In 2014 the first The Sounds Of Animals Fighting releases were pressed. Yes I’m aware of the 7” single released, but that does not really county as a release in this case. In this case I can’t say albums because The Tiger And The Duke is an EP, so release covers both EP’s and albums. Equal Vision Records released The Tiger And The Duke and The Ocean And The Sun on vinyl at the same time, which was nice so people who wanted both could save on shipping.
The version of The Ocean And The Sun has alternate artwork, which apparently upset a lot of people. I will get into those people later on after laying out the details of this release. There are three variants for this record; 300 copies on black 180 gram vinyl, 700 copies on green and 1800 copies on red, which is a Hot Topic exclusive. The Hot Topic exclusives did not come out till well after the record shipped to people who bought it from Equal Visions, let alone after it went up for pre-order. The Tiger And The Duke comes in a gatefold jacket, which has a passage/story entitled “Charlemagne And Penelope” written by Chris Haynie printed inside.
The black and green copies each cost $15 before shipping, however, the Hot Topic exclusive cost $21 before shipping. The black 180g copies lasted a few days, while the green copies lasted a few weeks. I opted not to pre-order this record because I fully expected Equal Vision/Merchnow to put up more copies after the record was released, which I was spot on with expecting, it just took a lot longer than I expected. In September 2014 Merchnow put up more copies of both colors. So about three months after the records shipped.
Along with offering up the two colors (black 180g and green), Equal Vision also had a test press bundle, which included a test press, obviously, and your choice of color. There was some issues with the test pressings though, as there were more than the advertised 20 copies pressed. Either Equal Vision flat out lied about how many tests they had, or it was simple miscommunication in that they were only selling 20 tests out of however many they had made. With The Ocean And The Sun, some people also didn’t get a complete set. They either got two A/B sides of two C/D sides.
As stated earlier there was also a Hot Topic exclusive color for The Tiger And The Duke (red /1800). Why there were so many pressed is beyond more, it’s almost double the rest of the pressing. Apparently this is now sold out online (as of writing this), but don’t expect that to be true. Hot Topic is notorious for using every kid of sales/marketing tactics to drive up sales and maximize profit. They limit the flow of product, mark things up ridiculously high and exclude from sales promotions just to name a few. I fully expect there to be more copies put back up online at some point, and since there were so many copies pressed, expect these to wind up on clearance at some point. I was banking on that until I saw more black copies were put back up, which would up being cheaper than what it would be sold for on clearance at $hit Topic.
Now back to the people who were upset with the choice of artwork for this. They were so upset that someone decided to capitalize off them. It started out as making jackets for the test presses, something that is not a new practice, but something I view as a complete waste of money. It then snowballed into making jackets for people who just wanted the original release artwork to go along with their copy of the record. The guy charged $15 for a regular jacket and $20 for agatefold jacket, the same price if not more than the record (plus a jacket) itself. So quite a few people wound up spending double if not more on one record, for no reason really. This custom jacket operation then continued to snowball, as the guy began to make jackets for any and all records anyone requested, even stealing artwork from reputable and legitimate artists in the process. There was some backlash towards him for attempting to/considering doing it, rightfully so, and of course with the typical side taking and bickering that always happens on the internet. The person making the jackets, and making a profit doing so, saw nothing wrong with what he was doing, and neither did countless other people. Lots of people defended him and what he was doing, and lots of people complained towards the people pointing out what he was doing was illegal. In the end the guy decided not to steal a legit artists’ art, which was the right decision.