1986 saw the release of piano player Bruce Hornsby’s debut blockbuster album with his band, The Range, entitled The Way It Is.  The album is famous for its three hits, “Mandolin Rain”, “Every Little Kiss”, and, of course, the thought-provoking title track.  While you may be very familiar with the album, you may not be aware of the rare first issue on CD, which was quickly replaced with the version we all know.

The standard U.S. CD of The Way It Is was released in 1986 and remains in print under RCA catalog number PCD1-5904.  Since it was released in 1986, the first copies that hit store shelves were pressed in Japan.  Numerous U.S. pressings have followed.  Before this version was released, however, RCA issued The Way It Is on CD in the U.S. under catalog number PCD1-8058.  The 8058 issue only exists as a Japanese pressing since it was replaced quickly by the 5904 issue.  This rare disc was pressed in Japan by Denon and contains “PCD-18058” in the matrix code.

There are key differences between the two versions of the album: The 8058 issue has a unique album cover and also has unique versions of the songs “Down the Road Tonight” and “The River Runs Low”.  It is possible that RCA reissued the album as PCD1-5904 to capitalize on its popularity back in 1986.

It should be noted that there are variations in the booklet content with the 8058 issue.  Some copies are found with a list of “RCA COMPACT DISC BEST SELLERS” inside, while other copies have a booklet that folds open to reveal album artwork and lyrics.  The album covers are the same for the two 8058 booklets.

The back insert for the 5904 issue references the first version through the statement “Previously released as PCD1-8058”.  Shown below is the album cover and back insert along with the CD for the original 8058 issue.  This disc is quite rare, but it can be found in used CD shops and online with persistence.

 

The cover for the rare first U.S. CD issue of Bruce Hornsby and The Range The Way It Is (RCA, catalog number PCD1-8058).  The cover was changed when the album was reissued under catalog number PCD1-5904.

 

The back insert for the rare first U.S. CD issue of Bruce Hornsby and The Range The Way It Is (RCA, catalog number PCD1-8058).  The photo shown here was used for the cover of the common reissue with catalog number PCD1-5904.

 

The rare first U.S. CD issue of Bruce Hornsby and The Range The Way It Is (RCA, catalog number PCD1-8058).  The disc was pressed in Japan by Denon.  The matrix code contains “PCD-18058” in the typical Denon plant dot-matrix font.

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