Pink Floyd – The Dark Side Of The Moon

The rainbow-reflecting prism may have been replaced by a live shot, but this Japanese record-club release is a genuine rarity…

There’s an argument to be had that the sleeve design to the Pink Floyd 1973 opus, The Dark Side Of The Moon, is more recognisable than the music itself. Even those who haven’t heard a note of Pink Floyd’s music will still recognise the sleeve. All of which adds to the story of this ultra-obscure Japanese release. 

While details are scarce, it’s said this alternative sleeve was created sometime in late 1977 or 1978 for Toshiba-EMI’s (TOEMI) mail-order only record club.

The alternative sleeve artwork depicts a live stage scene from the 1977 Animals tour, which adds to the narrative that this was released between 1977 and 1978. 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.

This is, without doubt, the rarest of all pressings of The Dark Side Of The Moon. Copies have sold for as much as £3,500, and it 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 the authenticity and extreme rarity of this record.

Glen Bushell