Ultra-rare Rolling Stones “Start Me Up” Windows 95 Promo CD

Posted on August 27, 2021 by Stephen Chapman in Windows with 10 Comments

Rolling Stones Windows 95 Promo CD

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:

Rolling Stones Windows 95 Promo CD 1 Rolling Stones Windows 95 CD 2
Rolling Stones Windows 95 CD 3

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

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Comments (10)

10 responses to “Ultra-rare Rolling Stones “Start Me Up” Windows 95 Promo CD”

  1. wright_is

    Charlie Watts has just played "Shut me down". R.I.P.

    Great find, again... I guess you weren't exaggerating after your first post.

  2. dbp

    [From top to bottom:]

    [Black strip:] The Rolling Stones/"Start Me Up" (0:15/3:32/FO)

    [Start button, Windows 95 logo]

    TV, CF Song

    11.22 ON AIR Start

    * Microsoft, Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation, USA, in the United States and other countries.

    "Start Me Up/START ME UP"

    (written by M. Jagger/K. Richards)

    [Bottom, in black:]

    Released in 1981, [this song] rose to #2 in the US, #7 in England. It was one of the biggest hit songs of the 80's.

    (Albums with this song)


    The Tattoo Man

    JUMP BACK: The best of the Rolling Stones


  3. bluesman57

    Yeah, well that's nothing. I have a pack of Windows 95 gum that they had a bin full of at CompUSA when I went to buy Windows 95.

    • Stephen Chapman

      Hahaha, that's awesome! I've been looking for one of those packs ever since I saw a picture of one! https://i.imgur.com/ox3NZRz.jpg

  4. harrymyhre

    1) take a picture of the japanese characters.

    2) use Google photos to extract the text in the picture into a text file.

    3) then use google translate to translate from Japanese to English.

    I swear - I did it the other day.

    A KNBC reporter was at the Tokyo Olympics and tweeted "I Just ordered a cup of coffee at this Starubucks and have no idea what I ordered"

    • harrymyhre

      ( I used Google Keep) This is what it translated from the photo - pretty amazing really.

      The Rolling Stones / Start Me Up "(0: 15/3: 32 / FO)


       Microsoft Windows 95

       TV / CF song

       11.22 ON AIR start

       It is a registered trademark in the country of Microot Windows Microst Carpersai and other countries.

       "START ME UP"

       twritten by M. Jagger / K. Richards)

       In 1981, the date of announcement was 2nd in the US and 7th in the UK. The biggest hit song of the 80's.

       (Recorded album)


       Sashimi man

       JUMP BACK The best of the Rolling Stones JAMP BACK