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Where can I buy out of print (OOP) mini LPs? E-mail

Out of print (OOP) CDs are a completely different keetle of fish

If it looks too good to be true then it probably is.

eBay

For older and sold-out releases (they do ocassionally sell out very quickly) there is of course ebay.

Following you'll find links to ebay stores run by sellers who are trusted by members of the Japanese Import CDs Yahoo group. This is in no way an endorsement of these sellers....

Advice on buying

If it looks too good to be true then it probably is.

There are apparently a large number of fakes and counterfeits on the market these days. I have not heard of them turning up as new items on the major sites or in land based shops.

Check the seller's rating and location. Fakes appear to be produced in China and Russia. You are advised to think carefully before buying from sellers who are located in Russia, Latvia, China and other Asian centres other than Japan. Generally sellers with a good feedback rating located in the United States, Western Europe, Australia etc are selling the real product but some fakes are very convincing and you may be best to ask the seller to check the imprinting on the centre of the CD. If they do not respond then it's probably best to skip that auction.

Note that fakes are not the same as mini LPs that are obviously Russian such as The Beatles Sgt.Peppers. Fakes look identical to the Japanese version including the obi etc. We have a few examples on the site including Aerosmith Pump and Jethro Tull Broadsword.

The Japanese Import CDs Yahoo group has discussions on dealers and ebay traders too.

It seems that many so called "limited releases" are not quite as limited as the original buyers (and investors) thought. If you see a glut of a particular item appearing on eBay the chances are the item (or something very much like it) is about to be re-released and the "investors" have decided to offload their premium items before the inivitable drop in prices. If in doubt, follow the links above (CDJapan or HMV) to see if it's coming back onto the market in the next few months.

 
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Featured Releases (A selection of...)

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Front cover (main) image of VICP-5442,3,4 : Emerson, Lake + Palmer : First True Japanese Mini LP Rock Release
VICP-5442,3,4 : 1994-09-21

The first three Emerson Lake and Palmer albums (self titled, Tarkus and Pictures at an Exhibition) are arguably the first true Rock Mini LPs. They were released on 21st September 1994.

These had been preceded by a much earlier Lotus and a US release of some Rolling Stones albums repackaged for Japan a few short months before these. Neither of these earlier releases was true to the original vinyl although the Stones came close.

The earliest true Minis were two series of MCA Jazz releases from March 1994 (MVCZ-26 to MVCZ-45) including this example: Death and The Flower.

Front cover (main) image of POCP-9194 to POCP-9208 & 9212/3 : Who (The) : POCP Target Obi Series
POCP-9194 to POCP-9208 & 9212/3 : 1999-09-29
The first edition of the first series of mini LPs for the Who (target obis) came with inserts that were pre-punched. A binder and T-Shirt accompanied the release. It is not clear how these were obtained but it seems likely that the small yellow coupon on the obi would have been snipped off and the folder at least was awarded on surrendering the full set of coupons.
 
Front cover (main) image of WPCR-13142 (fake) : Led Zeppelin : Fake Led Zeppelin - 40th Anniversary Definitive Collection (Zoso Box)
WPCR-13142 (fake) : 2009-01-01

This fake Led Zeppelin 40th Anniversary appears to be made in China. You would find it hard to pick a sealed copy of this as being anything other than than the real deal.

Inside it is also remarkably similar but has some significant, obvious differences in packaging including: (a) the CD comes in a flimsy loose fitting bag (b) Physical Graffiti has no cut out windows and (c) III (3) has no turning wheel.

The CDs also have the tell tale extra ring in the middle but this is much better disguised than usual.

Unusually for fakes these have the catalogue number and an IFPI code (CC 303) on the silver side of the disc.

Front cover (main) image of DU-SP146.2 : Bowie, David : Space Oddity Box
DU-SP146.2 : 2007-03-07

This box was issued by Disk Union as part of the 3rd of their 3 box releases in the early 2007. You did not need to buy boxes one (Ziggy Stardust Box and Promo Obis) or two (Low Box and Promo Obis) in order to receive the Space Oddity Box. It came with Let's Dance Box and Promo Obis.

 
Front cover (main) image of DU-SP110-0412P : Marley, Bob : Catch A Fire Box (Zippo Lighter)
DU-SP110-0412P : 2006-10-04
Zippo lighter gimmick box in the style of "Catch a Fire"
 

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