Back in March 2020, we provided a review of an early CD pressing of a rather obscure Bob Marley album (go here). With this post, we look at an album well known to even the casual Bob Marley fan. It is the aptly titled compilation Legend. The full title is actually Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and The Wailers. For simplicity, we will refer to it here simply as Legend.

Legend was released by Island Records in 1984. CDs made their early debuts in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. In this post, we focus on the original Japanese CD issue.

The Japanese release of Legend contains 14 tracks and was issued jointly by Island and Japanese label Polystar. The catalog number for this CD is P35D-20003, where “35” reflects the original retail price of ¥3,500 (Japanese yen), a common price for a single CD in the early days of the format in Japan. The disc and inserts also show European catalog number, CID 103.

Interestingly, Japanese CD releases often show the release date on the obi strip and/or inserts. The release date for Legend is shown on the back inserts as I·9·25, where the I is code for 1985 (more information). This code means that this Legend CD was released on September 25, 1985.

Collectors value Japanese CDs for a number of reasons, one of which is the obi strip, generally unique to Japanese releases. Many older CDs are sadly found without the obi strip since, as loose paper, it is often lost or thrown away. In the early days of the format, however, some CDs were issued with the obi strip adhered to the jewel case. So the owner would have to physically peel the obi strip off to remove it. As such, these CDs are often found with their obi strips intact. Legend is one such early CD with the adhered obi strip.

The Japanese issue of Legend was pressed by CBS/Sony. It has “CSR” (acronym for CBS/Sony Records) embossed on the clear plastic ring. The matrix code is “P35D-20003 21 +++++”.

Shown below are the cover and back insert for Legend with the obi strip, as well as the Japanese pressing.

 

The cover for the original Japanese issue of Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and The Wailers (Island/Polystar, catalog number P35D-20003). The front insert is shown in the original jewel case, with the obi strip adhered to the jewel case. Note the retail price of ¥3,500 printed on the obi strip.

 

The back insert for the original Japanese issue of Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and The Wailers (Island/Polystar, catalog number P35D-20003). The back insert is shown inside the original jewel case. The retail price and catalog number are printed in the lower left corner of the insert. Note also the release date code, I·9·25, representing September 25, 1985, in the lower left corner. The yellow strip at the right is the back of the obi strip adhered to the jewel case.

 

The original Japanese pressing of Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and The Wailers (Island/Polystar, catalog number P35D-20003). The original European catalog number, CID 103, is also printed at 12 o’clock. The disc has “CSR” embossed on the plastic ring, and the matrix code is “P35D-20003 21 +++++”.

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