Spacelab9 released both The Walking Dead Soundtracks (Volumes 1 and 2) in quick succession. The soundtracks were first released on CD and digitally (2014), then Spacelab9 licensed them out to be pressed on vinyl. Another soundtrack specialty label, Spacelab9 seems to do good work with their releases. This is the first Spacelab 9 release I’ve bought, so I can’t speak to quality on a mass scale. But my only complaint is their releases tend to be on the pricier side.
For Vol. 1 of The Walking Dead Soundtrack, Spacelab9 had a handful of variants and did a second pressing. They even printed up individually numbered certificates of authenticity for some of the variants from the first pressing. Clearly a gimmick that I’m not sure actually drove up sales or not. A fold out poster was even included. None of that stuff is included with Volume 2 though.
Vol. 2 of the soundtrack is just a record crammed into a standard single pocket jacket with a pointless insert advertising/promoting an irrelevant season premier of the show (season 6). No poster, no certificate of authenticity; in other words no frills. That didn’t stop Spacelab9 from charging $20 for it though. It even has the same artwork as Volume 1 save for the minute difference of swapping out a 1 for a 2 in the title. Granted the artwork for the initial CD/digital release of both soundtracks was the same. But at least Spacelab cut down on the variants for the Volume 2.
The first pressing of Vol. 2 was a Record Store Day 2015 exclusive pressed as a picture disc limited to 1,800 copies. I missed out on the RSD release of this soundtrack thanks to the re-press of Brand New’s Deja Entendu where it seemed like everyone came out of the woodwork to wait eight plus hours in line for it at my local record store. But in the grand scheme of things it was not the end of the world. The RSD picture disc was overpriced, and it was a picture disc. Plus, I was hedging my bets that Spacelab9 would eventually re-press it in a standard jacket on traditional, non-picture disc record. And my patience and bets paid off as they did just that in the fall of 2016. But I knew the standard release was coming as I emailed Spacelab9 way back in January (2016) asking about a non-picture disc release and was told yes. So I knew to hold off on buying a RSD picture disc, despite prices of it falling down to $15 (from the original $25 on RSD) on the secondary market.
The second pressing of Vol. 2 was pressed on only three variants; black limited 600 copies, half black/half orange limited to 200 copies and splatter limited to 200 copies. The splatter color is pink/red with black splatter and was a New York Comic Con (NYCC) exclusive (though leftover copies were sold online via Spacelab 9’s web store). The NYCC variant was made available for purchase at the event before the record’s official release date of October 23, 2016. The splatter was initially called “brains on blacktop” splatter then later changed to “splatter brains.” Half black/half orange was a Spacelab 9 web store exclusive and black is a mass retail exclusive (Amazon, other online distros, indie record stores, etc.). This pressing info is exclusive to this blog and is the first place it’s appearing anywhere. At least until Spacelab9 gets around to updating their discography page.
I would like to point out that some distros ran with the pressing info of Vol. 2 being limited to 1,000 copies during the pre-order phase, without being more specific than that. Ultimately that info panned out to be correct as there are 1,000 total copies for the second pressing. But I want to stress you can’t always trust what online distors say when they say a record is “limited to xxxx copies” because sometimes they are provided inaccurate info or simply lie about it to drum up business. Case and point, the distro I found that said “limited to 1,000 copies” also made the claim of “makes its official vinyl debut” despite the fact what they were selling was a re-pressing.
The track listing for Vol. 2 features an exclusive, brand new song from Portugal. The Man, which is why I wanted the soundtrack. The song is entitled “Heavy Games” and was featured in the trailer for season 4, it never actually played during the show. The soundtrack also features songs from Sharon Van Etten, Lee DeWyze, A.C. Newman and Ben Nichols.
To be perfectly clear I was not drawn to this soundtrack because I’m a diehard Walking Dead fan. I do watch the show as a casual fan, but I did not follow it from the beginning nor have I ever read the comics. I binge watched it when AMC was doing a marathon where they replayed every episode in order leading up to a season premiere, I think it was either season 4 or 5. I’m not heavily invested in the show, and to be honest I fast forward through 95% of every episode at this point because I can’t stand the soap opera nonsense anymore. The fast forwarding has gone up and up with every episode. I haven’t truly enjoyed the show since they left the prison, and season 2 on Herschel’s farm was my favorite. That season was what drew me in to the show. I caught bits and pieces of a few episodes from season 2 when they originally aired, but even then my interest was fleeting because there were soap opera elements that far back. And dramas are not my favorite entertainment genre. But the show has gotten so bad I don’t even care if I miss an episode, and I’m on the verge of cancelling it from my DVR recordings.