This record is the perfect example of waiting to buy things, especially overpriced things, till the price drops. Love by The Juliana Theory was put up for pre-order way back in 2014 with a price tag of $29. Fast forward well over two years, 2 1/2 years actually, and this record was significantly marked down to $12, which is when I bought it. I’m willing to get it will get marked down even further because it still hasn’t sold out (it’s been $12 for months now), but I opted not to wait anymore because the three other records I was waiting to buy from $hit Radio Cast ($RC) were also marked down ridiculously low (which you can read about in other posts for the Angus Soundtrack, Cartel’s s/t and the Sopranos Soundtrack) so I saved money by not having to pay shipping on multiple orders.
As I stated above, Love was put up for pre-order over two years ago, on January 14, 2014, and it had a release date of March 25, 2014. Initially everyone complained about the price, $29, which is a lot even for a double LP. And if the outrageous price was not enough, there were inevitable delays because it was a $RC release. $RC actually lied about the record being released and in hand. In fact, their store still states the erroneous July 15, 2014 “release” date. $RC claimed on numerous occasions that the test pressing came back horrible and they had to reject them.
Here is a timeline of the delays: March 17, 2014 they announce the first pressing error and push the release date back to April 29. April 25, 2014 they send out emails to people who pre-order saying the pressing error is fixed but the plant needs more time to actually press the records, release date pushed back to May 20. On May 23 (notice how this update is after the previous revised “release” date” $RC made more excuse and continued to pass the blame to other parties, going as far as saying they couldn’t update before the release date because they were waiting for weeks for more concrete info from the plant. Hilariously hypocritical for a company who routinely lies to its customers and delays updating customers calls out another company for not updating them. New “release” date issued on May 23 was July 15. On July 8 $RC sent out another update, now claiming the plates were messed up again. But I thought they were fixed month ago $hit Radio Cast? During this “update” they never added a new “release” date, the communication stopped after their typical “it’s not our fault” spiel. They made no more public updates for months, though some people claimed to get email responses from them (something I find hard to believe because, you know, it’s $RC we’re talking about)/ These people said it was pushed back to September or October, they “forgot.” The next update came in the form of a lazy tweet on their Twitter page on September 5, saying this was delayed for another 7-9 weeks. At this point they simply stopped giving release dates because even they knew they wouldn’t be able to meet them. A few days later on September 10 someone tweeted to them asking about this, and they were told it was delayed another 6-8 weeks. So they can’t even keep timeframes straight with all their lies, less than a week later the delay is magically shaved down by one week.
September 18 they said they received a new batch of tests. September 21 they approved what was probably the fifth or sixth test pressing they had made if you believe their excuses. October 9 they said it will still be another six weeks because the plant is backed up. October 28 $RC said they received the completed records. People finally started receiving their records in early November 2014. Very close to one year after $RC put up the pre-order. I’m willing to bet the delays were due to $RC not getting the project going due to bad pre-order sales, so they didn’t have the money to front to get the project off the ground. It had nothing to do with rejected test pressings, bad plates or backed up pressing plants. Notice the suspiciously quick turnaround from the time they said tests were approved to when they had them in hand; a little over one month. No project gets through a backed up plant that quickly, not even a minimally busy plant. And there are no minimally busy plants on the planet, they’re all booked solid. Overbooked really.
Now with that insanity out of the way I can get to the finer details of this release. Love was pressed as a double LP spread across two variants. Both variants, “blood” red and black, are pressed on 180 gram vinyl, with each color limited to 500 copies. “Blood” red is not blood red, it’s simply translucent/transparent red, which doesn’t match the artwork at all. Definitely not as much as a true blood red would. The records come housed in a gatefold jacket with a matte finish and a fold out insert is included. The insert has the lyrics printed on the inside panels, with each outer panel have one of the Love logos on it. There are also two “bonus” tracks on this vinyl release; “Before I Go” and “The Black Page.” These two “bonus” tracks are the final track on the album, the last two tracks on Side D. The “bonus” tracks are somewhat exclusive in that they haven’t been on the traditional physical releases prior to the vinyl version. However, if you popped the CD version into your computer you could download “Before I Go” and “The Black Page”
The pressing was actually mastered for vinyl using the original analog tape. Something rare these days as not many albums are recorded on tape anymore. The vinyl mastering was done by Stan Ricker, who $RC started using for most of their release after this one due to what they claimed were technical errors with test pressing and plates. The album was mastered for vinyl at 96 kHz/24-bit. This release started the “$RC HiFi” release series that are marked with those silver hype stickers indicating such. Because of the mastering this record sounds pretty good. It’s not mind blowing, but it’s worthy of buying if you’re one of those curmudgeons who say “this will sound terrible because it’s not mastered right,” especially at the $12 price point.