Label Variations Part Four – Shaved Fish

Earlier this week I blogged about an interesting CD variation of John Lennon’s “Shaved Fish”.

That post prompted me to drag out the vinyl copies of this 1973 “Best Of” compilation and publish some photos of the different versions I have in the collection.

The front cover, rear cover, and inner sleeve of this album in LP form seems to be very consistent right around the world. Here’s a typical front cover. This one below is the Italian release:

Italian front cover of Lennon's 1973 "Shaved Fish"

And here is the rear cover:

"Shaved Fish" rear cover (Italy)

There is a strong Japanese influence to the graphic design throughout, which was provided by designer Roy Kohara who worked again with Lennon as Art Director and Designer for both his “Walls and Bridges” and “Rock’n’Roll” LP’s.

The sub-title for this album seems to be “Collectable Lennon” as this phrase is printed on the rear covers of both the Italian and British versions of the album. Its not on the US or Australian rear covers, but does appear on a big sticker on the front of the US copy of the LP that I have:

All copies seem to come with an inner sleeve which is solid red on one side with the lyrics for each song printed in white. The other side has a red rising sun, reminiscent of the Japanese national flag, continuing Kohara’s Japanese theme:

Red inner sleeve with lyrics - Italian release

Kohara's Japanese theme continued on inner sleeve

Here’s the label for the Italian release – a green Apple label:

Italian Apple label

I have two versions of the Australian release. The original Apple label:

Australian green Apple

And the later Parlophone black and silver re-issue:

Australian Parlophone re-issue

The U.S. release is a green Apple:

US green Apple label

And finally the U.K. release, again a green Apple label:

UK green Apple label

If you’d like to see some more label variations you can go to:

Label Variations – Part One “Sgt Pepper”

Label Variations – Part Two “Let It Be”

Label Variations – Part Three – McCartney’s “Choba B CCCP”


The Beatles “Love” collectable variations

John Lennon – A “Shaved Fish” Variation

A while back blog reader and correspondent Ned in the US sent through some photos of Beatles and Beatles-related oddities from his collection. I’ve already published a couple of posts featuring his rare “Love” CD single, and a still-sealed copy of the “Lennon” 4 CD box set with a unique printing error that he has.

Ned has also sent some shots of an unusual copy of John Lennon’s 1975 compilation CD “Shaved Fish”. Its believed this is a rare withdrawn release originally made in Japan but intended for the US market, and that it was subsequently withdrawn from sale and replaced with (the more common) locally pressed Capitol version. As you can see below there are variations in both the rear cover and interior artwork, and in the printing on the CD itself. Here’s the rear cover of the rare version:

Rear cover of the withdrawn "Shaved Fish" release

Ned writes: “The back cover art of the withdrawn “Shaved Fish” doesn’t list the producer credits on the bottom that are found on the common U.S. release.  Also notice that the label number CDP 7 46642 2 (upper right corner) is the same as the common [U.S.] one, indicating that the release was intended as the official U.S. CD.  Had this Japan-made CD been intended for the Japanese market or elsewhere it would have had a different reference number. I’ve also included a photo of both releases side-by-side.  It’s possible that the EU version of “Shaved Fish” has the same art as the withdrawn U.S. one but since I’ve never run into a European import of it I can’t confirm that”:


Ned says: “The withdrawn version (pictured on top) has the words “Lennon Plastic Ono Band” at the top of the disc just under the EMI logo and the name, “Shaved Fish” at the bottom.  While the official and far more common re-release (pictured on bottom) shows the Capitol logo instead of the EMI logo while John Lennon’s full name appears without the addition of the Plastic Ono Band.  (It’s awkward to call the bottom one the “official release” since most people never knew there had even BEEN a withdrawn one).  How did I acquire this withdrawn one?  I really don’t know!  I just bought it when it came out and then it swiftly disappeared for a few years until I saw it again in it’s reincarnated state.”

Thanks again to Ned for providing these photos and info. If anyone has any further information on this Lennon release it’d be good to share it. Either post a comment using the blog “Comment” link below, or email me direct at

I have a couple of vinyl LP versions of the “Shaved Fish” release in my own collection and Ned has inspired me to drag these out and do a Label Variations post on these – so keep an eye out for that soon.