Japanese Official Linkin Park physical releases and their counterparts...


Hello everyone, in the 10 days since the passing of my most adored vocalist, I have been going through my collection for hours upon hours. Looking back, I realize all of the great memories surrounding these prized possessions. Standing in my "Linkin Park room," it dawned on me that I've been procrastinating for a year now on writing an article about Japanese releases and their associated promos. I decided that it has been far too long to have not written this up. So here it is; my lore if you will on Japanese Linkin Park physical media.

Japanese CD's have always been a standout for collector's who collect main album releases. The most obvious feature is their "obi strip" which is a cardboard sleeve around the spine of the CD with multiple Japanese characters, catalog numbers, and other general information. From a visual standpoint, it is a much different representation of the physcial album. The second thing that makes them so peculiar is the extra music. Many Japanese releases come with bonus tracks, which is the main reason they retail for more money.  They are also pressed in a limited number, and then on supply and demand statistics, reissues are pressed with a completely different catalog number and obi strip. Again, this is all very relevant to world class collectors.

I will use Hybrid Theory as an example;

      Regular Release Front            Regular Release Back              Regular Release CD

    Promo English Text Front        Promo English Text  Back           Promo English Text CD

    Promo Japan Text Front           Promo Japan Text Back            Promo Japan Text CD

The first row of pictures above is the retail first press Japanese edition for Hybrid Theory (WPCR-10877).
The second row is the same release, however it has a sticker on the back cover notifying it is for radio or promotional use only.  This sticker is coupled with a stamp on the matrix of the cd with the English words "SAMPLE."  This is considered the English text promo.  The third row is identical to the 2nd row, however the matrix just has Japanese print which translates to "NOT FOR SALE," and again signifying promotional use. 

To quickly sum this up, every official Japanese retail release for an album or single has 3 versions!

1. Regular release
2. Promo (English text on matrix)
3. Promo (Japanese text on matrix)

Sometimes, the Japanese text promo version will be missing a sticker on the back cover as in the example above.  In some instances it will have the similar red/white sticker as the English promo version but with different numbers ( it is unknown what the numbers mean at this point.)  The "Burn It Down" Japan promos (English and Japanese text) have the back stickers with different numbers;

        English Text Promo                 Japan Text promo             

Lastly, the Japanese text promos can sometimes have a big sticker on the back, with the same Japanese text as the matrix which translates into "NOT FOR SALE."  Here is one example from "Songs From The Underground;"

In terms of rarity, the first press retail version of any album can be quite difficult to find, especially in good shape.  The English text promo is considered very rare to see on eBay and other online shops, especially for older releases.  The Japanese text promo is ultra rare, and is something you may only see on eBay once or twice in a calender year for all releases combined!  It is still unknown why there are 2 verisons of promo, if you know anything about this please do contact us.

For hardcore collectors, there is still all the reissues for a retail release.  Staying with Hybrid Theory as the example, there are currently FIVE Japanese reissues for Linkin Park's debut album on LPCATALOG.  As you will notice below, the obi colour can change and the catalog number changes every time from the original WPCR-10877. Obviously the release date of a reissue is different to the original album as well;

 Reissue #1 2001 WPCR-10982        Reissue #2 2003 WPCR-22001     Reissue #3 2004 WPCR-22110 

  Reissue #5 2012 WPCR-75683       Reissue #6 2013 WPCR-78139


Reissue # 4 from 2009 (WPCR-13506) is actually missing from our catalog, which should give you a sense of how limited this pressing was;

If you are still here and reading, we are up to NINE different Japanese items just for Linkin Park's debut  album Hybrid Theory.  An expensive hobby, but my favourite one, even moreso than hockey card collecting as a yong lad growing up in Canada! 

One last thing I should mention is that Japan reissues tend to coincide with 2 or 3 studio albums of a band.  For example the most rescent Hybrid Theory reissue with a catalog of WPCR-78139 was released on July 24th, 2013 alongside a Meteora reissue (WPCR-78140) and a Minutes To Midnight reissue (WPCR-78141).  Notice how all three catalogs are in sequence.  Just something to note as catalogs can be confusing as only a number or two is different;


       2013 - WPCR-78139              2013 - WPCR-78140                2013 - WPCR-78141 

I think I will end it there.  I will make another post in the future of all the items we currently have and ones we are missing (Japan reissues and promos).  I should also stress that this write up was only for official retail Japan CDs and the associated promo stamps associated with them.  There are dozens of more Japan promos in our catalog not related to the official retail CDs themselves.  An example of this is pictured below and was my first full album promo I ever retrived back in 2003 when my journey of collecting LP  stuff began.  The catalog of this beauty is PCS-496. 


After all this time I still love reading "PROMOTION ONLY/ NOT FOR SALE."  I feel like I am not supposed to own this piece of art.  I look at every CD , promo or retail, as a piece of art. Just like the music itself, it will be in my heart forever, along with our dear hero who passed recently.  I love you man. Rest peacefully Chaz!




R.I.P. Chester Bennington!

Very sad news for the world and Linkin Park community. Chester Bennington has died at age 41, today... We are very sorry, but at this time we have no words.

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                                      STREAM / DOWNLOAD / PURCHASE THE NEW ALBUM "ONE MORE LIGHT"



Linkin Park's seventh album One More Light is available worldwide! Check out your local stores or visit Linkin Park Store.

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                                      STREAM / DOWNLOAD / PURCHASE THE NEW ALBUM "ONE MORE LIGHT"

One More Light Presale Versions


As we're slowly getting closer to One More Light release date (May 19th) the 7th Linkin Park studio album already has multiple presale versions around the world. Starting from three official at Linkin Park's website: CD Bundle, Vinyl Bundle and "Just Give Me Everything" Box Set, all with the same t-shirt design.

Then we have a limited pressing Vinyl at Urban Outfitters, which has the same cover but with different colors:

This one is limited to "just" 2500 copies so be sure to get yours while supplies last! Release date: May 20

Next we have few exclusive versions for the Japanese market, this time it's not a bonus track (or tracks) but promo stickers. Different sticker for each store, Tower Records, TSUTAYA, Wonder Go, HMV, Amazon, WMG

* Note that TSUTAYA and Wonder Go shops don't show the limited sticker on their websites (if You have the proper link please let us know!)
Please note that the benefits are limited in number. Also some CD shops (and online shopping sites) may not be offering this bonus gift. Please contact each CD shop directly for inquiries concerning this benefit.

Last but not least EMP Shop is selling a CD+T-shirt bundle and the tee is white with the album cover AND 6-hand LP logo over it.

We'll make sure to update this news if we find any other versions or "limited edition" presales!