In the 1970s, Philip Bailey was an instrumental member of Earth, Wind & Fire, contributing his tremendous vocal range and songwriting during the decade. In 1983, Bailey went out on his own, releasing the aptly-named solo effort Continuation. The album made little impact on the pop charts, but Bailey’s fortunes would change a year later.

1984 saw the release of Bailey’s sophomore solo album, Chinese Wall. Bailey teamed with Phil Collins, who not only produced the album, but also co-wrote and performed on the album’s hit, “Easy Lover”. The Bailey/Collins duet was a smash hit on the airwaves and with a humorous video on MTV. In a sense, one could have mistaken the album as a Collins-first effort due to the popularity of “Easy Lover”, but the album on the whole showcases Bailey’s vocal talents. And, hey, Bailey is alone on the album’s cover.

On CD, Chinese Wall saw distinct releases from CBS or CBS/Sony in the U.S., Europe, and Japan in the mid-1980s. The U.S. issue first appeared as a U.S. DADC pressing, while first issues in Europe and Japan were pressed in Japan by CBS/Sony. Let’s look at the original Japanese release.

CBS/Sony released Chinese Wall in Japan under catalog 32DP 187. 32DP represents CBS/Sony’s second main pop and rock CD series, after 35DP. The 32DP prefix reflected the typical retail price of ¥3,200. The Chinese Wall disc bears the standard 32DP label design, with rather plain black text and no paint coating, save for two red rectangles, one highlighting legal text and the other prominently showing the CD format logo.

The disc has “CSR COMPACT DISC” repeating in the clear plastic ring at the center, and the matrix code is “32DP-187 11A4 +++++”. The booklet is thick, offering song lyrics both in English and Japanese. The back insert lists song titles in English and Japanese and also states “Produced by Phil Collins” in large text.

For collectors outside of Japan, the original U.S. and European issues should be much easier to find than this Japanese issue. However, there is something to be said for the quality inserts of the original Japanese release. The Japanese 32DP disc is not likely to be too expensive online, so it’s worth tracking down.

Shown below is the cover and back insert for the 32DP Japanese issue of Chinese Wall, along with the Japanese CBS/Sony pressing.

 

The cover for the original Japanese issue of Philip Bailey Chinese Wall (CBS/Sony, catalog number 32DP 187). This is the standard cover artwork for this album.

 

The back insert for the original Japanese issue of Philip Bailey Chinese Wall (CBS/Sony, catalog number 32DP 187). Note “Produced by Phil Collins” in the top left corner. Song titles are printed in English and Japanese.

 

The Japanese CBS/Sony pressing of Philip Bailey Chinese Wall (CBS/Sony, catalog number 32DP 187). This is the standard label design for discs in the 32DP series. “CSR COMPACT DISC” repeats in the clear plastic ring at the center, and the matrix code is “32DP-187 11A4 +++++”.

Comments are closed.

-->