May 6, 2013 : The Paper Trace

During the first days of the Compact Disc, the inserts that accompanied the discs were printed in the same country where the CDs themselves were manufactured.

For the earliest West German pressings of Target CDs, those with no manufacturer mentioned on the disc, this means that they will almost always be found with inserts that were printed in West Germany.

Because the US market was by far the largest market to which these West German discs were exported, it didn't take long before one began to realize that it would be much more efficient to only ship the discs to the USA and to leave the printing of the inserts to local printing facilities.

Below are a few examples of inserts printed in the US that were found with Target CDs of which exactly the same variation is also available with inserts printed in West Germany.  

The Digital Domain - A Demonstration

Emerson, Lake & Palmer - The Best of Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Foreigner - Double Vision

Foreigner - Records

Foreigner - 4

Howard Jones - Human's Lib

Led Zeppelin - IV

Ratt - Out of the Cellar

The use of a bar code or UPC on the tray inlay became more and more common from the early 1980's onwards.  Often the same disc can be found with two different insert variations, one with and one without a UPC.

Below are some examples of inserts without UPC that also exist with UPC...

Foreigner - Head Games

Pete Townshend - Empty Glass

and some examples of inserts with UPC that also exist without UPC.

Foreigner - Head Games

The Doors - The Doors