Taking Back Sunday are back with their sixth studio album and second studio album with the original lineup back together. Happiness Is was released by Hopeless Records, who have been signing a lot of well-known and popular indie scene bands that have fallen on the back burner somewhat as of late (Yellowcard, The Used, Taking Back Sunday, Bayside, Silverstein)
Hopeless went variant crazy with this album. In all there are seven different colors for this record, with most of them being exclusive to one place or even country. Hopeless also pulled the ‘only available in this bundle’ garbage with certain variants as well. Some variants were not announced till well after pre-orders first went live too. So here is the rundown on the pressing info for Happiness Is: 150 copies on red with black splatter (pre-order bundle exclusive in $75 package that included a shirt, poster, pint glass, “bonus” 7”), 250 copies on red and white smash (pre-order bundle exclusive in $48 package that included shirt, poster, bonus 7”), 500 on white (Looney Tunes record store in Long Island, NY exclusive. Also hand numbered), 1250 copies on gold with black haze/marble swirl (Hot Topic exclusive), 400 copies on red, 3000 copies on black and lastly an unknown amount on translucent gold (UK exclusive).
Now there is some discrepancies with the above numbers for some variants. My contact at Hopeless Records gave me different, lower numbers than what was advertised with the variants at the point of purchase links/sites. The red and white smash was advertised as /250 in Hopeless’ webstore, but my contact said it’s actually limited to 200 and is called red in white. The Hot Topic exclusive was also over, instead of 1250 it’s 1200 even. My contact also listed a previously unknown color; cream. Apparently cream is limited to 300 copies. It’s possible the cream is supposed to be the UK exclusive gold, but nothing official with that. My contact never got back to me on explaining what exactly the cream variant is or how many copies of the UK exclusive gold there are.
Regarding the Looney Tunes exclusive variant, the store tacked on an additional $3 Paypal charge, and conveniently, Paypal was the only form of payment they accepted for online orders for this album. It’s also worth noting the only shipping method they use is UPS at a cost of $8.85, so that adds to the cost of the record through them as well. So that variant wound up being the most expensive of any of them (not counting is you had one of them imported from overseas.) The Hot Topic exclusive was also on the expensive side, at least compared to how much Hopeless charged. Instead of $18 Hot Topic charged $20.50, but at least you could avoid shipping charges with Hot Topic.
Eventually, after the album was released, Hopeless broke up the remaining bundles and started selling some of the rarer, previously bundle exclusive variants on their own. This is something Hopeless typically does, so the cost savvy people out should take note of that. They also sell the “bonus”/”pre-order exclusive” 7”s outside of the bundles after albums are released too.
If you paid attention to the pressing info I laid out, you saw a “bonus” 7” listed in some of the bundles. The 7” features an exclusive b-side, “How I Met Your Mother,” and obviously is was included in some of the bundles, but not for free. The price breakdown was $18 for the record and $7 for the 7”, no matter what bundle option you chose. So it’s not really a bonus even though Hopeless listed it like that for a while. There was also a vinyl bundle option, which included the LP and 7”. The 7” was pressed on gold vinyl and is limited to 1,000 copies.