Also appears as "First" only.
First Record (第一唱片) is a label of questionable legality from Taiwan, catering to soldiers (mostly from the US) stationed there. Some sources claim the records were legal in that country, but this is still a controversial point of view. The releases are mostly copies from US or Japanese releases, often with altered colors, and include a wide array of styles.
Pressed in Taiwan to cash in on the 35,000 or so GI's that were stationed there between the 1950s and 1970s. The albums were usually pressed in batches of about 500, with no two batches looking or sounding the same (ie different covers, vinyl colors). Covers were usually recycled, meaning art for a totally different album was on the reverse side of the paper (covers were thin paper wrapped in cellophane). For context, Taiwan was the pirate capital of SEA (followed closely by Thailand and the Philippines). In Taiwan circa 1970 there were reportedly over 45 (modern equipped) pressing plants churning out 200,000 pirate albums per month (that's just the number pressed for export to other parts of SEA!), up from 150,000 per month back in 1963. Pirate pressings outsold legit pressings 5 to 1. They were sold openly in legit record stores alongside equivalent legit pressings...usually for 1/5 or 1/4 of the price of the legit copy (in 1970 a pirate LP cost around US$0.70 whereas a legit Singaporean EMI pressing of the same album cost around US$3.50).*
*Source= Billboard article 3/14/1970.
Common labels include: Liming, Chung Sheng Record (中聲), Dragon, Hae Shan, (Early version of Haishan) Union, Large World, Black Cat, First Record, Song Jwu, Tongsheng, Sun Shine, Leico, etc.
The release year can often be determined from a number on the labels. The date format is: YY.MM.DD. Add 1911 to the year number for the release year. Sometimes the day is not listed but the same rules apply. If these numbers are not present, the release date should always be left blank unless stated on the front cover, etc.
The pirate would acquire a copy of a legit LP and create a straight disc dub, which became the master. From the master, stampers were made and new LPs were then pressed in one of the 45 pressing plants. Up until the late 1960s the sleeves and labels were printed in Taiwan, but afterwards most were printed in the Philippines.