What are Target CD's and why are they collectible?

Discussion in 'Music' started by Steve Tannehill, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    I recently came across a type of CD that is considered collectible, and therefore rare and potentially valuable: the Target CD. Here is a website with examples:

    targetcd.com

    My question is this....why? What's the background? What makes them collectible over their non-targeted counterparts? Is it because they were produced in the 1980's in West Germany and Japan?

    I have a few discs with the target pattern on them. Should I be putting them on eBay to make a small fortune?

    Thanks for any background you can provide.

    - Steve
     
  2. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    A little research and I answered my own question:

    http://www.keithhirsch.com/

    What are “Target CDs”?
    Target CDs are a class of pressings released by WEA (Warner-Elektra-Atlantic) in the early-to-mid 1980s. Most were manufactured in either West Germany or Japan for distribution in the U.S. before domestic pressing facilities went online. Some were also pressed in the U.S. and France. Target CDs were also distributed in Europe and Japan, as well as other markets. Target CDs derive their name from the design used by WEA, which resembles a gunsight, crosshairs, or a target. These early CDs are often readily identified by the striking colors used on the label side.

    Target CDs are collectibles since many of them are the original issues and are, therefore, remnants of the early days of the “Compact Digital Disc”. Aside from the historical significance, many music enthusiasts also feel that these early pressings offer superior fidelity to later remasters. The reason for this is that many Target CDs represent a “flat transfer” of the original tapes. By contrast, many recent remasters have been prepared through excessive processing, including the abuse of compression and noise reduction.

    While Target CDs are relatively rare, it is possible to find them at low prices in used music stores. The fact is that few people realize the significance of these CDs. As a result, personnel at most music stores toss them in the used CD bins like any other used CD.
     
  3. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    So Steve...have you been talking to yourself for a long time now?!?
     
  4. Dave B Ferris

    Dave B Ferris Supporting Actor

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    The Japanese retailer, CDJapan, is pushing SHM-CD's (Super High Materials). They are supposedly manufactured better than standard CD's. I've read some fairly skeptical comments on (presumably) U.S.-based web sites, though, so this might just be a case of 'buyer beware'.
     
  5. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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    Interesting topic. I wasn't sure what the "target" pattern was supposed to be, but when I went to the targetcd.com page and looked at some of the scans I recognized it immediately. I have quite a few of these discs from my early CD-buying days (83-85). I bought a lot of WEA discs back then and I remember seeing the "Made in West Germany" tag often. In fact, my very first CD is on this list: Donald Fagen's "The Nightfly", given to me by my brother several months before I even bought my first player!

    I'll have to go through this list and see how many rareties I have. I already know one: John Fogerty's "Centerfield" with the pre-lawsuit "Zanz Kant Danz". Don't think I want to sell that one, however. :)
     
  6. Buzz Foster

    Buzz Foster Second Unit

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    I have Candy-O and Speaking in Tongues. My Stop Making Sense says "Made in West Germany", but no target.
     
  7. Steve Tannehill

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    Originally Posted by Mike Frezon There's a Beatles thread on another board, and for the longest time I was the only person posting to it. It felt kind of lonely. As for this thread, I am just glad I found out what the significance was. I've been collecting CD's since the mid-1980's, and it was killing me to know that I had something collectible without knowing why.

    By the way, my Stop Making Sense is a target made in Japan. I will also have to go through the list to see what I've got, certainly less daunting than going through the collection and checking discs one-by-one.

    - Steve
     
  8. KevinJ

    KevinJ Supporting Actor

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    The only target in my collection[that I know of]is Joe Walsh's The Confessor.[from Germany]
     
  9. Carl Miller

    Carl Miller Screenwriter

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    I have two, Brian Ferry and Donald Fagan....Curiosity took me to eBay to check possible value. Not much, anywhere from $15 to $25 for most of these.
     
  10. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    AS far as I'm concerned, all CD's are targets. I have plenty of 'em worth shooting...
     
  11. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    I have a few of these- the first CD I ever bought was Madonna's Like A Virgin with the yellow label. These were the first CDs to come in longboxes too, and I saved all of mine. These have a square cut-out in the front showing the CD cover, which is held in a black plastic holder that slides out of the box.
     
  12. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    I have that Fogerty record on vinyl, pre lawsuit version.
    One of the reasons I have that lp is because much different then now I was a late adopter to the whole cd thing.

    I collected lp's until the late 80's and it wasn't until then that I started to buy cd's.
    and then it was a rare occurrence at that.
    So I missed out on the target cd's.

    i have had 2 sites bookmarked for many years.
    http://www.keithhirsch.freeservers.com/custom4.html
    and
    http://www.ralphscomiccorner.com/cdjwg2.htm

    The first one is the original Keith Hirsch site and the second now goes to targetcd.com
    I thnk there is also a discussion just for target cd's over at Steve Hoffman's site.

    http://www.stevehoffman.tv/
     
  13. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Regarding the collectibility of target CDs, I think it depends on what angle you're coming from. I have a number of these target CDs and I buy them as a CD collector. Not necessarily for their sound quality, although many of them do sound fantastic, but more for them being extreme early examples of a very important product. Also, I found the target design to be very attractive and was one of the many designs music labels used to differentiate their CDs before everyone just slap a computer-generated graphic onto the disc.

    As you can tell, target CDs comes from labels associated with Warner Bros. Amongst early CD releases, there were also the CBS/Sony 3/4 "black face" CDs (from Japan and including the very first CDs available to any consumer), the various PolyGram designs, the "Black Triangle" CDs from Toshiba-EMI, etc. Whether any of these CDs are valuable or not depends on the artist and the rarity of the release.

    I will post a link later to my collection of these CDs.
     

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