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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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 Tramadol Mastercard 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.

 

springfield working class dog cover_500

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.

 

springfield working class dog back insert_500

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.

 

springfield working class dog_500

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”.

Nearly 7 years ago, a very rare promotional CD entitled The Edison CD Sampler was featured on keithhirsch.com.  The disc is a collection of early recordings by Thomas Edison and was produced to commemorate the opening of the Digital Audio Disc Corporation (DADC) pressing plant in Terre Haute, Indiana on September 21, 1984.  More on the Edison disc can be found Buy Generic Tramadol Uk.  As stated in that Edison post, another disc was also offered at DADC’s opening.  It is the “red” version of Bruce Springsteen Born in The U.S.A.  Here, we will take a closer look at this rare disc of The Boss.  First, some background information on Born in The U.S.A. on CD.

Born in The U.S.A. was obviously a blockbuster album upon its release in 1984. As a result, CBS/Sony quickly released it on CD in all regions as Japanese pressings (there are distinct Japan-for-Japan, Japan-for-Europe, and Japan-for-U.S. issues). The original U.S. issue, pressed in Japan by CBS/Sony, was released under Columbia catalog number CK 38653.  The disc bears the standard CBS/Sony design for U.S. CDs — black text with no paint coating. There are two variations of inserts associated with Japan-for-U.S. pressings of Born in The U.S.A.  The first variation references CBS/Sony Records in Tokyo, Japan in a copyright paragraph on the back cover of the booklet and the back insert.  The second variation references Columbia Records in New York, New York in the copyright paragraph.

Japan-for-U.S. pressings of Born in The U.S.A. were followed by commercial U.S. DADC pressings (also under Columbia catalog number CK 38653).  The early commercial U.S. DADC pressings are nearly identical in appearance to the earlier Japanese CBS/Sony pressings, meaning that the U.S. pressings have black text and no paint coating.  The inserts reference Columbia in New York in the copyright paragraph.

Now, about that promotional disc.  Fittingly, Born in The U.S.A. was the first CD pressed at the DADC plant in Terre Haute.  The aforementioned Edison disc was the second.  In between the Japanese CBS/Sony and standard, commercial DADC pressings of Born in The U.S.A. came the promotional DADC pressing. Instead of standard black text on the disc, this rare promo has red text.  It is not known how many copies of this “red” version of Born in The U.S.A. were produced, but it is very rare.

The red Born in The U.S.A. CD and The Edison CD Sampler were released together at the opening of the DADC plant in Terre Haute on September 21, 1984.  Each disc was packaged in a jewel case (an early type with smooth top and bottom edges) and came with front and back inserts.  The red Born in The U.S.A. CD came with standard U.S. inserts, meaning the same inserts found with subsequent commercial DADC pressings.  Thus, the inserts with the red Born in The U.S.A. disc reference Columbia Records in New York.

In addition to the red text, another unique feature of the promotional Born in The U.S.A. CD is a sticker on the front of the jewel case that reads “THE FIRST CBS RECORDS COMPACT DISC MADE IN THE U.S.A.”  Typical of an early U.S. DADC pressing, the red Springsteen disc has “Made in USA – Digital Audio Disc Corp.” stamped on the clear plastic ring at the center.  The matrix code on the red disc is “DIDP-20095 21A4”.  DIDP-20095 also appears on the Japanese CBS/Sony and commercial DADC pressings.

The promotional Springsteen and Edison CDs were issued in a white paper slipcase. The front, back, and spine of the slipcase show the DADC logo and the date of the plant’s opening, September 21, 1984.  Shown below are the front and back inserts associated with the red Born in The U.S.A. CD, as well as the red disc itself.  The front of the slipcase is also shown.

 

 springsteen red dadc cover_500

The cover for the promotional “red” Bruce Springsteen Born in The U.S.A. CD (Columbia, catalog number CK 38653).  This is the standard cover artwork for this album. The cover artwork is shown in the original jewel case issued with the red Born in The U.S.A. CD.  The sticker that reads “THE FIRST CBS RECORDS COMPACT DISC MADE IN THE U.S.A.” is adhered to the front of the jewel case.

 

 springsteen red dadc back insert_500

The back insert for the promotional “red” Bruce Springsteen Born in The U.S.A. CD (Columbia, catalog number CK 38653).  The same back insert was issued with subsequent commercial U.S. pressings.  Note that the copyright paragraph at the bottom references Columbia Records in New York, New York.

 

 springsteen red dadc disc_500

The promotional “red” Bruce Springsteen Born in The U.S.A. CD (Columbia, catalog number CK 38653).  The disc was pressed at the DADC plant in Terre Haute, Indiana to commemorate the plant’s opening on September 21, 1984.  It has “Made in USA – Digital Audio Disc Corp.” stamped on the clear plastic ring, and the matrix code is “DIDP-20095 21A4”.  Commercial DADC pressings of Born in The U.S.A. have black text instead of red.

 

 dadc slipcase_500

The front of the paper slipcase issued to house the promotional “red” Born in The U.S.A. CD and The Edison CD Sampler.  It shows the Digital Audio Disc Corporation (DADC) logo and is dated September 21, 1984, the date the DADC plant in Terre Haute, Indiana opened.

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Frank Sinatra. Chairman of the Board. Considered by many to be the best singer of the 20th century. There isn’t much more I can say that readers don’t already know or will do him justice, so I won’t try. Let’s just go to the CDs.

Sinatra’s recordings have been divided among Capitol Records, Warner Bros., and Sony over the years. All three labels released Sinatra albums on CD starting in the mid-1980s.  Focusing on the Warner Bros. period, several Sinatra titles released in the U.S. can be found as West German or Japanese pressings. Here, we consider a two-disc compilation first released on LP in 1965, A Man and His Music.  The CD set, containing 32 tracks across the two discs, was released on Reprise, part of Warner Bros., under catalog number 1016-2.  The set is advertised on the back insert as “An Anthology of the musical career of the most exciting entertainer of our time…narrated and sung by Frank Sinatra. With the orchestras of Nelson Riddle, Gordon Jenkins, Billy May, Sy Oliver, Count Basie, Ernie Freeman, Johnny Mandel, Don Costa.  Plus other highlights of the Sinatra career.”

A Man and His Music first appeared on CD in the U.S. as a Japanese pressing. Specifically, the two CDs were pressed in Japan by JVC.  The discs were packaged in individual jewel cases, as opposed to a single double-disc case. Each jewel case has a back insert listing the tracks on the particular disc.  The jewel case for Disc 1 contains a booklet, while the jewel case for Disc 2 has a simple paper insert with the album artwork printed on the front side and nothing printed on the reverse side.

The catalog number, 1016-2, is shown on each CD.  Next to the catalog number in parentheses is 0001 or 0002, denoting Discs 1 and 2, respectively.  Both discs have “MADE IN JAPAN” printed at 6 o’clock.  Additionally, a legal paragraph at 9 o’clock on each disc ends with “Mfg. by the Victor Company of Japan, Ltd.” The inserts for both discs were printed in the U.S.  A barcode is printed in the top right corner of each back insert.

Shown below is the cover artwork for A Man and His Music, both Japan-for-U.S. CDs, and both back inserts.

 

sinatra cover_500

The cover for two-disc compilation Frank Sinatra A Man and His Music (Reprise, catalog number 1016-2).  This is the standard cover artwork for this compilation.

 

sinatra disc 1_500

Disc 1 of the two-disc compilation Frank Sinatra A Man and His Music (Reprise, catalog number 1016-2).  As noted at 6 o’clock, the disc was pressed in Japan. The paragraph at 9 o’clock indicates that it was pressed by JVC.

 

sinatra back insert 1_500

The back insert for Disc 1 of the two-disc compilation Frank Sinatra A Man and His Music (Reprise, catalog number 1016-2).  As noted at the bottom, this insert was printed in the U.S.

 

sinatra disc 2_500

Disc 2 of the two-disc compilation Frank Sinatra A Man and His Music (Reprise, catalog number 1016-2).  As with Disc 1 shown above, this disc was pressed in Japan by JVC.

 

sinatra back insert 2_500

The back insert for Disc 2 of the two-disc compilation Frank Sinatra A Man and His Music (Reprise, catalog number 1016-2).  Like the back insert for Disc 1, this back insert was printed in the U.S.

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Happy New Year!  Welcome to another year of collectable CDs on keithhirsch.com! Let’s get started!

Some years ago, a six-part series appeared here entitled, “The many faces of Phonogram CDs”.  These posts featured early “painted” label designs used for CDs on Phonogram labels that were pressed in West Germany.  The last such post and links to others in the series can be found Buying Tramadol For Dogs.  These painted discs are highly sought after by collectors by virtue of their being first pressings, their rarity, and in some cases, aesthetics.  Other early painted discs pressed in West Germany have also caught the eye of collectors.  Among them are silver-painted CDs on the classical music label Archiv.  Here, we consider one such disc.

Some early Archiv CDs bearing catalog numbers beginning with 400 or 410 can be found with the original silver-painted design, which is accented with a blue ring around the perimeter, a blue Archiv logo, and blue text.  Later pressings of these titles (West German and others) are missing the silver paint, meaning that they have the blue ring, blue logo, and text over aluminum.  As expected, these later pressings are far more common than the original silver-painted pressings. Additionally, many Archiv titles were released after use of the silver paint ceased and therefore only exist as “base aluminum” pressings.

To illustrate the silver-painted label design, we consider a West German pressing from 1983 of George Frideric Handel’s Water Music performed by The English Concert with Trevor Pinnock on harpsichord.  This CD was released by Archiv under catalog number 410 525-2.  The disc states “Made in W. Germany by PolyGram” at 3 o’clock, and the matrix code is “410 525-2 01”.  The inserts accompanying this disc were printed in West Germany.

Shown below are the cover and back insert for the West German pressing of Water Music, along with the rare original silver-painted CD.

 

archiv handel cover_500

The cover for the silver-painted West German pressing of George Frideric Handel (The English Concert, Trevor Pinnock, Harpsichord) Water Music (Archiv, catalog number 410 525-2).  Later pressings are found with the same cover artwork.  Note the “DIGITAL RECORDING” banner in the top right corner.  As digital recordings were relatively new in the early 1980s, record labels often promoted them.

 

archiv handel back insert_500

The back insert for the silver-painted West German pressing of George Frideric Handel (The English Concert, Trevor Pinnock, Harpsichord) Water Music (Archiv, catalog number 410 525-2).  As noted in the bottom right corner, this insert was printed in West Germany.

 

archiv handel_500

The original silver-painted West German pressing of George Frideric Handel (The English Concert, Trevor Pinnock, Harpsichord) Water Music (Archiv, catalog number 410 525-2).  “Made in W. Germany by PolyGram” is printed at 3 o’clock. The matrix code is “410 525-2 01”.

Joe Cocker, the famous British rocker with an unmistakable deep and forceful voice, passed away on December 22nd.  He was 70.  A huge loss, given Cocker’s contributions to the world of the music over the past six decades. What follows is a brief overview of his brilliant musical career.  Admittedly, it does not begin to do justice to his talent and influence.

Cocker was born on May 20, 1944 in Sheffield, England.  He made a name for himself in 1968 with a cover of the Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends” and burst onto the international scene with a performance of the song at Woodstock in 1969.  For the next few years, Cocker had tremendous success. His debut album in 1969 was titled after the Beatles’ song and also includes his well-known recording of “Feelin’ Alright”.  His second album, the self-titled Joe Cocker!, includes two more Beatles’ covers, “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window” and “Let It Be”.  His third effort was the live double-album from 1970, Mad Dogs & Englishmen, which includes his famous cover of “The Letter”.  With this tour and the first three albums going gold in the U.S., Cocker had established himself as force in rock music.

Unfortunately, success came less frequently for Cocker in the ’70s and beyond, but there were some hits, such as 1975’s “You Are So Beautiful” and the 1982 duet with Jennifer Warnes, “Up Where We Belong”, the theme song from the hit movie An Officer and a Gentleman.  Cocker continued recording through the years, with his last studio album being 2012’s Fire It Up, which was followed up with Fire It Up: Live in 2013.

Mr. Cocker will be missed.  R.I.P.

 

 wg cocker with a little help from my friends_500

An early West German-for-Europe pressing of Joe Cocker’s debut album With A Little Help From My Friends (Cube, catalog number INT 846.316).

 

 mfsl cocker mad dogs_500

Disc 1 of the early Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab two-disc issue of Joe Cocker Mad Dogs & Englishmen (Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MFSL), catalog number MFCD 2-824). Both discs were pressed in Japan.

 

 japan-for-australia best of cocker_500

The rare, early Japan-for-Australia pressing of The Best of Joe Cocker (EMI, catalog number CDP.746190).

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It’s the holiday season yet again, so that means it’s time to feature a seasonal CD at keithhirsch.com.  We’ve been doing that since 2007, but never has a Target CD been the target.  Well, here’s one.  It’s a West German pressing of a six-person a capella group, The Western Wind, and the album is titled Caroling With The Western Wind: An Old-Fashioned Christmas.  Performers on the album are Ma Prem Alimo, soprano; Janet Sullivan, soprano; William Zukof, countertenor; Lawrence Bennett, tenor; William Lyon Lee, tenor; and Elliot Levine, baritone.  Joining them on An Old-Fashioned Christmas is guitarist Joseph Karpienia.

 An Old-Fashioned Christmas was released on the Nonesuch label, part of WEA (Warner-Elektra-Atlantic), in 1983.  The album contains 17 classic Christmas songs, including “The First Nowell”, “Deck The Hall”, “O Little Town of Bethlehem”, and “Silent Night”.  An Old-Fashioned Christmas first appeared on CD as a West German target pressing under catalog number 9 79053-2.  As is typical for a Nonesuch Target CD, An Old-Fashioned Christmas has a black target pattern and bronze paint coating.  The disc has “MADE IN WEST GERMANY BY POLYGRAM” printed along the perimeter, and the matrix code is “7559 79053-2 2893 282 02”.  The accompanying inserts were printed in West Germany.

Shown below are the inserts for An Old-Fashioned Christmas as well as the West German Target CD.  Happy Holidays!

 

old-fashioned christmas cover_500

The cover for Caroling With The Western Wind: An Old-Fashioned Christmas (Nonesuch, catalog number 9 79053-2).

 

old-fashioned christmas back insert_500

The back insert for Caroling With The Western Wind: An Old-Fashioned Christmas (Nonesuch, catalog number 9 79053-2).  As noted at the bottom of the right column, this insert was printed in West Germany.

 

old-fashioned christmas target cd_500

The West German Target CD pressing of Caroling With The Western Wind: An Old-Fashioned Christmas (Nonesuch, catalog number 9 79053-2).  The black target and bronze coating is the unique color combination associated with West German Target CDs on the Nonesuch label.  “MADE IN WEST GERMANY BY POLYGRAM” is printed along the perimeter.  The matrix code is “7559 79053-2 2893 282 02”.

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2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the British Invasion.  Of course, most people immediately gravitate to that group from Liverpool, but we will not do that here.  Here we consider The Kinks, formed by brothers Ray and Dave Davies out of Muswell Hill, London.  Ray Davies was the frontman and songwriter, handling vocals, rhythm guitar, and harmonica, while Dave Davies played lead guitar.  The Kinks filled out with Pete Quaife on bass and Mick Avory on drums.

The Kinks debuted in October 1964 with the album simply titled Kinks on British label Pye Records.  The 14-track effort was raw and raucous and served to differentiate The Kinks from some of their more polished British counterparts.  Kinks offers a mix of covers and originals and is best-known for the long-standing hit “You Really Got Me”, penned by Ray Davies.

The Kinks Pye Records catalog was released on CD in Europe in the 1980s.  By this time, Pye had changed its name to PRT Records (Precision Records and Tapes), and these early CDs bear the PRT label.  The initial batch of PRT Kinks CDs were pressed in West Germany, and the original West German PRT CD of Kinks was released under catalog number 8.26670.  This CD is dated 1987.  The label side has a simple blue PRT label motif with blue text and no paint coating.  There is a plastic ring at the center of this disc, and the matrix code is “8.26670 CDM01”.

Shown below are the inserts associated with the initial PRT issue of Kinks, along with the West German pressing.

 

kinks prt cover_500 2

The cover for the West German pressing of The Kinks Kinks (PRT, catalog number 8.26670).  This is the standard cover photo for this album.  Note the PRT CD catalog number printed in the top right corner.

 

kinks prt back insert_500

The back insert for the West German pressing of The Kinks Kinks (PRT, catalog number 8.26670).  This insert is dated 1987 at the bottom.  As also noted along the bottom, this insert was printed in West Germany.

 

kinks prt cd_500

The West German pressing of The Kinks Kinks (PRT, catalog number 8.26670).  “Made in W. Germany” is printed at 3 o’clock.  The matrix code is “8.26670 CDM01”.

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Heavy metal doesn’t often grace the front page of keithhirsch.com, but it has happened here and there.  If you look around, you will see posts on early pressings of Iron Maiden Powerslave and Ozzy Osbourne Bark at the Moon.  Here’s another one.  In the 1980s, heavy metal got heavier and heavier — more guitars, more drums, and yes, more hair.  This is evidenced that by the end of the decade, some heavy metal from the start of the period was reclassified as rock.  A big part of the evolution of heavy metal during the ’80s that included the development of the grunge guitar sound was the American quartet Metallica.  At the start, Metallica was James Hetfield on vocals and rhythm guitar, Kirk Hammett on lead guitar and backing vocals, Lars Ulrich on drums, and Cliff Burton on bass and backing vocals.  As a result of the untimely death of Burton in a bus accident in 1986, Metallica has employed different bass players over the years.

Here we will look at the third album from Metallica, performed by the original lineup of Hetfield, Hammett, Ulrich, and Burton.  That would be 1986’s Master of Puppets.  Speaking of evolution, Metallica started out raw with their debut in 1983, Kill ‘Em All.  With each successive album through the ’80s, Metallica remained heavy, but refined their sound, and with Master of Puppets, Metallica was not just another thrash metal band.  The 8-song album starts hard and heavy with “Battery”, but other offerings such as the title track, the instrumental “Orion”, and “Damage, Inc.” demonstrated Metallica’s unique ability to incorporate melody and soft passages to compliment their sound.

Looking at Master of Puppets on CD, Metallica was one of those artists back in the ’80s that was signed to different labels in different regions.  In Japan, Master of Puppets was released on CD in 1986 by CBS/Sony (catalog number 32DP 448).  In Europe, the album was released on the Vertigo label, part of Phonogram (catalog number 838 141-2).  In the U.S., Master of Puppets was released on CD in 1986 by Elektra Records, part of Warner Bros., under catalog number 9 60349-2.  Here we will focus on this U.S. Elektra release.

Of course, the Elektra release of Master of Puppets is typically found as a U.S. pressing of one kind or another.  However, the original CD released in 1986 is a West German Polygram pressing.  The inserts are the standard ones printed in the U.S., but the disc was pressed in West Germany.  The disc bears the standard non-target label design for Elektra discs of the era — red and black rings around the perimeter, a red and black Elektra logo at 9 o’clock, black text, and no paint coating.  As an early Polygram disc, there is no clear plastic ring at the center.  The disc states “MADE IN WEST GERMANY BY POLYGRAM” along the perimeter, and the matrix code is “7559 60439-2 2896 162 01 #”.

There is a slight variant of the above West German pressing, one pressed by PDO (Philips-DuPont Optical).  The PDO pressing looks identical to the Polygram pressing except that it has “MADE IN W. GERMANY BY PDO” stamped on the play side of the disc adjacent to the center hole.  The matrix code on the PDO pressing is the same as that for the Polygram disc.

Shown below is the cover and back insert for the West German-for-U.S. pressing of Master of Puppets, as well as the Polygram pressing.  Both the West German Polygram and PDO pressings are rare.

 

wg master of puppets cover_500

The cover for the West German-for-U.S. pressing of Metallica Master of Puppets (Elektra, catalog number 9 60439-2).  This is the standard cover artwork for this album.

 

wg master of puppets back insert_500

The back insert for the West German-for-U.S. pressing of Metallica Master of Puppets (Elektra, catalog number 9 60439-2).  As noted along the bottom, this insert was printed in the U.S.

 

wg master of puppets_500

The West German-for-U.S. pressing of Metallica Master of Puppets (Elektra, catalog number 9 60439-2).  This disc was pressed by Polygram, as evidenced by “MADE IN WEST GERMANY BY POLYGRAM” printed along the perimeter.  The matrix code is “7559 60439-2 2896 162 01 #”.

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