Mar 22, 2021

Genres of Japanese Vinyl: Hard Rock

Have you ever heard Hard Rock music on Japanese vinyl?

Hard rock music has a strong fan base in Japan with a cult following.

This article will like to show you what kind of hard rock albums are popular in Japan.

Popular hard rock bands on Japanese vinyl

Led Zeppelin / Deep Purple / Kiss / Black Sabbath / Thin Lizzy / Uriah Heep / AC/DC / Iron Maiden / Motorhead / Van Halen / Quiet Riot / Scorpions / Metallica / Judas Priest

Kiss / The Originals II (Casablanca, VIP-5504-6)

Released by Victor Musical Industries in 1978, the album was a big hit in Japan. The OBI strip is evidently included as well as a mask as an exclusive item.

Black Sabbath / The Best Of Black Sabbath (Vertigo, FD-94)

This is a rare compilation album that was released by Nippon Phonogram in 1973, and produced solely in Japan.

As there are a number of passionate Japanese music fans, Japanese record labels have produced many original compilation and special edition albums.

During the time of release, such Japan originals were produced to increase Japanese fans. Nowadays, as these records are only available in Japan, they hold great value and popularity not just among Japanese fans, but internationally.

Kiss / The Best Of Kiss (Casabranca, MIP-1483)

This is another special best of album released only in Japan.

Even if you may be a Kiss fan, it might be difficult to tell right away that it is a highly valuable record.

This album is a very rare compilation with only limited pressings sold by mail order in 1982. An insert was included but no OBI.


Led Zeppelin / Same (Atlantic, SMT-1067)

This is the first press of the Japanese version of Led Zeppelin’s debut album released in 1969.

This particular record is expensive for one amusing reason. The secret is on the back of the album cover.

The back cover includes photos of the band members. However, out of the 4 members, only Jimmy page has his name and photo matched. All other members have their photos and names wrongly allocated. This mistake has been corrected on the second press. As misprints can create great value, especially for a band as famous as Led Zeppelin, this first Japanese press is priced quite high.


Hard rock albums remain very popular in Japan. If you have yet to listen to a Japanese pressed record, you are in for a treat.

Face Records can help you discover your first Japanese vinyl.

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