Don't Let the "Pink Moon" Get You!

Note: Elusive Disc, Acoustic Sounds, Music Direct, and SoundstageDirect among others ALL have the genuine article. Do not worry. Be happy! A reader alerted me to the fact that some online sites are selling a variety of "Pink Moon" reissues including one from the aptly named "Phantom" label. Be careful!

The ONLY one mastered from the analog master tape and pressed in Germany at Optimal is the one from Universal. And even there, it's possible that a previously issued Universal version not from the master tape might be floating around.

It's a reissue nightmare out there! So be careful.

stretch35's picture

Hopefully if the upc code matches that in the review you will get the correct one. Has anyone picked up the lp only version by universal and see if is from optimal?

dconsmack's picture
Zeke's picture

I ourchased one from Amazon and it is a Universal issue - but not the new EU Universal issue.  I'm sending mine back.

John G's picture

Soundstage Direct and Acoustic Sounds appear to have the real McCoy.

Synaptic's picture

From elusive appears to be the new universal pressing-  it has the printed replica of the old mint green island inner sleeve, just like the box version.  Both the back and the label say made in the US, however. It does sound great on initial listen.

Oddly the pink rim label itself is obviously made from a low quality / compressed jpeg, it looks worse than some of the bootleg versions i've seen!

Mistermuse1's picture

Well shouldn't the real one be UK or Euro only?

Boodles's picture

I also ordered a copy from Elusive Disc.  Noticing no mention of Germany or the EU on the cover or shrink wrap I held off on opening it.  At the local record store this afternoon I checked to see if they had a copy.  The retailer handed me the exact same record I had received from Elusive Disc- same shrink wrapping, same quality of reproduction/printing on the art work and verbatim notes on the back cover.  He assured me that this pressing had been in stock since 2008.  So it seems either Elusive Disc got a bad batch of records from their distributor or they are selling off older copies as the new German pressing. 

JotiCover's picture

Got mine from Elusive as well and from what I gather it is not the latest issue...

Are they agreeable regarding unopened returns - has anyone called them about this situation yet?

Universal clearly should have numbered this series...i would love to see what the authentic (non-deluxe box) cover looks like for comparison.  Is there a photo out there?

Synaptic's picture

Seeing as this "made in U.S.A" copy from Elusive has both the 'new' replica Island cardboard inner as well as the same deadwax info as the box ( including an "i...i" inscription which google tells me is an Abbey Road mark? ) so it sounds like there could two legitimate versions out there of this new mastering...maybe!

I've seen both this version and the german one with the download info in stores here in NYC this week. 

The earlier 180 gram pressing from Island also had the "back to black" stick on the front and sold out pretty much immediately, I haven't seen it in stock at any of the big online retailers, so It would be a little odd to see them being shipped out now in place of the new reissue. 

Anyone care to share the exact deadwax info from the Box? 

Michael Fremer's picture

I've been assured by Universal (though is that any assurance?) that all were pressed at Optimal. The "Made in USA" may just refer to the jacket. It's possible they pressed over there, returned the LPs here and packaged here. Not that Furnace did the work (though perhaps they did), but Furnace does that with Pallas. They get LPs pressed at Pallas, shipped back to Virginia where they do the packaging.

I am going to contact Universal again....

Michael Fremer's picture

Elusive Disc has the new edition. It is truly unfortunate that this confusions exists, but it exists because of record company SLOP. If the local store's copy is from 2008 don't buy it! BUT: Elusive has only the new one.

Michael Fremer's picture

The new "official" release coming from Universal America is pressed at Optimal in Germany according to the publicist so I'm not sure what you have but it is NOT the new reissue mastered by John Wood at Abbey Road. Can't be.

The label art should be perfect, not what you observed....

The real "problem" with this record is that the recording was so fine to begin with it's difficult to make a BAD sounding version but it is possible to make an incredible sounding one and that's not the one you've got....I'm fairly certain of this if the record label is to be believed....

Synaptic's picture

So... here's some nerdery for everyone interested in this Pink Moon...

I got a chance to visually inspect copies of both the US and a EU version... the deadwax markings are absolutely identical on both- as in they both look like they came from the same lacquer...(?)

The pink rim label on the EU is perfect looking, the one on the US is a not particularly well reproduced copy.

The green inner 'island' printed sleeve is heavy coated cardboard on the US, textured paper on the EU.

The only difference on the gatefold sleeves is the tiny copyright type on the lower right back corner. The artwork on both versions is kind of muddy and blurry, not nearly as sharp as other issues, like even the Simply Vinyl from a few years back.

The EU comes with download card inside with the choice of format including the 'dubbed from disc' version and the US does not. 

So... Still no definitive answer here as I have only listened to my US version, and for what it's worth, it sounds every bit as great as my friends 'box' version i heard recently...better than any other copy I've owned. If it's not the new John Wood Master it's not far off in sound somehow.  

Synaptic's picture

The deadwax reads BC86283-01 A2 / B2 ( handwritten ) 

so it seems it's the same pressing as the optimal / box version. A bit mysterious!

Stirrio's picture

Found four copies of this today when I was killing time and wandered into an Urban Outfitters store. It was on Universal, labeled as a new reissue, and had a "Pressed in Germany" or "Made in Germany" sticker on the back.

dnaUpgrade's picture

Music Direct has a special edition from Island Records that reads this...

Exact Replicated Audiophile Virgin Vinyl Pressing


Remastered from the Original 40-Year Old Analog Master Tapes by the Original Co-Producer and Engineer John Wood at Abbey Road


Housed in a Box Showing the Original Master Tape Box From Which the Vinyl was Mastered


seems pretty "official" to me

Michael Fremer's picture

Yes that is the deluxe box..... it is "official." However, Universal has also issued the same record in a standard package for less $$. That is the one causing the confusion not the one you have..... you're good to go...

antiproanti's picture

My girlfriend got me this album off of amazon for my birthday, it sounds just like the one you described...I'll have to check what pressing it is, but it's the special edition collectors box that comes with full scale prints of the original tape reels, handwritten lyric sheet prints, photo collages, a retrospective booklet about the recording process and interviews, a printing of the original blue sleeve, etc...the record and labels seem to be very very high quality, and regardless if it's from the original tapes or not, it does sound VERY nice...

now all we need is five leaves left and bryter layter and life shall be good :)

Michael Fremer's picture

That one is "official". The confusion is with the not in a box LP version that's the same record but less opulently packaged.

The other records in Drake's catalog are coming...

Michael Fremer's picture

That one is "official". The confusion is with the not in a box LP version that's the same record but less opulently packaged.

The other records in Drake's catalog are coming...

supersuser's picture

On amazon. uk, I have received this one

which seems to be the real deal if you read the description.Not opened for the moment because I am a bit surprised, generally "back to black" is not the place for good analogue reissues.




Garbia's picture

EU Back to Black is the real deal. Made in Germany and sounds as AAA. Great. I agree that this is the first time I like Back to Black reissues.

supersuser's picture

Yes, I confirm, the vinyl is flat and dead quiet and the sound is very good to my ears,even if I have nothing serious to compare.

Very good news..

badboss429's picture

My copy arrived today from Soundstage Direct.  Labeled Back to Black on the front of the gatefold, with a white one inch square sticker on the lower right rear corner "Disc Made in Germany". 

Looking forward to playing it tonight!

Dr Robert's picture

Mine is definitely a Universal Music release. It says Manufactured in the US by Universal Music Enterprises on the back of the gatefold cover. Also has Island logo on back cover. It is not a Back to Black vinyl release however.

andrewwalteranderson's picture

thanks for the info.. but how will you figure the real  one?

D Pully's picture

Bob Bantz of Elusive Disc assures me that the copies they are selling are the genuine remasters, even thought they are labeled as manufactured in USA and are not marked in any way with the name Optimal.  The dead wax reads  BC86283-01 A2 / B2 ( handwritten )

Here is what he replied to me:

David, thank you for bringing this situation to my attention so it could be addressed.

 I opened a copy and confirmed it is the same info in the dead wax as the previously released Box version of this album

 We do indeed have only the new version distributed in the USA by Universal not some other version.

 I also confirmed this with Chad Kassem at Acoustic sounds….the post below is completely correct and the dead wax scribe is the same on the single LP we are selling and the box set(which I own) that we were selling till it went out of print.