The record I wanted most for this year’s Record Store Day was hands down the deluxe edition/re-press of Jimmy Eat World’s Bleed American. Aside from Static Prevails, it’s the only Jimmy Eat World album I didn’t have. Just like with Anberlin’s Cities, I snagged the last copy of this that my store got in. This deluxe edition/re-press of Bleed American was pressed as a triple LP on 140 gram black vinyl in a triple gatefold jacket. Advertising a record as 140 gram records is pointless in my opinion.
It was pressed on two color variants, red limited to 500 copies and black limited to 1,500 copies. Red copies were a Coachella exclusive color and were only sold at the Zia Records tent at the festival over this past weekend, first being available on Record Store Day. The 1,500 black copies were made widely available throughout the rest of the country. All copies are individually numbered in gold foil stamping on the back of the jacket. I can’t speak for the red copies because I have yet to see one, but I’m pretty sure it will be the same as the black copies; each copy comes sealed in a poly bag instead of shrink-wrap, and features a Record Store Day 2011 exclusive sticker on the front along with a promo sticker in the top left corner. This pressing of Bleed American was done by ORG, the Original Recordings Group, who have made a name for themselves doing high quality re-presses of albums, most of which are unnecessary if you ask me. This is one of the few, along with the Nirvana re-presses, that I felt are necessary. The retail price of this record was $45.99, which comes out to roughly $15 per LP.
Obviously I would have preferred this be cheaper, but it’s better than paying $80 or more trying to get a copy on ebay. After opening up the record I was severely disappointed by the quality of the records. I wasn’t expecting them to be heavy weight, but I expected them to be much heavier than they are. 120 gram is typically the standard weight for records these days, and if this is supposed to be 140 gram something is way off. Most of the records I own are not as flimsy as the records in this so-called deluxe edition. I guess what they mean by deluxe edition is cramming in as many songs as possible from the Bleed American era and going all out on the jacket.
Speaking of the jacket, the quality of it is pretty good. It’s pretty sturdy but there is no actual pockets for the records like a true gatefold jacket that houses two records. They are more of a pouch or a slip than a pocket. They are not sealed on either end and you can take the records out from either end. This is the only triple gatefold LP in my collection, so I don’t know if this is how all triple gatefold jackets are done, but I would prefer the openings for each record to be sealed on one end so they can’t slide out and around on their own free will. Other than that the printing of the artwork and liner notes is great, high gloss and full color all around. Overall the quality of the jackets outweigh the quality of the records, which is one of issues I have with ORG releases.
The biggest problem I have with ORG’s re-issues is that they seem to put more effort into and pay more attention to the jackets. It comes off as they only care about the aesthetics of records, which if you ask most record collectors or vinyl enthusiasts is their number one pet peeve; people who buy records just to have, look at, frame, never open, etc. In other words, people who buy records with no intention of ever playing them. While I do appreciate the aesthetics of records and their jackets, I do enjoy listening to them more and the main reason I buy them is to actually listen to them.