The art of the Japanese Obi strip has always held a special spot in my heart. I remember visiting a bandmate's house back in 1989 and getting a peek into his older, cooler brother's bedroom. He was a musician who had reputedly jammed a bit with Caterwaul
; I was very impressed! On his walls, in shiny import bags, were dozens of Japanese issue LPs with Obi strips, a sight I'd never seen before. For me, the obi is like cool neon on a bar front. It's an enticing advertisement- promising something exotic, cryptic and sexy. Even if it is just an 80's Elton John
record... something which, in reality, is none of the above. The Obi is meant to be disposable, hence the flimsy design. That's why the people who covet Japanese issues pay so much more for certain LP's with intact Obis. Older LP's are especially difficult to find with the Obis intact. Anyhow, here's a two parter for you, all from a recently priced out collection- some of which are currently hanging on our walls or awaiting for you in our vinyl bins...
A popular Obi design uses a band photo or artist head shot. These are often used on later press runs when an artist has a body of work, all of which can be adorned with the same band/artist image.