Time for another Ask Ernie! This time around our question has to do with releases, and not a specific band or band member.
Q. What is the difference between first and regular press? How can I find out if something I have is first or regular press?
There are several differences between a first press release and a regular press!
A first press release generally has a limited amount of copies. Because it’s the first edition of a particular release, there are often extras included. For example, a first press copy might have an extra song, come with a postcard, sticker or a DVD containing live footage or a PV. Also, some retailers that sell the release also receive extras such as photo sets, posters, comment papers or Cd’s, the list could go on. Sometimes even the cover art or packaging can be different.
A regular press edition of a release usually is just the songs, however this can vary between artists. For example, the recent release from D’espairsRay, Kamikaze, has a first press limited edition and a regular pressing. With the first press you receive a random photo card of one member, a DVD containing live footage and a poster. The regular edition still comes with the random photo card and poster, but does not contain the DVD – but includes a live audio recording of the song Brilliant. Again, this is just one of the many examples that could be given.
The best advice for finding if what you have is first or regular press is to look at the discography of the artist from that release. Generally, a first press edition will be identified with the kanji “初回盤” and regular press with “通常盤.” Another way is to consult online retailers like Cd Japan who will often list the first and regular press as well as the differences between the two.