Brand New – Deja Entendu (1st/2nd Press, RSD Variant/Edition & 3rd Press)

Posted: September 6, 2010 in Vinyl
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This started all the BS with Brand New vinyl releases. There was a first pressing which was limited to 1,000 copies. It took a long time for it to actually sell out but once it did it went for a pretty penny on ebay with people clamoring over it and dying to get their hands on a copy. Somehow, magically Triple Crown, and I quote “found a box of Deja Entendu lying around” and presto, copies were available for sale in Triple Crown’s webstore on Merchdirect.

Critics scoffed at the idea that these were actually from the first press, and immediately claimed this is a second press. Even though Triple Crown nor the band ever came out and officially said yes, there was a second pressing of Deja Entendu, it is widely accepted that there are two pressing of Deja Entendu. The only real discernible difference is a bar code on the back of the jacket. The bar code created even more confusion as later it was discovered that some copies of the “second pressing” had bar codes on the back of them, only that they were a sticker and not printed on the jacket itself. Later it was discussed and debated that all copies have a bar code, it just depends on what side of the jacket it’s on. Left side is the first press, right side is the second press.

Personally I have never seen one without a bar code, on either side, sticker or printed on the jacket. The only true way to know from which pressing your copy is from, if you believe there is a second pressing, is to know when you bought it. If you bought it off ebay you’re pretty well screwed because sellers often claim what they’re selling is from the first press. If you bought your copy new from a store or online around the time the album first came out, then it’s safe to say you have the first pressing. If you bought your copy online a few years after 2003, then you probably have the second pressing. Up until 2015 the record was OOP.

2015 was a big year for Brand New. After years of silence, they released new material. The new song followed hot on the heels of the announcement that their classic album, Deja Entendu, would finally be re-pressed. The album had been OOP for several years, fetching ridiculous amounts of money on the secondary market.

To matters even crazier, it was announced that there would be a Record Store Day (RSD) exclusive variant for Deja Entendu. Much of the details about the RSD exclusive were kept secret, and it was an internet troll’s dream for posting fake cover mock-ups, vinyl colors, details and other info about it. In the days leading up to RSD, Chris Brown from Bull Moose Records did his annual RSD preview video, and featured front and center was Deja Entendu. But even after his video a key component of the release was still a secret.

Prior to the video all that was known for sure was that it would be limited to 1500 copies (1400 for the U.S.). After the video it was learned that the record would come in a brown paper slip cover of sorts, a lyric booklet would be included along with a sticker sheet and patch. Because Chris Brown did not open the copy featured in his video, what exactly was inside and how it looked remained a mystery. The day of RSD people in the UK started posting pictures on social media of the Deja re-press, opened, in all its glory.

To many people’s surprise the jacket’s cover was die-cut. This die-cut feature, which is in the shape of the astronaut featured on the original album art, was unbeknownst to 99.9% of people. That bit of information did not leak out, somehow. Immediately people were complaining/criticizing the die-cut jacket, saying the die-cut was oversized. People were basing that the die-cut was too big on the lyric sheet being placed inside the first pocket of the gatefold jacket so the astronaut on it would show through the die-cut on the jacket’s cover. People were complaining about how ugly it looked and how much of a joke the cover is because the sizing is off. However, all these complaints and criticism are completely unjustified and wrong. The die-cut jacket is not supposed to have or intended to have the lyric sheet shown through it. The die-cut jacket with the RSD variant is supposed to be a re-creation of the slip cover from the first pressing of the CD that came out in 2003. For those unaware, the initial release of Deja on CD came with a black slip cover that slid over the artwork everyone is familiar with. This slip cover is all black with no text (only a hype sticker denotes release info) and is die-cut at the center so the astronaut from the standard album art shows through. This CD slip cover is what the jacket for the RSD variant is based on, it’s intended to be an alternate view of it, an inverse view.

A good portion of the people complaining were only puffing out their chest, using the die-cut looking terrible and/or too big as a way to compensate for not being able to get a copy. They were using it to make themselves feel better about not being able to get a copy on RSD, saying after the fact that they were glad they didn’t get one, get up early on RSD to get one or waste their money on it after seeing how it looked. Odds are though, 9-out-of-10 of those people still wish they did get one.

The lyric book included is similar to the infamous lyric book for Brand New’s third album The Devil And The God Are Raging Inside Me, which the band asked fans to send them $1 for and they would mail out everyone a lyric sheet. It took about nine years for the band to send out lyrics to everyone who mailed them a dollar. The lyric book is Pogolith Issue #00. The lyric book for The Devil And God was issue #01. Instead of a sticker sheet that was mentioned in the RSD preview video, only two stickers are included, both of which make no mention of Brand New or Deja Entendu; only Pogolith. The patch is a nice embroidered one, with the astronaut from the album art at the center in a Vitruvian Man pose with and a line from “Sic Transit Gloria… Glory Fades.” A download code is also included, just in case nobody has this album in MP3 form by now, but apparently the code is for awful 192 kbps MP3’s.

Included with the RSD variant is the same insert that is found with all the earlier pressings. The records are pressed on 180 gram black vinyl, same as all the earlier pressings. The center labels are also the same. The RSD variant is housed in a gatefold jacket with a matte finish. The earlier pressings had a glossy finish jacket. The gatefold artwork is the same as the earlier pressings. On top of the die-cut cover on the RSD variant, there is also another difference from the earlier pressings. The earlier pressings have the album title and band name printed on the cover, while the RSD variant does not.

The RSD variant cost $38. Of course there are always stores that jack up prices for RSD even though it’s frowned upon by the RSD organizers and could result in a store being banned from future participation in RSD. At my store people started lining up at 5 pm the day before RSD, with the bulk of people who got the handful of copies my store received lining up by 11:30 pm the day before. I got to my store two hours earlier than I normally do, five hours before opening, only to be amazed at the amount of people already in line; 55. I didn’t get the RSD variant, but it’s not the end of the world to me. I was not optimistic I would be able to get one going into it. I’ll likely never get it because I refuse to pay the upwards of $250 people want for this on the second-hand market. However, I was about to pull off the trade of the century; trading two highly sought after records that will be re-pressed in the coming months for the RSD variant of Deja. Unfortunately the person I was trying to work out a deal with was a massive tool who was only trying to see what he could get for it with no intention of ever actually trading.

Back tracking a bit, when the Deja re-press was first announced, the RSD variant was not yet announced or known about. Pre-orders started popping up everywhere. Pretty much everywhere that sells music and/or record was taking pre-orders, even indie record stores, both in store and online. The bulk of this new Deja pressing was sold out through pre-orders, which started going up in early March with a release date set for early May. Basically, there was a mad dash to pre-order a copy, even though some people and places were saying this re-press wouldn’t really be limited in any way. Boy were they wrong.

Apparently there was such demand for this re-press that there was an order halt put on it by the distributor, meaning no retailers could place an order for the record. Indie record stores across the country were selling out of their stock as soon as they got it in. Some online retailers had to cancel pre-orders after the release date because they oversold them. Sh!t Topic, who didn’t take pre-orders, had to cancel online orders for Deja after they oversold them. They were still cancelling people’s orders because it was “out of stock,” even though they still had it available for purchase on their website; one of the many reasons Sh!t Topic is one of the worst music retailers out there. It also doesn’t help that Sh!t Topic was charging the most for this out of any online retailer, $32.99 plus tax. Retail on this was supposed to be $28.99.

Call me a hypocrite, but I bought this online from Sh!t Topic because a $10 off $30 promo code was circulating online. So I spent $24 on this, which comes out to even less when I factor in my Ebates rewards I made on the purchase. So I bought this record pain-free and didn’t have to play the pre-order game, which turned into a Russian Roulette ordeal with countless orders getting cancelled seemingly at random. Plus, I bought this for less than the majority of people freaking out about the re-press and stressing out once it was released and they couldn’t find it.

It was rumored the standard re-press of Deja was limited to 5,000 copies. An exact number has not been officially released, but Deja Entendu shot up the Billboard charts thanks to vinyl sales. In Billboard there was a mention that nearly 5,000 units were sold, which led to the rise up the charts. So the regular variant of the third pressing of Deja Entendu is likely limited to 5,000 copies because no label orders an odd number like 4,876, 4,902, or some other number like that.

The standard variant of the third pressing comes in a gatefold jacket with a matte finish. It doesn’t have the album title or band name printed on the cover. As mentioned above, the earlier pressings come in a glossy finish jacket and have the album title and band name printed on the cover. However, the standard variant has a sticker with the album title and band name on the shrink-wrap. Don’t worry, the sticker is on the shrink-wrap and not the jacket itself. The sticker is placed so it shows on the jacket where the album titled and band name was printed on the actual jacket of the earlier pressings. Because the RSD variant did not come sealed in shrink-wrap bu rather a brown paper bag, it obviously does not have this sticker. The standard variant has the same insert, center labels and gatefold artwork as all the earlier pressings and the RSD variant. In general, the jacket for the third pressing is bigger in size, and thicker, than the jacket with the earlier pressings. I can’t speak to the RSD variant jacket because I do not own it nor have I seen one in person.

One problem with both the standard and RSD variants of the latest pressing is that some people are getting either two A/B discs or two C/D discs. At first it was only people getting two A/B discs, which was mainly people with the RSD variant. But once the standard variant started getting into people’s hands, complaints started arising about two C/D discs. So I’m guessing what happened was the plant screwed up and mixed up the discs between the variants. A batch of A/B discs probably got mixed into a C/D pile and vice versa during assembly, and workers unknowingly slid in two of the same discs into the same jacket.

After getting my hands on a copy of the RSD exclusive variant ( via trade well before Triple Crown put up leftover copies online: continue reading for details), the jacket is exactly the same as the regular variant of the third pressing, except for the obvious die cut in the cover. The insert is also the same and the records also come in black paper dust sleeves. The paper bag is not what I expected. I expected either something heavy-duty or ridiculously thin, but the bag falls somewhere in the middle. For comparison sake based off other records in my collection; it’s not as thick as the paper bag sleeves with Led Zeppelin’s In Through The Out Door and not as thin as the paper bags with the Larry And His Flask s/t 7″.

The lyric book is very nice. I had zero expectations as to what it would be in terms of quality, but I am impressed with it. There are tissue paper pages that are designed to overlay the thicker stock pages. The inside of the front and back covers are embossed with the birds that are found on the album’s cover art. The patch is much smaller than  expected and the stickers are just as pointless and lame as I thought seeing pics post RSD. I didn’t redeem the download code so I can’t confirm or deny if the MP3’s are in fact terribly 192 kbps.

One thing I noticed is that you don’t necessarily have to tear off the perforated strip to get the paper bag open. Because the copy I got via trade was shipped during the summer months the heat made the glue holding down the flap loosen, so when I opened the package the flap, with the perforated strip still 100% intact, was already open. If you have a copy of the RSD variant and haven’t opened it yet because you don’t want to tear of the strip (as if that is truly the reason anyone hasn’t opened it by this point) I would imagine you could get the glue to loosen by using a blow dryer or some other heat source. I know that works on stickers.

In the summer of 2015, sometime in July, someone on a message board decided to essentially rip off the slip cover from the original CD release of Deja Entendu and enlarge it for the vinyl version of the album. A certain message board “community” went nuts over them, as was to be expected because this was catered especially towards them. The message board purposely did not advertise these sleeves anywhere other than said message board so their members would have first crack at buying them. The guy making the sleeves even set up a personal coupon code for members of said message board, to pat themselves on the back further. This is not the first time, and won’t be the last time, this message board made “custom” sleeves for themselves.

These fake/artificial/unofficial/unauthorized/bootleg variants, or whichever you term you prefer for them, did not sell well right out of the gate. Then the guy who made them decided to individually number the first 100 copies, stirring even more of a craze amongst the built-in customer base. Then, sadly, they started selling like hot cakes. So well the guy making them cut off pre-orders. Once he got a handle on orders and started shipping them, he made another run of sleeves, creating a second pressing/edition of a fake/artificial/unofficial/unauthorized/bootleg variant.

These sleeves, which are glorified pieces of card stock, cost $6 (price later upped to $7 for the second batch with no reason given. No one seemed to notice either because there were no complaints) before shipping, and then tack an another $4 for shipping (even though that is what mailing actual records costs, and an empty sleeve obviously weighs less than a sleeve/jacket with a record inside). So anyone who bought these just tacked on an additional $10-$11 to the cost of their copy of Deja Entendu for no real reason. That is basically half the cost of the record itself!

On August 20, 2015, Triple Crown randomly put up what I am assuming were leftover copies of the RSD version for sale in their webstore. Could have been copies they intentionally held to sell later on though. They were selling them for $50 before shipping, which is a markup from the price most stores charged for it on RSD. They claim however, that they would donate $10 to the charity Island Harvest. Whatever their reason, they still essentially flipped their own release. While donating to charity is good, prices shouldn’t be artificially inflated in order to do so and you shouldn’t force people to spend more of their hard-earned money in order to make a charitable donation that the person essentially donating it won’t even get credit for. Not even mentioning the charitable donation is a tax write off for the label. How many copies Triple Crown sold online is anyone’s guess, but they sold out in less than 40 minutes with no advertising.

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