February 24th, 2009
The disc featured here I obtained recently and is a bit of an oddity. It is an early Japanese Matsushita pressing of Chicago Chicago 16. The disc is on the WEA label, not Warner Bros., which signifies that it was issued in Europe and possibly other foreign markets (i.e., outside the U.S.). This is supported by the fact that the disc and inserts feature the European catalog number, 299 235. One rarely sees Japanese pressings of WEA titles outside the U.S., and additionally, early Matsushita pressings of WEA titles are particularly uncommon.
The disc is shown below. The bright green text is another unusual feature of this early pressing. As stated above, the disc is an early Matsushita pressing. This is evident from the text stamped on the plastic ring — “MADE BY MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC IND.CO.LTD.” The Technics logo is also stamped on the plastic ring, as Matsushita is the parent company to Technics.
As noted in the picture, the disc says “MADE IN JAPAN BY MATSUSHITA” along the perimeter at the bottom. Note the space between “JAPAN” and “BY” and, at 12 o’clock, the space between “RESERVED” and “UNAUTHORIZED”. These spaces indicate that WEA used a text template from a Target CD, as the spaces would be filled by perimeter target squares. One sees the same spaces on Japanese Non-Target Sanyo pressings of WEA titles for the U.S. market. These Sanyo pressings have black text. All in all, this Chicago disc bears a resemblance to those early Sanyo pressings.
The inserts with this disc were printed in Japan. The back insert says “Printed in Japan by Matsushita”.
The Japanese Matsushita pressing of Chicago Chicago 16 (WEA, catalog number 299 235). The disc was issued in Europe and possibly other foreign markets. Note that the U.S. catalog number, 23689-2, appears in small print beneath the European catalog number. The disc has “MADE BY MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC IND.CO.LTD.” and the Technics logo stamped on the plastic ring. The matrix code is “W A-23689” in a crude, “hand-written” font.