buy soma with saturday delivery Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player">The original Japanese issue of Elton John Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player

With the Elton John biopic Rocketman opening in theaters in the U.S. today, it seems fitting to review an early CD of the megastar behind the piano. In this post we consider the original Japanese CD issue (i.e., Japan-for-Japan) of Sir Elton’s 1973 album Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player. This is a favorite Elton John album of mine by virtue of its inclusion of two staples, the album’s opener “Daniel” and “Crocodile Rock”.

Before hopping and bopping to the Japanese disc, let’s quickly review the record labels that Elton John’s early albums appeared on when they first appeared on CD in the 1980s. In the U.S., early titles were under license with MCA Records. However, in Europe and Japan, Dick James Music (DJM) owned the rights to the early John catalog. Therefore, the first Japanese issue of Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player was released on the DJM label.

The Japanese DJM release of Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player was released in 1988 under catalog number 23PD-105. The disc label is monotone with black text and black line accents over aluminum (i.e., no paint coating). The line motif is similar to that found on Mercury titles with the common “atomic” label design. This is not so surprising when one considers that DJM and Mercury were under the Phonogram label umbrella in the 1980s.

The DJM disc was pressed by Sanyo. Early Japanese Sanyo pressings are easy to spot due to the text “MANUFACTURED BY SANYO JAPAN” stamped in the mirror band. By the late ’80s, Sanyo stopped adding this text, but the matrix code on the Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player disc is stamped in the standard ’80s Sanyo font. The matrix code is “23PD105 B8B16J”.

With Japanese CD releases often imported to various parts of the world, it is rather common to see inserts printed in English and Japanese. For the Japanese Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player issue, the booklet contains the lyrics in English and liner notes in Japanese. The back insert provides the album title, song titles, and Elton John in both English and Japanese. The disc label is printed entirely in English. One spine label is printed in Japanese, while the other is printed in English.

This Japanese Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player CD is rare, but used copies can be found for sale online. As a Japanese release, it carries a premium over the original U.S. and European issues of the album, especially if the obi strip is included. Thus, the Japanese disc is more for serious Elton John and CD collectors. If you are more of a casual collector, consider the U.S. and European versions, which are still rare.

Shown below is the cover and back insert for the original Japanese issue of Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player along with the Sanyo pressing.

 

The cover for the original Japanese issue of Elton John Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player (DJM, catalog number 23PD 105). This is the standard cover artwork for this album.

 

The back insert for the original Japanese issue of Elton John Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player (DJM, catalog number 23PD 105). The album title, song titles, and Elton John are printed in English and Japanese. As noted in the text next to the barcode, this disc was made in Japan. The retail price is listed as ¥2,153 (Japanese Yen) along the bottom.

 

The Japan-for-Japan pressing of Elton John Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player (DJM, catalog number 23PD 105). The disc was pressed by Sanyo, and the matrix code is “23PD105 B8B16J”. Note that “MADE IN JAPAN” is printed at 6 o’clock.

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