Posts Tagged ‘Nirvana’


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.

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If there is one band out there that will always generate interest it’s Nirvana. People go crazy for almost anything related to the band when it gets pressed on vinyl, including myself. I have more than my fair share of Nirvana bootlegs, so much so that I have live performances that overlap onto other bootlegs I’ve bought. I’ve even foolishly bought the same exact bootleg, only under a different title. I’m a bit more careful now, as I have photos of every bootleg I have to check the track listings. So when it was announced that a Kurt Cobain documentary was being worked on, what some people were calling the definitive biopic, and that an accompanying soundtrack would be released, many people were exited, myself included of course.

Montage Of Heck is the title of the documentary and corresponding soundtrack. The soundtrack is comprised of never before heard demos, outtakes, covers and various other early recordings Kurt Cobain recorded over his lifespan. Some of the songs are Cobain just tooling around and predate Nirvana, while others were written intended to be Nirvana songs. After listening to the soundtrack it is a bit of a letdown however. There is nothing earth shattering on it, and some of the songs have made the rounds online through Nirvana collector circles. If you’re like me and are a huge Nirvana fan/nerd and want to hear everything the band or Kurt Cobain has done, you’ve heard the demo version of “Sappy” and “Been A Son” before. This is just the first official release they’ve seen the light of day on.

There have been many complaints about the sound quality of this soundtrack. And all those complaints are unfounded. It’s nothing to do with the pressing, it being on vinyl, the mastering, etc. Some of these songs were literally recorded into a hand held tape recorder Kurt set up. So the source audio was far from worthy of being mass produced and released to the public. But with that said, the soundtrack itself is not worth buying for the casual fan. You should only buy this, on any format, only if you’re a diehard fan or completist. And you should definitely not buy this for full retail price.

Retail price on this soundtrack is $35. For that money you get a double LP pressed on black 180 gram vinyl, a gatefold jacket, insert and download card. Despite what the hype sticker says; “320 kbps MP3s,” that is not what you get via the download card. The download cards yields WAV files. A nice touch for the price, but useless files for most people. You can’t play WAV files in iTunes, they have o be converted to MP3. And since there are 31 tracks on this soundtrack, the file is well over 1 gig in size.

The soundtrack for Montage Of Heck was released over one year ago (December 11, 2015) as of posting this. And prices are still not coming down enough. Many distros are still charging way too much for this. Some are still charging full retail. Your best bet to find this soundtrack on the “cheap” are places like ebay or discogs. Prices on the secondary market have dropped significantly; to around $15. That is more than 50% off. While a deal can be had there, distros are marking this down to $30, or $25, in a pathetic effort to move old stock. I bought this soundtrack, brand new, for $10 shipped on ebay.

Pressing info has never been released, and never expect it to be because it’s a major label release.

 

 


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.


 

Nirvana’s second official live album, From The Muddy Banks Of The Wishkah, was finally re-pressed in the U.S. after being OOP for 20 years. This latest pressing is not one of those anniversary releases labels love to release these days though, which is both good and bad. The cost of this was kept down (relatively speaking) because it’s a no frills release. But on the other hand, had this been an anniversary release odds are it would’ve had a bit more depth to it. There might have been expanded liner notes, colored vinyl, a gatefold jacket etc. Bonus tracks would be a bit hard to include because it’s a live album, so from where and when exactly do you pull more tracks from?

As aforementioned, this is a no frills release. It’s not bare bones because there are inserts included, but it’s as close as you’ll get without being one. The double LP set comes in a flimsy single pocket jacket. Two inserts are included, but rather than that I would have preferred a gatefold jacket. Or even printed dust sleeves like the first pressing had. The second pressing comes on standard weight black vinyl, and a download card/code is not included.

Geffen apparently used the same master and plates (which are apparently in the Library of Congress) for the second pressing as the first pressing. Which means the band’s banter is included on this pressing as well. This bantering is exclusive to the vinyl version of this live album. There are more subtle differences/similarities between the two pressings. The first pressing has a red circle hype sticker on the cover while the second pressing does not. As I stated above the first pressing has printed dust sleeve while the second pressing has inserts instead. What is printed on them (either dust sleeves or inserts) are the same. Both pressings are on black vinyl and have stock Geffen (DGC) center labels. No idea how many copies were pressed for any of the pressings.

Retail price on the second pressing varies, but expect to pay around $35 for it. That price point is a bit of a double edged sword, which harkens back to my no frills non anniversary comment earlier. Had this been an anniversary release you can bet Universal (which owns Geffen) would tack on at least another $10 to the price tag regardless of it had any bonus features not found on the original/standard release. The insane price tag is simply because it’s a Nirvana release, and Universal knows they can cash in on anything Nirvana related. If you don’t want to pay close to $40 for this just wait a while and the price will come down. Eventually there will be enough unsold copies of this flooding the marketplace that distros and record stores will mark them down. Fortunately I snagged this for essentially half off from a third party seller on Barnes & Noble for $17 and change shipped. I usually don’t take those kind of gambles with third party sellers in fear of getting a CD and not a record, but this time it worked out.

From The Muddy Banks Of The Wishkah features songs recorded from a variety of venues and dates, encompassing all of the band’s studio albums and even some b-sides. Only the first three sides of this release contain the album, the forth side (Side D) has bantering between the band and crowd. The track listing printed on the back of the jacket is purposely left blank for this reason. I’m included a picture of the back of the jacket rather than type it out, and also to show the blank spot where Side 4’s track listing should be.

Before I wrap this up, yes I’m aware this is technically not a second pressing, as there was a European exclusive pressing done back in 2003 that is part of the Universal vinyl re-release series. This Euro exclusive pressing was done on 180 gram black vinyl and has a hype sticker denoting that feature and the Universal vinyl re-release series. However, some people claim this pressing is not on 180 gram, but a much thinner weight. I can’t verify these claims because I don’t own a copy of this pressing. This Euro pressing has the same track listing as all the other pressings.


Many bootlegs go through several iterations throughout their existence. Titles change, cover art changes, vinyl color changes and “labels” releasing them change. This is one of those bootlegs. Initially it was released titled as Live At The Pier 48 Seattle 1993, and was later released by a different “label” under a new name; Drain You Live At The Pier 48, Seattle December 13th, 1993 – Westwood One FM (abbv. to Drain You from here on for simplification). This later pressing is featured here.

Both pressing were released in 2015, with the earlier Live At The Pier 48 Seattle 1993 released by DOL and the later pressing Drain You Live At The Pier 48, Seattle December 13th, 1993 – Westwood One FM released by Radio Silence. Both pressings have the same exact track listing, with the songs taken from a soundboard recording from the show mentioned in the title. The artwork is different between the two pressing. You can see the Drain You cover art below. The cover art for the earlier Live At The Pier 48 Seattle 1993 pressing has a photo of Kurt Cobain performing live, playing his guitar. This pressing also has a black hype sticker on the cover indicating “heavyweight 180 gram vinyl.” Both pressing were pressed on black vinyl, but only the earlier pressing is on 180 gram vinyl.

As with most bootlegs, pressing info is a bit sketchy. It was never released for the earlier Live At The Pier 48 Seattle 1993 pressing and the later Drain You pressing is apparently limited to 500 copies. You have to take that number with a grain of salt though, as bootlegs are far from an exemplary, honorable business.

Here is the track listing, which again, is the same between the two pressing:

A1 Radio Friendly Unit Shifter
A2 Drain You
A3 Breed
A4 Serve The Servants
A5 Rape Me
B1 Heart-Shaped Box
B2 Pennyroyal Tea
B3 Scentless Apprentice
B4 Lithium
B5 Guitar Demolition

Nirvana - Drain You Live At The Pier 48, Seattle, December 13th, 1993 - Westwood One FM - Copy

Nirvana – You Only Live Twice

Posted: July 7, 2016 in Vinyl
Tags: ,

You Only Live Twice is an odd bootleg in that the “label” behind it released promo copies and also sold test pressings. Both are rare occurrences, because you don’t exactly want to promote an illegal product, and test pressings of boots are usually just lumped into the production batch being sold to generate more revenue. It’s a scary day when bootleg labels are beginning to cash in on the test press game.

This Nirvana bootleg is compiled from a number of shows from a wide range of years. All the performances are pre-Nevermind era though, 1988-1992. As aforementioned the “label” that released this, Visible Records out of the Czech Republic, made test presses available for purchase somewhere. They sold 14 test presses, which have alternate artwork all the way around, not just the cover. The cover art is a photo of Kurt Cobain standing with his guitar, with all the imagery and font done in yellow against a black background. They are also all hand numbered, but the /14 portion is actually printed onto the back of the jacket with the rest of the artwork. These “test pressings” also have a different title; Maybe You Live Twice. If it wasn’t shady enough that a bootleg label is selling 14 (a very high number) test pressing with alternate artwork, they change the title from what they would be calling the final product. It has all the hallmarks of a cash grab to lure in suckers; rarity, hand numbering, alternate artwork, different artwork, test pressing.

The normal run of this release is titled You Only Live Twice. Apparently 450 copies of this bootleg were pressed. But like with all bootlegs take that number with a grain of salt, it may not be accurate and it may be purposeful lie to drive up sales. There is a hype sticker, a blue circle, which you can see below. I included a close up photo of if so everyone can see what it says. This hype sticker is also affixed to the promo copies of this bootleg. The promo copies come in a plain black jacket with a die-cut center hole in the middle so the center labels show through. The back of the promo copies have white “stickers” for the track listing and liner notes, which indicate where and when all the songs were recorded. Rather than actual stickers I’m guessing they’re just sheets of paper cut down to size and glued onto the jacket.

Here is the track listing:

A1 If You Must
A2 Pen Cap Chew
A3 Raunchola / Moby Dick
A4 Run Rabbit Run
A5 Token Eastern Song
A6 Stain
B1 Oh The Guilt
B2 Mr Moustache
B3 Verse Chorus Verse
B4 Talk To Me
B5 Swap Meet
B6 Beeswax

 

Tracks A1-A3 were recorded at the Community World Theatre, Tacoma, WA 3/19/88 and have Dave Foster on drums. Track A4 is from a dorm party on 10/30/88, apparently at Dorm K208 at Evergreen State College in Olympia. Track A5 is from theLifticket Lounge, Omaha, NB on 10/8/89. Track A6-B3 was recorded at The Off Ramp, Seattle, WA on 11/25/90. Track B4 was recorded at a venue called Bloom in Mezzago, Italy on 11/17/91. Track B5: was recorded at the Roskilde Festival, Roskilde Denmark on 6/26/92. Track B6 was recorded at the Estadio José Amalfitani, Buenos Aires, Argentina on 10/30/92.