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 - UK - vinyl LP - £30.00, $38.70, €35.10 (New Item) (arrived 30-Mar-2020 14:37)
PINK FLOYD The Dark Side Of The Moon (1979 UK issue of the classic 1973 10-track LP with 'EMI Records' perimeter label print, housed in the iconic gatefold picture sleeve with only one poster included. The sleeve is Excellent with some minor scuffing & the odd corner crease, the band poster is unused whilst the vinyl appears near 'as new' SHVL804)
Pink Floyd - Animals - Complete with Sticker - Japanese - vinyl LP - £95.00, $122.55, €111.15 (New Item) (arrived 27-Mar-2020 11:44)
PINK FLOYD Animals (Rare 1977 Japanese 5-track LP, complete with card lyric inner, an illustrated fold-out Japanese insert of lyrics & biography information, rare title logo sticker as an insert, picture obi-strip & heavy duty gatefold picture sleeve designed by Roger Waters & produced by Storm Thorgerson's Hipgnosis. The sleeve displays just a little light wear mostly to the edges, whilst the vinyl looks barely played 25AP340)
Pink Floyd - The Final Cut - Japanese - vinyl LP - £50.00, $64.50, €58.50 (New Item) (arrived 26-Mar-2020 14:42)
PINK FLOYD The Final Cut (1983 Japanese 12-track vinyl LP, gatefold picture sleeve with black card inner, Japanese / lyric insert & obi-strip. The sleeve shows minimal wear and despite some minor signs of play, the vinyl remains in fantastic condition! 25AP2410)
Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother - Red Vinyl + 2 Obi's - Japanese - vinyl LP - £195.00, $251.55, €228.15 (New Item) (arrived 26-Mar-2020 14:25)
PINK FLOYD Atom Heart Mother (1970 Japanese 5-track LP pressed on 'Everclean' Wine Red Vinyl, with black & silver label design with the Harvest & Odeon logos and manufactured by Toshiba Musical Industries Ltd, housed in a heavy duty, fully textured gatefold picture sleeve with six-page Japanese booklet, with the ¥2,200 printed obi-strip and second 'Coming To Japan' thin obi. The sleeve displays just a little light wear, both obi's have minimal wear orsigns of age and the vinyl looks barely played. A fantastic example OP-80102)
Pink Floyd - The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn - 1st (b) VG - WOC - UK - vinyl LP - £195.00, $251.55, €228.15 (New Item) (arrived 25-Mar-2020 14:03)
PINK FLOYD The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (Rare 1967 UK first issue second variant 11-track stereo LP, front laminated picture sleeve with 'File Under Popular: Pop Groups' printed along the top flipback. This one previous owner copy is in VG condition SCX6157)See 'More Info' for further details...
Pink Floyd - Animals - 2nd - UK - vinyl LP - £35.00, $45.15, €40.95 (New Item) (arrived 21-Mar-2020 13:31)
PINK FLOYD Animals (1977 UK 5-track LP with picture labels, the band's tenth studio concept album based on the conditions of British society in the seventies & loosely influenced by George Orwell's Animal Farm. This second variant is housed in aglossy gatefold picture sleeve without a barcode & with the round edged black & white lyric inner. The sleeve & vinyl are Excellent with some faint age wear & the odd light sign of play SHVL815)
Pink Floyd - A Momentary Lapse Of Reason - EX - UK - vinyl LP - £30.00, $38.70, €35.10 (New Item) (arrived 21-Mar-2020 12:17)
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. The gatefold picture sleeve has just light evidence of shelfwear and comes with its illustrated lyric inner while the vinyl remains in excellent condition with few signs of play EMD1003)
Pink Floyd - Masters Of Rock - Dutch - vinyl LP - £35.00, $45.15, €40.95 (New Item) (arrived 21-Mar-2020 12:14)
PINK FLOYD Masters Of Rock (Late 70s Dutch 10-track vinyl LP compilation, featuring many hard to find early Floyd Barrett gems, housed in a unique picture sleeve, front laminated with discography on the reverse. The sleeve displays some light wear whilst the vinyl shows the odd light sign of play and is Excellent 5C054-04299)
Pink Floyd - The Wall - 1st - EX - UK - 2-LP vinyl set - £50.00, $64.50, €58.50 (New Item) (arrived 17-Mar-2020 15:55)
PINK FLOYD The Wall (1979 UK first press 26-track double LP with picture labels, complete with bevelled corner card lyric inners & the original gatefold picture sleeve that does not list the band members inside. The sleeve is Excellent with justa little light shelfwear [tiny split to bottom of inner], whilst the vinyl is Excellent with a superb deep sheen & merely the lightest evidence of play SHDW411)
Pink Floyd - A Momentary Lapse Of Reason - UK - vinyl LP - £60.00, $77.40, €70.20 (New Item) (arrived 17-Mar-2020 11:50)
PINK FLOYD A Momentary Lapse Of Reason (1987 UK 11-track LP, the first release from the band after the departure of Roger Waters, complete with illustrated lyric inner, lightly textured gatefold picture sleeve. The sleeve shows minimal shelfwearand the vinyl remains in superb condition with few signs of play EMD1003)