The title Rubycon relates to a story about Julius Caesar crossing the river Rubycon in 49 BC. He did it for "all or nothing", running into an unstoppable war. Hence the phrase "crossing the Rubycon" points out that a unreversable decision is made -- a point of no return.
TD entered the Manor Studio again in 1975 to record an album on which they developed a new kind of electronic rhythm. Rubycon featured much the same instrumentation as Phaedra. It also showed a certain distance to mainstream rock, in that it was a suite in two parts, taking up two entire sides of the album -- as did Mike Oldfield's mid-'70s albums Tubular Bells, Hergest Ridge and Ommadawn which were released by Virgin as well.
On the cover, Tangerine Dream fans can find a small photo of Froese's son Jerome hidden inside the gate-fold, a touch that can be traced right back to Alpha Centauri. At that time no one could expect that Jerome Froese would become a regular member of Tangerine Dream fifteen year later. When Rubycon was released, it went straight to number 12 in the British charts, staying there for 14 weeks.
In 1984 the album was released on CD for the first time as part of a series by Virgin. With the exception of Exit, all releases of this series had a similar cover design, using only part of the original artwork in a monochrome border that featured the band and album title.
In 1995 Virgin re-released the album on CD in the so-called "Definitive Edition" series, featuring the original front cover artwork. In 2001, Rubycon became the first (and by now only) album by Tangerine Dream to be released on Super Audio CD (SACD) by Virgin. In 2005 the album was re-released in Japan with a cardboard sleeve featuring the exact replica of the original LP sleeve.
In October 2013 the album was re-released on vinyl as a limited edition picture LP. Unfortunately, the release turned out as a mispressing; it contains the music material from the LP Selling England By The Pound by Genesis which was released as picture LP at the same time (and is a mispressing as well, as it contains the music from Rubycon). At time of writing it is unknown whether these two albums are re-released once more.
LP: L 35399; multi-coloured label with sticker, foc
LP: L 35399; black/white labels, foc
LP: L 35399; multi-coloured labels, foc
LP: L 35399; green labels, foc
LP: VRLP 12002; multi-coloured labels
LP: VR 13-116; multi-coloured labels, foc
LP: V 2025; multi-coloured labels, foc
LP: V 2025; red/green labels, foc
LP: V 2025; red labels with white stripes
CD: 840 063-2; identical to UK version from 1995
SACD: 811 263-2; super jewel box
Picture-LP: 840 063-1; mispressing
LP: 940 505; multi-coloured labels, foc with order number on back side
LP: 940 505; multi-coloured labels, foc with order number on front side
LP: 2933 716; green labels, foc
LP: 2933 716; red/silver labels, foc
LP: 202 619; red/green labels, foc
LP: 70 038; red/green labels, foc
CD: CDV 2025; identical to UK version from 1984
LP: 88 754; multi-coloured labels, foc
LP: 88 754; green labels, foc
LP: 88 754; red/green labels, foc
LP: 88 754; red/green labels
LP: 88 754; white/grey labels
CD: 610 377; identical to UK version from 1984 with the German order number on a sticker fixed on the jewel case
CD: 786 091-2
LP: 062-VG 50056; red/green labels
LP: 2J 062-98109; multi-coloured labels
LP: VIL 12025; multi-coloured labels, foc
LP: VIL 12025; green labels, foc
LP: OVED 27; red/green labels, foc
LP: OVED 27; red/green labels with order number VIL 12025, slightly different foc
Promo-LP: VR 13-116; black/white promo labels saying 'sample copy' with numbers ST-VR-753333/34-DJPR; Rubycon, Part One is split in three sections: A 5:48, B 7:38, C 4:08; Rubycon, Part Two is split in three sections: A 4:20, B 6:50, C 6:31
Promo-LP: VR 13-116; black/white promo labels saying 'promotional copy' with numbers ST-VR-753333/34-DJ-MO; some covers with orange sticker 'Promotional Copy - Not For Sale'; Rubycon, Part One and Rubycon, Part Two are split in three sections each (see above)
LP: VR 13-116; black/white labels with numbers ST-VR-753333/34-DJ-RI; Rubycon, Part One and Rubycon, Part Two are split in three sections each (see above)