With news of the untimely passing of Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts on the very day that Windows 95 turned 26 years old, I glanced over at one of my bookshelves and realized I was in possession of a rare Japanese relic that sits squarely within the same relational intersection.
Sent to radio stations in Japan in support of the then-upcoming launch of Windows 95, here is the Japanese promotional CD of “Start Me Up” by The Rolling Stones:
All the disc contains is the song itself, so nothing spectacularly noteworthy outside of the insert (which I still need to have translated since I don’t speak Japanese all that well, nor have translation apps I’ve tried).
If you’re interested in scoring a copy for yourself, it tends to pop up every now and again on Discogs; however, since it’s a Rolling Stones rarity, the asking price for this puppy tends to run somewhere in the neighborhood of $300.
I was lucky enough to score mine for significantly cheaper, which is great because — let’s face it — I’m probably one of the only people on earth who is
nerdy enough to be interested in owning this disc solely for the historical context as related to Microsoft!
Speaking of historical context, this is an excellent time to segue into mentioning Brad Chase, marketing leader for Windows 95, who wrote an amazing retrospective about the “Start Me Up” story. He shines an authoritative light on many of the rumors and misinformation from the time, including the one about Microsoft paying $12 million for the rights to the song.
Last of note, if you’d like to hear even more about the marketing of Windows 95 straight from the horse’s mouth, Brad was featured on the Beyond the Blue Badge podcast last year. Have a listen here.
PS: There’s a little Easter egg with the title of this post. It’s quite obscure, but I’m curious if any of you can figure out what it is… =)
For a sneak peek into my collection and some of what’s to come, you can follow me on Twitter at @beta_collector