Posts Tagged ‘The Killers’


I finally got around to picking up The Killers’ sophomore album, Sam’s Town. The first and second pressings were pressed as a picture disc, and it starts the trend of the bulk of Killers vinyl releases being pressed as picture discs, mainly their singles. Prior to this album they released zero picture discs.

Pressing info was never released for either the first or second pressing, but all of The Killers vinyl releases are getting harder to find. They may be close to going out of print. But in 2016 some of their albums started getting re-pressed. Sam’s Town comes housed in a picture disc sleeve and comes with a fold out poster that doubles as liner notes.

There is some confusion as to whether or not there are actually two different pressings of Sam’s Town. I am leaning towards two separate pressings based on the time frame of when they were released. What I am dubbing the first pressing, and is featured here, has a black rim around the edge of the picture disc. These were the first batch released in 2006. Some years later, not exactly sure when, copies with a red rim started popping up. The matrix numbers, bar codes and all other identifying marks are the same between the black rim and red rim copies. Both variants also come with the same packaging, poster and hype sticker.

To commemorate the 10th Anniversary of Sam’s Town, Bong Load Records released a special 10th Anniversary pressing of the album in 2016. It was pressed as a double LP on 180 gram black vinyl mastered at 45 rpm, housed in a hardcover book packaging. There were 5,016 copies pressed, all individually numbered on the back cover. two exclusive bonus tracks are part of the 10th Anniversary edition; “Peace Of Mind” and “Read My Mind (Pet Shop Boys Stars are Blazing Mix).” If it wasn’t obvious enough Pet Shop Boys did that remix of “Read My Mind.” There is no download code included because this is a licensed release.

This 10th Anniversary edition has alternate artwork. It’s pretty much the same as the original, it has the same girl on the original artwork only in a different pose, wearing a dress and in front of a different backdrop. The ram is no longer featured in this version’s artwork.

The records themselves slide into pages inside the book, with those pages being essentially dust sleeves made out of card stock. All the pages inside the book are actually made of the same material. I have also included picture of the binding as well, which is done the same way as those oversized children’s pop up books. The packaging is nicely done, but there should be more to it. It’s just the cover, literally six pages inside the book of completely meaningless, frivolous space wasting filler. There should have been far more substance inside the book. Something like a note from the band, an in depth story or interview about the recording process, a reflection of what the band was going through during this time frame or the history of the band around this time, or even never before seen photos would’ve made this set far nicer. But for whatever it’s worth, Bong Load includes a label sticker with all orders, which is pictured below.

Many people are complaining about sound quality, and there are also complaints about smudging and scuffs on the records. I checked out my copy and there are only marks on the second LP, my first LP is fine. This re-press doesn’t sound stellar, even with it being mastered at 45 rpm and being pressed on 180 gram vinyl. It’s a little muddled and the mix isn’t right either as the vocals overshadow the music on some tracks while they are drowned out by the music on other tracks. Some tracks are softer too, with others being louder. Even after adjusted the tracking and skate on my turntable, it makes no difference. After hearing the complaints I feared the worst, especially considering the price of this set; $45 before shipping for a total of $54 after shipping. Paid for expedited 2-3 day shipping, Bong Load sent it media mail. But hey, I guess those “custom made” mailers are expensive and are the reason for the $8 and change shipping.

Those aren’t the only questionable moves Bong Load made with this release. They released the pressing in small batches. They put it up for pre-order but held back many copies to sell after it was released/shipped in early October. At some point they cut off pre-orders, making it appear as if it sold out. The only reason to do this is because it didn’t sell well and/or to drive up excitement for the release by making people buy it thinking it sold well so they should buy a copy before it sells out again. Supply and demand, but when you artificially control the supply to make false demand, it’s a business/sales tactic I don’t agree with.

Each batch, (released two after pre-order closed/record was released as of posting this), sold out in under 20 minutes. But I have no clue how many copies were available in each batch. The first batch sold out in 18 minutes according to Bong Load, while the second batch lasted about half that time (I checked 11 minutes after it was put up for sale and it sold out, so it could’ve sold out faster than that), so their ‘release in small batches’ system clearly works.

Bong Load also “hand selects” indie record stores to distribute their releases to. That is fine, it’s their right to choose who sells their releases if they opt not to go with the traditional distribution route. But for people nowhere close to any of those “hand selected” record stores it’s not the fairest shake. And a fair shake is all I ask for. On top of that, most of the stores who got copies of this re-press marked it up at least $5. Understandable on their part but still not an easy pill to swallow. Some stores were even shadier though and marked it up to $75, when this release cost $45 from Bong Load.

I didn’t pre-order this because of the price tag mentioned above, and also because of the label’s name. To be honest I never heard of Bong Load before, and their name doesn’t exactly instill trust. On top of that, I try not to pre-order anything anymore for a multitude of reasons. The fact that Bong Load pulled the pre-order made the decision not to buy it even easier. It eliminated any temptation. But after the 10th Anniversary Edition started shipping and I listened to Sam’s Town more and more, it made me want it. Even more so after seeing the insane prices people were paying for this set. Not that I would flip this, but if I ever decided to sell my entire collection this release would clearly appreciate in value and pay for itself. Basically it made the price point I didn’t like before a bit easier to swallow. And I felt if I didn’t buy it during one of Bong Load’s small batch releases I would regret it.

 

 


Brandon Flowers second solo album, The Desired Effect was pressed on vinyl, receiving two variants. Initially the record was only available on black vinyl, which is likely unlimited (or at least enough pressed that nobody will care exactly how many copies there are on black). Then, about four months after the record first went up for pre-order and one month after it was actually released, a Barnes & Noble exclusive color, yes, Barnes & Noble, was “announced.” Though it didn’t get much press; no official announced on social media or official websites, someone linked to the Barnes & Noble item page for it website on a message board. The Barnes & Noble exclusive is on yellow vinyl. There is no official color name given on their website, just “colored vinyl.” However, the hype sticker on the cover says limited edition yellow vinyl. There is also an additional sticker on the cover the Barnes & Noble copies; a small white circle sticker that says “bet pop-cultured.”

The Barnes & Noble exclusive also cost more than a black copy. The price on it actually fluctuates from $22 up to $25 depending on whether or not they had it marked down for whatever reason. A copy on black vinyl cost around $16 on average. I got a copy for $12 shipped.

Pressing info has not been released, and never expect it to be either. Like I said above, this album will likely be kept in print for a long time on black vinyl. The Barnes & Noble exclusive is likely limited based on the fact that as of posting this it’s out of stock on their website, but again, they haven’t revealed the info and you’ll be hard pressed to find someone to contact who knows the answer let alone get them to actually respond. I actually took the time to e-mail Barnes & Noble’s customer service and got several different answers. A few times I got the typical “I don’t know” response but one time I was told 500 copies, another time I was told 1,000 copies, another time 2,000. I kept emailing customer service (copy and paste the same message) to see if I would actually get the same number as an answer to add some validity to any of the numbers I was given and I never did. I gave up after someone told me “it’s showing me that there are thousands in stock so you should hurry up and buy it.”

All copies come in a gatefold jacket and only some come with a download card. The Barnes & Noble exclusive is the only variant that comes with a download card, as is indicated on the hype sticker. Black copies makes no mention of a download code on the hype sticker. It’s the dumbest and lamest thing I have ever seen. Now it seems labels are starting to make download cards exclusive to certain variants, the more expensive ones to boot. This isn’t even the first record I’ve bought in the last two months that has this BS problem. The We Love Disney comp has the some download card exclusivity. Although I beat the system and simply emailed United Record Pressing, the plant that pressed the record and who hosts the downloads, saying my copy didn’t come with a download card and they emailed me a download code no questions asked.

 

The Killers – Direct Hits

Posted: May 23, 2014 in Vinyl
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After releasing their fourth studio album The Killers released a greatest hits album, which included four never before released songs, two of which were brand new with the others being either a demo version or remix version previously released singles. Direct Hits was only released on vinyl as a multi-disc box set of sorts, five 10” records to be exact. A standard LP version has yet to be released although there is some speculation it may be released at some point down the road. After all, The Killers are notorious for releasing multiple versions of their albums. Hot Fuss was released on three separate versions on vinyl alone; the standard LP version, a 7” box set featuring one 7” for every song on the album with an exclusive b-side, and an LP box set.

Pressing numbers were never announced for Direct Hits and I doubt it ever will. This version of the album was billed as a deluxe edition, as it’s not really a true box set. It comes in a hard bound book, similar to Green Day’s 21st Century Breakdown set and Minus The Bear’s Infinity Overhead set. Included in the book is a 22-page full color booklet. The cover of the book is embossed in gold foil and each of the five 10” records are housed in cardstock sleeve, which is bound into the book, becoming its own page.

When Direct Hits was first released many people complained about the price, $75 before shipping. Tack on another $15 for shipping and the overall cost of the set became even more ridiculous in many people’s minds. I am patient enough to wait things out, especially given how things have panned out with records lately. For whatever reason (overrun copies, distro deals, trouble selling out of a pressing, etc) records of any variant become available well after they sell out through pre-orders or become available from other retailers at a better price. The later was the case with Direct Hits, as Amazon started selling copies in February of 2014 for $75. So I got a “sold out” record cheaper than what it would have cost me to buy it during the pre-order phase after factoring in Amazon’s free shipping.


The soundtrack for Spider-Man 3 features many great bands. The Killers, Snow Patrol, The Flaming Lips, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Wolfmother, Jet and even Chubby Checker contribute songs to the soundtrack. Since I bought this for the Killers song and I’m unfamiliar with all the other band’s discographies to know if their songs are found on other releases, I will say The Killers song, “Move Away,” can also be found on their b-sides album Sawdust.

Variants are a little nuts for this release, as there is the standard version (which this post is about) and four different picture disc sets. All versions of the soundtrack are pressed as a double LP. The standard version is pressed on red with black swirl vinyl and I have not seen pressing info for this color anywhere. Each of the four picture disc sets are each limited to 1,000 copies, making 4,000 total picture disc sets.

For the standard version the records come in a gatefold jacket with full color photo dust sleeves. These dust sleeves are made of very thin paper, probably one notch above tissue paper. As a result they are wavy when you first take them out of the jacket and they will likely tear very easy so be overly cautious when handling this record when you go to play it.

 


I take back what I said about the Yo Gabba Gabba album being the most embarrasing record in my collection. This one is, and will probably never be surpassed. For a long time I was hesitant about even buying this soundtrack because I absolutely hate the movies and can’t stand the pop culture obsession with the movies. But the price was slashed to below half price, which made me cave.

The reason I bought this soundtrack is for The Killers song on it, “A White Demon Love Song,” which can only be found on this soundtrack and was written exclusively for the movie. It’s a new (new at time of release) Killers song and not just one of their songs hand-picked off one of their albums to appear on the soundtrack. The soundtrack also features bands and artists that are not my cup of tea but are very popular like Death Cab For Cutie, Muse, Thom Yorke, Bon Iver, OK Go, Grizzly Bear and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

As mentioned above this record is overpriced. Most places sell it for around $30, I was fortunate enough to spot a place selling to for $10 with free shipping if your order reached a certain amount, which I easily met. The soundtrack is pressed as a double LP on black vinyl. While the packaging details are surprising nice, they definitely cheaped out on the only thing that actually matters, the records themselves. They are pretty thin by most standards. The record comes housed in a thick gatefold jacket though, with full color printed dust sleeves made of either vinyl (vinyl like used with some thin three-ring binders) or some kind of poly material (like the plastic covers on three-ring binders) instead of paper. The cover also features gold foil stamping. Also included is a book mark. Easily the strangest thing to ever come with a record, but given that the movies are based on books it’s not too far-fetched.

The Killers – Read My Mind 7″

Posted: March 6, 2013 in Vinyl
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The 7″ for “Read My Mind” is similar to the other singles released from the album Sam’s Town in that it’s individually numbered. Despite the numbering pressing info was never released, at least to my knowledge. Based off my copy and pictures of other copies I have seen, there are at least 3600 copies pressed. Odds are that number can be rounded up to an even 4,000. All copies were pressed on black vinyl and come with a black hype sticker on the coverThe Killers - Read My Mind - Copy


Easily one of the most embarrassing records in my collection, especially considering I don’t have any children, yet. But for the sake of completing my Weezer and Killers collection I bought this record. It’s a compilation featuring songs written for and performed on the Nickelodeon/Nick Jr. kids show, Yo Gabba Gabba!. Despite being geared towards children, the show gets a ton of great bands to perform, bands clearly geared towards the kids’ parents. Bands like Weezer, The Killers, Band Of Horses, The Flaming Lips, Of Montreal, MGMT, Devo, Taking Back Sunday, Jimmy Eat World (sadly the last two  aren’t featured on this comp). All those bands make appearances on the show thanks to one of its creators, lead singer of The Aquabats, Christian Jacobs. And as you might have guessed as a result, yes The Aquabats do perform on the show.

This comp was pressed as a double LP housed in a gatefold jacket. I have not seen official pressing info for this comp, but I have heard it was limited to 1,000 copies on random colored 180 gram vinyl. My copy is actually over 200 gram, since it felt heavier than any other record I have in my collection curiosity got the best of me and i weighed it on my postal scale. The known colors (first color mentioned is LP 1, second color is LP 2) so far are translucent red and translucent yellow, translucent red and translucent green, translucent orange and translucent green, baby blue and baby pink. I’m not sure if the baby blue and baby pink are translucent or not, odds are they are translucent since all the others colors are, but I’ve never seen baby colors done translucent before. This comp is also an Urban Outfitters exclusive, which can be bought both in physical stores and online. All copies come with a download card as well.

i don’t normally post track listings for albums or comps, but here it us:

1. All My Friends Are Insects – Weezer
2. Art Is Everywhere – MGMT
3. Fantastic Journey – Cut Copy
4. Say Thank You – Toro Y Moi
5. Out In Nature – Band Of Outsiders
6. It’s OK Try Again – The Shins
7. Dinosaur Party – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
8. Pancakes & Syrup – Biz Markie
9. Lovely Love My Family – The Roots
10. Spaceship Adventure – The Killers
11. Brush, Brush, Brush – Of Montreal
12. You Can Do It If You Try – Belle & Sebastian
13. I Can Be A Frog – The Flaming Lips
14. Goodbye – Yo Gabba Gabba! Featuing Jack Black