Archive for February, 2016


One of the most in demand albums on vinyl has been Circa Survive’s debut Juturna. In 2015, well I should say 2016 because that is when the record actually came out, the album was re-pressed for a fourth time, but this time Equal Vision Records (EVR) decided to commemorate the album’s 10th anniversary with a deluxe edition. Mired in delays, this latest pressing of Juturna finally started shipping in February 2016 when it was originally slated for a – 2015 release. The wait was actually beneficial for me because I was album to use multiple coupon codes (I’ll explain further below) EVR released around the 2015 holiday season.

This latest pressing of Juturna has both a traditional single LP version and a deluxe edition triple LP version. The single LP version is simply a re-press (which I may delve into details about at a later date), while the deluxe edition has all the bonus tracks (minus the stems) that were released with the 10th Anniversary edition of the album. The bonus tracks include demos and b-sides, however the download card yields even more bonus tracks including instrumental versions and all the stems to every song on the album. In all 34 tracks (all featured on the vinyl version of the deluxe edition) plus the stems are on the download card. The hidden bonus track, “House Of Leaves” is included at the end of the final track, “Meet Me In Montauk” after a short silence gap. So there are actually 35 songs on the vinyl version. Rather than list out the track listing I am going to include a photo (at the end of this post) of the back of the jacket, which has the track listing nicely broken down and clearly legible.

The deluxe edition is limited to 2500 copies and was pressed as a triple LP with the first LP on olive/cream splatter, second on orange/cream speckled and the third on pinkish red/clear haze. The mock ups EVR released at the time of the pre-orders are somewhat close to what the actual records came out looking like, but none of them are spot on. They weren’t the hardest colors schemes to pull off, but either way they turned out looking awesome. The olive/cream is more grey than olive and the cream is pure white. There is also black mixed in as well. The orange/cream speckled is actually white with orange splatter and the pinkish red/clear haze is flat out red circle on clear. The f-side is etched with the album artwork. It comes housed in a triple panel gatefold jacket and includes a fold out insert.

The insert is one of the most unique ones I’ve ever seen. It’s essentially a booklet because of the way it opens. The cover of the insert is split down the middle, with each panel opening up to reveal parts of the liner notes. The liner notes are stories told by the band members, the album’s producer Brian McTernan, Bill Scoville (album layout) and the artist responsible for all the band’s artwork Esao Andrews. The liner notes are done like an interview and delve into the history of the band, Juturna’s recording process and the band reflecting back on those times based on their current level of success. Some of Esao Andrew’s artwork concepts are also featured in the liner notes, and he explains his thought process behind each of those designs plus the final version. The back of the insert has the lyrics printed on it.

The tripe panel gatefold jacket features expanded artwork, again done by Esao Andrews. His artwork can be found all over this version of Juturna. One minor complaint about the jacket is that none of the pockets for the records are sealed; they’re all open ended so the records aren’t that secure. Typically on these types of jackets only the middle pocket is left open ended. There is a hype sticker on the cover that says “Juturna: Deluxe en year Edition Triple LP Set.” The sticker goes on to say the colors of the vinyl and details of the download card. The hype stickers are essentially the same across all the variants for this latest pressing of Juturna. They’re all small silver rectangles, the only difference is what is said on them depending on the variant.

So far there has only been one person complaining about sound quality issues, but said person has already blamed it on their set up once he got slammed for his complaints. So take those sound quality issues with a grain of salt. And to be perfectly honest I haven’t listened to this yet. It’s in a long line of records I need to listen to for the first time. But I do plan on going through my entire collection to do sound comparisons between the different pressings of albums I have. I’m doing this to give my advice and opinion on which pressing to buy.

As I mentioned above this record was delayed and those delays benefited me greatly. I tend not to pre-order records anymore because it seems they rarely sell out and I can get them cheaper down the road. My wallet has overpowered my desire to get new records coming in. Of course there are some exceptions to my not ore-ordering disposition based on a handful of factors, and this record was one of them. I fully anticipated the deluxe edition selling out quickly through pre-orders so I bit the bullet and pulled the trigger on pre-ordering it.

Retail on this is $50, but because of the delays, and there were several, I was able to use not one but two different coupon codes. The first one I used was for 15% off, so I canceled by initial order and re-ordered using that code. But since the record was still not slated to come out for another few months another coupon code was released for 20% off, so I canceled my order for a second time and re-ordered. So I went from spending $50, to spending $42.50 to spending $40 on this.

Now to the delays. Pre-orders were launched at the end of July 2015 with a release date in mid November. Then in mid October 2015 Merchnow (distro handling pre-orders for most variants) notified people via email that the vinyl version was delayed due to manufacturing and orders containing the vinyl “will” be shipping approximately late December/early January. But to make amends they sent out the digital downloads to everyone who pre-ordered before the date they sent the actual email. Then at the end of December Merchnow sent emails to everyone who pre-ordered saying it was delayed yet again, this time till the end of January/early February. That was the last delay. This release is the perfect example of why I don’t pre-order things anymore. It was one of the longest pre-orders I’ve ever dealt with, but far from the worst. I’m sure everyone who remembers the MTS nonsense will agree with me. The records finally started shipping in early February 2016.

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In the grand scheme of things the amount of Nirvana and/or Kurt Cobain material floating around out there is vast, and seemingly never ending. Every so often new, unheard material surfaces in some form or another. Whether it be live bootlegs, demos, b-sides or acoustic versions of album tracks. In 2015 a well hyped documentary on Kurt Cobain’s life was released, along with an accompanying soundtrack/album from the film. The songs featured in the documentary appear on the soundtrack/album, and are either all new, never heard before songs or unheard versions of songs that later appeared on one of Nirvana’s studio releases. I say soundtrack/album because it’s more of a compilation of early Cobain material than true soundtrack. Montage Of Heck is the name of the documentary, which starts from Kurt’s childhood up through his death in 1994.

A 7″ single was released to promote the soundtrack/album, with the 7″ featuring two songs that would appear on the full length album. “And I Love Her” and “Sappy (earl demo)” are the two songs on the 7″, and they appear in that order with one song per side. “And I Love Her” is a Beatles cover, and most Nirvana fans should recognize “Sappy” in one or more of it’s many fors over the years.”Sappy” has been released on numerous bootlegs and as bonus tracks on later re-releases of Nevermind and In Utero.

The 7″ is pressed on black vinyl (all copies) and comes in a regular jacket, not a paper sleeve or anything more extravagant like a screen printed one. The 7″ itself does not come with a dust sleeve, which is quite annoying. It means the record was bouncing around inside the jacket for its entire life up until purchase which may leads to scratches and scuff that affect play. No word on pressing info, but when the 7″ was up for pre-order some sites claimed it was “limited” That “limited” claim is nothing more than a sales tactic, as these can easily be found almost everywhere that sells records. There are probably thousands of these things left. Retail on this 7″ is $10, which also hurt sales. I bought this from Bull Moose after they cut the price by more than half to $4 about one month ago, likely in an effort to rid themselves of stock.

Kurt Cobain - And I Love her bw Sappy - Copy

 


Nirvana’s self-titled album, also known unofficially as their Greatest Hits by some people (including myself), was re-pressed in late 2015. The first pressing was only released in Europe in 2002, so this new second pressing marks the first time this record was released in the U.S.. There are some major difference between the first pressing and the second pressing.

As I just mentioned the first pressing was released in 2002 as a double LP and was only released in Europe. It was pressed on black vinyl and comes in a gatefold jacket with silver embossing on the cover. Two inserts are included as well; one with promo photos of the band and the other with liner notes and a lengthy note from David Fricke, former Music Editor for Rolling Stone. There is a silver hype sticker on the cover, which is placed in the top right corner. The hype sticker reads “16 Classic Songs newly mastered featuring the previously unreleased “You Know You’re Right”.” This first pressing shares many similarities with the second pressing.

The second pressing is split into two different versions; a double LP cut at 45 rpm and a single LP cut at 33 rpm. The double LP almost exactly replicates the original version with a few key differences. The second pressing (double LP) is pressed on 200 gram black vinyl, comes in the same gatefold jacket as the first pressing but only includes one insert. The insert with the second pressing has promo photos and live shots, 4 photos in total. The note from David Fricke is runs on both sides of the insert, with the liner notes taking up only one side. It comes sealed in a perforated poly sleeve, which the hype sticker is affixed to. The hype sticker for the first pressing and double LP version of the second pressing are practically identical; both are silver and the most obvious difference being the size of the sticker. The first pressing has a small rectangle and the second pressing has a larger rectangle, likely due to a longer message. The message on the sticker is the same for the most part. The only difference is the amount of songs and mentioning 200 gram vinyl and the download code included. The hype sticker reads (part shared across both pressings) “14 Classic Songs On 200G. Vinyl Audiophile 45 rpm. Digital Download Card of 96kHz 24-bit Audio. Tracks 13 (D3) & 14 (D4) are 44.1kHz 16-bit. Features “You Know You’re Right”.”

The single LP version does not come in a gatefold jacket and has different cover art. Instead of ‘Nirvana’ being in silver embossing, it’s simply printed in white ink. The same insert with the double LP version is included with the single LP version. The record is pressed on 150 gram vinyl instead of 200 gram. The differences don’t end there. In a bit of an odd move the download codes are even different between the two versions of the second pressing.

The download code with the double LP version yields WAV files that amount to over 1 gig. The download code with the single LP version gives you regular MP3s; 320 kbps in quality according to the hype sticker, but the hype sticker is wrong. The single LP download card yields the same WAV files as the download card with the double LP version. I guess some people enjoy WAV files but to me they’re useless due to their size. I’m content with 320 kbps MP3s, I don’t even mess around with FLAC files.

Price was a major concern when this re-press was announced. At first most people were happy because they didn’t have to pay ebay prices for a first pressing, which can run up to $100 depending on condition. I tracked this record for a while on the secondary market and never even found a copy in acceptable condition. Most had terrible ring wear or were beat to hell in all other ways. If I’m spending that much on a record it better be as close to mint as possible. The double LP from the second pressing retails around $40 and the single LP around $25. Many people called it a cash grab as a result, especially considering they pressed two different versions for no reason really. This record was originally pressed as a double LP for a reason, and trying to cram everything onto a single LP must sound horrible. However, I do plan on picking up a single LP for my collection just to keep it complete as I collect releases that come out on different formats (an LP and double LP or 10″ and LP as example).

The biggest difference between the first pressing and second pressing is the track listing. The first press has 16 songs and the second press only has 14. The songs missing from the second pressing are “Something In The Way” and “Where Did You Sleep Last Night.” Both appear in order at the end of the record as the last two tracks on side D. I’m really bummed the second pressing doesn’t include “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” because this is the only official studio release (on vinyl) that includes this song. But I’m not going to spend upwards of $75 for a first pressing just to get one song.

**I don’t own a copy of the single LP yet, but whenever I can find a deal on one I will do a sound comparison between the double LP and single LP versions of the second pressing. From what I’ve been hearing it’s a mixed bag; some people don’t see a difference between them, some people like the double LP better, some people find the single LP terrible and regret buying it.**

*** UPDATE July 2016 – I finally found a deal on the single LP version, $13 shipped, but haven’t had a chance to do a sound comparison yet. I will update this again when I’m able to. ***

 

 

V/A – Hype! Soundtrack 7″ Box Set

Posted: February 11, 2016 in Vinyl
Tags: ,

When Soundtracks get pressed they’re usually a fairly straight forward release. Typically in the form of an LP of some kind. For the soundtrack to the film Hype!, Sub Pop released the soundtrack in a 4×7″ box set in 1997. Because of this more than half the songs from the soundtrack are cut off of the vinyl version, but despite that the more important songs are still featured on the vinyl version. A lot of the lesser known bands are left off the vinyl version, with the box set featuring Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mudhoney and The Wipers, among others. Ten out of the 23 songs on the soundtrack can be found on the vinyl version.

The box set comes with a slip lid that pulls off revealing a huge fold out poster and the four 7″ records in stock label sleeves (Sub Pop die cut paper sleeves). The sleeves have half of the Sub Pop logo on each side, so if you place two of the 7″ sleeves next to each other, with opposite sides facing up, it forms the entire Sub Pop logo. Each of the four records are on different colors; Record 1 is on purple, record 2 is on green (light green), record 3 is on grey and record 4 is on blue (baby blue). All records have some marbling in them.

There were 2,000 total copies of the Hype! box set pressed and there are many determining factors to its price aside from condition. Sub Pop has a devout following, and there is a market for all of their releases, regardless of quality and/or popularity of the music. The next major factor are the bands featuring on this release, mainly Nirvana. But Soundgarden, Mudhoney and The Wipers are popular in their own right, they’re just nowhere near Nirvana’s level. You can still find factory sealed box sets, which is a huge surprise given its age. And those fetch the highest dollar amount at around $45. You can buy one of these sets for $20, but they will obviously be in worse condition, possibly even missing the poster.

The hardest thing price wise about this release is the condition of the box itself. Many of them are banged up pretty bad, but sellers still want more for them than they’re worth despite the box being dented (worse than a dinged corner on an LP jacket), stained, torn, scratched or otherwise nicked. But with that said it can work out in your favor. Many stupid, greedy and/or unrealistic sellers are selling these with dented corners (sealed or not) for the same price as a sealed box set without dents or other damage. So if the seller accepts offers on a sites like ebay or discogs, you can haggle for a lower price using the other box set’s better condition at the same price as leverage.


One of the few good things about Discogs is their extensive database. It’s how I found out about countless comps and bootlegs some of my favorite bands appeared on that I had clue about. Perfect example is this covers compilation featuring Nirvana entitled Hard To Believe A Kiss Covers Compilation.

First off there are two separate pressings of this comp, one as a single LP (featured here) and one as a double LP. As the title suggests, it full of covers of Kiss songs. The song Nirvana contributes is “Do You Love Me?”

The single LP pressing featured here was released by C/Z Records out of the Czech Republic in 1990, and the double LP pressing was released by Waterfront Records out of Australia in 1990. Waterfront Records also released a single LP pressing of their own. The visual difference between the C/Z and Waterfront single LP pressing is that the Waterfront pressing comes in a gatefold jacket and the C/Z pressing does not. All copies of the single LP, regardless of pressing or label, were pressed on black vinyl. The double LP pressing comes on two variants; black vinyl and red vinyl. Pressing info for any of the pressing, whether it’s single LP or double LP, has never been released, and never expect it to seeing as this comp was released 25 years ago.

The biggest difference between the two pressings is that the double LP has more songs on it. The single LP either has 11 or 12 songs on it, the Waterfont Records single LP ha 11 songs for whatever reason. The double LP has 16 songs. The track listing between the single LP and double LP is also completely different, the additional four songs found on the double LP are not simply tacked on to the end where the single LP leaves off. The track listing gets even more confusing, as some songs found on the single LP pressings are not found on the double LP pressing. To be honest, it’s too much work (it will also take up a ton more space on the blog causing scrolling issues) for me to list out all the differences regarding the track listing. If you’re interested in that sort of info check out the Discogs page for this release.

This comp ranges in price from around $10 on the low end on up to $50 on the high end. This is not a hard to find or even rare in limited quantities release, so condition is everything with something this old. You’ll obviously pay more for a sealed copy or M/NM one. With that said though, the double LP pressing is the harder to find and more expensive one, but only slightly so.

Hard To Believe A Kiss Covers Compilation - Copy

 

Nirvava – Foretaste 7″

Posted: February 11, 2016 in Vinyl
Tags: ,

Nirvana bootlegs come in all sizes. This one is a 7″ called Foretaste and was pressed on multiple colors. There have likely been multiple pressings of it as well, but since it’s a boot it’s impossible to know for sure. Since it was first released in 1992 it likely went through at least one re-press, as I found this at my local record store in 2015 and have been a loyal customer (I’m in there at least once a month if not more frequently) of theirs for well over 10 years and this is the first time I saw this record in there.

There are three songs on this 7″; “Drain You,” “Dumb” and “Endless Nameless.” “Endless Nameless” is improperly listed on the back of the foldout sleeve as “The End Of Music.” Bootlegs often purposely either misspell or list song under improper names to skirt copyright laws. The songs were recorded live at Maida Vale Studio 5 in London on September 3, 1991.

I know of several colors this bootleg 7″ was pressed on; black, orange and seafoam green/mint/teal/turquoise. All color variants have plain white center labels with a large hole, except the seafoam green/mint/teal/turquoise variant which has a small hole. Sometimes boots have different covers or subtle variations of the cover art, but this boot is not the case as all the covers are identical no matter the pressing/vinyl color. No pressing information in terms of numbers pressed has nor ever will be released.

Nirvana - Foretaste - Copy

Nirvana – KAOS FM Live 17/04/1987

Posted: February 11, 2016 in Vinyl
Tags: ,

Yet another Nirvana bootleg in my collection, KAOS FM Live 17/04/1987 is aptly titled because it’s taken from a radio broadcast from Seattle radio station KAOS in April 1987. Obviously, because of the date of this radio session, this is with Nirvana’s original drummer Dale Crover and not Chad Channing or Dave Grohl.

Pressing info, as with all bootlegs, is sketchy at best. Some sites claim it’s limited to only 500 copies, but that number is to be taken with a grain of salt. All copies however were pressed on black vinyl. This boot was released in 2015 by Euro based Radio Silence, a newcomer to the bootleg game. They seem to focus on punk and grunge bands, as to date they’ve released boots from Nirvana, Ramones, Hole, Husker Du and Sonic Youth to name a few.

The jacket is your normal single pocket jacket, which is quite thin, but it’s a boot so quality in that area is not a major concern of anyone involved. But I will mention some “labels” churning out boots do take pride in quality and come in gatefold jackets. This boot’s jacket is far from DIY though.

Here is the track listing:

Side A

  1. Love Buzz
  2. Floyd The Barber
  3. Downer
  4. Mexican Seafood
  5. White Lace And Strange

 

Side B

  1. Spank Thru
  2. Anorexorcist
  3. Hairspray Queen
  4. Pen Cap Chew

Nirvana - KAOS FM Live 17-04-87 - Copy