Posts Tagged ‘Taking Back Sunday’


After much hype Taking Back Sunday finally released their self-titled album in mid 2017. First it was rumors a few years ago that never panned out, then it suddenly became confirmed and was talked about for a few months without a pre-order or release date, and finally in late March 2017 the record was finally released. Lastly, there is the even longer talked about band exclusive colors that have yet to be released as of posting this.

You see, when the pre-orders first went live in early February, people asked the band on social media where their pre-order was or if an official pre-order would be happening. The band responded by saying they will have exclusive colors of Taking Back Sunday along with the Louder Now re-press available “soon.” That infamous “soon” phrasing turned into a release date of summer 2017. Several months after the March release date. So with that in mind, I am considering the colored variant a second pressing, since there is no way they were pressed at the same time as the initial copies on black vinyl. For those curious, the color for s/t is supposed to be on green vinyl based on the mock up the band released.

Pressing info has not been released for the first pressing on black vinyl, and it likely never will be because s/t was a major label release. All copies come with an insert, which has the lyrics printed on one side with the liner notes on the reverse side. No download card/code is included, which is inexcusable these days. This wasn’t a licensed release; it was the original rights holders putting it out, but the major label was too cheap and greedy to include a digital download for it. It’s even more inexcusable when you consider the retail price: around $17. But at least they did press it, so there is some silver lining.

In late July 2017 the highly anticipated second pressing on colored vinyl was released. Copies were sold on tour and online only at the band’s official web store hosted by Shop Bench Mark, for the ridiculous price of $25 for a single LP. Tack on shipping and the total came out to around $32. The color is green limited to 500 copies. The band is also selling copies on tour with them, a limited amount per show.

 

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Taking Back Sunday – Tidal Wave

Posted: November 22, 2016 in Vinyl
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After a short two year break in between albums Taking Back Sunday released Tidal Wave, the band’s seventh studio album. It’s not their best work. In fact, I feel it’s one of their weakest efforts to date. I have realistic expectations too; I don’t expect them to write another Tell All Your Friends or even What It Is To Be. The band has matured over the years and have gone through some lineup changes, but listening to any song off Tidal Wave it would actually take you a while to realize that it’s Taking Back Sunday. And that is not a good thing. Even with that said, Tidal Wave is not a bad album. It’s just not a homerun and is completely forgettable.

Hopeless Records pulled out all the stops with packaging for the vinyl version of the album. The album, pressed as a double LP, comes housed in a gatefold jacket. The records themselves are housed in full color, printed dust sleeves which really ties the packaging together nicely. You’ll see what I mean when you look at the photos of everything below. The dust sleeves are not over the top in terms of grandeur, they’re subtle, but it works perfectly. Inside the gatefold jacket is where the lyrics are printed, and you’ll notice the imagery carry through inside the gatefold. And if that wasn’t enough, a foldout poster is included.

A download card is included for high quality 320 kbps MP3s. Thankfully it hasn’t happened yet, but don’t fret, or worse yet, go online complaining if you think your copy has ring wear. It’s part of the artwork and is there intentionally. The faux ring wear has been happening more and more lately with album art, especially with the growing popularity of vinyl over the years. With everything you get retail price on this record is around $25. A bit steep in my mind, but considering how nice the packaging is the price is easier to swallow. Especially compared to other labels who charge $25 or more for just a single LP stuffed into jacket without an insert or anything extra like that.

I mentioned above Hopeless pulling out all the stops with this release, and it can’t be more noticeable with how many variants they opted to go for. They’re definitely milking Taking Back Sunday. There are a total of seven variants for this, and the pressing info could not be more convoluted if you wanted it to be. It’s nice when a label/band want to stick with colors that fit the artwork or theme/concept of an album, but they went a bit overboard with Tidal Wave. I will do my best to lay out the pressing info a straight forward and easy to understand as possible. It took me a bit of time to straightened everything out, and as far as I know this blog is the only place with the complete, let alone accurate pressing info.

My contact at Hopeless was very helpful, and the pressing info is straight from them. Part of the confusion with the pressing info is that the names/colors Hopeless uses do not match up with what was announced with the item descriptions in various web stores (Merchnow, Hot Topic), and the band themselves describe the colors differently too. Nothing matches up. So that is where it took some time to match up what Hopeless gave me with what Merchnow has/had up with each respective variant and the info that was previously announced. I will outline everything below.

300 copies on coke bottle clear & turquoise half & half w/ white splatter, which is a Hopeless web store (Merchnow) exclusive.

300 copies on transparent blue w/ heavy white splatter, which is a UK / Banquet Records exclusive.

500 copies on “ocean wave” half coke bottle clear/half turquoise w/ coke bottle clear splatter. This is a tour exclusive variant. The band called the color “teal and turquoise half and half with dark blue splatter” on multiple social media sites. Based on photos I’ve seen of the tour variant, it looks like the splatter is blue and not coke bottle clear.

500 copies on coke bottle clear & turquoise half & half / half coke bottle clear/half turquoise, which is a Hopeless web store (Merchnow) exclusive. Hopeless calls the color coke bottle clear & turquoise half & half, while the Merchnow item description called it half coke bottle clear/half turquoise.

500 copies on turquoise / turquoise in light blue (color in color), which is a $hit Topic exclusive. $hit Topic calls it simply “turquoise” while Hopeless calls the color “turquoise in light blue (color in color).” The picture $hit Topic posted illustrates the color in color aspect, so they should have been smarter and not called their exclusive color “turquoise.”

700 copies on turquoise swirl / a-side coke bottle clear/b-side turquoise, which is a Hopeless web store (Merchnow) exclusive. Hopeless calls the color turquoise swirl (which hype stickers also say), while the Merchnow item description called it a-side coke bottle clear/b-side turquoise.

3,000 copies on clear with blue & turquoise splatter. This color was initially thought to be an indie record store exclusive, but turned out to just be a retail exclusive. Retail meaning if you bought a copy from anywhere other than Merchnow, $hit Topic or from the band on tour.

And if all that wasn’t enough somewhere along the line an incorrect hype sticker was affixed to one of the variants, citing a nonexistent color. This incorrect sticker said “black w/ red splatter” and according to Hopeless it was affixed to some, not all of the coke bottle clear & turquoise half & half / half coke bottle clear/half turquoise copies. I came across a photo of that hype sticker on Discogs (I’m sure someone will add this new info I’m providing to Discogs) and asked Hopeless about it. That was the answer I was provided. I’m also including a photo of the erroneous hype sticker below to show I’m not a nutcase.

To further illustrate Hopeless milking TBS, they had not one, not two, not three or even four, but seven pre-order bundles for this album. In my opinion one pre-order bundle is too many. But having bundles with unnecessary nonsense like coffee mugs, pint glasses and coffee beans is just that; unnecessary and nonsensical. I’m not being sarcastic and making up odd and/or ridiculous items for a bundle. Coffee beans were included with all of the bundles while the limited 100 unit supply lasted. Apparently having an exclusive blend of coffee beans is the new hip thing any band has to have in order to be considered a legit band. TBS weren’t the first and likely won’t be the last.

The bundles were done in tiers, ranging from a mind-boggling $200 down to a more reasonable $59. The bundle items included test presses, t-shirts, sweat shirt (no, not a hoodie), coffee mugs, exclusive coffee beans, pint glasses, wall flags, slipmats, photo booklets and vinyl and CD copies of the album. Obviously the cheaper bundles included fewer items, with the top-tier $200 including all of those items. The test pres cost $57, based on the fact that the bundle #2 (second most expensive, cost $143) had everything in bundle #1 (most expensive) except the test press. The first 500 bundles regardless of what bundle you ordered received an autographed booklet. No mention of if it’s the booklet from the CD version (which it likely was) or the photo booklet from some of the bundles though. For the sake of space I’m not including the breakdown of all the variants or how much each item cost. Though I do have that information copy and pasted from Merchnow into a word document.


To coincide with their co-headlining tour, Taking Back Sunday and The Used released a split 10” featuring two songs from each band. Taking Back Sunday has two previously released b-sides on this, “Flicker, Fade” and “How I Met Your Mother” from the album Happiness Is. Both of those TBS songs were released on the Flicker, Fade 7” that was released alongside Happiness Is. Since I’m not a fan of The Used I don’t know any info about their songs on this 10”

There seems to be some confusion about the pressing info for this record. Copies are being sold on the bands’ tour, but it’s not a true tour exclusive variant, even though it is being billed as such, as hundreds of copies were sold online. This “tour exclusive” variant is half black/half blue. Hopeless Records’ webstore was selling copies of it, 300 to be exact. Because of that 300 number being advertised, people are falsely believing this half black/half blue is limited to 300 copies. Think about it people, there has to be far more than 300 copies of that variant if copies are also being sold on tour. There are 500 copies of the half black/half blue pressed, which is straight from my contact at Hopeless Records.

On top of the half black/half blue copies, there are also 500 copies on black vinyl. Again, pressing info is straight from Hopeless Records. Black vinyl is the standard, widely available variant for this split 10”. Regardless of which variant you get, the b-side features an etching of both band’s current logo. For Taking Back Sunday it is the panther they have been using lately and for The Used it is their heart logo. The 10” comes in a picture disc sleeve with a sticker on the back of the sleeve, which is odd.


To coincide with the release of Happiness Is, Taking Back Sunday released a 7” featuring their lead single and an exclusive b-side, “How I Met Your Mother.” Originally this 7” was only available in pre-order bundle options from Hopeless Records, but after the album was released they started selling the 7”s on their own outside of bundles. The 7” cost $7 before shipping regardless of what bundle you bought it in; it was not free, it was included in the price of each bundle.

There were 1,00 copies pressedon gold vinyl. In typical TBS fashion the b-side is one of the best songs they recorded during this album’s recording session. Why they choose to leave these songs off albums is frustrating and mind-boggling.Taking Back Sunday - Flicker, Fade - Copy


Taking Back Sunday are back with their sixth studio album and second studio album with the original lineup back together. Happiness Is was released by Hopeless Records, who have been signing a lot of well-known and popular indie scene bands that have fallen on the back burner somewhat as of late (Yellowcard, The Used, Taking Back Sunday, Bayside, Silverstein)

Hopeless went variant crazy with this album. In all there are seven different colors for this record, with most of them being exclusive to one place or even country. Hopeless also pulled the ‘only available in this bundle’ garbage with certain variants as well. Some variants were not announced till well after pre-orders first went live too. So here is the rundown on the pressing info for Happiness Is: 150 copies on red with black splatter (pre-order bundle exclusive in $75 package that included a shirt, poster, pint glass, “bonus” 7”), 250 copies on red and white smash (pre-order bundle exclusive in $48 package that included shirt, poster, bonus 7”), 500 on white (Looney Tunes record store in Long Island, NY exclusive. Also hand numbered), 1250 copies on gold with black haze/marble swirl (Hot Topic exclusive), 400 copies on red, 3000 copies on black and lastly an unknown amount on translucent gold (UK exclusive).

Now there is some discrepancies with the above numbers for some variants. My contact at Hopeless Records gave me different, lower numbers than what was advertised with the variants at the point of purchase links/sites. The red and white smash was advertised as /250 in Hopeless’ webstore, but my contact said it’s actually limited to 200 and is called red in white. The Hot Topic exclusive was also over, instead of 1250 it’s 1200 even. My contact also listed a previously unknown color; cream. Apparently cream is limited to 300 copies. It’s possible the cream is supposed to be the UK exclusive gold, but nothing official with that. My contact never got back to me on explaining what exactly the cream variant is or how many copies of the UK exclusive gold there are.

Regarding the Looney Tunes exclusive variant, the store tacked on an additional $3 Paypal charge, and conveniently, Paypal was the only form of payment they accepted for online orders for this album. It’s also worth noting the only shipping method they use is UPS at a cost of $8.85, so that adds to the cost of the record through them as well. So that variant wound up being the most expensive of any of them (not counting is you had one of them imported from overseas.) The Hot Topic exclusive was also on the expensive side, at least compared to how much Hopeless charged. Instead of $18 Hot Topic charged $20.50, but at least you could avoid shipping charges with Hot Topic.

Eventually, after the album was released, Hopeless broke up the remaining bundles and started selling some of the rarer, previously bundle exclusive variants on their own. This is something Hopeless typically does, so the cost savvy people out should take note of that. They also sell the “bonus”/”pre-order exclusive” 7”s outside of the bundles after albums are released too.

If you paid attention to the pressing info I laid out, you saw a “bonus” 7” listed in some of the bundles. The 7” features an exclusive b-side, “How I Met Your Mother,” and obviously is was included in some of the bundles, but not for free. The price breakdown was $18 for the record and $7 for the 7”, no matter what bundle option you chose. So it’s not really a bonus even though Hopeless listed it like that for a while. There was also a vinyl bundle option, which included the LP and 7”. The 7” was pressed on gold vinyl and is limited to 1,000 copies.


Jumping on three trends at the same time, Taking Back Sunday released an acoustic live album for the 10th anniversary of their debut album, Tell All Your Friends. Yes, not just an anniversary edition of an album, not just an acoustic version of an album and not just a live album; an album played from beginning to end, acoustically, recorded live, and released in conjunction with said album’s 10th anniversary. The name of the album is even a mish-mash of all those things, entitled TAYF10 Acoustic.

At the time of release you could only buy the vinyl version of the album directly from Taking Back Sunday’s web store devoted to the 10th anniversary of Tell All Your Friends. The record was overpriced (sadly you can’t buy this for a reasonable price anywhere), and when you factor in their shipping price, which was also on the high end, the final price of this record was a bit too much to swallow. I’m not entirely sure if the band sold any copies of the album at shows, as obviously there was no chance it would be released in time to coincide with the 10th anniversary tour they were doing at the time. Eventually Hot Topic became the sole retailer of TAYF10 Acoustic, but they only sold it online. They sold it for the same price as TBS, but Hot Topic’s shipping charges are a bit more reasonable. I took advantage of a $1 shipping promo Hot Topic was running to make the blow to my wallet a bit less.

The pressing info for this record was never released so I don’t know how many copies were pressed. It was released by TBS’ own label and none of the members of the band have responded back to me via any methods of communication. All copies were pressed on bone vinyl; color wise it’s off white. There is no insert, no printed inner dust sleeve, no download code. In other words you get absolutely nothing except the record stuffed in a cheap flimsy, single pocket jacket, all for close to $30.Taking Back Sunday - TAYF10 Acoustic - Copy


In late 2013 Enjoy The Ride Records announced one their releases, which was a joint effort with Fadeaway Records, a not defunct, but dormant label. It was a compilation on a grand scale. It wound up being a triple LP featuring unreleased songs from many popular indie scene bands. Profits from the comp went towards cancer research. Some of the bands on this comp included Brand New, Saves The Day, Motion City Soundtrack, Hot Rod Circuit, Nightmare Of You, Far , Fred Mascherino of Taking Back Sunday and Terrible Things fame, The Honorary Title, Vinnie Caruana of The Movielife and I Am The Avalanche fame, Andy Hull of Manchester Orchestra fame, Matt Pryor, Reggie And The Full Effect, Head Automatica, Frank Iero of My Chemical Romance fame, and Kevin Devine. It was comprised mostly of bands producer and head of Fadeaway Records, Michael Dubin, worked with or had some connection to over the years. The comp was simply entitled Friends.

The record is housed in a triple panel gatefold jacket and comes with an insert to boot. Each copy is also hand numbered out of the variant total, not the total amount of copies pressed. All copies were also pressed on colored vinyl, some sort of splatter was used for the several variants this comp has. There were some, what I feel were shady goings-on with the variants.

There is a “1st press” and a “2nd press” of this record. I use the quotes because they really are one combined pressing. The “1st press” sold out, rather slower than expected, and right on the heels of it selling out, before the “1st press” even shipped, a “2nd” pressing was announced and put up for pre-order. Anyone with common sense would say how can there be a second pressing when the records from the first pressing were not even done and pressed yet.

The nonsense with the variants continued even after all the “pressings” were announced, as the “1st press” had a friends press, limited to 100 copies. When the comp was first announced there was no mention that there would be a friends press, only that the comp would be limited to 500 copies. Since it took so long to sell out the actual 400 copies of the pressing that were available to the public didn’t matter. It continued still with the“2nd pressing, as it had a friends press of sorts, which was called an “extra special variant.” I’m not making that up for giggles, the two labels responsible for this comp actually called it that; “extra special variant.” This “extra special variant” was split into two groups; 50 copies were randomly given out in orders for the “2nd pressing” and 50 copies could only be pre-ordered at the compilations’ record release show. Yes, a compilation album comprised of unreleased songs had a release show, where I should point out none of the bands featured on the comp played.

So the pressing info for this comp is as follows: “1st press” – 400 copies on red/white/black splatter and 100 copies on red/clear/white splatter (friends press). “2nd press” – 500 copies on milky clear/red/blue/yellow splatter and 100 copies on black/blue/white splatter (“extra special variant”). Again, a triple panel gatefold jacket houses the records. An insert is also include.

The biggest issue I have with this comp is the price gouging and downright ripping off of people. The comp cost $40 before shipping, a bit outrageous but since it was a triple LP and came in a nice jacket with an insert it became a bit easier to swallow. My justifiable pricing, a price which I consider acceptable for multi-disc releases is $10 per LP. So in that train of thought this should be closer to $30 than $40. Again, the finer points of the release somewhat justify the price tag. After hearing how much it cost to produce this comp, which was stated publicly by the head of Fadeaway Records on a public message board (and which I took a screen shot of for posterity), each copy cost at most $20 to produce. I understand the business model of doubling your money or don’t bother, but in this case that markup is a bit drastic.

The shipping charges are where I have a major problem; I find them unacceptable. Fadeaway Records charged $9 for shipping, and they wound up shipping it media mail, which as well all known is the cheapest shipping method available for records. The actual cost on my mailer said $3.65; factor in material costs (guy who runs the labels packaged orders himself so no employee costs) and shipping shouldn’t have been more than $6, and that’s being generous.Fadeaway Records justified the price points as, direct quote; “The proceeds are going to charity. Any overages on shipping will be donated to charity.”

I have no problems with charitable donations, but customers, anyone really, shouldn’t be forced to pay more money so someone else can make a bigger donation to charity. If I wanted to donate more of my money to charity I would donate the money directly to the charity of my choosing myself. That decision shouldn’t be made by someone else and it definitely shouldn’t be made by a bias third party.