title
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Japanese LPsGuide to Reference
"Obi" History #2
(Update: 25th. April 2020)

Obis with Apple logo 

images A unique feature of Japanese LPs is a fragile strip of paper called an "Obi" (pronounced oh'-bee; literally meaning "belt") wrapped around the cover. The practice of wrapping an Obi around an LP started many years before the Beatles releases and continues up to the present day.
The Obi is generally used as a marketing tool, and Obi designs are as varied as the LPs they decorate.
Some Obis display attractive graphics and provide a list of the songs on the album or other information considered useful to the consumer.
Other Obis simply display a marketing phrase meant to pique the viewer's interest.

While usually found in a wraparound strip, there are other versions of the obi that have occasionally been used.  In the early 1960s, a short-lived hankake obi, or “half obi” was used. These were small strips of paper that simply folded over the top of the cover.  These were problematic for retailers, as they tended to easily fall off of the record.
Some Toshiba/Odeon's Beatles LPs, There is order sheet on the back side of the Obi.
The order sheet was printed for the first "Toshiba Musical Industries" Obi, but was discontinued in the early years of the "Toshiba-EMI Ltd." Obi. This was because each dealer or record shop had developed their merchandise order system in the middle 70's.



Type-6: "Arrow" in Dark Green Obi
(1969 - middle 1972?)
One of the most important milestone affecting a label variation is November, 1968. that was the date when Apple Corp Ltd. of England and Toshiba came to an agreement on the manufacturing and distribution of the Beatles' record in Japan.
As part of that agreement, Toshiba had to reissue on the Apple label all the records previously issued on the Odeon label. The sleeves and Obis also had to be altered to display the Apple logo. Further still, all the Odeon catalog number prefixes were changed to ones with Apple prefixes. In most cases, only the prefixes were changed and the catalog numbers were left intact. Odeon singles, EPs, and LPs with the OR or OP prefixes were changed to Apple singles, EPs, and LPs with the AR or AP prefixes, respectively.
The older Beatles' albums which used the "Arrow" in the dark green Obi with Odeon logo were replaced the Apple logo.
sleeve

MONO: ¥1,700+Order Sheet (Toshiba Onko)
FRONT: TOP
FRONT: BOTTOM

BACK
label label Reissue had a green  "arrow" OBI and priced ¥1,700 on rear sleeve and obi strip. sleeve Has a order sheet on the back side of the Obi.
"¥1,700" and "Toshiba Musical Industries Ltd." was printed at the order sheet.

STEREO: ¥2,000+Order Sheet (Toshiba Onko)
FRONT: TOP
FRONT: BOTTOM

BACK
sleeve label Reissue had a green  "arrow" OBI and priced ¥2,000 on rear sleeve and obi strip.
The word "STEREO" was printed in a arrow.
sleeve Has a order sheet on the back side of the Obi.
"¥2,000" and "Toshiba Musical Industries Ltd." was printed at the order sheet.

Reissue albums

Meet The Beatles!
The Beatles No.2
(The Beatles' Second Album)
The Beatles No.5
A Hard Day's Night
AP-8026 AP-8027 AR-8028 AP-8147
(10/1969) (09/1970) (10/1970) (10/1969)
sleeve sleeve sleeve sleeve

Help!
Rubber Soul
Beatles '65
(Beatles For Sale)
Revolver
AP-8151 AP-8156 AP-8442 AP-8443
(10/1970) (02/1969) (10/1969) (09/1969)
obi sleeve obi sleeve

Exceptions

The Beatles Vol.1
(Please Please Me)
The Beatles Vol.2
(With The Beatles)
AP-8675 AP-8675 AP-8678 AP-8678
10/09/1969 1969?
10/09/1969 1969?
obi obi obi obi
Orange obi
Red obi
Orange obi
Red obi
*Release Date: DD/MM/YYYY

The Beatles' Story A Collection Of Beatles Oldies Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Magical Mystery Tour
AP-8676-7 AP-8016 AP-8163 AP-9728
10/09/1969 03/1969 10/1969 10/1969
obi sleeve obi images


  Apple Label: Reissue Albums List

Album Title
Release Date
Catalog Number
Symbol
Price
Company's Name
Obi
Light Blue & V shape
Arrow in Dark Green Dark Blue
Custom
Order Sheet
Meet The Beatles!
Oct/1969
AR-8026
H
1,700

Toshiba Musical Industires
Ltd.
-
Yes -
-
Yes
The Beatles' Second Album Sep/1970
AR-8027
H
1,700
-
Yes -
-
Yes
A Hard Day's Night Oct/1969 AP-8147
H
2,000
-
Yes -
-
Yes










Beatles '65
(Beatles For Sale)
Oct/1969 AP-8442
H
2,000
-
Yes -
-
Yes
The Beatles No.5 Oct/1970
AR-8028
H
1,700
-
Yes -
-
Yes
Help! Oct/1970 AP-8151
H
2,000
-
Yes -
-
Yes
Rubber Soul Feb/1969
AP-8156
H
2,000
-
Yes -
-
Yes










Please Please Me
(The Beatles Vol.1)
10/09/1969
AP-8675
H
2,000
-
-
-
Yes
(orange?)
Yes
1969?
-
-
-
Yes
(red?)
Yes
With The Beatles
(The Beatles Vol.2)
10/09/1969
AP-8678
H
2,000
-
-
-
Yes
(orange?)
Yes
1969?
-
-
-
Yes
(red?)
Yes










The Beatles' Story
10/09/1969 AP-8676-7
3,500
Yes
-
-
-

Revolver Sep/1969
AP-8443
H
2,000
-
Yes -
-
Yes
A Collection Of Beatles Oldies
Mar/1969
AP-8016
H
2,000
Yes -
-
-
Yes
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Oct/1969
AP-8163
H
2,000
-
-
-
YesYes
Magical Mystery Tour
Oct/1969
AP-9728
H
2,200
-
-
Yes -
Yes
*Release Date: DD/MM/YYYY




Type-7: "Gourd" in dark green or white Obi
(1969 - middle 1972?)
The new Beatles' albums* on the Apple label were issued with this type -- a narrow Obi with a large round Apple logo at the top, has a dark green or white background.

*except: "Yellow Submarine (AP-8610)"
obi obi

Type 7-1: Dark green Obi
The Beatles
Abbey Road
Let It Be
(Box Type)
Let It Be
(Gatefold Type)
AP-8570-1 AP-8815 AP-9009 AP-80189*
(21. Jan. 1969/1st. Press) (2. Oct. 1969/1st. Press) (5. Jun. 1970/1st. Press) (25. Feb. 1971/1st. Press)
obi obi obi obi
*AP-80189 (Let It Be US. version) has two Obis.



Type 7-2: White Obi

Hey Jude
Meet The Beatles!
(US)
The Beatles' Second Album
(US)
Something New
AP-8940 AP-80011 AP-80012 AP-80033
(21. Apr. 1970/1st. Press) (25. Aug. 1970/1st. Press) (25. Aug. 1970/1st. Press) (25. Sep. 1970/1st. Press)
obi obi obi obi

Early Beatles
Beatles VI
Help!
(US)
Yesterday And Today
AP-80034 AP-80035 AP-80060 AP-80061
(25. Sep. 1970/1st. Press) (25. Sep. 1970/1st. Press) (25. Oct. 1970/1st. Press) (25. Oct. 1970/1st. Press)
obi obi obi obi

Exception

Yellow Submarine
AP-8610
1st: Press: 21/03/69
sleeve



Type-8: "Forever" series Obi
(late 1972? - 1976)
This style Obi came into use in the late 1972(?) to promote all Beatles releases then currently on the Apple label.
It is a wide Obi characterized by the Apple logo at the top, the words "The Beatles Forever" at the bottom, and has a dark green background.
The tagline "Beatles Forever" used in Toshiba Onko's campaign began to be used around 1972.
This is the first obi that was released with the same design.Forever obi was used in the early 70's, and used for the Beatles, solos, and Apple artist LPs.

On 1st October 1973, Toshiba Musical Industries Ltd. was changed its name to Toshiba EMI Ltd.  So, there were two kind of Obis --the company name is "Tohiba Musical..." version and "Toshiba EMI..." version.
The order sheet was printed for the first Apple Obi but was discontinued in the early years of the Toshiba EMI/Apple Obi. (Maybe 1974)
sleeve
sleeve


MONO Type-1: ¥1,700+Order Sheet (Toshiba Onko)
FRONT: TOP
FRONT: CENTER
BACK
sleeve  sleeve sleeve sleeve
It is a wide Obi characterized by the Apple logo at the top, and has a dark green background.
Catalogue number "AR-XXXX" and price "¥1,700" were printed at the top on obi strip.
Album catch phrase was printed in white at the center of the obi strip.
Has a order sheet on the back side of the Obi. "¥1,700" and "Toshiba Musical Industries Ltd." were printed at the order sheet.

MONO Type-2:  ¥2,200+Order Sheet (Cut Off: Error Print)
FRONT: TOP
FRONT: CENTER
BACK
sleeve  sleeve sleeve sleeve
Catalogue number "AR-XXXX" and price "¥2,200 (error print)" were printed at the top on obi strip.
On 1st. December 1973, the record price was raised. Since the price of the stereo version was raised from 2000 yen to 2200 yen, this mono version might have been mistakenly printed at 2200 yen.
Album catch phrase was printed in white at the center of the obi strip.
Has a order sheet on the back side of the Obi.
But, cut off below the price print.

MONO Type-3:  ¥2,000+NO Order Sheet
FRONT: TOP
FRONT: CENTER
BACK
sleeve  sleeve sleeve sleeve
It is a wide Obi characterized by the Apple logo at the top, and has a dark green background.
Catalogue number "AR-XXXX" and price "¥1,700" were printed at the top on obi strip.
Album catch phrase was printed in white at the center of the obi strip.
The order form was NOT printed on the obi.

STEREO Type-1:  ¥2,000+Order Sheet (Toshiba Onko)
FRONT: TOP
FRONT: CENTER
BACK
sleeve  sleeve sleeve sleeve
It is a wide Obi characterized by the Apple logo at the top, and has a dark green background.
Catalogue number "AP-XXXX" and price "¥2,000" were printed at the top on obi strip.
Album catch phrase was printed in white at the center of the obi strip.
Has a order sheet on the back side of the Obi. "¥2,000" and "Toshiba Musical Industries Ltd." were printed at the order sheet.

STEREO Type-2:  ¥2,200+Order Sheet (Toshiba EMI) 
FRONT: TOP
FRONT: CENTER
BACK
sleeve  sleeve sleeve sleeve
It is a wide Obi characterized by the Apple logo at the top, and has a dark green background.
Catalogue number "AP-XXXX" and price "¥2,200" were printed at the top on obi strip.
Album catch phrase was printed in white at the center of the obi strip.
Has a order sheet on the back side of the Obi. "¥2,200" and "Toshiba EMI Ltd." were printed at the order sheet.

STEREO Type-3:  ¥2,200+NO Order Sheet 
FRONT: TOP
FRONT: CENTER
BACK
sleeve  sleeve sleeve sleeve
It is a wide Obi characterized by the Apple logo at the top, and has a dark green background.
Catalogue number "AP-XXXX" and price "¥2,200" were printed at the top on obi strip.
Album catch phrase was printed in white at the center of the obi strip.
The order form was NOT printed on the obi.


Reissue albums

Meet The Beatles!
The Beatles No.2
(The Beatles' Second Album)
A Hard Day's Night
Beatles '65
(Beatles For Sale)
The Beatles No.5
AR-8026 AR-8027 AP-8147 AP-8442
sleeve sleeve sleeve obisleeve
Help!
Rubber Soul
The Beatles Vol.1
(Please Please Me)
The Beatles Vol.2
(With The Beatles)
Revolver
AP-8151 AR-8156 AP-8675
AP-8678
AP-8443
obi sleeve obi obiobi
A Collection Of Beatles Oldies
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Beatles
Yellow Submarine
Abbey Road
AP-8016
AP-8163
AP-8570-1
AP-8610 AP-8815
obi obi obi sleeve sleeve
Hey Jude
Meet The Beatles!
(US)

The Beatles' Second Album
(US)

Something New
The Beatles' Story
AP-8940
AP-80011
AP-80012
AP-80033
AP-8676-7
obi obi obi obi obi
Early Beatles
Beatles VI
Help!
(US)
Let It Be
(US)
Magical Mystery Tour
AP-80034
AP-80035
AP-80060
AP-80189
AP-9728
obi obi obi obi obi


Exceptions

AP-8016 AP-80061 EAP-9032B EAP-9034B
Toshiba EMI ¥2,200
Toshiba EMI ¥2,200 (20. May 1973/1st. Press)
sleeve obi obi obi


  Forever Obi: Reissue Albums List

Album Title
Release Date
Catalog Number
Symbol
Price
Forever Obi
Custom Obi
With Order Sheet
NO Order sheet
(EMI)
With Order Sheet
NO
Order Sheet
(EMI)
Toshiba Musical Industries
Toshiba EMI
Toshiba Musical IndustriesToshiba EMI
Meet The Beatles!
Mar/1973
AR-8026
H
1,700
Yes -
-
-
-
-
1974
2,200
-
Yes
(cut off)
-
-
-
-
1974
2,000
-
-
Yes -
-
-
The Beatles' Second Album Mar/1973 AR-8027
H
1,700
Yes -
-
-
-
-
1974
2,000
-
-
Yes -
-
-
A Hard Day's Night Mar/1973 AP-8147
H
2,000
Yes -
-
-
-
-
1974
2,200
-
Yes -
-
-
-
Mid.1974
2,200
-
-
Yes -
-
-











Beatles '65
(Beatles For Sale)
Mar/1973 AP-8442
H
2,000
Yes -
-
-
-
-
1974
2,200
-
-
Yes -
-
-
The Beatles No.5 Mar/1973 AR-8028
H
1,700
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Oct/1973
1,700
-
Yes
(cut off?)
-
-
-
-
1974
2,000
-
-
Yes -
-
-
Help! Mar/1973 AP-8151
H
2,000
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
1974
2,200
-
-
Yes



Rubber Soul Mar/1973 AP-8156
H
2,000
Yes -
-
-
-
-
Oct/1973 2,200
-
Yes -
-
-
-
1974
2,200
-
-
Yes
-
-
-
Album Title Release Date Catalog Number
Symbol
Price
Forever Obi
Custom Obi
With Order Sheet
NO Order sheet
(EMI)
With Order Sheet
NO Order sheet
(EMI)
Toshiba Musical Industries
Toshiba EMI
Toshiba Musical Industries Toshiba EMI
Please Please Me
(The Beatles Vol.1)
Mar/1973 AP-8675
H
2,000
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
1974
2,200
-
-
Yes
-
-
-
With The Beatles
(The Beatles Vol.2)
Mar/1973 AP-8678
H
2,000
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
1974
2,200
-
-
Yes
-
-
-











The Beatles' Story
Mar/1973 AP-8676-7 H
4,000
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
1974
4,400
-
-
Yes
-
-
-
Revolver Mar/1973 AP-8443
H
2,000
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Oct/1973 2,200
-
Yes
-
-
-
-
1974
2,200
-
-
Yes
-
-
-
A Collection Of Beatles Oldies
Mar/1969
AP-8016
H
2,000
-
-
-
Yes -
-
1974
2,200
-
-
-
-
-
Yes
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Mar/1973 AP-8163
H
2,000
Yes -

-
-
-
1974
2,200
-
-
Yes -
-
-
Magical Mystery Tour
Mar/1973 AP-9728
H
2,200
Yes
-
-
-
-
-











The Beatles
Mar/1973 AP-8570-71
H
4,000
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
1974
4,400
-
-
Yes
-
-
-
Yellow Submarine
Mar/1973 AP-8610
H
2,000
Yes -
-
-
-
-
1974
2,200
-
-
Yes -
-
-
Abbey Road
Mar/1973 AP-8815
H
2,000
Yes -
-
-
-
-
Oct/1973 2,200
-
Yes -
-
-
-
1974
2,200
-
-
Yes -
-
-











Hey Jude
Mar/1973 AP-8940
H
2,000
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
1974
2,200
-
-
Yes
-
-
-
Meet The Beatles! (US)
Mar/1973 AP-80011
H
2,000 Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Oct/1973 2,200
-
Yes
-
-
-
-
1974
2,200
-
-
Yes
-
-
-
The Beatles' Second Album
(US)
Mar/1973 AP-80012
H
2,000 Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Oct/1973 2,200
-
?
-
-
-
-
1974
2,200
-
-
Yes
-
-
-
Something New
Mar/1973 AP-80033
H
2,000 Yes
-
-
-
-
-
1974
2,200
-
-
Yes
-
-
-
Early Beatles
Mar/1973 AP-80034
H
2,000 Yes
-
-
-
-
-
1974
2,200
-
-
Yes
-
-
-
Beatles VI
Mar/1973 AP-80035
H
2,000 Yes
-
-
-
-
-
1974


2,200
-
-
Yes
-
-
-
Help!
(US)
Mar/1973 AP-80060
H
2,000 Yes
-
-
-
-
-
1974


2,200
-
-
Yes
-
-
-
Yesterday And Today
25/08/1970
AP-80061
H
2,000
-
-
-
Yes
-
-
1974
2,200
-
-
-
-
-
Yes
Let It Be
(US)
Mar/1973 AP-80189
H
2,000 Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Oct/1973 2,200
-
Yes
-
-
-
-
1974
2,200
-
-
Yes
-
-
-




Type-9: "Country Flag" series Obi (1976 - 1980?)

This style Obi came into use in June 1976 to promote the EAS series of Beatles reissues.
It is a wide Obi that has the flag of the country of the LP's origin at the top. The LP's series number is located on the Apple logo and at an angle at the bottom. Has a red background.

Series Number
(#1 - #29 : Apple label, #30 - #40 : EMI/Odeon label)

  • #1 Please Please Me (UK)
  • #2 With The Beatles (UK)
  • #3 A Hard Day's Night (UK)
  • #4 Beatles For Sale (UK)
  • #5 Help! (UK)
  • #6 Rubber Soul (UK)
  • #7 Revolver (UK)
  • #8 A Collection Of Beatles Oldies (UK)
  • #9 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (UK)
  • #10 The Beatles (UK)
  • #11 Yellow Submarine (UK)
  • #12 Abbey Road (UK)
  • #13 Let It Be (US)

  • #14 1962-1966
  • #15 1967-1970
  • #16 Meet The Beatles (US)
  • #17 The Beatles' Second Album (US)
  • #18 Something New (US)
  • #19 The Beatles' Story (US)
  • #20 The Early Beatles (US)
  • #21 Beatles VI (US)
  • #22 Help! (US)
  • #23 Yesterday And Today (US)
  • #24 Magical Mystery Tour (US)
  • #25 Hey Jude (US)
  • #26 Meet The Beatles (J)

  • #27 The Beatles' Second Album (J)
  • #28 Beatles No.5 (J)
  • #29 Rock and Roll Music (US)
  • #30 The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl
  • #31 Love Songs
  • #32 The Beatles' Greatest (Hol.)
  • #33 The Beatles Beat (Ger.)
  • #34 Rarities (UK)
  • #35 Rarities (US)
  • #36 Rock and Roll Music Vol.1 (US)
  • #37 Rock and Roll Music Vol.2 (US)
  • #38 The Beatles Ballad
  • #39 Reel Music
  • #40 The Beatles In Italy (Italy)



Example
EAS-80550 EAS-80555 EAS-80556 EAS-80560
(20. Jun. 1976/1st. Press) (20. Jun. 1976/4th. Press) (20. Jun. 1976/4th. Press) (20. Jun. 1976/2nd. Press)
obi obi obi obi
EAS-80565 EAS-80567 EAS-70100 EAS-77009-10
(5. Jun. 1976/2nd. Press) (5. Jun. 1976/2nd. Press) (5. Jul. 1976/4th. Press) (20. Jun. 1976/1st. Press)
obi obi obi obi
--> and more


Price Changes

The earlier release have lower prices because just about all these records ware released during a time of generally increasing prices. Printed prices always appear somewhere on the cover and Obi of Japanese records. In cases where the price changed before a new cover could be printed, a sticker (usually gold with black characters) bearing the new price was placed over the printed cover and Obi price.



Symbol Price Comments
Odeon
F 1,500yen Original OR-7000 Series
F 1,800yen Early original OP-7000 Series
G 1,800yen Some later original OP-7000 series
H 1,700yen Original OR-8000 series
H 1,750yen Some OP-7000 series
H 2,000yen Original OP-8000 series
H 2,200yen Original OP-9000 series
Apple
H 2,000yen TOSHIBA MUSICAL INDUSTRIES
Sometimes stickered over with 2,200
H 2,000yen TOSHIBA-EMI
H 2,200yen TOSHIBA MUSICAL INDUSTRIES original AP-9000 series
H 2,200yen TOSHIBA-EMI
H 4,000yen "THE BEATLES (White Album)"-original
H 4,400yen "THE BEATLES (White Album)"-TOSHIBA-EMI
EMI/Odeon
I 2,000yen EAS-60000 series single LP
I 2,300yen EAS-70000 series single LP
I 2,500yen EAS-80000 series single LP
I 2,800yen EAS-90000 series LP
I 3,600yen EAS-50000 series double LP
I 4,000yen EAS-60000 series double LP
I 4,600yen EAS-70000 or 80000 series double LP











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