I Want to Hold Your Hand – Beatles Rare Japanese Promo CD

When we posted on last year the Beatles 5 CD Japan Box we were intrigued by a thin paper postcard included with he set. We can’t read Japanese, but it looked like you could fill out your details, attach a postage stamp and send off to receive an additional, limited edition CD single of ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ in a replica sleeve of the first Beatles Japanese vinyl 45 from 1964. The postcard looked like this:japan-box-insert

Turns out we were correct. Only a few lucky Japanese Beatle fans were eligible to get what undoubtably will become a rare collectors item to add to their Japan Box box sets as the special offer/application postcard was valid only to purchasers of the box set who lived in Japan. The offer expired on July 9, 2014 – and even then it was like a ballot. Only some of those who applied got a copy.

We’ve been checking around the web to see if any had since come up for sale.

The big music collectables online site eil.com now has this listing for the rare CD single – but no copies are currently available:  “The Beatles ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’. Super rare 2014 Japanese only 1-track promotional only mono CD, only available to competition winners by sending a postcard from the Japanese Album box set, and was a lottery as to who receives a copy. The disc is printed with the similar design that featured on the 1964 legendary 7″ with the Odeon Records label, housed in a custom card wallet picture sleeve replicating the artwork from the single with ‘Sampler / Not For Sale / Promotional Use Only’ text on the front, whilst the back promotes the actual Japan Box release, comes with a two page Japanese press release. Another stunning promo from Japan that is sure to become very sought after and highly collectable SIC-9045).”

One copy was recently on Ebay – with an asking price of US$538.00. It was accompanied by these photographs which gave some more detail about the CD single:$_12d$_12c$_12a$_12b$_12$_12e

So – this is indeed destined to become one very rare collectable. If anyone has one and wants to tell us how they got hold of it please get in touch!

Beatles Japan Box – Translation of Insert

Our box set of the Beatles’ Japan Box came with this postcard insert:Japan Box insert

On the other side there are spaces to fill out your name and address details, attach a postage stamp. We thought it looks like an offer to send it off to receive an additional CD single.

We wanted to confirm this and so we sent a photo of the card to a Japanese friend who has kindly had a look. While not offering a complete translation he writes: “The text reads that you can enter a draw to win a special, one-song promo CD (not for sale) of “I Want To Hold Your Hand” – complete with the original Japanese 7-inch cover reproduced for the CD sleeve. The deadline is postmarked 9 July (in Japan) though….”

Sadly, the CD Japan site also says that this special offer/application postcard is valid only for purchases in Japan….

So, it looks like only a few lucky Japanese Beatle fans will be getting what undoubtably will become a collectors item to add to their Japan Box box sets. IWTHYH Japan

The Beatles Japan Box – First Pics and Unboxing

Our Japanese copy of the Beatles five CD Japan Box arrived in the post this morning and so we thought we’d upload an “unboxing” series of photos and show you the contents in some detail.

This has been devised and issued in Japan as part of that country’s activities to mark the Beatles 50th anniversary celebrations this year.

The box set, which will also be issued in the UK and the US, comes in a re-sealable, clear plastic outer. Inside this is a red, yellow and blue paper insert which wraps around the box from part-way at the front and completely covers the rear: Japan BoxOn the outside of the box is a circular sticker attached to the clear plastic cover. Not sure what it says – so if anyone can read Japanese please let us know: Japan Box frontWe think that the sticker has something to do with a small paper insert which is included inside the box (see more on this below).

Here’s the rear of the box with the wrap-around paper insert still in place: Japan Box rear

Once you take the box set from it’s plastic cover this is what it looks like, front and rear:

Japan Box front2Japan Box rear2

The Japanese are obviously very good at doing high quality glossy cardboard. This set has a really luxurious lustre to it. The sides of the box look like this: Japan Box side1Japan Box side2

Like previous Beatle CD box sets released in this style (The Beatles In Mono and The US Albums) there’s a slide-out inner draw which holds the contents:Japan Box open1Japan Box open2

Each of the five CDs comes in it’s own protective clear plastic, re-sealable outer sleeve. There’s a thick booklet included in the box as well as a small, clear plastic sachet containing mini replicas of five Japanese OBI strips. These would have been attached to the original LPs back in the day and are an indicator that Universal Music in Japan have gone to great lengths to accurately recreate the original album artwork:Japan Box OBI strips

The 96-page booklet looks like this:Japan Box BookJapan Box Book2Japan Box Book3Japan Box Book4Continuing on the design elements established with The Beatles in Mono and The US Albums box sets, each CD comes packaged just like the original 1960’s Japanese LP sleeves for these albums. This attention to detail extends to the external tabs on the rear of the covers, right through to what’s inside as well:Japan Box MTB frontJapan Box MTB rear

Inside there are authentic paper inner sleeves – exactly as they would have been for the vinyl editions. Meet the Beatles, for example, has a plain white paper sleeve:Japan Box MTB inner sleeve

There are also the original paper inserts with the lyrics for each song. And the original Odeon Records labels are printed on the CD:Japan Box MTB insertJapan Box MTB CD

This sort of detail is continued throughout each of the five CDs:Japan Box Second Album frontJapan Box Second Album rearJapan Box No2 insertJapan Box AHDN frontJapan Box AHDN rearJapan Box AHDN insertJapan Box No5 front

The Beatles No.5 cover loses the external rear tabs and just has a photograph of the band on the rear cover with no song titles:

Japan Box No5 rearInside there’s a printed paper inner sleeve with advertising for other artists who would have been on the Japanese Odeon label at the time, as well as the paper insert with lyrics, etc:Japan Box No5 inner sleeveJapan Box No5 inserts

Help! comes in a gatefold sleeve. Here’s the front cover:Japan Box Help frontHere is the rear:Japan Box Help rearAnd here’s the inside of the gatefold:Japan Box Help gatefold

Help! also gets a printed paper inner sleeve with advertising, plus the insert with lyrics:Japan Box Help insertsIt also gets a colour photo of the band as an additional insert:Japan Box Help photo insertJapan Box Help CD

One mystery object included with the box set is this thin paper postcard. We can’t read Japanese, but it looks like you can fill out your details on the other side, attach a postage stamp and send it off to receive an additional CD single. Possibly “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, the first Japanese single from 1964? If anyone can assist with translating this please do!   Japan Box insert

All-in-all this box is beautifully done, and it sits nicely alongside The Beatles in Mono and The US Albums box sets as it is exactly the same proportions and style.