Mae – Destination: Beautiful (1st Press)

Posted: June 4, 2012 in Vinyl
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Mae’s debut album, Destination: Beautiful, was pressed and released on vinyl by Spartan Records. I believe Spartan Records is run by a guy with close ties to both Tooth & Nail Records and Mae. The prices they charged for the record were on the high side and was also dependent on what variant you ordered, something I do not agree with at all.

The record was pressed on three colors; 180 gram black, white and navy blue with white swirl. The 180 gram copies cost $5 more than the two non-180 gram variants. And even those two variants were overpriced at $20 before shipping. For those who either can’t or are two lazy to do the math, the 180 gram copies cost $25 before shipping. To further push the cost issue, shipping was $5 for one record, and $3 per additional record should you have chosen to buy all three variants as no package option was available. Which is also a tad higher than it should be. As anyone who has bought and sold records knows, a single LP record can be sent for under $3 (actual cost, not including a proper mailer) coast to coast. The norm has become a $4 max to ship a record.

Because of the price I held off on pre-ordering this record all together, and down right refused to buy the 180 gram. I was hoping not enough people would buy it and copies would be around for months, prompting a drop in price or a discount code or a distro stepping in and selling some copies. Basically anything that would result in a lower price. Unfortunately people are sheep, especially some of the newer people getting into vinyl, and people snatched up these records at a much faster rate than expected. By the second day post pre-order launch, two variants were sold out (180 gram black and navy blue with white swirl). The 180 gram black copies actually sold out in less than two days. So unfortunately my hand was forced, as I had to buy the record for the asinine price or not get a copy at all. Judging by ebay prices and how quickly the first press sold out, I can’t see the label selling another pressing cheaper than $20. Sadly it’s the nature of the beast and sadly can’t be changed. It’s either pay up now or pay even more later on down the road. The only way labels are going to start charging less is if people don’t buy the records, but to date it has yet to happen and probably never will. The most frustrating thing is that the type of people who blindly shell out these ridiculous prices for records and ruin in for the rest are the ones who never listen to the record.

After getting the record in hand, did anything stand out about it quality wise to warrant the $25 price? Absolutely not. It doesn’t sound horrible and it doesn’t sound jaw droppingly awesome. It doesn’t come housed in a gatefold jacket or feature any special artwork touches like embossing, gold foil, spot gloss, reverse board printing or thick card stock. The jacket is not cheap and flimsy, but barely so. It’s just a regular, run of the mill release that usually sells for $15 or less. The price is even more ridiculous when you consider The Everglow cost $16 before shipping, was a double LP, in a gatefold jacket with an insert, both of which featured extensive, full color artwork. Regardless of licensing fees for this album, there was no reason it should have cost $25 or $30.

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