November 25th, 2012
Happy Holidays! Stores and retail web sites are in full holiday mode, so why not get things into gear on keithhirsch.com? It’s time once again to feature an early pressing of a Christmas CD, a holiday tradition here since 2007. This year we consider a rare Japan-for-U.S. pressing of Barbra Streisand’s 1967 holiday offering, A Christmas Album. This album consists of 11 Christmas classics, including “Jingle Bells”, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, and “White Christmas”. A Christmas Album was originally released on CD in the U.S. on the Columbia label under catalog number CK 9557. It first appeared on store shelves in the U.S. in 1984 as a Japanese CBS/Sony pressing. U.S. pressings followed bearing the same catalog number.
The Japanese pressing is pretty typical of a disc made at the CBS/Sony plant in 1984. It has “CSR COMPACT DISC” repeating in the plastic ring, and the matrix code is “DIDP-20108 11A3 +++++”. Later U.S. pressings are found with a back insert having “Now Made In The U.S.A.” stamped in the white space next to the barcode. As expected, the back insert accompanying the Japanese pressing lacks this manufacturing pronouncement.
Shown below is the cover, back insert, and Japanese CBS/Sony pressing of A Christmas Album. Any pressing of this classic compilation is a must-have for the holiday season, but the Japanese pressing is quite rare and worth searching for if you are a collector.
Here’s hoping you have a safe, relaxing, and enjoyable holiday season.
The cover for the Japan-for-U.S. pressing of Barbra Streisand A Christmas Album (Columbia, catalog number CK 9557). Later U.S. pressings are found with the same cover.
The back insert for the Japan-for-U.S. pressing of Barbra Streisand A Christmas Album (Columbia, catalog number CK 9557). Note the text along the bottom stating “Disc manufactured in Japan by CBS/Sony, Tokyo, Japan”. Also note the blank white space next to the barcode. Later U.S. pressings have the “Disc manufactured in Japan…” statement along the bottom but also have “Now Made In The U.S.A.” added in the white space next to the barcode to signify the switch in manufacturing from Japan to the U.S.
The Japan-for-U.S. pressing of Barbra Streisand A Christmas Album (Columbia, catalog number CK 9557). Although difficult to see in this picture, the disc has “MANUFACTURED IN JAPAN” printed along the perimeter near 6 o’clock. The disc has “CSR COMPACT DISC” repeating in the plastic ring at the center, and the matrix code is “DIDP-20108 11A3 +++++”.