I’ve been getting a book devoted to the Deep Purple In Rock album back into print for the publishers. There is plenty about the cover art in there but tidying the files away I thought this curious Taiwanese version of the familiar cover was worth a mention here. I’m sure most collectors will have come across these as they issued local editions of just about every album around in the Seventies. I have this, through to the soundtrack of 2001! The format was always the same; a fairly crude copy of the original sleeve (generally the American editions), often in reduced colours, and printed on paper. A back sheet, sometimes using the lyrics, was also produced. The two sheets were then sealed in a plastic cover to form a pocket, with the album slipped inside.
Where did they come from? The consensus of opinion now is that they were pressed in Taiwan (unofficially of course) during the late Sixties and early Seventies with one specific market, the American forces in Vietnam. Available cheaply they were bought to play while on duty there, and some were brought back when the soldiers returned home.
After the end of the war the trade just ended. These homemade looking albums have remained quite sought after as they are so different from the usual sleeve variations. To add a further layer of interest, when repressed they were often done in different colourways or designs. The labels were often changed as well!
I looked at the original In Rock sleeve on this site some time ago.
The Deep Purple In Rock book itself is featured on the publisher’s website, Easy On The Eye Books, and can be ordered now.
Here are two more Liming issue sleeves which give you an idea of how the albums all looked; they are very hard to photograph cleanly as you would need to dismantle the plastic seal to remover the cover sheets, and of course who wants to do that?!