Steve Earle. You can be forgiven if the name does not register. This is because Earle does not fit neatly into a genre and, perhaps as a result, has not enjoyed extended mainstream success. Earle’s music and style can be thought of country, rock, pop, folk or, more aptly, a combination of all of these genres. After several years of songwriting and playing in backing bands in Nashville and Texas, Earle got his big break in 1986, signing with MCA Records and releasing his debut album, Guitar Town. The album afforded Earle two top-ten hits, the title track and “Goodbye’s All We’ve Got Left”.

MCA released Guitar Town on CD in the U.S. and Europe in 1986 under catalog number MCAD-5713. The first copies of Guitar Town were pressed in West Germany by the PolyGram plant in Hanover. This is noteworthy because the majority of CDs released by MCA in the mid-’80s were pressed in Japan (by JVC or Denon). West German pressings of MCA titles are few and far between by comparison.

The West German pressing of Guitar Town has PolyGram’s trademark hub with aluminum to the center hole (i.e., no clear plastic ring). The matrix code is “MCAD-5713 2896 388 01 #”. Both the disc and inserts show “JVC-524”, which is a project number similar to DIDX or DIDP numbers seen on titles pressed by CBS/Sony or DADC. The inclusion of the JVC number suggests that Guitar Town was slated for a Japanese JVC pressing. Such a pressing of Guitar Town does not exist.

Shown below is the cover and back insert for the original CD issues of Guitar Town, along with the West German pressing.

 

The cover for the West German pressing of Steve Earle Guitar Town (MCA, catalog number MCAD-5713). This is the standard cover artwork for this album.

 

The back insert for the West German pressing of Steve Earle Guitar Town (MCA, catalog number MCAD-5713). This insert is dated 1986. “JVC-524” is printed in the bottom right corner. Despite this, there is no early Japanese JVC pressing of Guitar Town.

 

The West German PolyGram pressing of Steve Earle Guitar Town (MCA, catalog number MCAD-5713). There is no clear plastic ring at the center of the disc. The matrix code is “MCAD-5713 2896 388 01 #”. “Manufactured in West Germany” is printed below the CD format logo at 3 o’clock.

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