2016 saw the release of Yellowcard’s final album. After 19 years (will be 20 after their final tour concludes), 15 releases (12 albums, 3 EPs) and one hiatus they eventually reunited from, it seems the band will be calling it quits for good. It’s a bittersweet moment for many, including myself. I remember seeing Yellowcard at Skate & Surf back in 2004, and being one of the last people in Convention Hall before the fire marshal shut down entry under a strict in/out head count. Boy does that make me feel old.
The more I think about Yellowcard’s music over the years, I’ m actually somewhat indifferent to their break up. To be perfectly honest, their later albums were drastically worse than their earlier ones. I’m not one of those people who swear by a band’s debut album or consensus best album and say “it’s not as good as *insert name of debut album here*” or “nothing will top/be better than *insert name of best album here*” whenever said band releases a new album. It’s just you saw Yellowcard build up to Ocean Avenue, and you had high expectations for them going forward. But it seems they peaked with Ocean Avenue and never really made another standout album after that, and not only that, the quality went steadily downhill with each successive album. So I’m not overly bummed they’re calling it a day.
Yellowcard’s final album is self-titeld, and the opening track is “Rest In Peace.” It would only be more fitting if the song was the final track. Yellowcard is a solid album, but again, nothing stands out about it. Parts of it are boring with a begrudging pace while other parts stand out despite that because they’re great lyrically. The flow of the album is a bit off too, which really turns you off from the entire thing. It makes you lose patience with it as you try to find any redeeming value.
Hopeless Records released Yellowcard, and while they didn’t milk the album for all its worth like they did with Taking Back Sunday’s Tidal Wave, especially considering this is Yellowcard’s final album, they came pretty close to matching it. There are only six variants for Yellowcard. I say only six because Tidal Wave has seven. Once again though, Hopeless opted to go with a handful of colors that, while matching the album art, make for a convoluted mess of variants. They literally took the same three or even four colors and just put them in a different configuration. And of course there are discrepancies between what Hopeless calls the variant and what retailers call that same variant. You’ll see what I mean when I delve into explaining the pressing info below, which is exclusive to this blog and hasn’t been posted in its entirety anywhere else:
300 copies on grey in clear / cloudy clear in grey. It’s a (UK/Banquet Records exclusive. Banquet calls the color grey in clear while Hopeless calls is cloudy clear in grey.
600 copies on cloudy clear w/ opaque grey, black & cream heavy splatter, which is a Hopeless web store (Merchnow) exclusive. Important note about this variant, it was originally stated/slated to be limited to 300 copies. But apparently Merchnow oversold the variant. They sent out emails to everyone who bought/pre-ordered this variant explaining the situation, saying Hopeless was having more copies of this variant pressed, but it would be delayed till after the release date. They offered to either let the customer keep their original order for this variant, or switch to an opaque grey variant. And if the customer switched to the opaque grey their pre-order would ship on time with hopes of being received on or close to release date.
So after getting in touch with my contact at Hopeless about the pressing info for Yellowcard, I discovered they actually doubled up the pressing amount for this variant. Going from the original 300 up to 600 copies because of the oversell. Whether or not you believe the oversold story or not is up to you, some people do, some don’t. I’m not taking sides in it because I have no dog in the fight. But I will say pre-orders for this album and this specific variant sold very well, so well that it sold out pretty quickly, which lends credence to the money grab “oversold” theory.
700 copies on opaque grey w/ cloudy clear, black & cream heavy splatter, which is a Hopeless web store (Merchnow) exclusive.
1,000 copies on opaque grey & black / grey in black, which is a F.Y.E. exclusive. F.Y.E. calls it opaque grey in black, Hopeless calls it grey in black. There really isn’t that big of a difference between the two though, I’m just laying out all the details I have to try to make things as clear as possible for everyone. The band actually posted the pressing info for the F.Y.E. variant on their instagram, and it’s refreshing for a band to not only do this, but be right about it too.
1,000 copies on clear & grey half & half w/ black, cream & silver splatter, which is a tour eclusive variant, being sold on Yellowcard’s final tour.
4,000 copies on grey, which is a mass retail exclusive. Places like Amazon, various other online distros (except Merchnow) and indie record stores all sell this variant.
No matter what color you opt for, all variants have an etched d-side of band’s logo. All copies also come with a hype sticker indicating the color of the vinyl. The album was pressed as a double LP, if that wasn’t clear enough based on the etched d-side just mentioned. The records come housed in a gatefold jacket, with each record coming in a printed dust sleeve. Each sleeve has the lyrics for the corresponding record on one side, with a photo on the reverse side. The artwork inside the gatefold is poorly chosen in my opinion. I would have went with the train tracks found on dust sleeve 1 (see photos below). It would have been more symbolic laid out like that.
Retail price on this record is around $25. Unless you care about vinyl color or rarity, you definitely should wait to buy this record. Especially considering there are a whopping 4,000 copies of the opaque grey variant. It will inevitably go on sale. I opted to buy it now instead of waiting for a price reduction because I was able to get it on sale for $15 shipped after taking advantage of a ridiculous sale an online distro (which already has prices $2-$3 cheaper than retail) was having, and I don’t see it going below that price even on clearance. Say it did eventually become $10 on clearance, you would still likely have to pay shipping on it, which would likely drive the price up to at least $14.