Even though they broke up one year prior, Anberlin would not bow out quietly as the band released a double live album on vinyl in late 2015. The double LP set contains two separate studio albums, Never Take Friendship Personal and Cities, each played live front to back. The recordings were taken from one at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City during the band’s 2014 farewell tour, hence the name of this release; Never Take Friendship Personal And Cities Live In New York City.
When this live album first went up for pre-order, people immediately started speculating about variants, well, because people are variant crazy. To help fuel the speculation places like Amazon, Best Buy and $hit Radio Cast all put up pre-orders way before an official one from Tooth & Nail Records was launched, with very little information other than “hey this is coming out buy it from us before you realize you can get it elsewhere.” When Tooth & Nail finally put up the official pre-order more information came out. Tooth & Nail released the pressing info, which was 2,000 copies on royal blue and “crush” orange, but even then that did not stop people from anticipating other variants, and even believing there were other variants out there despite the fact it was confirmed the blue/orange would be the only variant.
As aforementioned, this was pressed as a double LP on colored vinyl, with Never Take Friendship Personal coming on royal blue and Cities coming on “crush” orange. There were 2,000 copies pressed total, with the only variant being this blue/orange one. The records are housed in a gatefold jacket and each one comes in its own printed dust sleeve. This is hands down the blandest packaging job ever. The Beatles White Album has more to it than Never Take Friendship Personal And Cities Live In New York City. As you can see from the photos of the release below, the album art is all white with very tiny text in the top left corner for the album title. The gatefold jacket has a black & white photo along with the credits in black ink. The printed dust sleeves also have small black & white photos on each side. There is a hype sticker on the front, but guess what, it’s black. And to make matters worse, there is also a glaring typo on the hype sticker as well. The sticker reads “Two Classic Anberlin Albums Played Live, Start To Finish, Form The 2014 Farewell Tour.” Did you spot the typo? Because someone at Tooth & Nail clearly didn’t.
Pre-orders first went up in early June with a release date of early September, and despite all that time and the relatively small pressing for Anberlin’s rabid fan base, this record has yet to sell out. Prices on this range around $30, with Tooth & Nail charging $28 before shipping for it down to sellers on ebay selling it for $25 ppd or less. A download card/code is not included with the release no matter where you buy it from, however, if you buy this directly from Tooth & Nail you will be emailed a download code. Apparently due to licensing rights and legalities surrounding it (Tooth & Nail had to license the songs for a physical release from Universal Records) a download card/code could not be included with the vinyl release. I want to believe the download code via email is the reason Tooth & Nail is one of the more expensive places to buy this record from, but I doubt that is the real reason behind their price.