Posts Tagged ‘Foo Fighters’


Foo Fighters are back with their latest album Concrete And Gold, the band’s ninth studio album. Concrete And Gold is much better than Sonic Highways. Can we just forget that album ever happened and have this be the deserved followed up to Wasted Light?

There are elements of math rock, and lots of syncopation on Concrete And Gold. Some songs are very technical with lots of dynamics; a lost art in today’s era of overproduced, auto tuned garbage. It’s like they went back to the basics of music composition to shore up the foundation that was weakening beneath them. But with that said, there are hints of the producer, Greg Kurstin, taking a song to another level. Not so much overproduction, but what a producer used to be before the days of garage band and pro tools turning anyone with a computer and a guitar bought at a big box store into a “musician.”

In order to grasp the scope of this record, you need to watch the mini documentary Dave Grohl released about the recording process of Concrete And Gold. When I say mini, it’s roughly six minutes in length, and it’s animated. One of the reasons I loved Wasted Light was because of how that album was recorded. While Concrete And Gold strays away from those roots, it’s a far more coherent album than Sonic Highways. The one running theme carrying between all three of these albums though is guest musicians/vocalists. Concrete And Gold has its fair share of guests, ranging from Justin Timberlake to Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men to Sir Paul McCartney (on drums no less. what can’t he play?). Drummer Taylor Hawkins even gets lead vocal duties on one song; “Sunday Rain.” Which led to Grohl joking in a tv interview that it’s always been his dream to get Taylor to sing more, so he could quite the band and go to one of their shows to watch them.

Another thing that carried over from Sonic Highways is variants for the vinyl version of the album. If you remember, Sonic Highways had several different covers, one for each city a song was recorded in, along with a composite cover featuring the complete artwork. Concrete And Gold thankfully does not have as many variants; only two. But both are based on the cover art/packaging. There is the main, widely available variant, which has the main album artwork, the one we’re all familiar with. Then there is the quasi Spotify exclusive cover/packaging that was exclusively sold by merch company Merchbar, dubbed the “Black-on-Black Edition.”  The link wasn’t intended to be made publicly available, but as soon as someone found it or was given access to it, of course it was posted all over the internet. This was intended to be a “reward” for people who listened to a lot of Foo Fighters songs on Spotify, as initially only links were given to them, but you didn’t have to put in a code or anything like that to buy it. So in reality anyone could buy this if they followed the link.

The “Black-on-Black Edition” has the same basic artwork, with the Concrete And Gold logo on it, but it’s all black. The Concrete And Gold logo is embossed on the “Black-on-Black Edition,” which is exclusive to this variant. If you ordered the black-on-black- edition variant online, a free sticker o the Concrete And Gold log was included (see photo of it below). This variant was advertised as being limited edition, but without pressing info listed. It took a few weeks for it to sell out, despite what many flippers would like you to believe. Initially the “Black-on-Black Edition” was only available online. Retail price on it was $20 before shipping, which is about the same price the standard variant is being sold for.

As expected, this “Black-on-Black Edition” was flipped extensively. It seems like at least 60% of copies bought were bought just to flip, with one person buying at least eight copies to flip. Ebay was littered with copies in the days after it shipped, with flippers not even bothering to take the record out of the box in order to photograph it. They listed it with photos of the record sitting inside the opened box it originally shipped in. Initially prices were out of control for it, selling for over $100 at auction, with majority of flippers listing them as a BIN with prices over $100. But in the month or so since the album was released, prices have fallen drastically, with copies routinely selling for closer to $50.

Both variants come in a gatefold jacket, with the artwork inside the gatefold being the same for both. Both variants also come pressed on standard weight black vinyl, with the same etching on the d-side. The phrasing on the web store selling the “Black-on-Black Edition” claims “audiophile grade 140 gram vinyl,” but don’t believe that hype. It’s just a buzz word used to drive up sales. All copies come with a download card, which gains you access to high quality 320 kbps MP3s. Only the regular jacket variant comes with a hype sticker.

Getting back to the etching, it’s rather bland as at first it appears to just be text for a random website. But when you go to the website it leads you to a song book with sheet music for every song on the album, which can be downloaded for free as a PDF file. You have the option to download the sheet music for each song individually, or download the entire book. It’s an interesting addition, especially when you consider song books are one of the new trendy things bands are printing up and selling to their fans for 20 bucks a pop.

Retail price on the standard variant is around $20. Of course some retailers may sell it for a little more, or even a little less. I bought a copy for around $15 shipped. Considering this is a double LP, I don’t see many places discounting this record any less than that price. I mentioned above that the “Black-on-Black Edition” retailed for $20 (before shipping) online via MerchBar, but once the band’s headlining tour in support of Concrete And Gold kicked off, they were selling copies of it at the shows, but for $25. Considering shipping cost around $5 from Merchbar, it’s essentially the same price.

Because of my stance on refraining from pre-ordering records, I missed the boat on the “Black-on-Black Edition.” I planned on buying it, but held off after seeing it sell so slowly. Like I said above, it was available for weeks. In a cruel twist of fate, when I finally convinced myself to go and pre-order it because it was getting close to release date, it was sold out. It was still available the day before. Even with this strike out, it’s one of only a few records/variants I missed out on through my somewhat diligent no pre-ordering policy these days. But the game went into extra innings and I got another chance to buy the “Black-on-Black Edition” for retail price via the official Foo Fighters store, as more copies of it would put up for sale online there.

 

 

 

 

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Foo Fighters – Big Me 7″

Posted: January 25, 2018 in Vinyl
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One of the last few records needed to complete my Foo Fighters collection; the “Big Me” 7” was not so much hard to find as it was finding for a decent price. This 7” pops up for sale on a regular basis, but usually winds up selling for more than I’m willing to spend for a multitude of factors. It’s not as expensive at their most expensive record, the “Everlong” 7”, which can sell for over $100, but the “Big Me” 7” is a UK release, and very few of them were imported to the U.S.. And that makes it inherently more expensive to buy for Americans. The song being the band’s breakout hit doesn’t help much either.

Copies of this 7” routinely sell for $20, but when you consider majority of them have to be imported from somewhere in Europe, that price immediately jumps up at least another $10. So when I saw a U.S. based seller selling one on ebay not too long ago, I jumped on it. I wound up spending a tad more than I would’ve liked, but I bit the bullet in order to check this off my want list. It was sitting on that list for literally over a decade. Which brings me to the next hurdle in trying to snag this 7”; condition.

Seeing as the “Big Me” 7” was released back in 1996, lots of copies have not aged well. Many were cut up in order to fit into jukeboxes. Others have damaged jackets simply due to age because they weren’t printed on the best material to begin with. Some have random price tags stuck onto the cover that would be impossible to get off. Circling back to the damage I just mentioned, considering most copies being sold had to be shipped overseas, the damage risk went up even more.

All copies of the “Big Me” 7” were pressed on white marble, with some copies having slight marbling to them. There is a black circle hype sticker on the cover of all copies as well, which says “Special Edition White Vinyl.” The record has a small hole, not a large hole. Don’t be fooled by people selling copies with a large hole saying that is how the record was originally released. That person is selling a copy that was cut in order to be used in a jukebox. The jacket is made of weird card stock type material, but it’s not the thick modern card stock most of us are familiar with. It’s somewhere between a paper sleeve and a traditional 7” jacket. The track listing has “Big Me” on the a-side along with “Floaty (BBC Evening Session Recording)” and “Gas Chamber” (BBC Evening Session Recording)” as the lone track on the b-side.

Foo Fighters - Big Me - Copy


In 1994 a European movie was made about the early days of the Beatles. The movie is titled Backbeat and centers around the band’s time in Hamburg, Germany, focusing on the relationship between Stuart Sutcliffe (Beatles original bassist), his girlfriend, and John Lennon. The film spawned a soundtrack performed by a super group of sorts. The band was dubbed The Backbeat Band and featured Dave Grohl (Nirvana/Foo Fighters) on drums, Dave Pirner (Soul Asylum), Gregg Dulli (Afghan Whigs) on vocals, Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) on guitar and Mike Mills (R.E.M.) on bass. Henry Rollins even does vocals on one song. The soundtrack is comprised of covers of Beatles songs and covers of covers the Beatles performed in their early days.

The soundtrack has gone through two pressings. The first pressing was released in 1994 and the second pressing, which is featured here, was released in 2016. The retail release of both pressings are visually identical. Same cover art, same printed dust sleeve, same center labels, etc. However, there is a promo pressing from the first pressing that differs greatly from the mass retail release. This promo version, the only U.S. release of the soundtrack from the first pressing from 1994, was pressed on green vinyl and comes in a plain white poly sleeve. I’m not sure if it’s a picture disc sleeve or not though, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it is. This promo version is the only variant of any pressing to be released on color vinyl.

One important note about the second pressing of this soundtrack is that many online listings, both distros and second hand places like ebay, are using an artwork image that is wrong. This wrong album art, which is featured below for posterity, features a white background. The artwork for the second pressing is identical to the first pressing, and what is used on all versions of the soundtrack (CD, tape, etc.).

Because this soundtrack was OOP for over 20 years, it was somewhat in demand. However, prices of it did not go out of control. Prices topped at $28 for it. But with that said the U.S. promo copies went for far more, topping at $50. When the 2016 re-press came out, retail price on it was $25. A debatable move by the label (Virgin) because not many people will pay $25 for a single LP release with little to no extra details like a gatefold jacket or heavyweight vinyl. The re-press was being marketed as “limited edition” with no pressing info given to say exactly how “limited” it was.

I expected there to be thousands upon thousands of copies pressed. Surprisingly, this soundtrack is becoming hard to find. So that “limited edition” hype line may actually be true. I held out on buying this expecting it to go on sale way after release date because distros can’t move their stock. As of writing this I was wrong. Nobody is lowering their price on this, everyone is selling this for close to $25. But that is not to say I didn’t get a deal on this record. I bought this online from indie record store Amoeba Record during one of their monthly 15% off sales. They often list items they took in trade as being used despite many of them still being factory sealed. It’s likely because due to legal reasons they can’t sell someone they’re selling second hand as “new.” Whatever the reason, they were selling a “used” copy for $20. and with 15% off and free shipping I spent $17 on this.

 


Foo Fighters released new material in the form of an EP in November 2015. The Saint Cecilia EP was released for free digitally, with a later physical release on vinyl planned. The only physical release for this EP was vinyl, which came out in February 2016. There is a U.S. and European pressing, but I don’t know of any discernible difference between them. The EP features five brand new songs. It sounds like a mix between Sonic Highways and Wasting Light; minus the corny themes and imagery found in Sonic Highways and a bit of the rawness and agression of Wasting Light.

Saint Cecilia was pressed as a 12″, thankfully, as it kept the cost down. It could easily fit on a 10″, but that would have driven up the price by at least $5. Or dare I say something more extravagant like a double 7″. This is a very affordable release, retail price is around $10. And it’s that cheap for a reason. I’ve never seen such a cheap release. The jacket is insanely thin and flimsy, the worst in that department in my collection. The paper dust sleeve is also very thin, about the same thickness as toilet seat covers you find in public bathrooms. No download code is included, but since the band gave the EP away for free it’s not a complaint, just on fact I’m reporting. There is no insert either, just the record crammed into a cheap jacket. They cut costs so much I’m surprised they sprang for shrink-wrapping.

Foo Fighters - Saint Cecilia EP - Copy


In 1994 a European movie was made about the early days of the Beatles. The movie is titled Backbeat and centers around the band’s time in Hamburg, Germany, focusing on the relationship between Stuart Sutcliffe (Beatles original bassist), his girlfriend, and John Lennon. The film spawned a soundtrack performed by a super group of sorts. The band was dubbed The Backbeat Band and featured Dave Grohl (Nirvana/Foo Fighters) on drums, Dave Pirner (Soul Asylum) and Gregg Dulli (Afghan Whigs) on vocals, Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) on guitar and Mike Mills (R.E.M.) on bass. Henry Rollins even does vocals on one song. The soundtrack is comprised of covers of Beatles songs and of covers of covers the Beatles performed in their early days.

The soundtrack as a whole was pressed on vinyl, but a handful of singles were also released. There is a 10″ single, three different pressings of a 7″ single and 12″ single for the song “Money.” There is also a 7″ single for the song “Please Mr. Postman.”

There are two different U.S. pressings of the “Money” 7″, a standard and a jukebox, and a UK pressing. Each pressing has different artwork and a different track listing. I own the standard U.S. pressing (featured here), which was released by Dry Hump Recordings. A mail order flyer is included with the U.S. pressing, and it indicates that the single originally cost $3. Without ever knowing that, ironically that happens to be how much I spent on the single. Prices are not over the moon for either version of the 7″, but the U.S. version does seem to go for more. The U.S. version goes for $4 on the low end up to $10 on the high end. The UK version goes for less than a dollar on the low end up to $5 on the high end.

The standard U.S. single has “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” on the b-side, while the jukebox pressing has two track on the a-side; “Money” and “Dizzy Miss Lizzy,” with the b-side featuring” He’s Wearing My Bathrobe.” The UK pressing, released by Virgin Records, has “He’s Wearing My Bathrobe” on the b-side. You can see the artwork for the U.S. pressing below, but the artwork for the UK pressing features either a still image from the movie or a press photo promoting the film. All pressings are on black vinyl though.

The 10″ version of the “Money” single was also a UK release and has the same artwork as the UK 7″, only it’s cropped slightly tighter than the 7″. The track listing for the 10″ features both b-sides found on the U.S. and UK 7″s, with the UK b-side appearing first. The 10″ doesn’t sell for much on the second hand market; $1 on the low end up to $14 on the high end. Condition varies greatly though, and you’ll pay more for a copy in better condition. This single isn’t a case of insane prices because it’s super rare. Price is driven purely by condition.

The 12″ version of the “Money” single is exactly the same as the 10″ version, save for the obvious format difference. Prices range from $6 on the low end up to $13 on the high end. Again, condition is everything.


With vinyl sales not slowing down and there being no end in sight to its resurgence many sought after and long OOP albums have been getting re-pressed in recent years. Many albums that I never thought would be re-pressed actually are. Dischord Records delved deep into their catalog to re-press Scream’s 1993 album Fumble in 2016.

This album is notable because it was Dave Grohl’s final release with Scream before he moved on to bigger and better things. Granted my main motivation to buy this record was to keep my Dave Grohl collection complete, but that doesn’t mean Fumble is not worth picking up as it’s a good album regardless of who was in the band.

This latest pressing of Fumble, which is the second overall, has some subtle changes to it. First off, the cover art has a minor change to it, as the band’s name is now printed with orange ink instead of red like what was on the first pressing. The back of the jacket is also orange where it was red on the first pressing. The track listing is also slightly different as one track is ommitted from the second pressing that was on the first; “Crack Man.”Crack Man” was the last track (6) on Side A on the first pressing. The song was left over this re-press for sound quality purposes. However, the song is included on the download card that comes with the second pressing. The re-mastering was done by TJ Lipple.

The most obvious change between pressings is that the second pressing comes on colored vinyl; clear vinyl. The first pressing was on black vinyl. The 2nd pressing is also re-mastered. Since I don’t have a copy from the first pressing I can’t do a comparison between the two. The second pressing come with the same insert as the first pressing. Well, let me clarify that. It comes with at least one side of the insert that is the same, which is the side with the lyrics printed on it. I’ve never seen anything other than a photo of the insert included with the first pressing of Fumble from 1993, and all the photos are of the same side; the one of the lyrics. So it’s entirely possible the insert from the first pressing is single-sided. All copies from the second pressing come with a hype sticker in the top right corner that promote the fact the record comes with a download card and it’s re-mastered.

Pressing info for either pressing has not been released. And it probably never will.

Copies of the original pressing from 1993 can fetch upwards of $40. It’s too early to tell whether or not this re-press from 2016 will bring prices of OG copies down or drive them up even higher. It’s a tough case because the original pressing has one more song that is left over the re-press, and cover is slightly different, plus there variant factor as well what with the different colors of vinyl and the slight cover art changes. The 2016 re-press retails for around $18. Yes, I’m aware Dischord’s site is selling it for $14, but they charge about $4 for shipping.

With all that said, it’s personal preference on which pressing to buy. The second pressing is readily available as of posting this, and it’s cheaper, but it has a different track listing than the original pressing and release of the album as it omits a track. However, that omitted song is an instrumental song, but it’s an amazing five minute plus instrumental song. Most copies of the original 1993 pressing are hard to find, especially in good shape. Majority of the copies that pop up for sale have damage to the jacket. They always seem to have corner dings and bends, bad ring wear and edge wear. And all copies have been played; nobody that bought this album kept it sealed sitting on their shelf waiting to be flipped. Since it’s a punk record the condition of the record itself may vary too. I doubt many punk rockers cared for their very well so don’t expect to find a NM copy anywhere.


Dave Grohl has had a long and industrious career in music. He has been in countless bands and has lent his musical talents to even more over the years. One of his bands, well acts really, often slips through the cracks by Nirvana and Foo Fighters fans. Most fans know Grohl recorded the first Foo Fighters record by himself, playing all the instruments and not attaching his name to the project, simply writing Foo Fighters on the tape he recorded and passed around so nobody would think hey this is new stuff from that guy from Nirvana. But he had another solo project prior to that initial Foo Fighters effort.

Late is that projects name. There is an infamous cassette tape entitled Pocketwatch that has been bootlegged to no end, with a legit tape selling for over $500. The songs from the tape have circulated around the internet amongst Nirvana and Foo Fighters fan groups for a long time, and it’s one of the holy grails of collectors. But the Pocketwatch tape is not Late’s only physical release. Late appears on a triple 7″ box set compilation entitled Neapolitan Metropolitan, which was released by Simple Machines Records, the same label that release Pocketwatch.

Neapolitan Metropolitan is either forgotten by most or completely unrecognized as existing. Everyone is focused on the Pocketwatch tape. It might be because Grohl uses a pseudonym for credit on this release; Alex “Vanilla” McCloud. This 7″ box set is the only vinyl release Late appears on , and was released prior to the Pocketwatch tape. Late contributes one song to the box set, “There’s That Song,” which alter appeared on Pocketwatch under the title “Petrol CB.”

The triple 7″ box set features 12 bands from three different cities all from the DC Metro area; Richmond, Virginia, Baltimore, Maryland and Washington DC proper. Each city get its own 7″ that is pressed on its own color resembling Neapolitan ice cream, hence the title of this box set. Richmond is pink for strawberry, Baltimore is green for pistachio and Washington DC is white for vanilla. Late appears on the Washington DC record, and now Grohl’s pseudonym makes a bit more sense doesn’t it.

To continue the ice cream theme, included with the box set is one of those wooden spoon you use to get with those plastic ice cream cups with the peel off lids in elementary school or from a cart vendor in a park. Also included is a 14-page booklet, which has information about each of the bands appearing on the compilation and some background info on the charitable organizations the box set is geared towards raising awareness and support for. These organizations worked to provide support for the homeless in the DC Metro area, which was a chronic problem in the 70s, 80s and into 90s. The following passage is taken directly from Simple Machines’ website and talks about the motivation behind this box set. ” Sometime in 1991 Jenny was in the Adams Morgan section of DC and stopped by Ben & Jerry’s for some ice cream. While she was there she noticed an interesting policy: bring your own spoon and you get a free scoop. Ben & Jerry’s was using ice cream as a reward for those customers who didn’t use a disposable plastic spoon! Jenny soon got in touch with Ben & Jerry’s headquarters and requested an annual report, which was full of stories about innovative, community-based efforts that the company had woven into their business framework. Since one of our own mission statement goals was to use our packaging to “educate, not just decorate”, we turned this interest in community development efforts into a 7″ project. Neapolitan Metropolitan combined great music from bands from three regional cities, which we pressed on ice-creamy vinyl, with inforamtion about community-based organizations. The enclosed booklet talked about Ben & Jerry’s, as well as DC’s Sasha Bruce House and the Arlandria Tenant’s Rights Association of Alexandria, VA.”

The box itself would have a traditional slip lid, but the lid is attached to the bottom half of the box with a thin flap. On many of these box sets the flap holding the box lid on gets worn and damaged, looking like seam splits on traditional record jackets. It’s difficult to find a box in mint condition after all these years as the box set was released in 1992. On the bottom of the box there is a sticker affixed that is a road map of the DC Metro area. It also serves as a hype sticker, as it lists the bands featured on the box set as well. Included with the box set is a mail order flyer and order form (though my copy is missing the order form). The mail order flyer advertises the Pocketwatch tape as costing $3.50 ppd, a far, far cry from the hundreds of dollars the tape now goes for. This box set originally cost $10, which is not too far from the going of it now, $25.

Pressing info was never released, and it never will seeing as Simple Machines has been defunct for almost 20 years.