Manchester Orchestra has to be one of the most consistent bands out there, at least bands that I listen to. They have yet to make even a mediocre album let alone a bad one, or one that makes you go ehhh. For their fourth studio album, Cope (I refuse to capitalize every letter for the sake of my sanity), the band decided to release a deluxe box set with plenty of bells and whistles.
The box set, limited to 2,000 copies, features three bonus 7” records exclusive to the set; arguably the biggest draw. Of course there will be diehard fans who will buy everything and anything the bands puts out, but I will never fall into the category for any band. Even if it wasn’t for my quirky completist (going after cover variants and different formats [albums comes out as LP then later as double LP mind-set], I would buy this box set just to get those 7”s. As if the three exclusive 7”s weren’t enough, you also get an autographed insert, two postcards and a newsprint insert that has the lyrics to every song printed on it, all of which are also exclusive to this box set. There was also an incentive for the first 100 people to order, as they received an exclusive patch in their box set. It’s also important to mention that some people received random Polaroids inside their box set. I was not fortunate enough to receive a random item inside my set.
The LP comes on 180 gram black vinyl and is housed in a gatefold jacket. It’s vital to note that the LP that comes inside the deluxe box set is identical to copies that can be found for sale outside of the box set. The LP itself is not numbered, the only numbering, which is done by hand by the way, for the box set is found on the back of the autographed insert. The back of said autographed insert also features a thank you note from the band to everyone who purchased the box set. The box set has a slip lid cover, which an image of the band printed on the inside of the lid. The letters that spell out Cope on the front of the lid are raised a bit, not quite embossed but they raised letters are noticeable. Inside the box is a spot, really a holem for all three 7” records to fit. The autographed insert will NOT fit snuggly inside this spot, so don’t try to force it in, unless you like damaged things.
The three bonus 7”s are all on red vinyl. Each has their own b-side, with two of the three being initially exclusive to their respective 7” singles. The first 7” for “Top Notch” has “Never Really Been Another Way Out” on the b-side. The second 7” for “Cope” has “After The Scripture” on the b-side and the third 7” for “The Ocean” has “Opposite Sides” on the b-side. Initially “Never Been Another Way Out” and “Opposite Sides” were the two songs exclusive to the 7” singles found in this box set. Later on, after the album was released, “Never Been Another Way Out” became available through places like Amazon MP3 for purchase as an individual song, where you wouldn’t have to buy the entire album to get it. “After The Scripture” can also be found on the Dallas Buyers Club soundtrack. All three records come in red jackets with red lettering in the same font as the album cover. The 7” released for “Every Stone” also follows in this layout.
It appears the box sets were sent out based on order number, so the people who ordered first received a lower numbered set. I got number 151, but I held off on ordering initially. I could have easily been inside the first 100 and received the patch, but it wasn’t a big draw for me given the price of this box set, $65 before shipping ($75 after shipping). Given how long I held off from buying this I’m surprised I got such a low number.
The box set took a while to sell out, probably for a number of factors; price and amount made are probably the biggest though. The sets were also delayed close to two months. The album came out on April 1, but didn’t start shipping till the middle/end of May. Shipping notices were never sent out and there wasn’t a postage marker on my package, so it’s impossible to say when they started shipping. But a safe assumption is somewhere in the May 15-17 window the first box sets went out, as I received mine on May 19. It’s an odd delay because the LP itself was not delayed, as it was ready in time for the album’s release date. What exactly held up the box set from shipping will never be known, but the band kept customers and fans updated throughout the process, which is crucial in this day and age.