Reference Library: Abbey Road Japanese CD
From: email@example.com (Jason Anjoorian)
Subject: Re: Abbey Road CD, Japanese printing
Date: Sun, 09 Jul 1995 13:48:07 -0500
In a previous article, firstname.lastname@example.org (Steven Handelman) wrote:
Long before sanctioned Beatles CD's were released, I acquired a version of
Abbey Road on CD. The sound quality is awesome. The cover is printed in
English and Japanese. I have never seen another one like it. Does anybody
know anything about this pressing? Liner notes are also in Japanese.
The Japanese Abbey Road CD has the distinction of being the very first
Beatles CD in the world released by an officially sanctioned (i.e.,
non-bootleg) entity. It was issued on the EMI/Odeon label by Toshiba-EMI
Ltd. The catalog number is CP35-3016 and the release date was May
21,1983. That's about four years before the US Beatles CDs came out. The
CDs were issued with an obi (a paper strip surrounding the CD) on the left
hand side. I think the story is that Toshiba-EMI was "asked" by EMI not
to issue any more, which is why other Beatles CDs were not issued by
Toshiba-EMI at the time and which is why the original Abbey Road CD had a
very short lifespan.
Today is has value more as a collectible rather than as an audiophile
product (even though it was promoted as a digitally mastered product). It
does have some audible tape noise. But fans at the time were very happy
with it because for quite a while it was the only way to get an "official"
Beatles LP on CD. And, of course, quantities were limited because of
As for value, the original price in Japan was 3500 yen and by the time
they found their way over here the price was up around $100. I think it's
safe to say that they are worth at least that much today, assuming
original condition with obi. Future collectors who get nostalgic over the
early days of CDs (as some of us do over vinyl LPs) may help its
Author, The Beatles Japanese Record Guide
From: "Frederick W. Harrison" <email@example.com>
Newsgroups: rec.music.beatles.moderated, rec.music.beatles
Subject: Japanese Abbey Road CD
Date: 2 Aug 1998 16:54:17 GMT
I was just checking out Dave Haber's wonderful collection of articles on
his website when I came across some information on the Abbey Road Cd that
was issued in Japan four years before the official EMI issues, and is
now a rare collector's item.
I believe the CD came to be manufactured by Toshiba EMI as they had
previously obtained permission to manufacture an audiophile version of
the lp. This was released as Toshiba-EMI EALF-97001 (EMLF-97002 was Pink
Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon" and I don't know if there were others in
the series, which bore the logo PRO-USE SERIES.) The cost on the obi was
2,800 Yen, which was a premium price for vinyl in those days, but a
worthwhile investment since the pressings were quite well done.
I remember ordering these two titles from the Japanese catalogue of the
time (I did the import lp ordering for the flagship store of Sam The
Record Man in Toronto, Ontario at the time) and - I'm not certain of this
- think they may have been half-speed mastered pressings. The quality
certainly was there! The booklet that accompanies the lp has a lengthy
essay on the Pro-Use Series, but it is in Japanese!
Could it have been possible that since Toshiba-EMI were granted
permission to press an audiophile edition of the lp, they overstepped
their bounds and did a transfer to CD, claiming that the new format was
an audiophile format no different than that of the audiophile lp? I
believe Pink Floyd DSOTM had been released at that point (as a poorly
transferred and mastered pressing) which would have made a transfer of
that title somewhat redundant.
I do recall our store ordering and receiving copies of the CD, which sold
out VERY quickly. I didn't have the foresight to grab a copy ("it'll be
in the next shipment").
Frederick W. Harrison
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