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Charter A&M Corner Member
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Staff member
The compilation ONLY YESTERDAY from 1990 is a bit of an enigma to me. It wasn't really released over here in the US, and yet it apparently was, if you look on Discogs. They list a US LP version, which I've never run into in my years of collecting. But that's not really my question.

If I understand things from what I've read, the compilation was released as an LP, a cassette, and a CD in the UK and did very well in sales. I believe it did so well that many pressing plants were put into service to press the number that demand all across Europe wanted.

My first encounter with anything with this title was actually an Asian VCD that contained the old YESTERDAY ONCE MORE video compilation, but it used the white cover and picture and title of ONLY YESTERDAY.

My second encounter with this compilation came from a CD rack in, I believe, a Borders book store CD section. It was the German version and was titled THEIR GREATEST HITS. Same tracks, same sound as ONLY YESTERDAY, same cover picture with a red border instead of white, and the liner notes are translated to German.

Later on, I'd acquired two white-covered CDs. One uses the title ONLY YESTERDAY, and one uses the title THEIR GREATEST HITS. Again, sonically identical to the German version.

Looking on Discogs, it appears that there are dozens of these compilations with varying titles depending on country. What confuses me is "Why are there two white-covered compilations in the UK, both dated 1990, with different titles?" One has a catalog of CDA 1990, and the other is 397 048-2.

Was this a case of PolyGram taking over the catalog and re-titling it - all in the same year?


Well-Known Member
CDA 1990 was exclusive to the UK and Israel, while 3970482 was marketed in the rest of the world. Both compilations, as well as the US version, had the same barcode and pricing code. The only difference is that they are listed under different rights societies and licensing areas (UK, Europe, Germany, US, etc.). It would seem that the buyout of A&M in 1989, and the subsequent assimilation of their catalog into Polygram's repertory, would have something to do with re-titling this compilation, but I've not seen any info anywhere about it. If you cross reference the different codes and related info on Discogs, you'll notice that the only thing different besides the titles is the licensing info, so that seems to be the only logical reason for the re-titling. Also, since they were going for as much uniformity as possible here with the packaging, making the change very subtle, that's another reason to logically conclude that this was merely a licensing issue that was resolved by said subtle packaging and titling changes. It's unlikely that they would bother making such small changes if they were planning any type of remarketing effort for different parts of the world. It seems like a waste of time.
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