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Gentlemen Take Polaroids (November 1980)
  1. Gentlemen Take Polaroids
  2. Swing
  3. Burning Bridges
  4. My New Career
  5. Methods Of Dance
  6. Ain't That Peculiar
  7. Nightporter
  8. Taking Islands In Africa

The first album for Virgin Records and their best seller in Japan, perhaps because Ryuichi Sakamoto appears. 

The Japanese vinyl LP includes a gatefold lyric sheet with a large group photo. The UK LP was supposed to have an inner sleeve but it was scrapped due to the last minute decision to replace "Some Kind Of Fool" with "Burning Bridges". Xeroxed copies of one side of the inner sleeve were distributed to UK fan club members. You can see it here. Note how "Some Kind Of Fool" has been cut out and "Burning Bridges" pasted in it's place.  Some Dutch (manufactured in Germany) copies of the LP have "Some Kind Of Fool" actually on the record label, but all play "Burning Bridges". 

There are two unreleased songs still sitting in the vaults from the sessions for this album; "Some Kind Of Fool" (which Sylvian re-recorded the vocals for and released on "Everything & Nothing") plus "Angel In Furs", which was unfinished (according to Richard Chadwick it no longer exists).

In addition to Sakamoto, there were four other people outside the group that contributed to the album; Simon House (violin - My New Career), Andrew Cauthery (oboe - Nightporter), Barry Guy (string bass - Nightporter) and Cyo (vocals - Methods Of Dance). UK chart position: 45, Japan 5. Hong Kong (allegedly) No1.

  • Original UK LP (some copies list "Some Kind Of Fool" on sleeve but play "Burning Bridges"): Virgin V2180. Same catalogue number used for the Australian pressing. 
  • Re-issue UK LP (1984): Virgin OVED 138
  • UK CD (some with different barcodes): Virgin CDV2180
  • French CD has the same catalogue number as above
  • Japanese LP (with picture/lyric insert): Victor VIP6969
  • Japanese cassette VCW-1702
  • Japanese re-issue LP (1983) with slightly different OBI design and poster of Sylvian taken during the "Sons of Pioneers" tour. VIP6969. 
  • Japanese 1987 re-issue LP, pressed by Toshiba-EMI, 25VB-1013
  • Japanese 1988 re-issue LP with beige "Big Artist Collection" OBI - catalogue number needed. 
  • Korean LP has text on the sleeve in blue instead of red and includes a lyric and picture insert similar to the Japanese version. DVPL-002
  • Greek LP 2473 811
  • Italian LP VIL 12180
  • Italian re-issue LP OVED 138
  • Australian LP V 2180
  • New Zealand LP V 2180
  • Benelux countries (Holland/Belgium) LP 202 968 (manufactured in Germany)
  • French LP 202968
  • Dutch LP 202 968-320 (says manufactured in West Germany)
  • Canadian LP VL 2208 
  • Canadian CD V2 86661 but on the spine it says V2 0777 7 86661 2 7. Some Canadian CD's are the UK pressing with a sticker over the barcode. 
  • Russian CD STRESS0011231
  • First Japanese CD: Victor VDP-56
  • Second Japanese CD 1988 (Big Artist Collection): Victor VJD28017
  • Third Japanese CD 1991 (Big Artist Collection - different OBI): Virgin VJCP23055

Thanks to Kevin for correcting some of the above, Obsidian, Drew Gardiner  and The Ozboys for sending in additional information.

UK album

Original UK LP with price sticker; the album was offered at a reduced price for a limited time.

UK sleeve with erratum sticker
Merchandise leaflet

Front of the merchandise leaflet included with some early copies of the album. This led to some criticism in the press as the group did not credit session musicians, because the inner sleeve had to be scrapped, but were still able to include this leaflet. The back of this leaflet can be seen here

UK label

UK record label.

UK OVED138later OVED 138

UK Re-issue LP OVED 138 had 2 different label designs

Italian original

Italian 1st pressing VIL 12180


Canadian LP label

Italian LP label

Italian re-issue LP label OVED 138


Detail of the Canadian back sleeve

Australian 1

Japanese LP
different Australian

Two different Australian LP labels - the first is manufactured by CBS.
Japanese advert

1st and 2nd Japanese press adverts for the album
Japanese advert

Original Japanese LP lyric insert


Poster given away with limited quantities of the 1st Japanese pressing.

Poster obi

Detail of the 1st pressing OBI strip showing the extra text mentioning the poster (white text with black background).

1987 obi

1987 re-issue LP sleeve detail showing the different Obi.

Japanese white label

Japanese white label promo and stock copy 


japanese reissue

Japanese LP reissue from 1988

Japanese re-issue

Japanese re-issue LP

Some Kind Of Fool

1st Dutch label showing "Some Kind Of Fool" - right click and download for higher resolution picture, and a later German/Dutch/Belgian LP label showing "Burning Bridges".


Greek label

Greek LP label


French LP label

Korean insert

Korean insert - lyrics in English are on the other side.

Korean back

Korean back sleeve with blue text and no album credits

New Zealand


Korean LP label - "GentleMAN Take Polaroids"!


Above - New Zealand label and detail of the back sleeve

Hong Kong

Hong Kong label


Original UK cassette TCV 2180

UK tape

1st re-issue cassette OVED C 138


UK original and re-issue tapes


Polaroids cassette

Later UK re-issue cassette with alternate Virgin logo and barcode

Spanish Polaroids cassette

Spanish cassette with spelling mistakes and a different order of tracks (thanks Drew)

pirate tape

Unofficial tape S-2645A, with another alternate tracklisting

747 tape

Another unofficial releasel 747 7857, including Visions of China

Original Japanese CD

1st Japanese CD Victor VDP-56
japanese cd back

1st Japanese CD back cover


1st Japanese CD disc

1988 Japanese CD VJD28017 

1988 Japanese CD disc

1991 Japanese CD VJCP-23055

1991 Japanese CD disc

UK original CD booklet, the US remastered CD on Caroline uses the same cover


UK CD - a similar design was used for most releases except in the USA and Japan.
CD booklet

UK CD booklet - the same design was used for all CDs with the white border. Japanese CDs used the same image but with a black background.
CD back

UK CD back cover - the same lazy design was tragically copied in most countries except Japan.


This is the second UK CD version, with "Compact Price" written across it. Horrendous. 


Canadian CD - note the "Virgin Value" tag! Whoever allowed this should be shot. 


Russian CD booklet ("Limited Edition" written on top left corner)

rusian cd

Russian picture CD

1994/5 US and Japanese edition with bonus tracks

  1. Gentlemen Take Polaroids
  2. Swing
  3. Burning Bridges
  4. The Experience Of Swimming
  5. My New Career
  6. Methods Of Dance
  7. Ain't That Peculiar
  8. Nightporter
  9. Width Of A Room
  10. Taking Islands In Africa
  • USA picture CD: Caroline CAROL: 1829-2
  • Fourth Japanese CD (1993): Virgin VJCP-23206
  • Fifth Japanese CD ("Cool Price" obi): Virgin/Toshiba-EMI VJCP3262
  • Sixth Japanese CD ("Rock the 100" obi): Toshiba-EMI TOCP-53038
I would recommend two pressings to collectors; the US CD uses the original UK CD packaging but loses the horrible "compact price" banner. It is also a picture CD, but different to the one included with the UK "Collectors Edition" box. The Japanese CD VJCP-23206 has an obi design that includes some of the album artwork, overlaid with Japanese text - lovely. In terms of sound quality, this CD was remastered and sounds much clearer than the original.

Japanese reissue

Japanese CD VJCP-23206

US picture CD

Japanese CD

"Cool Price" CD VJCP 3262

Toshiba EMI TOCP-53038

2003 Remastered Edition

  1. Gentlemen Take Polaroids
  2. Swing
  3. Burning Bridges
  4. My New Career
  5. Methods Of Dance
  6. Ain't That Peculiar
  7. Nightporter
  8. Taking Islands In Africa
  9. The Experience Of Swimming
  10. Width Of A Room
  11. Taking Islands In Africa (Steve Nye Remix)
  • UK remastered CD in digipack: CDVX 2180
  • UK remastered CD in jewel case (2006): CDVR 2180
  • Japanese remaster: VJCP 68600
  • Japanese card sleeve remaster (2008): VJCP68872

UK Remastered CD cover

UK picture CD

UK picture CD that comes in the digipack.

Japanese remaster

Japanese remastered CD

Japanese remaster back

Japanese back sleeve/Obi

remastered CD

UK remastered CD disc - this is the one that comes in the jewel case.

uk promo

UK CDR promo

card sleeveback sleeve

2008 card sleeve edition
CD disc

Japanese card sleeve CD

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