Anberlin – Lowborn

Posted: September 11, 2014 in Vinyl
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Anberlin’s final album, Lowborn, was released in July of 2014. The album has many different covers, but all feature the hand with two crossed fingers. There are nine covers in total, with some being exclusive to certain retailers, time of purchase (pre-order or not) and formats, but it is mostly random in where you find them. A nice touch with these coves is that you know what you are buying should you purchase this in store rather than online The vinyl version of the album has its own cover, which is the only one which doesn’t have the wrist pictured and has the album title centered on the cover. The vinyl cover has been dubbed by some as the floating hand cover. It’s important to note that the vinyl version of the album has only one cover. The other eight covers are for either the CD or digital versions

All variants of this album come in a gatefold jacket with a printed dust sleeve. Unfortunately a download code/card is not included and neither is a CD, which is inexcusable in this day and age. The pressing info for this record has not been released in full. The one bit confirmed is that there is a Hot Topic exclusive variant, which is on gold vinyl limited to 600 copies. There seems to be some confusion and false information being spread around though.

People are falsely spreading pressing info online, citing sources that can’t be verified. The only known and confirmed numbers on this is for the Hot Topic exclusive variant. The numbers and info that can’t be confirmed are a first pressing on black vinyl limited to 2,000 copies and that there are multiple pressings of this, especially a third. Again, that 2,000 number has no source, unless you count a post on a message board that is no longer there. In my book there is also some discrepancy as to whether or not there are truly multiple pressings of this. When the album first went up for pre-order Anberlin’s merch store was the only place to order it. However, Amazon briefly had up pre-orders along with other places like Interpunk and Bull Moose. Amazon and Interpunk eventually took down the items, but Bull Moose left it up for the duration despite apparently not being allotted copies initially and through the delays.

The delays stemmed from the album’s release being pushed back a month. As pre-orders went up more than a month before the original release date, this added some confusion as there was a delay with the vinyl version of the album. I’m thinking the band/label wanted to be the only place to pre-order the record from, as it was no coincidence that the “first pressing” sold out about a week before the album’s release. And by no coincidence, a few days later the Hot Topic exclusive variant was announced.

Combine all that with the fact there are no differences between the supposed two black vinyl pressings; the matrix numbers are the same, the bar code on the back of the jacket is the same, etc, and I feel there is only one true pressing of this album. It was only sale tactics and marketing that made it seem like there were multiple pressings. The band saying it “sold out” would drive up future sales with more people clamoring to buy a copy. The drastic price drop on Amazon also leads to an increase in sales for a record, one that may have thousands of copies pressed. The aforementioned price drop happened out of the blue, as the supposed re-stock/re-press of the album happened without notice and just appeared on Amazon. The album was marked down to $10, which is cheap even by standards from 10 years ago before the vinyl craze price gouging.

The strongest case for there only being one pressing if the definition of ‘pressing.’ A new pressing means the plant  presses more copies after pressing a previous run was made. Separate pressings are not distinguished solely by different colors of vinyl. Think about it, it would be a world record pace for any plant in today’s world to churn out a first pressing, regardless of amount, press another 600 copies in a few weeks, and then churn out another pressing in another few weeks. It’s not feasible. All other projects would have to go on the back burner for one album to go through three separate pressings in that short of a span.

So in short, in my informed opinion, there is only one pressing of this album, with an unknown amount on black vinyl and 600 copies on gold vinyl. By informed opinion I am taking into account personal research into other people’s claims on message boards (which have so far been unsubstantiated) and emails from reputable sources (the label and band). You can’t believe everything you read on places like Discogs, Vinyl Collective and fan site message boards. It’s amazing what you can find out by simply asking someone who should know. And yes my opinion is just that, an opinon. But I am not presenting it as fact, as people on message boards love to do.

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