Nearly 7 years ago, a very rare promotional CD entitled The Edison CD Sampler was featured on keithhirsch.com.  The disc is a collection of early recordings by Thomas Edison and was produced to commemorate the opening of the Digital Audio Disc Corporation (DADC) pressing plant in Terre Haute, Indiana on September 21, 1984.  More on the Edison disc can be found here.  As stated in that Edison post, another disc was also offered at DADC’s opening.  It is the “red” version of Bruce Springsteen Born in The U.S.A.  Here, we will take a closer look at this rare disc of The Boss.  First, some background information on Born in The U.S.A. on CD.

Born in The U.S.A. was obviously a blockbuster album upon its release in 1984. As a result, CBS/Sony quickly released it on CD in all regions as Japanese pressings (there are distinct Japan-for-Japan, Japan-for-Europe, and Japan-for-U.S. issues). The original U.S. issue, pressed in Japan by CBS/Sony, was released under Columbia catalog number CK 38653.  The disc bears the standard CBS/Sony design for U.S. CDs — black text with no paint coating. There are two variations of inserts associated with Japan-for-U.S. pressings of Born in The U.S.A.  The first variation references CBS/Sony Records in Tokyo, Japan in a copyright paragraph on the back cover of the booklet and the back insert.  The second variation references Columbia Records in New York, New York in the copyright paragraph.

Japan-for-U.S. pressings of Born in The U.S.A. were followed by commercial U.S. DADC pressings (also under Columbia catalog number CK 38653).  The early commercial U.S. DADC pressings are nearly identical in appearance to the earlier Japanese CBS/Sony pressings, meaning that the U.S. pressings have black text and no paint coating.  The inserts reference Columbia in New York in the copyright paragraph.

Now, about that promotional disc.  Fittingly, Born in The U.S.A. was the first CD pressed at the DADC plant in Terre Haute.  The aforementioned Edison disc was the second.  In between the Japanese CBS/Sony and standard, commercial DADC pressings of Born in The U.S.A. came the promotional DADC pressing. Instead of standard black text on the disc, this rare promo has red text.  It is not known how many copies of this “red” version of Born in The U.S.A. were produced, but it is very rare.

The red Born in The U.S.A. CD and The Edison CD Sampler were released together at the opening of the DADC plant in Terre Haute on September 21, 1984.  Each disc was packaged in a jewel case (an early type with smooth top and bottom edges) and came with front and back inserts.  The red Born in The U.S.A. CD came with standard U.S. inserts, meaning the same inserts found with subsequent commercial DADC pressings.  Thus, the inserts with the red Born in The U.S.A. disc reference Columbia Records in New York.

In addition to the red text, another unique feature of the promotional Born in The U.S.A. CD is a sticker on the front of the jewel case that reads “THE FIRST CBS RECORDS COMPACT DISC MADE IN THE U.S.A.”  Typical of an early U.S. DADC pressing, the red Springsteen disc has “Made in USA – Digital Audio Disc Corp.” stamped on the clear plastic ring at the center.  The matrix code on the red disc is “DIDP-20095 21A4”.  DIDP-20095 also appears on the Japanese CBS/Sony and commercial DADC pressings.

The promotional Springsteen and Edison CDs were issued in a white paper slipcase. The front, back, and spine of the slipcase show the DADC logo and the date of the plant’s opening, September 21, 1984.  Shown below are the front and back inserts associated with the red Born in The U.S.A. CD, as well as the red disc itself.  The front of the slipcase is also shown.

 

 springsteen red dadc cover_500

The cover for the promotional “red” Bruce Springsteen Born in The U.S.A. CD (Columbia, catalog number CK 38653).  This is the standard cover artwork for this album. The cover artwork is shown in the original jewel case issued with the red Born in The U.S.A. CD.  The sticker that reads “THE FIRST CBS RECORDS COMPACT DISC MADE IN THE U.S.A.” is adhered to the front of the jewel case.

 

 springsteen red dadc back insert_500

The back insert for the promotional “red” Bruce Springsteen Born in The U.S.A. CD (Columbia, catalog number CK 38653).  The same back insert was issued with subsequent commercial U.S. pressings.  Note that the copyright paragraph at the bottom references Columbia Records in New York, New York.

 

 springsteen red dadc disc_500

The promotional “red” Bruce Springsteen Born in The U.S.A. CD (Columbia, catalog number CK 38653).  The disc was pressed at the DADC plant in Terre Haute, Indiana to commemorate the plant’s opening on September 21, 1984.  It has “Made in USA – Digital Audio Disc Corp.” stamped on the clear plastic ring, and the matrix code is “DIDP-20095 21A4”.  Commercial DADC pressings of Born in The U.S.A. have black text instead of red.

 

 dadc slipcase_500

The front of the paper slipcase issued to house the promotional “red” Born in The U.S.A. CD and The Edison CD Sampler.  It shows the Digital Audio Disc Corporation (DADC) logo and is dated September 21, 1984, the date the DADC plant in Terre Haute, Indiana opened.

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