this final entry dedicated to the rare “Reprocessed Stereo” Elvis Presley CDs, we look at the compilation, 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong — Elvis’ Golden Records, Vol. 2.  The original version on CD was released by RCA under catalog number PCD1-2075.  Like the other three Elvis titles in this series, this first issue was released in stereo and bears the statement “STEREO EFFECT REPROCESSED FROM MONOPHONIC” on the inserts.  Also following the format of the other three “fake stereo” Elvis CDs, the catalog number suffix for 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong — Elvis’ Golden Records, Vol. 2, 2075, is derived from the original RCA LP catalog number.

The fake stereo issue was in print for only a short period before being replaced by a mono version bearing catalog number PCD1-5197.  The inserts with this more common mono issue state “RESTORED TO ORIGINAL MONO DIGITALLY REMASTERED”.  Seeing as the mono version was in print for many years, it is found as a Japanese Denon pressing and several later U.S. pressings.  By contrast, the stereo version only exists as a Japanese Denon pressing since it was in print for a limited time.  Copies of the stereo release are also often found with a cut-out mark on the back insert.

Shown below is the cover, back insert, and CD for the fake stereo issue of 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong — Elvis’ Golden Records, Vol. 2.

 

The cover for the “fake stereo” CD issue of 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong — Elvis’ Golden Records, Vol. 2 (RCA, catalog number PCD1-2075).  This cover is identical to the one used for the subsequent and more common mono issue.  Note the early RCA CD logo.  This front insert is just a card rather than a booklet.  The reverse side lists the tracks and is similar to the back insert shown below.

 

The back insert for the “fake stereo” CD issue of 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong — Elvis’ Golden Records, Vol. 2 (RCA, catalog number PCD1-2075).  Note the statement “STEREO EFFECT REPROCESSED FROM MONOPHONIC” in the bottom left corner above the CD format logo.  A cut-out mark is also visible in the top left corner.  As can be seen along the bottom, this insert was printed in the U.S.  Note that this stereo release used a black-and-white photo of Elvis Presley, while the more common mono issue shows the same photo in color.

 

The rare “fake stereo” 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong — Elvis’ Golden Records, Vol. 2 CD (RCA, catalog number PCD1-2075).  The disc was pressed in Japan by Denon.  The matrix code is “PCD-12075 1A1 48” and appears in the common Denon “dot-matrix” matrix code font.  Note that the character groups “PCD-12075” and “1A1 48” are separated by 180 degrees in the mirror band.

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Back in November of 2008, I reported a rare Japan-for-U.S. pressing of Ozzy Osbourne’s 1983 album, Bark at the Moon (for more information, click Purchasing Tramadol Overnight).  Looking back at that entry, I knew to be looking for the Japanese pressing of Bark at the Moon because the inserts stated “Disc manufactured in Japan by CBS/Sony, Tokyo, Japan.”  For several years, I kept finding common, later U.S. pressings that had “Now Made In The U.S.A.” stamped on the back insert next to the barcode.  As evidenced by that post in 2008, I finally found the original Japanese pressing without the “Now Made In The U.S.A.” stamp.

Today, I focus on another Japan-for-U.S. Ozzy Osbourne CD, but this one took a bit of extra effort to locate.  It is a Japanese pressing of Mr. Osbourne’s preceding studio album, the 1981 effort, Diary of a Madman.  CBS/Sony originally released Diary of a Madman on CD in the U.S. on its Jet label under catalog number ZK 37492.  Unlike Bark at the Moon, inserts for the original U.S. issue of Diary of a Madman lack the “Disc manufactured in Japan…” statement.  Rather, the copyright statement on the inserts includes a New York, New York address for CBS Records, Inc.  This indicates that Diary of Madman was released on CD after Bark at the Moon, at which point, perhaps, CBS/Sony no longer expected to press discs in Japan for the U.S. market.

Despite there being no link to a Japanese pressing on the Diary of a Madman inserts, I learned to my surprise some years ago that such a pressing existed.  Furthermore, I learned from fellow collectors that it, like many other early Japanese CBS/Sony pressings, was very rare.  Finally, I located it.

The inserts with this Japanese pressing of Diary of a Madman are identical to those found with all subsequent U.S. pressings issued under catalog number ZK 37492.  Thus, one cannot look for the “Now Made In The U.S.A.” stamp to distinguish U.S. from Japanese pressings.  When finding a used copy of Diary of a Madman, therefore, one must look at the actual disc to identify the pressing.  Of course, this is good advice with any used CD.  The proof is in the pressing.

So why is there a Japanese pressing of Diary of a Madman?  Perhaps CBS/Sony was in a transition period.  When drawing up the inserts, as I suggested above, maybe CBS/Sony did not expect to press this title in Japan.  However, when push came to shove, so to speak, perhaps CBS/Sony did not yet have the production capacity at its U.S. DADC plant in Terre Haute, IN to press the initial Diary of a Madman CDs in the U.S.  Maybe they reluctantly pressed the first batch of CDs in Japan.  A lot of speculation here, I realize, but unfortunately, I have not come across a record of such information.

When contemplating the Diary of a Madman CD and the existence of a Japanese pressing, let’s consider the DIDP number.  First, some background.  In the U.S., CBS/Sony used 50XXX DIDP numbers first, then transitioned to 20XXX numbers, and finally transitioned to 7XXXX numbers in the 1980s.  There exist Japanese CBS/Sony pressings only of titles with 50 and 20 DIDP numbers, though not all titles that fall in these DIDP number series exist as Japanese CBS/Sony pressings.  It seems as though these DIDP numbers can offer some indication of chronology — the lower the number in a given series, the earlier the title likely was released on CD.

The DIDP number for Diary of a Madman, 20188, is relatively low in the 20 series.  This suggests that Diary of a Madman was a relatively early CD release in the U.S.  From that standpoint, perhaps the existence of the Japanese pressing is not so surprising.  Going back to Bark at the Moon for a minute, it is noted that the DIDP number is 20044.  This, along with the “Disc manufactured in Japan…” inserts, indicates further that Bark at the Moon was issued on CD before Diary of a Madman.

I have not studied DIDP numbers closely enough to determine a clear cut-off, meaning the highest 20 number to exist as a Japanese CBS/Sony pressing.  However, I do believe that 20188 is one of the highest and should be close to the cut-off.  Therefore, Diary of the Madman should be among the last U.S. CBS/Sony titles that was pressed in Japan by CBS/Sony.

Shown below is the Japanese pressing of Diary of a Madman and the accompanying back insert.  Compare the copyright paragraph on this back insert to the one used for Bark at the Moon.

 

The Japanese CBS/Sony pressing of Ozzy Osbourne Diary of a Madman (Jet (CBS/Sony), catalog number ZK 37492).  Note that the disc states “MADE IN JAPAN” along the perimeter at the bottom.  It has “CSR COMPACT DISC” repeating in the clear plastic ring, and the matrix code is “DIDP-20188 11 +++++”.

 

The back insert accompanying the Japanese CBS/Sony pressing of Ozzy Osbourne Diary of a Madman (Jet (CBS/Sony), catalog number ZK 37492).  Note that the copyright paragraph at the bottom does not contain the “Disc manufactured in Japan…” statement.

Part 2 in this series of “Reprocessed Stereo” Elvis Presley entries covered Elvis Presley. This post was entered below on February 21, 2010.

In the third post in this series, the highlighted album is Elvis Presley’s second album, Elvis.  The first version of this album on CD was released by RCA under catalog number PCD1-1382.  As with the original CD versions of Elvis’ Golden Records and Elvis Presley reported here previously, this first CD of Elvis was released in stereo and bears the line “STEREO EFFECT REPROCESSED FROM MONOPHONIC” on the inserts.  In keeping with theme of the previous “fake stereo” Elvis CDs, the catalog number suffix for the stereo version of Elvis, 1382, is derived from the original LP catalog number.

The fake stereo version of Elvis was in print for a brief period before being replaced with a mono version bearing catalog number PCD1-5199.  The inserts with the common second issue state “RESTORED TO ORIGINAL MONO DIGITALLY REMASTERED”.  As a result of the original stereo version going out of print quickly, it only exists as a Japanese Denon pressing.  Additionally, this rare disc is typically found with a cut-out notch in one corner of the back insert.

Shown here is the cover, back insert, and disc for the fake stereo issue of Elvis.  Look for Part 4, the last installment in this series, in a couple of months.

 

The cover for the “fake stereo” CD issue of Elvis (RCA, catalog number PCD1-1382).  This cover is identical to the one used for the subsequent and more common mono issue.  Note the early RCA CD logo.  This front insert is just a card rather than a booklet.  The reverse side lists the tracks and is very similar to the back insert shown below.

 

The back insert for the “fake stereo” CD issue of Elvis (RCA, catalog number PCD1-1382).  Note the statement “STEREO EFFECT REPROCESSED FROM MONOPHONIC” in the top left corner.  A cut-out mark is also visible in the top left corner.  As noted along the bottom, this insert was printed in the U.S.

 

The rare “fake stereo” Elvis CD (RCA, catalog number PCD1-1382).  The disc was pressed in Japan by Denon.  The matrix code is “PCD-11382 1A1 48” and appears in the common Denon “dot-matrix” matrix code font.  Note that the character groups “PCD-11382” and “1A1 48” are separated by 180 degrees in the mirror band.

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As we turn to spring, I turn my attention to a rare CD recently acquired after much searching.  It’s a CD I never was able to find in a used CD shop despite considerable effort, but eBay saved the day, in a manner of speaking.  It is the West German Polygram pressing of The Motels Little Robbers (Capitol, catalog number CDP 7 46020 2).  This CD was issued in both the U.S. and Europe.

Despite the fact that this album contains the hit “Suddenly Last Summer” and The Motels were very popular through the 1980s, Little Robbers has not remained in print over the years.  In fact, the West German pressing was not followed by later pressings under the original catalog number in any markets.  Thus, there are no U.S. pressings with catalog number CDP 7 46020 2.  Additionally, Little Robbers has never been issued on CD in Japan.

After being out of print for many years, Little Robbers was reissued in the U.S. in 1998 on the Capitol special markets label, One-Way.  That CD is now out of print and popular with collectors (it is much easier to find than the original West German pressing).  Today, the only version that is in print is a “two-fer” CD, in which Little Robbers was combined with The Motels hit record All Four One.  This two-fer appears on the U.K. label BGO Records.

Shown below is the album cover for Little Robbers, along with the back insert and a spine label for the West German pressing, and finally, the West German pressing itself.

 

The cover for the West German pressing of The Motels Little Robbers (Capitol, catalog number CDP 7 46020 2).

 

The back insert for the West German pressing of The Motels Little Robbers (Capitol, catalog number CDP 7 46020 2).  Note that there is no barcode.  The catalog number appears in small print in the top right corner.  Also note “Made in West Germany” printed in the bottom center.

 

A spine label for the West German pressing of The Motels Little Robbers (Capitol, catalog number CDP 7 46020 2).  This is the portion of the back insert that makes up one of two identical side labels when viewed in a jewel case.

 

The West German pressing of The Motels Little Robbers (Capitol, catalog number CDP 7 46020 2).  The disc was pressed by Polygram.  As is typical for early Capitol-EMI titles, some of the original album artwork has been reproduced on this CD.  Note that it has “Made in West Germany” printed at 9 o’clock.  The matrix code is “746 020-2 2893 339 02”.

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Part 1 in this series of “Reprocessed Stereo” Elvis Presley entries covered Elvis’ Golden Records. This post was entered below on December 26, 2009.

In this second installment studying the “fake stereo” Elvis Presley CDs, we look at The King’s self-titled debut album, which includes such hits as “Blue Suede Shoes” and “I Got a Woman”.  Elvis Presley debuted on CD under RCA catalog number PCD1-1254 with the now familiar “STEREO EFFECT REPROCESSED FROM MONOPHONIC” label on the back insert and back cover of the booklet.  As with the fake stereo version of Elvis’ Golden Records, the fake stereo issue of Elvis Presley was in print for only a very short time and only exists as a Japanese Denon plant pressing.  The catalog number suffix, 1254, refers back to the original catalog number of the LP.

The fake stereo Elvis Presley disc was quickly replaced by the far more common mono edition under catalog PCD1-5198.  Inserts with this later issue state “RESTORED TO ORIGINAL MONO DIGITALLY REMASTERED”.  The mono version may be found as a Japanese Denon pressing or as later U.S. pressings.  Since the original fake stereo edition was pulled from the market quickly, copies, when they surface, are normally found with a cut-out notch in the booklet and back insert.

Shown here is the cover, back insert, and disc for the fake stereo issue of Elvis Presley.   Stay tuned in the next couple of months for Part 3 of this four-part series.

elvis presley cover_400

The cover for the “fake stereo” CD issue of Elvis Presley (RCA, catalog number PCD1-1254).  This cover is identical to the one used for the subsequent mono issue.  Note the early RCA CD logo.  Also visible is a cut-out mark in the top right corner.  This rare disc is routinely found as a cut-out.

 

elvis presley back insert_500

The back insert for the “fake stereo” CD issue of Elvis Presley (RCA, catalog number PCD1-1254).  Note the statement “STEREO EFFECT REPROCESSED FROM MONOPHONIC” in the top left corner.  The cut-out mark is also visible in the top left corner.  As noted along the bottom, this insert was printed in the U.S.

 

elvis presley disc_500

The rare “fake stereo” Elvis Presley CD (RCA, catalog number PCD1-1254).  The disc was pressed in Japan by Denon.  The matrix code is “PCD-11254 1A1 48” and appears in the common Denon “dot-matrix” matrix code font.  Note that the character groups “PCD-11254” and “1A1 48” are separated by 180 degrees in the mirror band.

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For the first post of 2010, we turn our attention to a classic rock staple from 1976 from Eagles — Hotel California.  Obviously nothing needs to be said about the album, so I will just get to our featured CD.  The disc in the spotlight is a Japan-for-U.S. pressing from the Daio Kosan pressing plant (Asylum, catalog number 103-2).  This pressing is featured for a couple of reasons.  For one thing, it is a very rare disc in my experience.  Secondly, it has an unusual color scheme for a disc on the Asylum label.

The Daio Kosan pressing is actually one of two Japan-for-U.S. pressings of Hotel California.  The other was pressed by Sanyo and was released under the same catalog number, 103-2.  From what I can tell, the Sanyo pressing is the earlier of the two.  This is because the Sanyo pressing is found with inserts printed in Japan and with no barcode on the back insert, while the Daio Kosan pressing is found with inserts printed in the U.S.A. that have a barcode.  The inserts with the Daio Kosan pressing appear identical to those found with the early U.S. pressings that followed.  At first, I thought perhaps that the U.S. inserts with the Daio Kosan pressing were not the original ones, but my copy came in an early smooth-edge jewel case (smooth top and bottom edges instead of ridges).  As such, I believe the U.S. inserts are the original ones for the Daio Kosan pressing.

The Sanyo pressing is the more common of the two Japan-for-U.S. pressings based on what I have seen in used CD stores and for sale on the Internet.  The two pressings are shown below.  Note the red ring and red Asylum logo on the Daio Kosan pressing.  This is the only Asylum disc I have found with red accents.  (The red color scheme is typical of discs issued in the U.S. on the Atlantic and Elektra labels, however.)  By contrast, the Sanyo pressing has a yellow ring and yellow Asylum logo, which is typical for early Asylum CDs issued in the U.S.  Perhaps this Daio Kosan pressing is an error, though I have not seen a yellow version.

 

hotel california daio kosan_500

The Japanese Daio Kosan pressing of Eagles Hotel California (Asylum, catalog number 103-2).  The red ring and red Asylum logo are atypical for an Asylum release, and this is the only Asylum disc I have found with these items printed in red.  The disc has “MADE IN JAPAN BY DAIO KOSAN CO., LTD.” printed along the perimeter.  The matrix code is “18 H804-2A 103-2”.  This disc came with inserts printed in the U.S.A.  The back insert has a barcode.

 

hotel california sanyo_500

The Japanese Sanyo pressing of Eagles Hotel California (Asylum, catalog number 103-2).  The yellow ring and yellow Asylum logo are typical for an Asylum release.  Although the disc simply has “MADE IN JAPAN” printed along the perimeter, note that it also has “MANUFACTURED BY SANYO JAPAN” stamped in the mirror band.  The matrix code is “00103-2 508028”.  This disc came with inserts printed in Japan.  The back insert has no barcode.  In my experience, this disc is more common than the Daio Kosan pressing shown above.

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As would be expected, the majority of albums produced in the 1950s were recorded in mono, as stereo was in its infancy.  By the time the compact disc hit the market in the early 1980s, however, stereo recording and playback was the norm.  As a result, it was considered fashionable in certain instances to take a mono recording and convert it to “fake stereo”.  Unfortunately, the results were often unappealing to the ear, to be kind.  In 1984, RCA decided to release four Elvis Presley albums, originally recorded in mono, on CD in the U.S. in what they called “reprocessed stereo”.  The four albums released in fake stereo were Elvis’ Golden Records; 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong — Elvis’ Golden Records, Vol. 2; Elvis Presley; and Elvis.  The inserts with these CDs were labeled “Stereo effect reprocessed from monophonic”.

These fake stereo Elvis CDs were unpopular with fans and audiophiles alike due to the poor sound.  As a result of what turned out to be a failed experiment, RCA quickly pulled the fake stereo Elvis CDs from the market and replaced them with mono versions.  The fake stereo CDs today are quite rare.  All four only exist as Japanese pressings.  Despite their poor sound and being rejected upon release, they are highly sought after today by Elvis fans and CD collectors.

Featured here is one of the four Elvis fake stereo CDs, Elvis’ Golden Records, which was released by RCA under catalog number PCD11707.  RCA approached this and the other three fake stereo CDs with a sense of history by preserving the original LP catalog numbers.  In the case of Elvis’ Golden Records, 1707 was part of the original LP catalog number.

Elvis’ Golden Records is the most common of the four fake stereo Elvis CDs, but it is still quite rare.  This CD was replaced with a mono version under catalog number PCD1-5196.  The mono issue was in print for many years and exists as Japanese and U.S. pressings.

Shown below are pictures of the cover, back insert, and disc for the fake stereo issue of Elvis’ Golden Records.  In the coming months, I will feature the remaining three fake stereo discs, though I will not do this in consecutive months.  In the interest of keeping things fresh on keithhirsch.com, I will intersperse other rare and unique early CD pressings.

 

elvis' golden cover_400

The cover for the “fake stereo” CD issue of Elvis’ Golden Records (RCA, catalog number PCD11707).  This cover is actually identical to the one used for the subsequent mono issue.  Note the early RCA CD logo in the bottom left corner.

 

elvis' golden back insert_500

The back insert for the “fake stereo” CD issue of Elvis’ Golden Records (RCA, catalog number PCD11707).  Note the statement “Stereo effect reprocessed from monophonic” printed below the track list.  Also note “Printed in Japan” at the end of the copyright line.  This indicates an early RCA CD issue.  Most Japan-for-U.S. RCA CDs are found with inserts printed in the U.S.

 

elvis' golden disc_500

The rare “fake stereo” Elvis’ Golden Records CD (RCA, catalog number PCD11707).  The disc was pressed in Japan by Denon.  This is an early Denon pressing by virtue of the matrix code being stamped in a crude font on the plastic ring.  Although difficult to read in this picture, the matrix code is “PCD 11707 A-11”.  Note that the character groups “PCD 11707” and “A-11” are separated by 180 degrees in the plastic ring.  Japanese Denon pressings are typically found with matrix codes stamped in a dot-matrix font in the mirror band.

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Happy Holidays!  Around this time last year, I posted on the rare West German pressing of Carpenters Christmas Portrait that was released in Europe (for more information, click Tramadol Visa Overnight). This year, I report another rare pressing of Christmas Portrait.  This is the original Japanese CBS/Sony pressing for the U.S. market (A&M, catalog number CD 3210).  This copy, like subsequent U.S. pressings, is labeled “The SPECIAL EDITION” on the cover.  The Special Edition has 21 tracks and has the choir track on “Ave Maria” included.  It was noted last year that the original European version matched the LP content, with 17 tracks and with no choir track on “Ave Maria”.  This version was quickly replaced in Europe with the Special Edition.

In short, the disc featured this year is a rare pressing of a common version of Christmas Portrait.  For the collectors in the crowd, this Japanese pressing, as a CBS/Sony pressing, has “CSR COMPACT DISC” repeating in the plastic ring.  The matrix code is “DIDX-186 11A1”, and the disc has “Made in Japan” printed at 6 o’clock.  The inserts were printed in the U.S.A.

Shown below are pictures of the Japanese pressing and the accompanying inserts.  Compare the cover here to the rare European cover posted last year.

 

 christmas portrait cover_500

The cover for the U.S. issue of Carpenters Christmas Portrait (A&M, catalog number CD 3210).  The poster in the painting is labeled “The SPECIAL EDITION” and highlights the content instead of listing the actual tracks.

 

 christmas portrait back insert_500

The back insert for the U.S. issue of Carpenters Christmas Portrait (A&M, catalog number CD 3210).  As noted in the lower right corner, this insert was printed in the U.S.A.  Importantly, 21 tracks are listed.  The LP and rare original European CD have just 17 tracks.

 

 christmas portrait japan_500

The rare Japanese CBS/Sony pressing of Carpenters Christmas Portrait for the U.S. market (A&M, catalog number CD 3210).  The disc has “CSR COMPACT DISC” repeating in the plastic ring, and the matrix code is “DIDX-186 11A1”.  Note that the disc has “Made in Japan” printed at 6 o’clock.

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