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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.