Hard to believe that this is eighteen years old. I still remember picking up a black vinyl copy from the much missed selectadisc disc in Nottingham while on a weekend break with an ex girlfriend just when it came out. Where as 'Diary' was an instant classic this never really made a huge a huge impact on me. Still that didn't stop me ordering the repress. Listening to this again after many years I still think it's vastly inferior to the debut album (and even the second one) although it's still a decent record. Have to say the colour vinyl looks sweet as hell. Worth getting for that alone.
Unlike 2015 I haven’t been chasing many big items this year. Partly because 2015 was the most expensive (and best) year ever of my entire collecting career and also I’ve had other funds going out lately like some stuff that needed doing to my house and I’ve been to NYC twice over the last 12 months as well. With the £pound being in the toilet thanks to 52% of the voting public choosing to leave Europe it’s screwed up everything-especially buying expensive records from abroad. Or even visiting abroad.
The most expensive record I’ve had this year is the Gilman street pressing of the first Sick of it all 7”. While not in the same league and price range as the likes of Chung king or true till death silver sleeve, it’s still one of the big hitters on Revelation and a really cool item to own. Funny enough, this wasn’t even on my wants list (a glaring omission I know) but a friend emailed me offering me a couple of things including this. Of course I didn’t mess about, I said yes pretty much straight away.
This was a pressing made up for a show in 1988 and in my opinion is easily the best thing that they ever did (although the first four albums are solid but they don’t touch this). Definitely one of the NYHC classics.
Each copy is numbered on the top of the inner sleeve as you can see. I’m very happy with this as you can see it’s in great condition. This marks my 8th copy of this record. To anyone who doesn’t collect records obsessively that might seem like an insane amount but I’m way off of completing the collection. I haven’t even got a copy of the recent Conne island pressing and with it going for something daft like 160 Euros on Discogs it might be a while till one falls in my hands.
(Los) Crudos were one of the most prominent and inspiring hardcore bands of the nineties. Musically they were more similar to the many international hardcore punk groups of the eighties but they were known more for their Spanish speaking vocals and lyrics and also their desperation and passion. This wasn't a bunch of privileged kids with rich parents and designer skate clothing, these were the real deal. This discography was released a few years ago by Maximum rock n roll magazine but thankfully La vida es un mus records outta London has done the much needed European press. It compiles everything and sounds and looks great and comes wrapped in a luscious gatefold sleeve with a lyric booklet. Even if you have all their stuff already this worth picking up. If you hurry up you can still snag the limited green vinyl. http://lavidaesunmus.com/shop/product.php?id_product=4304
So it brings us to the last of the maiden bootleg score. The tracklist is as same as the previous one but sound quality just isn't quite as good although you have to admit the packaging is great and it looks sweet on green vinyl. Also it starts part way through 'somewhere in time' so the intro and first part of the song are missed out. Maiden are still the best live band out there and now this has tempted me to go on the hunt for more of their unofficial live albums. The fun never ends.....
Out of these four bootlegs this is my absolute favourite. Recorded at Bristol 1986 on the somewhere on tour, I used to play this one all the time via dubbed cassette (Hey I looked after my records well even back then). Somewhere in time was always my fave Maiden album so this one was a bit special. I was just a bit too young (14) to go and see them live in Manchester. It would be a year later till I busted my gig going cherry (actually before I busted my proper cherry!!).
The quality on this is really good for a non professional recording. It's possibly my favourite ever gig that I never went to. In fact when I visited a friend once in Bristol we went past the Colston Hall and I actually thought about that magical evening that took place there all those years before.
Ok here's the second of my bootleg score. It's a recording from Milan 1984 from the world slavery tour and the set list is almost identical to Live after death. Quality obviously isn't like that official live masterpiece but it's still pretty decent. I like the cover although it obviously wasn't a Derek Riggs' illustration but some fan's own interpretation of Eddie. And of course they spelled his name wrong on the album's title.
Another thing about this is that those hand drawn labels were done by me aged 15. So you know what I mean about getting part of my childhood back?
All in all this is a cool one. This was also pressed on blue splatter vinyl but good luck getting one of those. I only ever saw one once and that was in 1987 (just before I got this) and it was going for daft money back then.
So here's the first of my bootleg score. As I said in my previous post these belonged to me originally. This one I think came from a record fair in either Blackburn or Blackpool (both horrible towns) circa 1987. Sides A, B + C were recorded in New York 1982 and were broadcast for some radio show so the sound quality is very good and side D is from Stockholm 1984 but only a few songs from that show. The cover art is actually from the magazine Heavy metal. I think I even had the issue that picture is from which was typical of bootlegs of the time Some just used totally irrevelvent pictures for the front cover which kinda added to the mystique. Bruce is on form here. He must be the greatest frontman of all time. You honestly feel like he's just talking to you directly. What a dude.
Back in the 80’s bootlegs/unofficial recordings of live shows were a huge thing. People sold them, people bought them and people traded them. When I was going to record fairs as a kid you use to see stalls just full of dubbed cassettes, sometimes VHS tapes and of course vinyl. Same as now, I only regarded vinyl as the real deal. Rather than just been produced on someone’s home stereo these has been produced in a factory and had proper covers and were on a real format. More so they’d been done by fans (or people hoping to cash in on the fans). They were 100% unofficial and there was just something magical and mysterious about them. The large majority were full recordings of concerts and many of them came on double vinyl. Maiden have always had a rabid cult following so it was no surprise that there were plenty of their shows pressed onto wax.
The funny thing is that not all of these sounded great. In fact some were downright horrible (like the ‘Live in Graz’ double LP. Nice cover but dreadful sound quality). Still if you were a maiden fan you just had to own them. Also worth noting that these things weren’t cheap. The standard prices were £10-12 for a single album and £18-20 for a double. Back in the late 80’s that was pretty big money especially to a fifteen year old school kid.
By the time of the early 90’s compact discs had increased in popularity and had become the main format for bootlegs. Vinyl was viewed as many as on its way out (how’s that working out for you?) so bootleg records started to dwindle in production and sales as folk moved onto the next thing.
Of course that was another age before the internet came and killed many traditions including the whole live bootleg industry. I mean why bother paying through the nose for poor quality recordings when you can actually watch never mind just listen to a show on youtube or via MP3. To us old collectors and the ones who always stuck to records these things became artefacts of a bygone era. Sure unofficial releases are still produced today and generally sound miles better too but they don’t share the same fascinating background history of the ones produced in the golden age of bootleg vinyl.
As I’ve previously mentioned that I sold my Maiden collection when I was sixteen to buy hardcore records (yes I’m still kicking myself). I had some bootlegs which I sold to a friend. I really fancied getting hold of these again so I asked him if he’d sell them back nearly thirty years and he agreed. I was so happy. It’s like buying part of my youth back especially since these were mine originally. Honestly the excitement level was nearly the same as when I scored a Chung king. I’m going to cover each one in individual posts so stay tuned if you fancy going back somewhere in time (sorry) with me.
Hard to think I hated this band when I first heard them. Skip to 2-3 years later and I absolutely love them. I even caught them on my trip in NYC this March (playing with Red death!!) and yes they fucking ruled. So here's the new album on new label Pop wig records. A while ago I would have chased every colour up but since air mail is so expensive these days I was happy with just one version. This is the deathwish exclusive colour of 500. If you loved their first album then you should be happy with this. Perfect summer music.
The big news in 2016 is that Dag nasty are doing shows and have a new record with Shawn Brown singing. Personally I'm more of a Dave Smalley kind of guy (despite him being a Republican prick). These two new songs are dope though. Shame Dischord didn't press up a nice colour vinyl but you can't have everything.
Added a gold vinyl copy of the first No Tolerance 7" to my record collection. Numbered out of 88 like a certain Floorpunch record. Absolutely love this band. Total relentless hardcore fury. Just need a green vinyl version of the two seven inches 12" that came out on quality control a few years ago (and test pressings of everything except the second 7" on youngblood) to complete my No Tolerance collection.
Sometimes I forget how much I love Iron chic. Their music always gives me a lift even if their lyrics are a bit gloomy and cynical (just like me). I've still never seen them. Something I must do before I die. This is a self released one sided white label 12" which was sold only on their European tour (or from rare selected distros). These four tracks were recorded at the BBC studios in 2013. I guess around 30 years earlier this would have come out as a Peel sessions 12". I could do with some new stuff but this is still a cool one to have.
Just in case you were worried that I was dead or had stopped collecting records. It's ok. I'm back.. Went to see Protester last night in Liverpool with Red death. It was a great show and reminded me why I still love this shit. I picked up one of the tour 12"'s. It's basically the two seven inches pressed onto one record. Handy if you didn't have them already like myself . That cover is a bit crap but the label shows it's a European exclusive. Refuse records from Poland did this. This was a bit pricey too for a DIY hardcore release (£15) but at least it's a nice memento of a great night out. Limited to 100.
Here's my last big score from the end of last year. Classic record. The Bridge nine reissue is fine but nothing beats an original. Self released by the band in 1983 this is a pivotal piece of NYHC history.
I had been pestering someone for this for a while. I decided to leave it for a while and one day I came home from work to discover a message that he had decided to finally sell it. It was destiny I guess. This goes straight into my treasure box and into my vault of hardcore history.
'I can't believe another year has gone by'. I say that on an annual basis and speaking of Chain, let's start the year off with a bang with one of my last and greatest scores of 2015-the silver sleeve version of true till death. One of the holy grails of sxe and highly sought after items from Revelation records colledisnctors. and another I never actually imagined owning. I'd be lying if I didn't say I think this is one of the absolute greatest 7"s of all time. It's everything hardcore should be-raw but passionate. The fact that they were a bunch of privileged rich kids from California without no real cares in the world doesn't come into it. This is the sound of youthful angst that anybody can relate to.
This is the third pressing. 500 were done on clear vinyl. 300 were sold on tour and 200 had a special silver sleeve made up. Legend has it that only a few got out via mailorder (or traded if you were lucky like Marcus) and the majority of them are still holed up at the rev warehouse.
It's funny because this is really tough to track down but at least three have exchanged hands for cash (including my copy) over the past few months. One of them was even on ebay. Usually these things pop for private sale.
Was it worth the wait (and money)? Hell yeah, it looks lovely and this is now one of the last big money items scrubbed from my wants list. It also completes my collection of this record so here's a group picture of the lads together.
Another year gone by. Many great records, many great shows and some absolutely amazing scores. This was my 2015.
Best records of 2015.
Another great year for music. I’m hoping I haven’t left anything out but this was the main stuff for me in 2015.
No Tolerance-You walk alone LP
Into another-Omens 12”
Violent Reaction-Marching on LP (Revelation)
Chain rank-Against a wall LP
B Dolan-Kill the wolf
XRepentanceX-The sickness of Eden LP
Bitter end-Illusions of dominance LP
Horisont- Odyssey LP
Best shows of 2015
Some amazing shows. As you can see a very varied mix. Probably the cream of the crop was seeing war at BB King club in New York. I’ve loved that band for a long time and can safely say that it was one of the best performances I’ve ever witnessed live.
B. Dolan-Preston September
War-New York October
Best scores of 2015
My goal at the beginning of the year was to go after some major stuff and no doubt I accomplished that big time. It was expensive and my savings account got seriously dented but I don’t regret any of it. I never imagined I’d ever own some of these records and they’re way cooler and far more interesting to look at than a figure sitting in an account. Here’s just some of the stuff I grabbed.