At this time back in 2007, we looked at two early Elvis Presley Christmas CDs, both titled Merry Christmas (go here). One was the particularly rare Japan-for-U.S. pressing, and the other was the slightly more common West German-for-Europe version. Collectors would do well to find either version and should expect to pay significant premiums for copies in top condition. Now in 2019, we consider an even rarer version of this Christmas compilation. It is the Japanese issue.

RCA released Merry Christmas in Japan under catalog number RPCD-16 in 1984. The disc label is similar to that of the U.S. issue — a blue outer ring, blue text, white RCA logo, and no paint coating. In fact, the Japanese release shows the U.S. catalog number of PCD1-5301 in addition to the Japanese catalog number. The Japanese issue has the same 10 tracks as the U.S. and European releases.

The Japanese release of Merry Christmas was pressed by Denon, and the matrix code is “PCD-15301 1A2-49”. The U.S. catalog number, PCD1-5301, is contained in this matrix code indicating that this Japanese release was produced from the same glass master as a Japan-for-U.S. disc.

The back insert shows a retail price for Merry Christmas of ¥3800 (3800 Japanese yen), which was on the high end for a single disc from Japan in 1984. The track list is printed on the back cover of the booklet and back insert in English. The track list is also printed in Japanese on the back insert. The booklet has a list of other RCA titles available on CD printed inside. A Japanese lyric sheet is folded inside the booklet.

Given its rarity and price, the Japanese release may only appeal to the hardcore Elvis or early-pressing collectors. Other collectors might consider purchasing the European issue, which is the most common of the three available releases of Merry Christmas.

Shown below is the cover and back insert for the Japanese release of Merry Christmas, along with the disc.

Happy Holidays, and stay safe!

 

The cover for the Japanese issue of Elvis Presley Merry Christmas (RCA, catalog number RPCD-16). The cover artwork for the U.S. and European issues is similar.

 

The back insert for the Japanese issue of Elvis Presley Merry Christmas (RCA, catalog number RPCD-16). Note the track list printed in Japanese on the right side and the retail price of ¥3800 in the bottom right corner. The insert is dated 1984 along the bottom.

 

The Japanese issue of Elvis Presley Merry Christmas (RCA, catalog number RPCD-16). It was pressed by Denon, and the matrix code is “PCD-15301 1A2-49”. Note that the U.S. catalog number, PCD1-5301, is printed in parentheses next to the Japanese catalog number.

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