Posts Tagged ‘Comp’


The second pressing of Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers’ Greatest Hits slightly differs from the first pressing. Both are pressed as a double LP, but the key difference is the artwork. The first pressing, released in 1993, features a group shot of the band in a bubble set against a red background. The second pressing features a group shot of the band, which is a reflection in either a mirror or a pan with water that someone (not a band member) is holding. Both pressing come in gatefold jackets, with the gatefold artwork differing between them. I don’t think an insert is included with either pressing, I’m certain about the second pressing. The center labels differ between the pressings as well. The first pressing has stock black MCA labels while the second pressing has red and black labels with the band’s logo along with Geffen’s. The first pressing was a Dutch release, and was never made available outside of Europe. The second pressing is widely available, but is a U.S. pressing.

The second pressing (featured here) has a small yellow circle hype sticker that erroneously advertises that this is the first time the album is on vinyl. As aforementioned, it was released in 1993 in Europe. It was out of print for over two decades until 2016. The hype sticker does correctly advertise that the pressing is on 180 gram vinyl; black vinyl to be precise. No download card is included, nor is an insert. Just the two records in poly lined paper dust sleeves slid into their respective pockets of the gatefold jacket.

The biggest appeal for this Greatest Hits album is that is has two exclusive, (brand new at the time of original release in 1993) songs on it; “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” and “Something In The Air.” They are tacked on to the end of the album. So there is a draw for everyone, even people who already own Tom Petty And The Heartbreaker’s complete discography.

Retail price when it first came out was around $30 (before shipping), but now prices are starting to come down a bit on the secondary market, as you can find new copies for around $25 plus shipping. I’m guessing the market is flooded with these or record stores over estimated the demand for it. I picked this up for $18 shipped after taking advantage of a ridiculous eBay sale combined with an eBay coupon. No word on pressing info, but it’s likely in five digit numbers.

This was a long rumored re-press, and it was put on hold for what seemed like an eternity. It was put up for pre-order, and then abruptly pulled multiple times. Years actually went by without word about this. But then, when most people had given up on it, Bull Moose put up a pre-order for it with a confirmed release date. I think the biggest problem with this was Amazon and message boards. Amazon sometimes put things up for pre-order way too far in advance, and then people see it on Amazon, post about it on message boards, and the excitement grows.

This never used to be the case. The biggest culprit message board use to be a source of solid information without clutter or rumors. Threads used to be started only when an official pre-order was launched. But now it’s full of people starting threads with titles like “PO SOON” or “Soon?” or simply started a thread about a re-press because the band talked about something on stage or they talked to a band member after a show and asked them, and was told such and such. Basically high school gossip gets threads started there now, and it results in the typical internet BS of people calling the guy who started the thread a moron (or a variety of other names) and other trolling mixed with honest conversation, leading to multiple pages of useless posts that make it rather difficult to actually find useful information.

So when someone saw that Amazon had Greatest Hits up for pre-order they rushed to make a thread despite there being no official announcement about the album being re-pressed. When typically major artists like Tom Petty have press releases sent out to announce such things, let alone the fact that social media is a vital PR tool now. Had a thread never been started on that message board, it wouldn’t have spread like wild fire. Granted, other online distros and even Bull Moose put up pre-orders themselves shortly after Amazon only to have to take them down too. But the damage was done before that.

Anyway, this re-press eventually did get released with pre-orders that didn’t have to get pulled and refunded. But it was still wrought with delays. People were fed up with it all and there was little to no fanfare when the record finally started shipping. Not even a sarcastic “I finally got it” comment anywhere.

 

 

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Time Life, the people behind those late night music collection infomercials, seem to be getting into the vinyl game, as they’re releasing what appears to be a series of records. So far they’ve only done three volumes, but there is no indication they will stop there. These thankfully aren’t being pitched on late night tv, but are being hawked online for $25 for a single LP. Even going as far as to capitalize on Prince’s death with a purple colored variant in a second pressing that they’re actually charging more for than the black variant from the first pressing.

The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Live Series is currently on its third installment. If you’re not familiar with the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony, they typically feature the inductees performing along with special guests and various bands/artists perform cover versions in tribute. They’re usually star studded affairs, featuring some of the biggest names in music. Each volume in this series features exclusive live tracks recorded at several induction ceremonies. Volume 1 features an eclectic mix with the likes of Chuck Berry, Bruce Springsteen, Green Day, Al Green, James Taylor, Cream, Tom Petty, Prince, Metallica, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Flea, Joe Perry, Mick Jagger, Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood and Dhani Harrison. I bought this compilation because it fills out several collections I have going; Green Day, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty.

Volume 1 has actually gone through two pressings, unnecessarily so in fact. The first pressing is still readily available. But the folks behind the release decided to be shameless and capitalize on Prince’s death by pressing a new purple variant, in turn releasing a second pressing. They’re also charging more for it than the first pressing. It’s only $1 more; $26 instead of $25, but that is not the point. The record is advertised as being on 180 gram vinyl (first press), but it’s not.

Considering the hefty price tag for this record there should be more to it than just a standard weight black record crammed into a thin single pocket jacket. But that’s all it is. No insert, no printed dust sleeve, no gatefold jacket, no download card/code; nothing extra to eat into profit. One reason for the higher than average price tag might be the possible royalties and licensing fees involved with releasing this compilation. But still no excuse for charging $25 for a no frills single LP.

But with that initial retail price in mind, copies are starting to pop up on the secondary market at  slashed prices. You can pick up a copy for around $20 shipped. Some sellers have copies listed for $15 before shipping.

Pressing info has not been released for either pressing. One easy way to tell apart the first pressing, which is on black vinyl from the second pressing, which is on purple vinyl is by the addition of a second hype sticker on the second pressing. The second pressing has a purple sticker that reads “Limited Prince Tribute Edition On Purple Vinyl!” Both pressings have the same black hype sticker that says “First Time On Vinyl!” The barcodes are also different between pressings. The first pressing barcode is 6 10583 52622 6. The second pressing barcode is 6 10583 53172. The barcodes will help you discern the pressings if you’re looking to buy a copy of this record online. It’s fool proof to tell the pressing apart too.

Here is the track listing, with the year of the performance in parentheses:

Side A

  1. Chuck Berry With Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Johnny B. Goode (1995)
    2. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out (1999)
    3. Al Green – A Change Is Gonna Come (1995)
    4. Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Ron Wood, Joe Perry, Flea And Metallica – The Train Kept-A-Rollin’ (2009)
    5. Metallica – Iron Man (2006)

 

Side B

  1. James Taylor – Woodstock(1997)
    2. Cream – Sunshine Of Your Love (1993)
    3. Green Day – Blitzkrieg Bop (2002)
    4. Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen And The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Band – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (1988)
    5. Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood, Dhani Harrison And Prince – While My Guitar Gently Weeps (2004)

VA - Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Live Vol. 1

 

 

 


With the popularity of vinyl, you sometimes get re-pressing that are long overdue and releases getting pressed on the vinyl format for the first time that are long overdue. What you can’t control unfortunately is how they’re pressed. The Beavis And Butt-Head Experience was originally released in 1993, as a picture disc. So this 2016 re-pressing being done as a picture disc is at least a bit understandable. Though no one would argue against it being pressed as a traditional record (on any color) in a traditional jacket with inserts and maybe even a download card/code.

My bigger complaint about this is that it falls into the cash grab category, capitalizing on two trends; picture discs and soundtracks (though The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience is not a soundtrack is the strictest sense). Lately the two go hand-in-hand, but that never used to be the case.  First it was the soundtrack craze, with labels cashing in on multiple facets of consumer culture; nostalgia, collectors and trendiness. There are film nuts and score/soundtrack nuts who will collect anything related to a film they like, and then there are people who don’t like the film, or haven’t even actually seen it, who still collect soundtracks/scores. There will always be those who buy things for nostalgia’s sake, which sadly is a strong selling point with records these days, and it leads to things like picture discs, $35 single LP’s and things like My Little Pony and the Forest Gump Soundtrack clogging up pressing plants.

Not much changed between the original 1993 pressing and this latest pressing released in 2016. The images on both sides of the picture disc are the same and the track listing is the same. The only minor differences are that the first pressing was a UK release (2016 release is a U.S. release) and the first pressing comes in a stock, die cut red  jacket, not a picture disc sleeve like the 2016 re-press. This jacket has a very large die cut portion, which is intentional in order to show off the picture disc. It’s just like the jacket that came with the Moneen/Alexisonfire Switcheroo Series picture disc I have, which you can read about here. The 2016 re-press has a hype sticker affixed to the bottom right corner of the picture disc sleeve, with the sleeve having one of those re-sealable flaps. No idea on pressing info, and it will likely never be released because this is a major label release.

Circling back to the mention of $35 single LP’s, when this record first came out in April 2016, that was the price for it; $35. And it’s why I held off on buying this for almost one year after its release. It took that long for me to find it within the price threshold I wanted to spend. Prices have been steadily falling on this record though, just not fast/far enough. The price slashing has seemed to stall around $21. But considering original pressings were going for

The reason I wanted this comp is for the Nirvana song, “I Hate Myself And I Want To Die.” Though there is an unnecessary lead in by Beavis And Butt-Head prior to the actual Nirvana track kicking in. If you’re not aware by now, I’m a huge Nirvana nut and will buy almost everything of theirs released on vinyl, even live bootlegs. So despite that lead in I bought it. Plus, at the time of its original release in 1993, this comp was the only place this In Utero b-side was released. Afterwards though, it was released as a b-side to the “Pennyroyal Tea” single and subsequent compilation releases like the With The Lights Out box set. This comp remains one of the only vinyl releases featuring the original version of this Nirvana song, along with the “Pennyroyal Tea” 7”. The 20th Anniversary Edition of In Utero has the 2013 mix of “I Hate Myself And I Want To Die.”

Aside from the Nirvana song, this comp features other big bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Megadeth, Anthrax, Aerosmith and even Cher. Yes, Cher may seem like an odd addition to anything Beavis And Butt-head related, but this comp has some original, albeit joke songs by Beavis And Butt-Head.

Some people are complaining about this re-press sounding awful, but what else can you expect with a picture disc? If you want audio fidelity you shouldn’t be buying picture discs. Is this record unlistenable? No. But it is one of the worst sounding picture discs I’ve heard? Yes. All the more reason this comp should not have cost $35 when it was first released, it’s not even worth $20.


There are many Christmas albums and compilations. Almost every band/artist has recorded at least one Christmas carol during their career, with many releasing entire albums. But every once in a while there is a compilation that features not only many great artists, but some of them performing the perfect Christmas carol. This is one of those Christmas albums.

A Very Special Christmas was originally released in 1987, and was a benefit album for the Special Olympics. It was re-released several times over the years, most recently in 2016. This latest pressing, featured here, was done as a 30th anniversary edition, despite it being released 29 years later. It was meticulously recreated from the original 1987 release. It features the same gold foil stamped cover artwork, which was done By Keith Haring. No word on pressing info, but for a release like this it really shouldn’t matter. All copies were pressed on black vinyl. Here is the track listing:

Side A

  1. The Pointer Sisters – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
  2. Eurythmics – Winter Wonderland
  3. Whitney Houston – Do You Hear What I Hear?
  4. Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band – Merry Christmas Baby
  5. The Pretenders – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  6. John Cougar Mellencamp – I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
  7. Sting – Gabriel’s Message

Side B

  1. Run-D.M.C. – Christmas In Hollis
  2. U2 – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
  3. Madonna – Santa Baby
  4. Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band – The Little Drummer Boy
  5. Bryan Adams – Run Rudolph Run
  6. Bon Jovi – I Wish Everyday Could Be Like Christmas
  7. Alison Moyet – The Coventry Carol
  8. Stevie Nicks – Silent Night

 


After releasing the first volume in the Asian Man Music For Asian Man People series in 2013, Asian Man Records released volume 2 in late 2016. If you’re unfamiliar with the series, its Asian Man artists covering other Asian Man artists. They don’t necessarily have to be current Asian Man artists either. Take Antarctigo Vespucci, the reason I bought this comp, they only released a lone 7″ on Asian Man but were asked to take part in this comp.

Unlike Volume 1, Volume 2 was not exclusive to the Asian Man Records subscription. But it was a part of the subscription with an exclusive color. However, several other variants could be bought as a standalone release and was distributed to various online distros and indie record stores.

Like I mentioned above I bought this comp for the Antarctigo Vespucci song, where they cover “Stormy Weather” originally by Kepi Ghoulie. The comp also features Kevin Seconds, Modern Baseball and Jeff Rosenstock with covers of Alkaline Trio, Smoking Popes, Andrew Jackson Jihad and MU330. A download code is provided with all copies. All copies come in a standard single pocket jacket and no insert is included.

There are five variants for this; burgundy/purple limited to 150 copies, blue/purple limited to 150 copies (subscription exclusive), gemstone/purple limited to 100 copies, celestial blue/violet limited to 100 copies and dark blue/light blue limited to 100 copies. Asian Man’ web store sold all the variants with the exception of the subscription exclusive. And I’m assuming if you ordered a copy from anywhere other than Asian Man you received the burgundy/purple variant because the least rare. I say that because other than the dark blue/light blue, most of the variants are very difficult to tell apart. I have no idea was color “gemstone” nor what “celestial blue” looks like. And on top of that, Asian Man decided to make it even tougher by going for various shades of the same two colors.

So unless you got a subscription copy or went of the dark blue/light blue, good luck trying to figure out what variant you have. Even if you ordered a specific color there may be no way to definitively tell if you received what you ordered. Now I’m not saying the fine folks at Asian Man sent out the wrong variants. I’m sure they have them all sorted out by color and are kept separately. All I’m getting at is when you see a picture of most of these variants, it’s tough to tell which one is the gemstone/purple and which one is the blue/purple and which one is the burgundy/purple. I’m including photos (which were posted by Asian Man in their web store) of all the variants (except I’m assuming the subscription exclusive because Asian Man only posted 4 pictures and excluding the subscription exclusive is an obvious choice because it was never available for purchase) to illustrate this point. Can you tell which is which? I’m assuming the copy I have (picture with the record next to the jacket) is the burgundy/purple variant because the least rare because I ordered it from No Idea Records’ distro.


Asian Man Records has done a label subscription the past couple years, where subscribers get every release Asian Man puts out for that calendar year. Also included with the subscription are things like slipmats, t-shirts and sometimes exclusive releases. 2013 had an exclusive release; a vinyl compilation entitled Asian Man Music For Asian Man People.

The comp has Asian Man artists covering other Asian Man artists. I sought out the comp for the Dan Andriano song, in which he covers “Lincoln,” a Mu330 song. Other artists on the comp include Andrew Jackson Jihad, Bomb The Music Industry!, Cheap Girls, Sundials and Mikey Erg. Some of the bands covered include Alkaline Trio, Smoking Popes, Andrew Jackson Jihad and Slow Gherkin.

There was a total of 530 copies pressed, all on random colors with some marbling. The colors range from purple to pink to tan/brown, but most came out pink or purple it seems. Each copy is individually hand numbered in black ink, done with a ball point pen it seems. The numbering is done on the back of the jacket, which is a half fold screen printed sleeve. I bought this second hand off ebay so I’m not sure if a download card/code was ever included. The copy I bought did not have one.

To be honest I had no idea this comp existed, even though I’m a huge Alkaline Trio and Dan Andriano fan and collector. I only found out about it after Asian Man released the second volume in the Asian Man Music For Asian Man People series came out in late 2016. Calling it a series may be a bit premature, as there are only two releases to date with a huge three year gat in-between them, and there may or may not be more planned/coming out. Not like I would’ve subscribed to get this comp, but I might have been able to find a copy a lot sooner than I did. But in the end it didn’t take me long from the time I discovered this comp to the point when I bought a copy. It only took me a month or two without scouring the internet.

Since it was a subscription exclusive release from last year, the only way to get a hold of a copy was on the secondary market. And copies were few and far between. Discogs had copies going for an average of – and before the copy I eventually wound up buying on ebay popped up only – were ever sold/listed on ebay. I bought this comp for $20 shipped. Would I have liked to pick it up for less? Sure, who wouldn’t? But considering the scarcity of the comp coming up for sale and the price being fair based on previous sales, I felt comfortable buying it.


A lot has been said about Enjoy The Ride Records (ETR), mostly for the worse. I’ve never been a diehard supporter of his, but I was never one to grab my pitchfork either. I’ve basically been straddling the fence. Up until now I’ve had no reason to slam one of his releases. And it’s really starting to make me rethink my stance and come down firmly on one side of the fence.

This tribute compilation, We’re A Happy Family: A Tribute To The Ramones has all the hallmarks of an Enjoy The Ride release; pixellated artwork that is painfully obvious it was just blown up from a CD image (or worse yet, an image he found on Google images), poor mastering and overpricing. So where do I begin?

The jacket is cheap; it’s very thin and flimsy. For a double LP, it doesn’t come in a gatefold jacket, which would’ve been a nice touch for this release. Looking at images of the original CD release of this comp from 2003, which happened to be a digipak so it had what would be considered a gatefold for a CD, there were plenty of options for something to go inside the gatefold for the vinyl version. The cover art was done by Rob Zombie. It’s great artwork, and it’s a shame it’s pixellated. The insert itself however, is nice. But the insert is still not as nice as the original insert/booklet that came with the original CD release. It’s a foldout insert, with the cover having a reproduced handwritten lyric sheet by Joey Ramone. When you open it up you find liner notes written by Stephen King. Yes, I know it’s random, but Stephen King was solicited to write the liner notes for this comp. The back of the insert has the liner notes printed on it.

Thankfully ETR learned from past mistakes and disclosed the “reproduction” aspect of the hand written lyrics. In the past he would’ve never mentioned it and it would leave lots of angry people in his wake. The artwork is just blown up from a smaller source. It’s very obvious it wasn’t scaled up properly. I mentioned it above, but the CD liner notes for the Stephen King portion were much nicer than what ETR did with the insert for the vinyl release. The original CD insert/booklet was colorful, matching the color scheme (red/white/blue) of the release. ETR just whited it out, likely starting with a blank white sheet of paper and adding a colorful border along the top. The vinyl insert may be easier to read, but it was a cut corner on ETR’s part. Especially when you consider the cost of the record and ETR’s rationale for it.

The mastering of this leaves a lot to be desired. Again, painfully obvious it wasn’t mastered from a proper source and likely not even mastered for vinyl at all, despite the claims made by ETR. Case and point; whoever “mastered” this for vinyl is not credited anywhere on this release. Enjoy The Ride boasts about it being pressed at 45 rpm for “optimal sound quality,” but that doesn’t make the records sound better if the source material is a CD you bought, ripped it on iTunes, burned that rip to a CD-R and sent that to the pressing plant. No chance ETR uses a proper lacquer maker or outside audio engineer. This a comp many people wanted on vinyl because it features an amazing track listing, which you can see at the end of this script.

Circling back to the pricing of this record, it’s severely overpriced. Retail on this is $36. Yes, $36. ETR actually charged more (only 3 cents more but the point is made; $35.95 for ETR variant, $35.98 for B&N in ETR web store) for their exclusive variant than the Barnes & Noble exclusive. Considering ETR charges $25 for his single LP releases now, it’s obvious the gouging going on with this release. As usual, ETR gave BS reasons for the price. Saying things on social media in response to critics like “sorry” and “these were really expensive each at cost because of all the artists involved” “and my personal favorite; “because of all the deluxe upgrades.”

First off, he is not paying royalties to any of the artists on this comp. He just pays a flat licensing fee to Sony, which granted is likely higher than normal because a major label is involved and they love to rip people off. I doubt Sony charged ETR a higher licensing fee simply because of royalties, which major labels are notorious for not paying out to any of their artists. So his excuse is BS.

Secondly, there are NO deluxe upgrades. None. As aforementioned no gatefold jacket, no upgrade in materials used for the cheap, thin large pocket double LP jacket, improperly upscaled/enlarged/blown up images (cover art & insert) from the original CD release, record not pressed on heavyweight vinyl and the “bonus tracks” were originally found on the original CD release from 2003. I also find it hilarious that he thinks he feels any remorse for gouging people with his overpriced releases by “apologizing” for the high price. I’m actually amazed he didn’t delete that person’s comment and block him/her from his instagram account.

I purposely waited to buy this anticipating it to go down in price, either via clearance sales or discount/coupon codes. I took advantage of the later, using a 30% off code for B&N, and when combined with ebates I saved an additional dollar and change. So I wound up paying slightly over $25 shipped. Likely the lowest it will ever go, save for maybe 40$ off which B&N has released a code for before. Before I wrap up discussing how overpriced this record is, I wanted to add this; about one week after I bought this ETR had this comp as part of their “12 Days Of Christmas Sale,” on sale for 24% off. I win again.

Here is the pressing info; 750 copies on tri-color swirl / red, white, blue swirl, which is ETR exclusive, and 1,250 copies on “zombie” green / neon green, which is a Barnes & Noble exclusive. I n ETR’s own press releases and promo images for this release he can’t even get the colors straight. In some he calls it tri-color swirl and neon green, and in others he calls it red/white/blue swirl and zombie green. B&N calls their exclusive neon green on their website, and so does the hype sticker.

Some more finer point details about this record. The B&N exclusive is the only variant to have any hype stickers. There are two hype stickers on it in fact, a blue one highlighting the track listing and a green one noting the color of the vinyl. The ETR exclusive has no hype stickers.

Many people wanted to see this tribute comp pressed on vinyl for a long time. Mainly because of the track listing and the sheer volume of big name acts who appear on it. It’s genre spanning, which of course upset the true punk rockers that are still out there. Some people actually consider this tribute comp sacrilege. But when you take into account Johnny Ramone actually asked some of the bands to record a song for this tribute comp, people shouldn’t be upset because it’s an affront to the original version or makes a mockery of the Ramones. And before anyone jumps down my throat for putting ‘the’ in front of Ramones, it’s for grammatical purposes. I know the band’s name is simply Ramones.

One more interesting note of this tribute comp, it spawned a 7″ single. This 7″ is extremely rare and highly sought after. It rarely pops up for sale on the secondary market. The handful of times it has been listed on ebay it went for the bargain basement price of $488, with the peak price hitting $886. The first copy was sold in 2007, another in 2008, then a few year gap with another being sold in 2010. Another copy was sold in 2011, another in 2013, a couple more in 2015 and the most recent sale was December 2016. The peak price was oddly hit in 2013, and the price has not gradually gone up over time. It has jumped significantly, yes, but there has not been a steady rise over time as you’d expect. The prices this 7″ has sold for have been all over the price based on time, with a sale in 2008 being $85 higher than the most recent sale in 2016, and a sale in 2007 was $105 higher than a sale in 2011.

This 7″ was originally released in the UK, but was abruptly pulled from sale for an unknown reason. The single was marked as “withdrawn,” but a small amount did make it out into the public’s hands. At first it was only rumored to exist, but pictures prove its existence. The 7″ was pressed on blue vinyl a featured the Metallica, Green Day and The Offspring covers that appeared on the full length tribute comp.

Here is the track listing, and you can see why people wanted this comp pressed on vinyl:

Side A

  1. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Havana Affair
  2. Rob Zombie – Blitzkrieg Bop
  3. Eddie Vedder & Zeke – I Believe In Miracles
  4. Metallica – 53rd & 3rd
  5. U2 – Beat On The Brat

Side B

  1. Kiss – Do You Remember Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio
  2. -Marilyn Manson – The KKK Took My Baby Away
  3. Garbage – I Just Wanna Have Something To Do
  4. Green Day – Outsider

Side C

  1. The Pretenders – Something To Believe In
  2. Rancid – . Sheena Is A Punk Rocker
  3. Pete Yorn – I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
  4. The Offspring – I Wanna Be Sedated
  5. Rooney – Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Side D

  1. Tom Waits – Return Of Jackie & Judy
  2. Eddie Vedder & Zeke – Daytime Dilemma (Dangers Of Love)
  3. John Frusciante – Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World