vinyl fetish

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FRANK TURNER album collection

I’ve been waiting to do this until after I got my hands on Sleep Is For The Week, which only recently got its first vinyl release.

I decided to do this in the order they were released on vinyl, rather than chronologically. Why? Because I want to.

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FRANK TURNER the first three years
1st Press. Double LP. Paper & Plastick/Xtra Mile.
Clear/Red (Splatter). /500.
Black/Red. /500.

There is a Gunner Records version of this that i don’t have, or know all that much about. I was always under the impression it was exactly the same, but apparently it’s double black vinyl and limited to 500.

I bought this when I went on tour with him for a few days in America. He was supporting the Offspring. It was a good time. Anyway, he had these with him so I got one of each. $15 a pop I believe, and no mates discount either. Ever the businessman.

This one is pretty close to my heart for a number of reasons, but mostly because I’m all over it like a rash. Firstly, I took a number of the pictures on the back, so get a credit (which is notably absent on the vinyl). They start (from left) with the first one he has a beard in. If anyone cares about these things;

i. Brixton Academy dressing room, New Years Eve. Some dreadful Xfm thing. That’s Sean behind; ii. Joining Chris T-T at the now defunct branch of Barfly in New Oxford Street (London), before playing his own show with Chris on keys at the nightclub SIN down the road. Chris got some really weird burning rash from drinking an orange juice at SIN, right before he went on stage. Weird one; iii. Filming the video for Vital Signs at my flat in Finsbury Park. That was our bed he is sitting on, and the first bit of the video is in that TINY place. I was horribly hungover; iv. On stage at The Astoria in London. It was his first night supporting The Automatic on their UK tour. I remember the promotor refused to pay him. Afterward, he played an Xtra Mile party in Camden; v. On stage at The Roundhouse, London. Supporting Biffy Clyro and the once support for Million Dead, yourcodenameis:milo. The next time he played there was a sold out headline show; vi. Some kid’s home made shirt at a FOPP instore show. He did four of them in one day, when The Real Damage EP came out, then had a launch party at Nambucca in the evening. It was a great day. People followed him around all day, stopping at pubs en route. I remember someone got arrested along the way and missed the last show, which his mates thought was hilarious; vii. Radio One session with Mike Davies. This was an absolute riot. I have no idea why, but I decided to tag along to this. They gave us loads of booze and left us sitting in this room on our own for ages. Every now and again Frank had to do some talking, and he played a couple of songs. Over the course of the show the audience voted on which cover he should play, which ended up being Dancing Queen by Abba. Full of bravado and Becks, I did some melody based backing vocals. It worked out surprisingly well; viii. Frank and Lexi at a BBQ round her house. Lexi was the inspiration for the song Long Live The Queen, and founder of a charity event I run called Lexapalooza. The funny thing about this picture is that I sent him two, and he picked the one he looked better in. Poor Lexi looks awful in this picture, and if she were alive today I would imagine that he would have got a damn fine kick to the balls had she seen this picture.

I also wrote the liner notes:

The vinyl version pissed me off a little bit, as whoever typeset it didn’t proof read it afterward. Plus, and I blame Turner for this as it is on the CD too, there is supposed to be a full stop after my name and before London. There is not, thus making my name look double barrelled and posh. This happened on the Second Three Years too, which I reckon he did on purpose. The bastard.

But, you know, that aside; this is probably one of my proudest moments ever. Just to be asked was an honour, but to see it in print, on vinyl…brilliant.

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FRANK TURNER love, ire & song
1st Press. LP. Xtra Mile/Epitaph.
White. /300.
Transparent Red. /700.
Black. /1000. (XMR)

Soon after signing to Epitaph, they brought this out on coloured vinyl. I pre-ordered both and was horrified to find they had major corner dings after being packed by some kind of orangutan at Kings Road. It costs a small fortune to get stuff shipped from America to here, so I was really irritated and fired off an email as soon as they arrived. The box itself was fine, it was literally because someone stuffed them in there. I was furious. They also brought out a second pressing of 1000 on black, but I didn’t bother with that due to the fact I couldn’t be bothered to spend the money.

Not long after Poetry Of The Deed came out, and around about the time of Epitaph’s second pressing, Xtra Mile pressed 1000 on black and sold it through their website. The only real difference immediately noticeable is the swapping around of logos on the back cover, and on the spine. I haven’t included a picture of the vinyl, because it’s not very exciting. Anyway, on closer inspection there are a couple of major differences; The XMR sleeve is a bit thinner and the colours not as dark, but the inner sleeve is much heavier weight paper. It also sounds much better, which as most people know is a rarity when comparing US and European pressed records.

I just realised I took the picture below with the sleeves the wrong way around. Sorry about that.

An interesting fact about the XMR version is that it only ever got one pressing on vinyl. The UK on the whole doesn’t care about buying vinyl, and I remember that when they released it, it wasn’t selling terribly well because of that. Most collectors would probably have got the Epitaph version by the time it came out, and the lack of variants would probably put the majority of those collectors off. Anyway, as some of you will know, XMR lost pretty much all of their stock when the warehouse in which it was stored burnt down during the London riots last year. Their overstock of this record, as well as their pressing of the Poetry Of The Deed  lp were lost in that fire. No one can tell me how many exactly, but it is estimated at around 200 of each. Currently, there is one copy of each as reference at Xtra Mile HQ, and Frank may or may not have some on the road with him, but other than that this is gone forever and we may never know how many are actually circulating. So if you have one, it’s now more limited in numbers than the Epitaph black vinyl.

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FRANK TURNER poetry of the deed
1st Press. LP. Xtra Mile/Epitaph.
White. /300.
Transparent Red. /700.
Black. /1000. (XMR)

I’m not going to spend too much time on this, as it’s a similar story to the last one. Epitaph brought this out first, and XMR followed with their own. There is a second press of Epitaph of 1000 on black, which again I didn’t bother with.

The quality of inner sleeve on the Epitaph release is shoddy. Both mine arrived with splits down the side. And I also had the obligatory corner ding that seems to come with everything I’ve ordered through Kings Road. This was the last thing I ever bought through them, and will remain so.

This was the first record to feature a picture of his band. All bar Matt, this is the same band he has had on all his records. And it’s the same band he plays with now. I find the picture quite amusing as they all look quite serious about life.

The artwork on this is easily his best to date. I’ve seen a lot of tattoos based around this album cover.

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FRANK TURNER england keep my bones
1st Press. LP (with CD). Xtra Mile/Epitaph.
Transparent Green. /?

There is apparently a black version of this too. I don’t have it, but will probably try and get it at some point. If only for the fact I am part of the backing vocal crew on a number of songs on this album. However, irritatingly, whereas on the CD artwork there is credits for the extra people who appeared on each of the songs written in pencil by each song, that was omitted from the vinyl version for some reason. The bastards.

This was a joint release between XMR and Epitaph and for the first time ever, came out the same day as the CD. I was a little disappointed there wasn’t a deluxe version, like the CD, with three extra tracks. The main reason being that A Song For Eva Mae is written for my daughter, and it would be nice to have it on vinyl. The only hope is that The Second Three Years will get a vinyl release soon.

The quality of this record is very good, but again it’s a bit of a weak ass inner sleeve. This was clearly pressed by Epitaph, and is my biggest criticism of all their records – use better paper for the inner sleeves!

They obviously weren’t thinking about where the hole would go when they chose this picture for the label.

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FRANK TURNER sleep is for the weak
1st Press. LP. Xtra Mile Recordings.
Black. /???
Test Press. /10.

This never got a vinyl release when it first came out, as economically it made no sense. Although this album did pretty well, his success wasn’t seen until much further down the line. This finally made it to vinyl after XMR in conjunction with Pledge offered it to people who pledged their money in advance of it being pressed, to fund the whole thing.

There was three packages for this;
– Just the vinyl
– Signed
– Signed with a hand written note (these were personalised on the sleeve too)

No one will tell me how many there are, or indeed how many of each configuration. I am going to make an educated guess at there being 500 (based on minimum print runs etc), but that is nothing more than a guess.

I pledged for an unsigned copy, figuring that most people would actually ask for it signed, and therefore the unsigned copies would be fewer in number. Proof if it was needed that record collecting is actually a disease.

The keen eyed among you will notice I do actually have a signed copy also. This was a blag through my wife. As I understand it, Frank signed excess of what was required for the pledges.

I also have a test pressing. It’s not much to look at, but to date the only copy that I have actually listened to.

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Some of you may be wondering where the album he did with Jon Snodgrass is. I do not consider that to be a proper album (which is in no way a criticism – it’s just not an album like these are), so have decided to do that in my next and final post, which is 10″s and the Jonah split. I could theoretically have put them in this, but I’m pretty bored of writing this now and would rather have a beer.

I am waiting for the Rock N Roll 10″ which Frank said he would have sent to me, as I missed out on when it was released. In fact, maybe this will serve as a polite reminder to him.

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FRANK TURNER 7″ collection

The only reason I ever attempted to collect as many different versions of his vinyl as I could, is because we are friends. I’m not one for owning multiple copies of the same record most of the time, but do make exceptions on occasion. Part of my motivation here was the fact that Turner didn’t actually seem that bothered about owning all the different versions himself – which I found to be outrageous – so decided to collect them all on his behalf.

For the most part, I bought these rather than blagged them, and this fact is reflected in my incomplete collection. There is stuff missing, which as much as I’d like to have, I will have to live without.

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FRANK TURNER/REUBEN split
Limited Edition. 7″. Xtra Mile Recordings.
Red Splatter. /250(?)

This was one in a series of four 7″ singles Xtra Mile put out for a reason I can no longer remember, but it might have been their second birthday. As I remember it, there was 1000 singles in total, with each split into a pressing of 250. I need to check up that. Either way, with the addition of the now defunct Reuben on the other side, you’d be lucky to track this down.

For trivia buffs, this was the first release of his now anthem The Real Damage. Which, incidentally, he played live for the first time supporting Reuben at the Camden Underworld.

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FRANK TURNER reasons not to be an idiot
Limited Edition. Hand Numbered 7″. Xtra Mile Recordings
Black Vinyl. /300ish

The idea behind this was to have a one off run of 300, which would be hand numbered and feature 300 different reasons not to be an idiot (all written by Frank). It was initially sold at an instore show at Pure Groove in London. I’m not sure if Pure Groove had the exclusive on this (they were also doing Frank’s publishing at the time), but either way after the original run of 300 sold out, a few more were sold via the Xtra Mile website. I’m not entirely sure how many, but I have the number 31 in my head so let’s go with that. These were distinguishable by the use of silver pen instead of black (and the fact they number above 300 of course). I also am lead to believe that more still exist, but no idea how many.

Two of mine are signed. With his old school signature. He has changed it slightly now after doing it 4 billion times.

For the trivia buffs: Before embarking on this, Frank set up something online where a group of friends were able to suggest some of the reasons. I suggested about 30 reasons, and although I no longer remember what they were, I know some were used. One for definite was “because no one likes a whinger”.

There is another 7″ release of “Reasons Not To Be An Idiot”, which was a split with Fighting With Wire. Allegedly it was limited to 100 but I do not believe that as he was flogging it on his merch stall for ages. I did buy it once, but its MIA.
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FRANK TURNER/AUSTIN LUCAS under the influence vol.8 (split)
Limited Edition. 7″. Suburban Home.
Black/White Half and Half. /700.
Red/White Swirl. /300.

I would have sworn under oath there was a plain white one as well, but I appear to be wrong. There is a test press of 20 also, but I have no hope of getting that.

The black and white one has gone for a fair bit on eBay in recent times, but I’ve never seen another of the red (it’s pink) one.

An interesting fact about this is that punk cartoonist Mitch Clem did the artwork. I had never heard of him at the point, but have since become quite the fan.

This comes with a nice little insert explaining why they chose to cover the songs they did, and was number 8 in a series called “Under The Influence” released on Suburban Home.

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FRANK TURNER/TIM BARRY split
Limited Edition. 7″. Suburban Home.
Black Vinyl. /500. (Vinyl Collective Exclusive)
Blue Vinyl. /1000.
Red Vinyl. /1000.

These came as a set of three on preorder from Vinyl Collective. The red was subsequently available direct from the artists on The Revival Tour, and is still available now.

There appears to be some confusion surrounding the red pressing. Some people say its red, and some people say its pink. I have a vague recollection of there being some kind of mistake with the pressing, and a number of pink records were made instead of red. However, I am unable to find that information now so wonder if I made it up. Either way, mine is about as pink as it gets.

Whatever the deal, I’m not really a fan of this record. It’s not a great version of Try This At Home, and the artwork is uninspiring. Hence I didn’t bother taking a picture of the other side, or the lyrics printed on the reverse of the cover.
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FRANK TURNER/CRAZY ARM split
Limited Edition. 7″. Xtra Mile Recordings.
Black Vinyl. /?

I was clearly getting bored of taking pictures at this point. Although, not a massively exciting record to look at to be fair.

This was available on tour when Crazy Arm supported Turner. There was also a number of signed copies available via Xtra Mile (I swapped mine with my friend Justin, as I couldn’t care less about it being signed). It features the alternate version of Long Live The Queen, recorded live at Shepherds Bush Empire.

The more keen eyed of you will notice I also have a test press. I own the actual ears that approved this, as no one at Xtra Mile had a functioning record player at the time. I think there is 10 tests in total.
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FRANK TURNER try this at home
(split with competition winners Retrospective Soundtrack Players and Isaac Graham) Limited Edition. Hand numbered 7″. Xtra Mile/Epitaph.
Black Vinyl. 49/1500.

Xtra Mile in the UK, in conjunction with Epitaph for the rest of the world ran a competition for one artist from each of those territories to appear on the b-side of this hand numbered affair. Retrospective Soundtrack Players have since signed to Xtra Mile, and released an album based around the film Cool Hand Luke.

Turner clearly did the numbering as no one else does a 9 like that. That is clearly a G. His penmanship is appalling. Trivia fans might also like to know he types with two fingers in a rapid stabbing motion.

I have a test press of this one too. Not much to see.

I will do the 10″ and 12″ collection soon.

NAILS

In the summer of 2010 I got a package from my friend Matt in America. He had sent me a couple of 7″s of his old band (Some Kind Of Hate), and had also included a CD copy of NAILS debut album “Unsilent Death” in there too. I was instantly smitten, and since then they have become one of my favourite bands. I seem almost unable to discuss music with someone new without mentioning them, and they have become the benchmark for what qualifies as heavy in my mind. They can only be described as “brutal”.
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NAILS obscene humanity
1st Press. 12″ EP. Six Feet Under/Streetcleaner Records
Black vinyl. /1000

Obscene Humanity is only physically available in this one off 180g pressing to the best of my knowledge. It took me ages to find it after stupidly not buying at a Blacklisted show (Six Feet Under is run by one of the guys in Blacklisted I believe), although to be fair it was the first moment I discovered it existed.

Beautifully simple packaging, with nothing more than a neatly placed sticker on a heavy weight white cover, and a one sided lyric insert. It plays at 45rpm and repeats both sides. Not as polished as the album, but an awesome 12 minutes of your life all the same.
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NAILS unsilent death
Re-issue. Gatefold LP. Southern Lord/Streetcleaner.
180g Black Vinyl. 2nd Press.
Clear Vinyl. 3rd Press.

10 songs in 13 minutes, this album is like driving a fucking tank through a wall. Everyone should own it.

The first press was on Six Feet Under/Streetcleaner and came in pink (/220) and black (/820). It pains me that I don’t own it. If you’re reading this, and you have one you would part with, then please let me know. By all accounts it flew out the door and was unavailable until the good folks at Southern Lord picked them up and put out the 180g black version last year sometime. They took the artwork from the insert and extended it to a gatefold, and it’s a thing of great quality. I picked mine up when they supported Rise and Fall in London.

I recently learned of the clear vinyl, so I bought that too (much to my wife’s chagrin). The cover on the clear is glossier, and slightly smaller than the black (which has a mat finish). Worth the £16 it cost to get it over here.

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NAILS/SKIN LIKE IRON split
1st Press. Split 7″. Self released (?)
Black Vinyl. /900

This came out in January, and is a one time pressing of 1000 (100 on blue vinyl were only available via the bands and in store at Vacation Vinyl). I’m not going to bother talking about Skin Like Iron as I know nothing about them. They don’t suck.

Two tracks in about 4 and a half minutes. The first track is a bit of a departure from previous releases, as it actually sounds more like a straight up metal record – complete with a chorus and everything. The second track is a more familiar 24 second punch in the balls, the segue into which is only notable by a kick up in tempo. In short; brilliant. I highly recommend this record, although if you live in England you’re looking at a whopping £15 to get it to you. I’d say worth it.
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And that is everything NAILS have released…almost. They do have a 30 second ditty on a Six Feet Under comp that came out last year, but as yet I am yet to buy it. I will though. I may even do it now.

Either way, according to an interview I saw with Todd Jones recently, their next album is being recorded by Kurt Balou in June, and will be out later in the year. I’m about as excited about that record as I’ve ever been about any record.

UNITED NATIONS never mind the bombings, here’s your six figures

UNITED NATIONS never mind the bombings, here’s your six figures

1st Press. 7″. Deathwish Inc.
Pink Vinyl. /700.

I bought this because I wanted to hear it, and I like pink vinyl. It’s definitely Geoff Rickly (Thursday) singing and it might be a whole bunch of other people. The UN got them taken off all social networking sites, and their album cover (featuring the Beatles on fire) was withdrawn. That’s good enough for me.

I met Geoff Rickly in New York when I was out with Turner. He was very nice, and brought both socks and his mother to the show the following night in Hoboken.

It’s not bad. It’s not great. I’ll listen to it again.

CONVERGE unloved and weeded out (2012 REPRESS)

CONVERGE unloved and weeded out
2012 Reissue. LP. Deathwish Inc.
Transparent Brown Vinyl. /299

Originally a four disc 7″, this is the first time this has been available on 12″ outside Europe. Contains some unreleased and compilation songs and the like. They released this in January to minimum fanfare.

Buy it: http://deathwishinc.com/estore/product/DW15v.html

VICTIMS a dissident

VICTIMS a dissident
1st Press. LP. Deathwish Inc.
Green Vinyl (Deathwish Exclusive). /300.

The artwork on this bad boy is absolutely fantastic. Possibly not to everyone’s taste, but undeniably striking. Unfortunately not their best album in my opinion, but it has it’s moments.

BITCH MAGNET anthology

BITCH MAGNET anthology
Limited Edition Triple Gatefold. Temporary Residence.
Black Vinyl. /1000

I picked this up for £30 when they supported Hot Snakes the other week. The woman on the merch desk seemed rather thrilled someone was interested in it, and by the time I returned the guitarist (Jon Fine) was also there, so he signed it. I didn’t actually ask him to sign it, nor did I really want him to, but he did and I didn’t stop him and it’s kind of cool.

Really nicely presented, and the vinyl itself is a heavy weight. Definitely worth £30, although you can get it cheaper in America. Of course.

Buy it: http://www.normanrecords.com/vinyl/130107-bitch-magnet-bitch-magnet-