Mae – Destination: B-sides

Posted: August 20, 2015 in Vinyl
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The final piece to Mae’s Tooth & Nail Records discography puzzle was finally added when Spartan Records released Destination: B-sides on vinyl in January 2015 (pre-orders launched late November 2014). In typical Spartan fashion this was overpriced, coming in at $20 for a single LP. And in typical Spartan fashion they went overboard with variants, pressing six of them. I’m hedging my bets now that when the first pressing sells out they will quickly put up pre-orders for another pressing. I’m sure they had all the finer point details for a second pressing decided on at the same time as the first pressing.

All that aside, this release was not met without more serious problems, as they cut off portions of one song, and they didn’t tell anyone until someone complained to them about it after the records started shipping out to people. The song in question is “Sun (acoustic).” There is a silent gap at the end of that song, which is placed at the end of Side A. Spartan’s response to this was ridiculous, as they refused to accept responsibility, essentially shifting blame to the pressing plant. Here is their response:

“There is a one second silence that occurs during the end “Sun” (Acoustic) on Side A of the record. This was not on the test pressing that we approved and we are looking into its cause with our manufacturer.”

I’m calling BS on that explanation/excuse. However, despite the problem that they claim was not their fault, Spartan made good on it. They did accept returns-refunds for anyone not satisfied, but you had to contact them in order to do so. Spartan never bothered to fix the problem with the records though, however. They never had more records pressed to correct the problem. They just kept quiet about it and let the subject get buried and eventually die. I haven’t heard any chatter about it (until writing and posting this) since a few days after the news broke.

Another controversial subject was the changing of the original track listing, removing two songs from the original album in order to include two new songs for no apparent reason. I’m all for including bonus tracks on vinyl releases, but the original album needs to be kept completely intact. At least Spartan announced that difference when pre-orders went live. Here is the announcement they made:

“The vinyl version of this release has a new 10 song track listing, including two brand new recordings, “Skyline Drive 3.0” and “Where The Falls Begin 2.0.” To accommodate these new songs, two songs from the original release were omitted. The accompanying digital download includes all of the original tracks plus the two newly recorded songs.”

The two new songs are “Skyline Drive 3.0” slotted in as track #2 and “Where The Falls Begin 2.0” is track #5 (last track on Side A). They replace “This Time Is The Last Time (live)” and the hidden bonus track, “Going to School.”

Some variants (4) from the first pressing were was only sold by Spartan Records, all come housed in a Spartan exclusive gatefold jacket. The other portion of the first pressing (3 variants) does not come in a gatefold jacket, and none of those variants were sold directly by Spartan. The pressing info for all variants only sold by Spartan is as follows: 100 copies on milky clear/black pinwheel, 150 copies on white with rainbow splatter, 250 copies on white with black splatter and 250 copies on black with white splatter. The pressing info for the copies not sold by Spartan is an unknown amount on cyan blue, which was a Hot Topic exclusive that they sold for $24.50, an unknown amount on clear with rainbow splatter that was a tour exclusive (apparently only on The Everglow 2015 Tour) and 500 copies on black and white swirl, which was a Record Store Day 2015 exclusive (received the typical huge RSD markup, costing $25). The Hot Topic and RSD exclusives were announced in March 2015, even though a picture of them from a spread of all the variants was posted by Pirates Press. It should be noted that the tour exclusive may be limited to 500 copies, but that info comes via a message board post via the merch guy, and we all know how reliable message board comments can be and how often merch guys/girls are clueless. Pressing info for the tour and Hot Topic exclusives have not been officially released.

All copies come sealed and also come with a hype sticker on the cover. The hype sticker is the same for all variants regardless of pressing. However, the RSD 2015 exclusive has two additional hype stickers, one denoting it’s an RSD exclusive and one denoting “limited edition colored vinyl.” I’ve included a picture of the RSD variant hype stickers below.

At the end of June Spartan posted on social media that they had four copies of an error pressing the plant gave them, and were selling them. This error pressing was for the pinwheel variant of the first pressing, which has the colors reversed from what they were supposed to be. Instead of being mostly black with milky clear stripes/bars, the error copies are mostly clear with black stripes/bars. I’m including a picture of the error copies of the pinwheel variant that Spartan posted on social media. I contacted Spartan about buying one just to see if they were flipping them, and they were not. They wanted the same price for them that you could buy any of the non-error copies in their store, $25 ppd.

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