September 26th, 2011
A jazz album that belongs on any enthusiast’s shelf is the 1957 western-themed collection by Sonny Rollins appropriately titled Way Out West. This album is a classic down to the cover photo of Rollins standing in the desert donning his tenor sax and western duds.
Fantasy, Inc./Contemporary Records released the first issues of this saxohphone must-have on CD in 1986 in Europe and Japan. CD buyers were treated to three bonus tracks, alternate takes of three tracks from the album. Thus, these early CDs have nine tracks instead of the standard six. Fantasy/Contemporary drew attention to the extra tracks by titling these first issues Way Out West Plus. Additionally, the label used an alternate photo of Rollins from the desert shoot for the cover.
As stated, Way Out West Plus was released on CD in 1986 in Europe and Japan. The European issue was released under catalog number CDCOP 006 and was pressed in West Germany. The Japanese issue was released under catalog number VDJ-1551 and was pressed in Japan. After these early CDs went out of print, consumers for years were left with various releases of the standard six-track album until a remaster in 2009 brought back the three alternate takes. (The remaster, however, is titled Way Out West and uses the standard cover photo.)
Shown below is the unique cover for Way Out West Plus, the back insert showing the track list, and the West German and Japanese pressings. The Japanese pressing is popular with collectors, but the West German pressing is rarer in my experience.
The cover for the European issue of Sonny Rollins Way Out West Plus (Contemporary, catalog number CDCOP 006). This CD was released in 1986. The cover features a different photo than the standard one used for Way Out West. The original Japanese issue of Way Out West Plus has the same cover except that “WAY OUT WEST PLUS” is printed in black instead of red.
The back insert for the Japanese issue of of Sonny Rollins Way Out West Plus (Contemporary, catalog number VDJ-1551). This CD was released in 1986. The yellow sticker is a U.S. distribution sticker and is adhered to the back of the jewel case. As noted, there are nine tracks, including three alternate takes. The original European issue has the same nine tracks and the same running order. Standard versions of Way Out West are missing the alternate takes.
The West German pressing Sonny Rollins Way Out West Plus for the European market (Contemporary, catalog number CDCOP 006). This disc was pressed by Sonopress, and the matrix code is “B-8347 / CDCOP 006 B”.
The Japanese issue of Sonny Rollins Way Out West Plus (Contemporary, catalog number VDJ-1551). This disc was pressed by JVC, and the matrix code is “VDJ-1551-1-S3D23”.