October 17th, 2015
Greatest Hits compilations. Best Ofs. The Very Best Ofs. The Essential. The record labels release these cut-to-the-chase discs to give the music fan, and we can say the casual music fan, a synopsis of an artist’s career. Why buy all the albums when you can have the good stuff on just one or two CDs? That has been many a music buyer’s rationale. Of course, some people buy all the albums and still buy the compilation(s) for convenient access to the hits, thereby further lining the record company’s pockets. With popular artists, it seems there comes a point at which there are more compilations than the albums from which they are curated. Aerosmith is such a band. I am not going to count the number of Aerosmith compilations that have been issued over the years, but there are many. Admittedly, not all of these discs overlap in content given that Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, and the rest of the Boston crew have been at it for five decades. In the interest of time and server space, let’s focus on just one Aerosmith compilation, and of course, an early release. It is the 1988 Aerosmith CD entitled Anthology, which was released on the Castle Communications label.
Castle Communications, or just Castle, formed in the U.K. as an independent label in 1983. They licensed catalogs from many major artists, including The Kinks and Black Sabbath, and turned out quality compilations. Castle’s early CDs were pressed in Japan, West Germany, and France. As mentioned above, Aerosmith Anthology was released in 1988. The CD was pressed in West Germany.
Anthology was issued under Castle’s Raw Power heavy metal banner. The catalog number is RAWCD037, and the back insert shows both the Castle and Raw Power logos. The disc consists of 18 tracks, including “Dream On” and “Sweet Emotion”. Two tracks are taken from concerts, “Walk This Way” (the original, not the later version with Run-D.M.C.) and “Back in the Saddle”. Anthology was pressed by the late-’80s West German pressing plant Interpress. On a side note, Anthology is the first Interpress pressing to be featured on keithhirsch.com.
The Anthology CD has “MADE IN W. GERMANY” printed beneath the CD format logo at 3 o’clock. This text also appears on the back insert. The matrix code is “INTERPRESS-RAWCD-037 12”. The disc has “MADE IN W. GERMANY” and “INTERPRESS COMPACT DISC” stamped on the clear plastic ring.
Shown below is the cover and back insert for Anthology, along with the West German pressing.
The cover for Aerosmith Anthology (Castle Communications, catalog number RAWCD037).
The back insert for Aerosmith Anthology (Castle Communications, catalog number RAWCD037). “MADE IN W. GERMANY” is printed at the bottom right, above the Castle Communications logo. Castle’s Raw Power heavy metal logo is printed in the bottom right corner. The copyright date of 1988 appears in the bottom left corner.
The West German pressing of Aerosmith Anthology (Castle Communications, catalog number RAWCD037). The disc was pressed by Interpress. The matrix code is “INTERPRESS-RAWCD-037 12”, and it has “MADE IN W. GERMANY” and “INTERPRESS COMPACT DISC” stamped on the clear plastic ring.