If anyone has been a regular reader of this blog, you might have figured out I like Chain of Strength. A lot. You might have also figured out I like to collect really expensive Chain records, shirts and all things Chain Of Strength. So when I heard about the pre-order for the 1124 Records Chain of Strength comp called "To Us It Was So Much More", I jumped at it. I was kind of scared I had missed out on the clear version but as we will see, no worries were necessary.
1124 Records offered a 3 pack package where you would get all three versions of the record which was done in the exact color scheme as the original "True Till Death" 7". I have to say, that was a stroke of genius!
First up, clear vinyl with silver sleeve. This was the most limited at 100 pressed. The discography page says 102, so take your pick.
I swear to god, I am going to start thinking I am a big deal around these parts as somehow I scored #88! First the React! Showcase box set and now this. If you had anything to do with this, thanks Scott!
Next up is green vinyl with green sleeve. 325 were pressed. I have a lot of black swirled in with one of my green records, but it isn't one of the 4 transition press.
Lastly, black vinyl with green sleeve. 610 pressed. If there is any justice in the world, I hope these sell out completely. Scott, the label and the bands deserve it.
All three versions came with the same fold out two sided insert that is very well done.
If there is one thing that this comp did for me was show how good the songs are. With all these different styles of bands, the one thing that shines through are the quality of the songs. From Reign Supreme to Mindset to The Geeks to Ambitions, all the bands do a great job at bringing the songs to life.
Hey don't take my word for it, check out my 1 1/2 year old daughter grabbing her flashlight and grooving to One Choice's version of True Till Death. Epic!
"This is a public service announcement, with guitars."
Well, not really. This isn't Joe Strummer, The Clash or even the "Combat Rock" album, but I do feel it is my duty to tell everyone about one of the greatest crossover albums, no fuck that, the greatest albums of all time.
"Beyond Possession...Is Beyond Possession" is a masterpiece in heavy, fast, brutal, start and stop crossover hardcore thrash metal. Many would say that this is just a straight up thrash metal album but there is too much skate punk sensibilities thrown in to be just that.
I have written about Beyond Possession before, covering their amazing Tell Tale Heart 7". This was their next and final release as an active band.
This was released on the very cool Death Records imprint of Metal Blade Records out of L.A. Death Records released some really important crossover records by C.O.C. and D.R.I. among others. Check out the Death Records comp sometime if you can find it.
Vinyl wise, there isn't much to say. It was just released on black vinyl. It is a hard enough record to find on its own, there really doesn't need to be any bells and whistles with multiple colors or pressings.
One bonus if you do find a copy is a lyric sheet. I know a lot of dudes who didn't get one the first time around back in 1986. Nothing to write home about, but the lyrics do help as Ron Hadley could seriously fire out the lines.
There are a couple websites out there where you can download the album and I would recommend that you do. I would normally not promote that kind of thing but this sucker is so long out of print and was originally only available on lp and cassette. I don't think Brian Slagel will mind.
The fine folks at Deathwish sure don't make it easy on us completionists. This latest record from Converge is a prime example.
First things first, I think this release is awesome. A one sided, one new song release that is as much a piece of art as it is music. I haven't seen a package like this since Mastodon's Crystal Skull 7".
I also loved that it came without much waiting. There was no pre-order or months of anticipation. The deal was there would be three versions of the single, each out of 1000 copies. One would be a European tour exclusive, one would be available on the Converge web store and one would be available from retailers. This was a very cool plan, except for guys like me who want them all!
First up, the 2010 European tour single. This is on a beer/amber color. 1000 pressed. The b-side is a laser etched design with the Converge symbol.
I actually saw online that Converge would be playing London with Rot In Hell. I knew Marcus was not the biggest Converge fan, but loved all things Holy Terror and might go to the show for Rot In Hell. I emailed him to pick one up for me. Unfortunately, there is a 8 hour time difference and he was already at the show when I sent the email. I ended up buying one off his friend who bought an extra one. Let's just say there was no "friend of a friend" discount!
Next up is the solid black and white inside out version that was only available on the Kings Road Converge web store. Also 1000 pressed. This went up at the same time as the exclusive Jane Doe color so it was an easy buy.
Lastly, we have the green retail version. This I picked up from my tried and true RevHq distro that I have been buying from for over a decade. I got this and about 9 other records that I couldn't be bothered to get multiple copies from the labels on pre-order. You just can't get them all...
This is a better view that it actually is green.
All in all, another awesome record. I might have to start calling this the Converge record collecting blog as I seem to cover them more than any other band. What can I say, I have good taste.
I have to admit, I think I miss the old days of hardcore and punk before all the sub-genres and categorization took hold. These days there are so many well defined sub-genres of punk, I just can't keep track. The pigeon holing of bands into tidy groups is criminally unfair as people can easily dismiss bands without ever hearing them - just because of what they are categorized as.
Well, before I had even heard of crust punk, anarcho punk or D-beat, I loved Discharge. I couldn't describe them. They sounded nothing like the other bands I listened to - and I didn't care. In fact, they sounded like everything I liked all rolled into one very simple package. Thrash, grind, punk, death metal, hardcore and without question, English punk. They made it work, whatever it was.
The first thing I ever bought from Discharge was the Clay Punk Singles Collection cd. I highly recommend it for anyone checking out the band. It covers the best of their early 80's era before too many line up changes and a weird rockin' metal direction took over their sound. Of course since it was a compilation of their singles, I just had to have the originals. I am painfully predictable.
Realities of War 7" Clay #1. The first release on Clay Records.
Fight Back 7" Clay #3
Decontrol 7" Clay #5. Their third single from 1980.
Never Again 7" Clay #6. Not to be confused with the compilation lp of the same name and cover art. Weird they would do that. Also, the end of the classic beige Clay labels.
State Violence, State Control 7" Clay #14. The move to the black labels with the standard logo used from then on. This is also the last record with Bones on guitar. He went on to form Broken Bones with his brother. Cool band, but a real loss for Discharge.
The Price of Silence 7" Clay #29
The More I See 7" Clay #34. This was also released as a 12" with an extended version. The B side is probably their most famous song, "Protest and Survive" thanks those those knobs in Anthrax who covered it in 1991.
Ignorance 7" Clay#43. The boys are starting to look like they are in Depeche Mode. Starting to sound like it too. (Not really.) This was end of the line for me.
Discharge also had a couple early 12"s such as "Why?" and "Warning" as well that are worth picking up.
Of course their album "Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing" is one of the best 80's punk albums of all time, so there's that too...
The cool thing was I was able to track all these down easily and quite cheaply through GEMM. Yeah, I know - GEMM! There are so many UK dealers in that network, I was able to pick these up all in one shot from a couple online stores in England. It makes me wonder if there were Discharge records in the windows of record stores in London back in the 80's while we had Michael Jackson and Duran Duran displays in the music section at Sears.
Well, this is it. The last great, unobtainable, impossible record from my want list is now mine. I still can't believe it. Oh sure, there are still some records on that list that I would kill for, but nothing comes close to this - Chain of Strength "True Till Death" on clear vinyl with silver sleeve.
We are actually heading into literature and document collecting as the collectibility of this record is in the sleeve, not the vinyl.
The story is fairly well known, 500 copies of clear vinyl were pressed. 300 were issued in the regular green color sleeves and given to the band for tour. The remaining 200 copies were given a special silver print sleeve and were never really sold. According to the Revelation pressing website, almost all of them are still at the Revelation offices. A few of the silver sleeves made it out and were sold through mail order, but I don't think anyone knows how many. By the rarity and price these go for, "a few" sounds about right.
By no means are clear vinyl copies with the green cover cheap or in great supply. Going rate is near $400. Clear with silver sleeve, well, let's just say in the very remote off chance you get the opportunity to get one, it's more. A lot more. I turned down a deal last year for one where the private bidding topped $900. That was when I backed out.
As I was saying we are into "The Ninth Gate" level of rarity and demand for essentially printed paper. (Hell of a movie, by the way) But why not? Book collectors do the same thing. Sometimes, it isn't about the music. You know?
Here are a bunch of shots of the cover and foldout with the silver detail used instead of the green.
This stuff keeps me young. I live for this - one record at a time! Next up, I need a Floorpunch on gold! Any sellers?
I am not very good with this stuff, but I created a "We Will Bury You" twitter account that hopefully through the use of twitterfeed should notify anyone signed up as a follower any time I create a new post.
I don't know how else to lead you to it or how you can add it to your followers list. I guess I will know if this is working by the followers I get. The one follower I have now, I have no idea where it came from.
I can safely say, I have never seen anything like the kind of buzz and excitement that was generated when the word a couple years ago was that Converge's "Jane Doe" lp was going to be repressed by Deathwish. Message boards went crazy with the news. People were refreshing the Deathwish webstore a full YEAR before it went up.
Jane Doe was originally pressed by Equal Vision in numbers obviously too low for the steady demand over the years. After market prices for all four of the original colors range from $300 for the rarest orange/red split tour press and clear press, down to $80-$100 for the regular issue black vinyl.
Finally, kids would be able to get their hands on this amazing album without having to break the bank.
After a few false starts, on April 1, 2010 pre-orders went up for the album. The funny thing is a lot of people on the VC message board in particular felt it was a April Fools Day joke and were unsure if it was really happening. Well, it did. There were a couple more unfortunate manufacturing delays but in the end the album was finally released and out into the hands of vinyl collectors.
First up is the Deathwish webstore presses. Three colors were announced with a fourth friends/band/label color.
First up, red/gold swirl out of 150. This is the "secret" color that wasn't announced. Almost every label does this and is a great perk for collectors. Word is that only a handful of these were released in pre-order packages and that the large majority of them are with the label, band and friends. I got lucky.
Close up you can see the red swirl pattern. Also, the color is solid as opposed to the clear gold.
Next up, clear gold out of 440. This is the rarest of the regular issue colors and looking at the demand of this album, people are lucky if they got one.
Here is a comparison of the red/gold and clear gold. The lighting in my house sucks so hopefully you get the idea. Next up is clear red out of 1305.
Finally, 2000 on white. It's crazy to think this 1st press is sold out already.
Outside of Deathwish, you could also get the record through Kings Road Merch. They had an exclusive color available that was supposed to be sold by the band on tour, but due to the manufacturing delays, it wasn't ready and they sold them through here. Gold/white swirl out of 550.
Finally, there was an exclusive color for Equal Vision, who this was licensed through, that you could order through their webstore. Clear green out of 560.
All versions came with a very large multi-page booklet. This thing has to be seen to be believed.
After how long it took from rumor to final product, I have to say it was well worth the wait. Amazing.
Welcome to my blog on collecting hardcore and punk rock vinyl. By no means do I claim to have the biggest, best or most complete collection.
I just love collecting hardcore/punk records and have since I was a teenager. I now have a wife and two kids, a mortgage, car payments and a downtown suit and tie guy job. Still, when I can I try to keep up with the hardcore scene, the bands and labels that keep me feeling young when everything else in this world tells me I am not! I will try to post every few days and hopefully like minded people can have fun with the posts and with your participation, start some discussions. Thanks for looking and tell all your friends!