title
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Japanese LPsGuide to Reference
"Obi" History #1
(Update: 11th. May 2020)

Obis with "Odeon" logo

logo 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.


Type-1: "Hankake" Obi
sleeve
(April 1964 - Oct 1964?)
One of the characteristics of the Odeon Obis with the 7000 range numbers (from 7041 to 7600) is definitiely the dark blue "Hankake-Obi" (Obis draped from the top, not forming a loop), which is the oldest type.
This type can be found only in three Beatles' albums and one omnibus album.
It is made from very thin paper stock. It is white in design with dark blue Japanese text. It also features an Odeon logo, catalogue number and price information.
While most Japanese records feature local music, a lot of music fans there like foreign music, as well.  The language barrier in Japan presented a problem – should foreign album covers be changed for Japanese albums?  The solution was the obi, which means “belt” or “sash”.  The obi is a strip of paper, usually about two inches wide, that wraps vertically around the album cover, containing information about the artist and album in Japanese.  As these strips of paper were fragile and easily torn, they are often missing, especially since consumers in the 1950s and 1960s attached little significance to them.  Finding Japanese records made prior to 1970 that still have the obi intact can be quite difficult, and for some albums, nearly impossible.  The inclusion of the obi can dramatically affect the price of some Japanese records, sometimes increasing the price by a factor of ten.

MONO: ¥1,500+Toshiba Onko
FRONT: TOP
FRONT: BOTTOM
BACK
sleeve
sleeve
sleeve
In the early 1960s, a short-lived hankake obi, or “half obi” was used. These were small strips of paper that simply folded over (glued) the top of the cover.
Odeon logo mark, catalog number "OP-XXXX", and price were printed on the front. "Toshiba Musical Industries Ltd." was printed on the strip.
STEREO: ¥1,800+Toshiba Onko
FRONT: TOP
FRONT: BOTTOM
BACK
sleeve sleeve sleeve
In the early 1960s, a short-lived hankake obi, or “half obi” was used. These were small strips of paper that simply folded over (glued) the top of the cover.
The word "STEREO (in Japanese)", Odeon logo mark, catalog number "OP-XXXX", and price were printed on the front. "Toshiba Musical Industries Ltd." was printed on the strip.

Original Released Albums
Beatles' Related Albums
Meet The Beatles!
The Beatles No.2
(The Beatles' Second Album)
A Hard Day's Night
OR-7041 OR-7058 OP-7123
MONO
MONO
STEREO
1st. Press: 15/041964 1st. Press: 05/06/1964 1st. Press: 05/091964
sleeve sleeve sleeve
The Hollyridge Strings
Beatles Song Book
Fresh Sounds from Liverpool Vol.1

CP-7112 OR-7060
STEREO
MONO
1st. Press: 15/08/64
1st. Press: 15/08/1964
sleeve sleeve
* Release Date: DD/MM/YY


Type-2: "Dark Green or Light Blue" Obi with the half circle on top
(Nov. 1964? - middle 1966?)
After the type-1 was abandoned, Obis became the usual form.
At first in dark green (OP-7179), and after 1965 in light blue.

*Except Commemorative disks of the Beatles' visit in Japan (OP-7548, OP-7549) and one omnibus album.
obi sleeve
It is light blue / white in design with light blue / Dark Green background with the half circle on top. It also features an Odeon logo, catalogue number and price information.
While most Japanese records feature local music, a lot of music fans there like foreign music, as well.  The language barrier in Japan presented a problem – should foreign album covers be changed for Japanese albums?  The solution was the obi, which means “belt” or “sash”.  The obi is a strip of paper, usually about two inches wide, that wraps vertically around the album cover, containing information about the artist and album in Japanese.  As these strips of paper were fragile and easily torn, they are often missing, especially since consumers in the 1950s and 1960s attached little significance to them.  Finding Japanese records made prior to 1970 that still have the obi intact can be quite difficult, and for some albums, nearly impossible.  The inclusion of the obi can dramatically affect the price of some Japanese records, sometimes increasing the price by a factor of ten.


MONO: ¥1,500+NO Order Sheet (Toshiba Onko)
FRONT: TOP
FRONT: BOTTOM

BACK
sleeve sleeve Dark green / white OBI and priced ¥1,500 on obi strip. Odeon logo mark and catalog number "OR-XXXX" were printed on the front. sleeve There is no order sheet on the back side of the Obi.
"Toshiba Musical Industries Ltd." was printed on the strip.

STEREO: ¥1,800+NO Order Sheet (Toshiba Onko)
FRONT: TOP
FRONT: BOTTOM

BACK
sleeve sleeve Dark green / white OBI and priced ¥1,800 on obi strip. The word "STEREO (in Japanese)", Odeon logo mark and catalog number "OP-XXXX" were printed on the front. sleeve There is no order sheet on the back side of the Obi.
"Toshiba Musical Industries Ltd." was printed on the strip.

MONO: ¥1,500+NO Order Sheet (Toshiba Onko)
FRONT: TOP
FRONT: BOTTOM

BACK
sleeve sleeve Light blue / white OBI and priced ¥1,500 on obi strip. Odeon logo mark and catalog number "OR-XXXX" were printed on the front. sleeve There is no order sheet on the back side of the Obi.
"Toshiba Musical Industries Ltd." was printed on the strip.

STEREO: ¥1,800 or ¥1,750+NO order Sheet (Toshiba Onko)
FRONT: TOP
FRONT: BOTTOM

BACK
sleeve sleeve Light blue / white OBI and priced ¥1,800 (or ¥1,750) on obi strip. The word "STEREO (in Japanese)", Odeon logo mark and catalog number "OP-XXXX" were printed on the front. sleeve There is no order sheet on the back side of the Obi.

Original Released Album
(Dark Green Obi)
Original Released Albums
(Light Blue Obi)
Beatles '65
(Beatles For Sale)
OP-7179
STEREO
1st. Press: 15/02/1965
obi

The Beatles No.5

Help!
Rubber Soul
OR-7103 OP-7387 OP-7450
MONO STEREO STEREO
1st. Press: 05/05/1965 1st. Press: 15/09/1965 1st. Press: 15/03/1966
sleeve obi sleeve

Beatles' Related Albums
(Dark Green Obi)
Beatles' Related Albums
(Light Blue Obi)
95 Milloin People's Popular Request

Off The Beatle Track
OR-7071 OP-7149
MONO
STEREO
1st. Press: 05/11/1964 1st. Press: 15/12/1964
obi obi

Screen HighLight
"La Ragazza Di Bube"

CP-7238
STEREO
September?/1964
obi

Fresh Sounds from Liverpool Vol.2 Fresh Sounds from Liverpool Vol.3 95 Milloin People's Popular Request Vol.3
OR-7193 OR-7240 OP-7420
MONO
MONO
STEREO
1st. Press: 15/10/1965 1st. Press:15/02/1966 1st. Press: 15/11/1965
obi obi

The Hollyridge Strings
Beatles Song Book Vol.2
Sing A Song With The Beatles
CP-7238
CP-7260
STEREO
STEREO
15?/07/1965
July?/1965
obi obi


Exceptions
Original Released Albums Beatles' Related Albums
Beatles '65
(Beatles For Sale)

The Beatles Vol.1
(Please Please Me)
The Beatles Vol.2
(With The Beatles)
OP-7179 OP-7548 OP-7549
STEREO
STEREO STEREO
1st. Press: 15/03/1965 1st. Press: 25/05/1966 1st. Press: 30/05/1966
obi obi sleeve
misprint?? Commemorative disks of the
Beatles' visit in Japan
95 Milloin People's Popular Request Vol.2 
Screen HighLight
(Tank Cover)
OR-7150 TP-7082
MONO
STEREO
1st. Press: 15/07/1965 Dec/1965?
sleeve obi
10th anniversary of Toshiba Records
Performed by Screen Studio Orchestra.



Type-3: "Light Blue" Obi (A.K.A. "Sankaku (triangle)" or "V-shape" Obi)
(middle 1966? - middle 1967?)
The next issue was "V-shaped or Triangle in light blue Obi". This type was used in three Beatles' albums, "The Beatles' Story (OP-7553-4)", "Revolver (OP-7600)" and "Oldies (OP-8016)". But "Oldies" was issued the 'Yellow triangle' version.
And the older released four albums, OR-7041, OR-7058, OP-7123 and OP-7179 were replaced this type.
sleeve
First pressing had a light blue/white so called "Sankaku"(triangle) or "V-shape" OBI and priced ¥1750 on rear sleeve and obi strip.
It also features an Odeon logo, catalogue number and price information.
Only issued briefly in 1966 August till November. Soon, price changed ¥2,000 with different obi (green arrow obi) and different catalog number (OP-8443).
While most Japanese records feature local music, a lot of music fans there like foreign music, as well.  The language barrier in Japan presented a problem – should foreign album covers be changed for Japanese albums?  The solution was the obi, which means “belt” or “sash”.  The obi is a strip of paper, usually about two inches wide, that wraps vertically around the album cover, containing information about the artist and album in Japanese.  As these strips of paper were fragile and easily torn, they are often missing, especially since consumers in the 1950s and 1960s attached little significance to them.  Finding Japanese records made prior to 1970 that still have the obi intact can be quite difficult, and for some albums, nearly impossible.  The inclusion of the obi can dramatically affect the price of some Japanese records, sometimes increasing the price by a factor of ten.

MONO Type-1: ¥1,500+Order Sheet (Blank)+Toshiba Onko
sleeve sleeve Light blue / white OBI and priced ¥1,500 on obi strip. Odeon logo mark and catalog number "OR-XXXX" were printed on the front. sleeve Has a order sheet on the back side of the Obi.
But, No catalog number or price.
"Toshiba Musical Industries Ltd." was printed at the order sheet.

MONO Type-2: ¥1,500+Order Sheet (Toshiba Onko)
FRONT: TOP
FRONT: BOTTOM

BACK
sleeve sleeve Light blue / white OBI and priced ¥1,500 on obi strip. Odeon logo mark and catalog number "OR-XXXX" were printed on the front. sleeve Has a order sheet on the back side of the Obi.
"¥1,500" and "Toshiba Musical Industries Ltd." was printed at the order sheet.

STEREO Type-1: with Order Sheet (Blank)+Toshiba Onko
FRONT: TOP
FRONT: BOTTOM

BACK
label label Light blue / white OBI and priced ¥1,XXX on obi strip. The word "STEREO", Odeon logo mark and catalog number "OP-XXXX" were printed on the front. sleeve Has a order sheet on the back side of the Obi.
But, No catalog number or price.
"Toshiba Musical Industries Ltd." was printed at the order sheet.

STEREO Type-2: with Order Sheet+Toshiba Onko
FRONT: TOP
FRONT: BOTTOM

BACK
sleeve sleeve Light blue / white OBI and priced ¥1,XXX on obi strip. The word "STEREO", Odeon logo mark and catalog number "OP-XXXX" were printed on the front. sleeve Has a order sheet on the back side of the Obi.
"¥XXXX" and "Toshiba Musical Industries Ltd." were printed at the order sheet.

Original Released Albums

The Beatles' Story
Revolver
A Collection Of Beatles Oldies
OP-7553-4 OP-7600 OP-8016
STEREO
STEREO
STEREO
1st. Press: 05/08/1966 1st. Press: 05/10/1966 1st. Press: 05/02/1967
obi sleeve sleeve

Reissue Albums

Meet The Beatles!
The Beatles No.2
(The Beatles' Second Album)
A Hard Day's Night

Beatles '65
(Beatles For Sale)
OR-7041 OR-7058 OP-7123 OP-7179
MONO
MONO
STEREO
STEREO
1966
1966
1966
1966
sleeve sleeve sleeve sleeve



Type-4: "Arrow in Dark Green" Obi
(June 1967? - Sptember 1968)
In 1967, starting with "Oldies (OP-8016)", numbering for new Odeon LPs changed to the 8000 range numbers. So Obis were renew, A.K.A. "Arrow Obi" in dark green and with the same design as the Apple Obis.

*Except "Oldies (OP-8016)" and "Sgt. Pepper (OP-8163)"

*When Toshiba changed the record number format from OP-7*** to OP-8***, the commemorative disks of the Beatles' visit, "Vol.1 (OP-7548)" and "Vol.2 (OP-7549)", and "The Beatles Story (OP-7553-4)" were deleted. And these were not released until late 1969 when they changed the record number format again to AP-8***.
sleeve
Reissue had a green / white so called "Arrow" OBI and priced ¥XXXX on rear sleeve and obi strip.
On June 1967, starting with "Oldies (OP-8016)", numbering for new Odeon LPs changed to the 8000 range numbers. So Obis were renew, A.K.A. Odeon "Arrow Obi" in green and with the same design as the Apple Obis.
While most Japanese records feature local music, a lot of music fans there like foreign music, as well.  The language barrier in Japan presented a problem – should foreign album covers be changed for Japanese albums?  The solution was the obi, which means “belt” or “sash”.  The obi is a strip of paper, usually about two inches wide, that wraps vertically around the album cover, containing information about the artist and album in Japanese.  As these strips of paper were fragile and easily torn, they are often missing, especially since consumers in the 1950s and 1960s attached little significance to them.  Finding Japanese records made prior to 1970 that still have the obi intact can be quite difficult, and for some albums, nearly impossible.  The inclusion of the obi can dramatically affect the price of some Japanese records, sometimes increasing the price by a factor of ten.

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
label label Reissue had a green  "arrow" OBI and priced ¥2,000 on rear sleeve and obi strip. 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.

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

BACK
sleeve sleeve Reissue had a green  "arrow" OBI and priced ¥2,000 on obi strip.
EMI/Odeon logo mark was printed on the front.
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
OR-8026 OR-8027 OR-8028 OR-8147
MONO
MONO
MONO
STEREO
Reissue: 05/06/67 Reissue: 05/06/67 Reissue: 05/06/67 Reissue: 05/06/67
sleeve sleeve sleeve sleeve

Help!
Rubber Soul
Beatles '65
(Beatles For Sale)
Revolver
OP-8151 OP-8156 OP-8442 OP-8443
STEREO STEREO STEREO STEREO
Reissue: 05/06/67 Reissue: 05/06/67 Reissue: 01/08/68 Reissue: 01/08/68
sleeve sleeve sleeve
OP-8442 and OP-8443: Note the unusual use of the EMI/Odeon logo on the Obi.
 
Exceptions
Original Released Albums Beatles' Related Albums
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
 
OP-8163 OP-8163
STEREO
STEREO
1st. Press: 05/07/67 Revised (1967?)
obi sleeve
Obi with different trimming
Greatest Songs By The Beatles
CP-8381
STEREO
1st. Press: 10?/05/68
obi
The Hollyridge Strings



Type-5: "Dark Blue" Obi (September 1968 - )
The last of the Beatles' Odeon LP is the Magical Mystery Tour, released in December 1968.
 The only Obi with the 9000 range number (9728) is "Magical Mystery Tour".
The upper half of this Obi is printed in dark blue, and the album title is in white.
The lower half of the Obi was white and the song title was printed in dark blue.
Note the unusual use of the EMI/Odeon logo on the front cover, back cover, and Obi.
images

STEREO: EMI/Odeon logo+Order Sheet (Toshiba Onko)
FRONT: TOP
FRONT: BOTTOM

BACK
sleeve sleeve Dark Blue / white OBI and priced ¥XXXX on obi strip. The word "STEREO EMI/Odeon logo mark and catalog number "OP-XXXX" were printed on the front. sleeve Has a order sheet on the back side of the Obi.
Catalog No, price "¥XXXX" and "Toshiba Musical Industries Ltd." were printed at the order sheet.
Original Released Album
Beatles Related Album
Magical Mystery
Tour

OP-9728
STEREO
1st. Press: 05/12/1968
images
Piano Beatles
Album
OP-8842
STEREO
25/01/1970
images



Original Released Albums List

Album Title
Release Date
Catalog Number
Symbol
Price
Company's Name
Obi
Hankake
Dark Green or Light Blue Half Circle Top
Light Blue & V shape
Arrow in Dark Green Dark Blue
Custom
Order Sheet
Meet The Beatles!
15/04/64
OR-7041 F
1,500
Toshiba Musical Industires
Ltd.




Yes -
-
-
-
-
-
1966
G
1,500
-
-
Yes -
-
-
Yes
(blank)
05/06/67
OR-8026
H
1,700
-
-
-
Yes -
-
Yes
The Beatles No.2
(The Beatles' Second Album)
05/06/64
OR-7058 F
1,500 Yes -
-
-
-
-
-
1966
G
1,500
-
-
Yes -
-
-
Yes
05/06/67 OR-8027
H
1,700
-
-
-
Yes -
-
Yes
A Hard Day's Night
05/09/64
OP-7123 F
1,800
Yes -
-
-
-
-
-
1966
G
1,800
-
-
Yes?
-
-
-
?
1967
H
1,750
-
-
Yes -
-
-
Yes
(blank)
05/06/67 OP-8147
H
2,000
-
-
-
Yes -
-
Yes












Beatles '65
(Beatles For Sale)
15/02/65 OP-7179 F
1,800
-
Yes
(green)
-
-
-
Yes
(error?)
-
1966
H
1,750
-
-
Yes -
-
-
Yes
(blank)
01/08/68 OP-8442
H
2,000
-
-
-
Yes
(EMI/Odeon)

-
-
Yes
The Beatles No.5
05/05/65
OR-7103
F
1,500
-
Yes
(blue)
-
-
-
-
-
1966
G
1,500
-
Yes?
-
-
-
-
-
05/06/67 OR-8028
H
1,700
-
-
-
Yes -
-
Yes
Help!
15/09/65
OP-7387
G
1,800
-
Yes
(blue)
-
-
-
-
-
1966
H
1,750
-
Yes
(blue)
-
-
-
-
-
05/06/67 OP-8151
H
2,000
-
-
-
Yes
-
-
Yes
Rubber Soul
15/03/66
OP-7450
G
1,800
-
Yes
(blue)
-
-
-
-
-
05/06/67 OP-8156
H
2,000
-
-
-
Yes -
-
Yes
Album Title Release Date Catalog Number Symbol Price Company's Name Obi
Hankake Dark Green or Light Blue Half Circle Top Light Blue & V shape Arrow in Dark Green Dark Blue Custom Order Sheet
The Beatles Vol.1
(Please Please Me)
25/05/66
OP-7548
G
1,800

Toshiba Musical Industires
Ltd.
-
-
-
-
-
Yes -
The Beatles Vol.2
(With The Beatles)
30/05/66
OP-7459
G
1,800
-
-
-
-
-
Yes -












The Beatles' Story
05/08/66 OP-7553-4
3,500
-
-
Yes
-
-
-
Yes
(blank)
Revolver
05/10/66
OP-7600
H
1,750
-
-
Yes -
-
-
Yes
01/08/68
OP-8443
H
2,000
-
-
-
Yes
(EMI/Odeon)
-
-
Yes
A Collection Of Beatles Oldies
05/02/67
OP-8016
H
2,000
-
-
Yes -
-
-
Yes
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
05/07/67 OP-8163
H
2,000
-
-
-
-
-
Yes Yes
late 1967?
-
-
-
-
-
Yes
(revised)
Yes
Magical Mystery Tour
05/12/68 OP-9728
H
2,200
-
-
-
-
Yes -
Yes


Beatles' Related Albums List

Album Title
Release Date
Catalog Number
Symbol
Price
Company's Name
Obi
Hankake
Dark Green or Light Blue Half Circle Top
Light Blue & V shape
Arrow in Dark Green
Dark Blue
Custom
Order Sheet
Fresh Sounds from Liverpool Vol.1 15/09/64
OR-7060 F
1,500 Toshiba Musical Industires
Ltd.
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
-
Fresh Sounds from Liverpool Vol.2 15/10/65
OR-7193
F
1,500
-
Yes
(blue)
-
-
-
-
-
Fresh Sounds from Liverpool Vol.3 15/01/66
OR-7240
G
1,500
-
Yes
(blue)
-
-
-
-
-
95 Milloin People's Popular Request Vol.1
05/11/64
OR-7071
F
1,500
-
Yes
(green)
-
-
-
-
-
95 Milloin People's Popular Request Vol.2
15/07/65
OR-7150
G
1,500
-
-
-
-
-
Yes
-
95 Milloin People's Popular Request Vol.3
15/11/65
OP-7420 G
1,800
-
Yes
(blue)
-
-
-
-
-
The Hollyridge Strings Song Book
15/08/64
CP-7112
F
1,800
Yes -
-
-
-
-
-
The Hollyridge Strings Song Book Vol.2
15?/07/65
CP-7238
F?
1,800

Yes
(blue)





The Hollyridge Strings Song Book (Horse Cover)
July/66
CP-7528
G
1,800
-
?
?
-
-
?
?
The Hollyridge Strings
Greatest Songs By The Beatles
10?/05/68
CP-8381
H
2,000
-
-
-
Yes -
-
Yes
The Hollyridge Strings
Greatest Songs By The Beatles Vol.2

CP-8431









Off The Beatle Track
15/12/64
OP-7149
F
1,800
-
Yes
(green)
-
-
-
-
-
Without The Beatles
15?/04/66
OR-7244
G
1,500
-
Yes?
-
-
-
-
?
Sing a Song With The Beatles
Jul?1965
CP-7260
G
1,800
-
Yes
(blue)
-
-
-
-
-
Stereo Screen Highlight (Bube)
Sep?/64
TP-7038
F
1,500
-
Yes
(green)
-
-
-

-
Stereo Screen Highlight (Tank Cover)
Dec?/65
TP-7082
G
1,500
-
-
-
-
-
Yes -
Piano Beatles Album
25/01/70
OP-8842
H
2,000
-
-
-
-
Yes -
Yes











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