There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that Pink Floyd’s 1973 opus, Dark Side of the Moon, is one of the most iconic albums of all time. The Hipgnosis designed sleeve, A prism refracting white light into a rainbow on a black background, is in some cases more recognisable than the music itself. Even those who haven’t heard a note of Pink Floyd’s music will know what it is. Then, however, something different appeared on the market from Japan.
While details are somewhat scarce, is said that this alternative sleeve was created sometime in late 1977 or 1978 for Toshiba-EMI’s (TOEMI) mail-order only record club in Japan. These were a popular marketing tool in Japan at this time, and it is believed TOEMI wanted to expand their international artist repertoire through their club releases.
The unique sleeve artwork depicts a live stage scene from their 1977 Animals Tour, which adds to the narrative that this was released between 1977/78. The famous tan and red EMI label design also supports this date range. Further evidence in support of its record club origin is that there is very little on the sleeve or label that’s printed in English. The song titles, band name and album title of course, but very little else. The back cover is virtually all Japanese script. The lyric insert is similarly basic, albeit with English lyrics.
This is, without doubt, the rarest pressing of The Dark Side of the Moon, and it’s widely regarded to be the rarest Pink Floyd record never issued. This has sold as high as £3500, and is one of the ultimate investment pieces. Regardless of its origin and the divided opinion about when and why it was manufactured, there is no doubt about its authenticity and extreme rarity.
This article appeared in issue 25 of Long Live Vinyl magazine, available now
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- Pink Floyd - The Dark Side Of The Moon - 5th - EX - UK - vinyl LP - £25.00, $34.00, €28.00 (New Item) (arrived 10-Apr-2021 12:25)
PINK FLOYD The Dark Side Of The Moon (1979 UK issue of the classic 1973 10-track LP with 'EMI Records' perimeter label text, housed in the iconic gatefold picture sleeve with circular title sticker and blue copyright statement inside lower left.The non-barcoded gatefold picture sleeve is in Excellent shape with just minor edge/ringwear & the vinyl grades EX with just a few spindle marks & only the odd paper hairline detectable SHVL804)
- Pink Floyd - A Momentary Lapse Of Reason - EX - UK - vinyl LP - £25.00, $34.00, €28.00 (New Item) (arrived 03-Apr-2021 09:52)
PINK FLOYD A Momentary Lapse Of Reason (1987 UK 11-track vinyl LP with picture labels, the group's first album after the departure of Roger Waters, gatefold picture sleeve with illustrated lyric inner. The sleeve has a 2" seam split to the topand general wear, whilst the vinyl has just light scuffs leaving it EX- EMD1003)
- Pink Floyd - The Wall - 1st - EX - UK - 2-LP vinyl set - £75.00, $102.00, €84.00 (New Item) (arrived 02-Apr-2021 11:10)
PINK FLOYD The Wall (1979 UK first press 26-track double LP with picture labels, complete with round cornered card lyric inners & the original gatefold picture sleeve that does not list the band members inside. The sleeve shows just the lightest edgewear and minor discolouration, whilst the vinyl has just a few faint hairlines to indicate play - a top copy SHDW411)
- Pink Floyd - Relics - 1st - EX - UK - vinyl LP - £30.00, $40.80, €33.60 (New Item) (arrived 02-Apr-2021 12:45)
PINK FLOYD Relics (1971 UK first issue 11-track stereo vinyl compilation LP released on EMI's Starline label, featuring a collection of early singles, B-sides, album tracks & the previously unreleased recording 'Biding My Time', textured picture sleeve with artwork by Nick Mason. The sleeve shows just a little light shelfwear & the vinyl remains in excellent condition with few signs of play SRS5071)1
- Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here - 1st + Postcard - EX - UK - vinyl LP - £75.00, $102.00, €84.00 (New Item) (arrived 02-Apr-2021 12:51)
PINK FLOYD Wish You Were Here (1975 UK first press 5-track LP with the original 'Waters-Gilmour-Wright' label credit for Part 5, complete with illustrated card lyric inner with cropped corners [later issues were rounded] & glossy postcard with pinked edges, Hipgnosis designed picture sleeve. The sleeve shows just a little light shelfwear with a bit of foxing & minor discolouration in places, with the vinyl remaining in excellent condition with few signs of play SHVL814)
- Pink Floyd - Obscured By Clouds - 2nd - UK - vinyl LP - £45.00, $61.20, €50.40 (New Item) (arrived 02-Apr-2021 12:57)
PINK FLOYD Obscured By Clouds (1977 UK second issue of the 1972 10-track vinyl LP with 'EMI Records Ltd' & 'Harvest Heritage' label credits, textured picture sleeve with rounded corners. The sleeve shows just a little light shelfwear & the vinyl is flawless SHSP4020)
- Pink Floyd - Meddle - 2nd - EX - UK - vinyl LP - £25.00, $34.00, €28.00 (New Item) (arrived 02-Apr-2021 13:05)
PINK FLOYD Meddle (1978 UK second issue of the 1971 6-track LP with 'EMI Records' label perimeter text & EMI logo, featuring the epic classic Echoes, textured gatefold picture sleeve. The sleeve displays just a little light shelfwear with a bit of edge scuffing & the vinyl remains in excellent condition with few signs of play SHVL795)
- Pink Floyd - The Final Cut - 1st - Stickered - EX - UK - vinyl LP - £50.00, $68.00, €56.00 (New Item) (arrived 02-Apr-2021 13:18)
PINK FLOYD The Final Cut (1983 UK first issue 12-track vinyl LP with picture labels & A-1U matrix for side one, custom title stickered gatefold picture sleeve with lyrics inside. The sleeve displays just a little light shelfwear with a bit of edge scuffing and the vinyl remains in Excellent condition with few signs of play SHPF1983)
- Pink Floyd - Another Brick In The Wall Part II - UK - 7" vinyl - £8.00, $10.88, €8.96 (New Item) (arrived 02-Apr-2021 14:23)
PINK FLOYD Another Brick In The Wall Part II (1979 UK 7" vinyl single with picture labels & four prong centre, also including One Of My Turns, plain die-cut paper sleeve. The vinyl remains in excellent condition HAR5194)
- Pink Floyd - Relics - 2nd - EX - UK - vinyl LP - £15.00, $20.40, €16.80 (New Item) (arrived 03-Apr-2021 09:58)
PINK FLOYD Relics (1980 UK issue of the 1971 11-track LP compilation, housed in a glossy non-barcoded picture sleeve. The sleeve is Excellent with minimal age wear & the vinyl appears barely played MFP50397)