Elvis 1957 drums 1500 crop

elvis compact 33s from japan 1961–1967

IN JAPAN, the seven-inch, 33 rpm format lasted into the second half of the ’60s. Elvis records were is­sued as Com­pact 33 Sin­gles and Dou­bles there that were not is­sued do­mes­ti­cally. Japanese record buyers were ap­par­ently not even given the op­por­tu­nity to ap­pre­ciate the slower speed sin­gles, as I could not find any ref­er­ence to that country re­leasing any sin­gles at 33 rpm.

Below find a list of al­most four dozen ti­tles that kept the format afloat into the second half of the decade, ears after most of the rest of the world had jet­ti­soned the format as un­sellable.

 

I could not find ev­i­dence of a single Elvis Com­pact 33 Single from Japan on the In­ternet.

 

Of course, by 1965, sales of many of these records were less than modest and today many of them sell for hun­dreds of dol­lars each. Even ti­tles from the Presley Golden Com­pact Se­ries of reis­sues from 1965–67 sell for big bucks.

As I am rather clue­less about the im­por­tance and value of Elvis com­pact 33s from out­side of the US, there is no price guide with these en­tries. I am just pre­senting a gallery of im­ages of Elvis com­pact 33s from Japan here.

 

Compact 33 Doubles 

Japan: Flaming Star (CP-1001, 1961)

This has the same cover de­sign as the Amer­ican ver­sion ex­cept for the title on the record is FLAMING STAR and not ELVIS BY REQUEST like the US record. It also has the same con­tent as the Amer­ican record (LPC-128).

 

Japan: Elvis Is Back (SCP-1002, 1961)

RCA of Japan lifted the un­at­trac­tive photo of Elvis from the ELVIS IS BACK album of 1960, blotted out the back­drop, and sub­sti­tuted this garish blue. An am­a­teurish job that looks more like a Tai­wanese rip-off than the work we as­so­ciate with the Japanese record man­u­fac­turers.

 

Japan: Jail­house Rock (CP-1005, 1961)

This is a reissue of the Amer­ican EP album of the same name (EPA-4114) from 1957, but with great cartoon-like graphics for this jacket! Easily one of my fa­vorite covers for an Elvis record. The image above was taken from a pub­licity still for the movie Jail­house Rock (below), which sub­se­quently found its way onto a poster for the film in­tended for dis­play in the­ater lob­bies around the country (also below).

 

CP-1005 was ap­par­ently the only Com­pact 33 Double to be is­sued with a custom inner sleeve fea­turing the song ti­tles in Japanese and Eng­lish.

 

The poster for the movie used an itty-bitty re­pro­duc­tion of the photo again, con­cen­trating in­stead on a painted close-up of Elvis, highly ro­man­ti­cized, make-up and all. Need­less to say, the top half of this poster was for the girls; the bottom half, the rest of us. 1

 

Japan: Follow That Dream (CP-1024, 1962)

Same photo (the bland Elvis of the early ’60s but this time with his hair its nat­ural brown) and cover de­sign as the US re­lease (EPA-4368), as well as the same con­tent.2

 

 

Japan: Christmas With Elvis (CP-1032, 1962)

This is the same cover as that of the US re­lease of the same name from 1958: the blandest photo of Elvis from the ’50s and a hint of what the ’60s would bring against a fake back­drop. Boring then, his­tor­i­cally in­ter­esting now. 3

 

This is the more common ver­sion: it is not a jacket but a single-sheet ‘in­sert’ with the song’s lyrics on the back (note the light blue back­ground of the cover art). Shipped with the record in a plain RCA paper sleeve.

This is a reissue of the Amer­ican EP album of the same name (EPA-4340) and the second EP pulled from the ELVIS’ CHRISTMAS ALBUM LP. Oddly, Japan did not reissue the first Christmas EP (ELVIS SINGS CHRISTMAS SONGS, EPA-4108), which was a much bigger seller, prob­ably be­cause it fea­tured the an­nual fa­vorite Blue Christmas.

 

Japan: Such A Night (CP-1036, 1962)

This is a reissue of CP-1002, ELVIS IS BACK from 1961 (above), but with a black and white photo from the movie Follow That Dream tinted a deep pink. Weird.

 

Japan: Kid Galahad (CP-1037, 1962)

Same photo (the bland Elvis of the early ’60s) and cover de­sign with the same con­tent as the US re­lease (EPA-4371).

 

Japan: Elvis Hit Album (CP-1088, 1963)

The title here might sug­gest a poorly worded at­tempt at naming a greatest hits com­pi­la­tion. Such is not the case: this is a reissue of the Amer­ican EP album LOVE ME TENDER (EPA-4008) from 1956 with the cover art from the Amer­ican EP album JAILHOUSE ROCK (EPA-4114) from 1957. But, as Love Me Tender was a world­wide hit album seven years ear­lier, the title is ac­cu­rate.

 

Japan: Any Way You Want Me (CP-1096, 1963)

The title tune is from 1956 (and coulda shoulda been an A-side of a single) and the photo on the cover is yet an­other from Jail­house Rock in 1957. The black border sets off the ugly or­ange back­drop (which blends in with Elvis’s movie make-up). This is a reissue of the Amer­ican EP album of the same name (EPA-965) from 1956.

 

Japan: Trouble (SCP-1108, 1964)

This is a reissue of the Amer­ican EP album KING CREOLE VOLUME 2 (EPA-4321) from 1958.

 

Japan: New Screen Theme Hit Album (SCP-1118, 1964)

This is a var­ious artists album fea­turing one track by Elvis, Kissin’ Cousins. Of course, what is most in­ter­esting is that Elvis and Sean Con­nery are pic­tured to­gether on the same cover.

 

Japan: Love In Las Vegas (CP-1131, 1964)

Same photo, cover de­sign, and con­tent as the US re­lease (EPA-4382) ex­cept the title has been changed from Viva Las Vegas to Love In Las Vegas. Elvis looks sleeker and sexier for this film (made in 1963) than was the norm for the time. I wonder if his co-star had any­thing to do with that …

 

Japan: Long Tall Sally (SCP-1133, 1964)

This is a reissue of the Amer­ican EP album STRICTLY ELVIS (EPA-994) from 1956 with the same photo (the hand­some Elvis of the mid-’60s) and layout as the US Gold Stan­dard 45 re­lease of Hound Dog / Don’t Be Cruel from 1964.

 

Japan: Blue Suede Shoes (SCP-1140, 1964)

This is a reissue of the Amer­ican EP album ELVIS PRESLEY (EPA-747) from 1956. Same photo (the bland Elvis of the mid-’60s) and layout as the US Gold Stan­dard 45 re­lease of That’s All Right / Blue Moon Of Ken­tucky of 1964.

 

Japan: Elvis Sails (CP-1147, 1964)

This is a reissue of the Amer­ican EP album of the same name (EPA-4325) from 1959 with a dif­ferent cover.

 

Japan: Tickle Me (SCP-1183, 1965)

This cover de­sign was lifted from the US poster for the Tickle Me movie (below). De­spite its bor­der­line am­a­teurish look, it is a hell of a lot more in­ter­esting than the bland de­sign on the Amer­ican EP album of 1965. This has the same con­tent as the US record.

 

A one-sheet poster for the US re­lease of the movie Tickle Me in 1965. A dumb, poorly made movie that was done during the nadir of Pres­ley’s ca­reer (1964-65), it is al­most worth seeing for the pres­ence of the ever-lovely, peren­ni­ally under-appreciated Julia Adams and sexy new­comer Jo­celyn Lane. Al­most …

 

Japan: Tickle Me (SCP-1183, 1965)

Same photo (the bland Elvis of the mid-’60s) and layout as the US re­lease (EPA-4383). This is ap­par­ently a rather rare record: an al­ter­na­tive cover de­sign to the more common white cover above.

 

Japan: Elvis Pres­ley’s Christmas Song (SCP-1205, 1965)

This is a package unique to the Japanese market, con­sisting of six of the eight tracks on the two Amer­ican EP al­bums, ELVIS SINGS CHRISTMAS SONGS (EPA-4108) and CHRISTMAS WITH ELVIS (EPA-4340).

 

Japan: Heart­break Hotel (SCP-1230, 1965)

Part of the Presley Golden Com­pact Se­ries, this is a reissue of the Amer­ican EP album of the same name (EPA-821).

 

Japan: Rip It Up (SCP-1231, 1965)

Part of the Presley Golden Com­pact Se­ries, this is a reissue of the Amer­ican EP album ELVIS VOLUME 1 (EPA-992) from 1956.

 

Japan: Old Shep (SCP-1232, 1965)

Part of the Presley Golden Com­pact Se­ries, this is a reissue of the Amer­ican EP album ELVIS VOLUME 2 (EPA-993) from 1956.

 

Japan: Shake, Rattle And Roll (SCP-1233, 1965)

Part of the Presley Golden Com­pact Se­ries, this is a reissue of the Amer­ican EP album ELVIS PRESLEY (EPA-830) from 1956.

 

Japan: The Real Elvis (SCP-1234, 1965)

Part of the Presley Golden Com­pact Se­ries, this is a reissue of the Amer­ican EP album of the same name (EPA-940) from 1956.

 

Japan: Any Way You Want Me (SCP-1235, 1965)

Part of the Presley Golden Com­pact Se­ries, this is a reissue of CP-1096 from 1963 (above).

 

Japan: Love Me Tender (SCP-1236, 1965)

Part of the Presley Golden Com­pact Se­ries, this is a reissue of CP-1088 from 1961 (above).

 

Japan: All Shook Up (SCP-1237, 1965)

Part of the Presley Golden Com­pact Se­ries, this is a reissue of the Amer­ican EP album A TOUCH OF GOLD VOLUME 3 (EPA-5141) from 1960.

 

Japan: I Need You So (SCP-1238, 1965)

Part of the Presley Golden Com­pact Se­ries, this is a reissue of the Amer­ican EP album JUST FOR YOU (EPA-4041) from 1957. Same photo (the bland Elvis of the early ’60s) and layout as the Amer­ican SOMETHING FOR EVERYBODY LP album (LSP-2370) of 1961. 

 

Japan: Loving You (SCP-1239, 1965)

Part of the Presley Golden Com­pact Se­ries, this is a reissue of the Amer­ican EP album LOVING YOU VOLUME 1 (EPA-1515-1) from 1957.

 

Japan: Mean Woman Blues (SCP-1240, 1965)

Part of the Presley Golden Com­pact Se­ries, this is a reissue of the Amer­ican EP album LOVING YOU VOLUME 2 (EPA-1515-2) from 1957.

 

Japan: Jail­house Rock (SCP-1241, 1965)

Part of the Presley Golden Com­pact Se­ries, this is a reissue of CP-1001 from 1961 (above).

 

Japan: Wear My Ring Around Your Neck (SCP-1242, 1965)

Part of the Presley Golden Com­pact Se­ries, this is a reissue of the Amer­ican EP album A TOUCH OF GOLD VOLUME 2 (EPA-5108) from 1959. Same photo as the US al­bums ex­cept for the black back­drop re­ally sets off the gold suit (even if the ti­tles get in the way).

 

Japan: Hard Headed Woman (SCP-1243, 1965)

Part of the Presley Golden Com­pact Se­ries, this is a reissue of the Amer­ican EP album A TOUCH OF GOLD VOLUME 1 (EPA-5088) from 1959.

 

Japan: King Creole (SCP-1244, 1965)

Part of the Presley Golden Com­pact Se­ries, this is a reissue of the Amer­ican EP album KING CREOLE VOLUME 2 (EPA-4321) from 1958. This may be the rarest and most valu­able item listed on this page, with col­lec­table copies selling for more than a thou­sand US dol­lars.

 

Japan: It’s Now Or Never (SCP-1245, 1965)

Part of the Presley Golden Com­pact Se­ries, this is a reissue of CP-1001 from 1961 (above).

 

Japan: Follow That Dream (SCP-1246, 1965)

Part of the Presley Golden Com­pact Se­ries, this is a reissue of CP-1024 from 1962 (above).

 

Japan: Kid Galahad (SCP-1247, 1965)

Part of the Presley Golden Com­pact Se­ries, this is a reissue of CP-1037 from 1962 (above).

 

Japan: Viva Las Vegas (SCP-1248, 1965)

Part of the Presley Golden Com­pact Se­ries,  this is a reissue of CP-1131 from 1964 (above).

 

Japan: Peace In The Valley (SCP-1249, 1965)

Part of the Presley Golden Com­pact Se­ries, this is a reissue of the Amer­ican EP album of the same name (EPA-4054) from 1957.

 

Japan: Easy Come, Easy Go (SCP-1321, 1967)

Same photo (the bland Elvis of the mid-’60s) and layout as the US re­lease, but in Japan the movie was ap­par­ently ti­tled Go Go Go in­stead of Easy Come, Easy Go, an Amer­ican idiom that prob­ably had no meaning to Japanese movie-goers. This has the same cover de­sign and con­tent as the Amer­ican EP album of the same name (EPA-4387) from 1967.

 

Japan: Par­adise, Hawaiian Style (SCP-1327, 1967)

This an album unique to Japan and fea­tures four tracks and the cover de­sign of the Amer­ican LP album of the same name (LSP-3643) from 1966.

 

Japan: Love Me Tender (SCP-1328, 1967)

This is a com­pi­la­tion album unique to Japan.

 

Japan: Hound Dog (SCP-1329, 1967)

This is a com­pi­la­tion album unique to Japan.

 

C33_SCP-1330_JoshuaFitTheBattle

Japan: Joshua Fit The Battle (SCP-1330, 1967)

This is a com­pi­la­tion album unique to Japan.

 

C33_SCP-1331_MemphisTennessee

Japan: Mem­phis, Ten­nessee (SCP-1331, 1967)

This is a com­pi­la­tion album unique to Japan.

 

Japan: Spinout (SCP-1332, 1967)

This an album unique to Japan and fea­tures four tracks and the cover de­sign of the Amer­ican LP album of the same name (LSP-3702) from 1966.

 

Japan: Spinout (SSD-30-31, 1966)

This pro­mo­tional package in­cludes one com­pact 33 double (SSD-30) and one 45 rpm single (SSD-31) in a double-pocket jacket with a booklet. The 33 record con­tains Last Train To Clarksville and Step Out­side Your Mind by the Mon­kees with Spinout and Love Let­ters by Elvis. The 45 record has Theme From For A Few Dol­lars More by Ennio Mor­ri­cone and I Saw Her Again by the Mamas & Papas.

While the mu­sical match is in­ter­esting, this may be the only time that Elvis of the mid-’60s was paired with Clint East­wood in any­one’s mind about any­thing! This has to be the oddest item in this gallery: the image on the left is from the Sergio Leone movie, while the one on the right is from Spinout.

   

Elvis 1957 drums 1000

FEATURED IMAGE: The photo at the top of this page shows Elvis taking his hand at D. J. Fontana’s drum kit during the filming of the movie Jail­house Rock in 1957.

 

Elvis 1957 goldsuit standup 1000

POSTSCRIPTUALLY, due to the high quality and at­ten­tion to de­tail that Japanese records are noted for, they have been highly de­sir­able among al­most all record col­lec­tors for as long as I have been ac­tive in the field (forty plus years). I see no reason for this to change in the near fu­ture. Fi­nally, most of the im­ages above were pro­vided by Frank Daniels.

 


FOOTNOTES:

1   Not that I am con­demning the de­ci­sion: you do what you gotta do the make with the sales, yes?

2   Ac­cording to the Free Dic­tio­nary, the word bland means, first, “char­ac­ter­ized by a mod­erate, un­per­turbed, or tran­quil quality,” and second, “dull and in­sipid; having little or no dis­tinc­tive flavor.” Guess which one I am shooting for here …

3   “His­tor­i­cally in­ter­esting” is a Nealism for “boring.”

     

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