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.
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.
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.