Here it is… One of my favorite hardcore LP’s of all time, both musically, visually, as well as from a collectability perspective. UC is like the west coast Minor Threat. But big difference – UC is soooo California. Anyone that has lived here, or has listened to UC a bit has to know exactly what I’m talking about. I love that about them. I’m a sucker for a UC LP on colored vinyl, and I’d just continue buying variations of the purple/pink/grey forever if I could. Maybe I will, haha. I don’t know why. I just love the hand-drawn cover art of this album, the classy Wishingwell label art, the huge fold out poster that comes with some of the 1st pressing copies, and the way the colored vinyl looks with the 2nd pressing copies. I also love the subtleties of this LP, like how the hand-drawn artwork is a different drawing on the 1st vs. 2nd pressing! A bunch of you may be saying “well, duhhh” – but so many people have never noticed this! It’s a totally different drawing of the same photo! Example: look at the X drawn on Dubar’s hand. It’s a significantly different shaped X on 1st vs. 2nd pressing. I’m not totally sure why this occurred. I remember my buddy Sebastian D’Hertoge from Belgium telling me that he owned the original art drawing for the UC LP cover… He had flown to California and bought all of Pat Dubar’s (singer of Uniform Choice, who also ran Wishingwell) remaining Wishingwell items – artwork, masters, reels, plates, test pressings, everything. Maybe Seb could tell us why the drawing changed from 1st to 2nd pressing? Also – we need to get him to take some photos of everything he owns some day! If you’re reading this man… Do it! Anyway, on to my vinyl… In the photo you can see the 1st pressing copies are denoted by yellow lettering on the cover. Some came with the huge poster, some didn’t (or maybe got lost over the years). I have a copy with and without poster. Then came the 2nd pressing(s), with green lettering on the cover and a slightly different drawing. No one seems to know concrete information about the vinyl colors. It appears that green and red vinyl were pressed first. Some say 500 on green, unknown on red. Then supposedly 100 copies of “mixed/marbled/swirl” vinyl were pressed for a show. But there’s also folks who think the grey pressing was a completely different pressing. Seb claims grey and purple are separate pressings. It’s unclear whether there’s an infinite number of mixed colors produced by the pressing plant just dumping every color in and pressing 100 copies, with some coming out pink, purple, and/or grey. Or, was there a purple marble pressing and a grey marble pressing, with my “pepto pink” color in the middle being some kind of transition or anomaly? I also think that the grey copies pop up far less often than purple copies, so that makes me think the grey is just a pressing variation of one total “mixed” pressing. I remember when I first showed Seb my photos, he was shocked, because he said in all his years he’s only seen 1 other truly pink copy, which he owns. He says Dubar confirmed there was a separate purple and grey pressing, so the pink is a weird transition variation. But man, I dunno. He was surprised to see I had a pink one, since many had claimed to have one over the years, but then he gets pictures and they always turned out very purple. Who knows… All I do know is that the purple, pink, and/or grey copies appear to be much more limited than the green and red copies, so I love picking up any marbled copy I find! What’s funny is that I got that rare “pepto pink” copy for super cheap. In 1999 I bought that on eBay for $36… Somehow I distinctly remember that number. I remember thinking it was weird that Wishingwell vinyl on color would be ~$30, but then I figured maybe it was some wack 2nd+ pressing that no one cared about. Fast forward all these years, and I’ve learned more and more about it, and I realize what a cool steal I got. Man, eBay was crazy back then. It’s not like 1999 was the “old days” or anything, but seriously, I got some crazy shit on eBay for $30-$50 from 1997-2000 (see: Insted “Bonds” LP test pressing below). I just don’t think hardcore was as big as it is now, and I really do think it took a while for the punk world to get up to speed on the whole “internet generation” thing (which is a good thing!). Anyway, now that you’ve heard all of this, happy hunting for your own custom copies of the purple/pink/grey variation!
Just a little image I use for my signatures on messageboards!
As discussed above, not only do the 1st vs. 2nd pressing covers differ with yellow vs. green lettering, but the actual drawings are different! Look closely and you can see slight differences. Not sure why on earth they would re-draw it! The inserts are also different. More close-ups below.
The 1st pressing insert does not have any photos, and a catalog with other releases for sale is printed on the insert itself. The 2nd pressing has band logo, photos, and the classic wishingwell logo added, but the catalog has been removed.
Printed on the actual 1st pressing insert is this catalog listing items available via mailorder. So far it’s just the first 3 Wishingwell releases and a bunch of cool classic shirts. But like pretty much all mail order back then, it’s just L and XL only! haha. $6 postage paid for an LP, not bad! It looks like money was sent sent directly to Pat Dubar in Fountain Valley, CA.
I know I know, UC turned into stoner rocker types. Obviously compared to one of my favorite albums of all time “Screaming For Change”, this thing is beyond disappointing. But I do kinda like listening to this album. I don’t think it’s nearly as bad as people say it is. On the right you see an original test pressing on “Giant Records” (Wishingwell must have signed a distribution deal with Giant). It’s got the track listings pasted to the jackets, and was probably sent out as a promo to radio stations, etc. Sebastian D’Hertoge traded me this back in 2007 or so. He and I used to talk on instant messenger all the time to help me pass the work day. We would sometimes work out record trades, and he was really generous to me, hooking me up with some old records he had doubles of for some of my modern Rivalry stuff. That was really nice of him to take an interest in what I was doing with Rivalry, and for being willing to trade his old valuable doubles for my modern stuff. I’m thankful to him for that, most people wouldn’t have done that kind of thing. I’ve always loved record collecting and the comraderie that can come about because of it. Also pictured is a red vinyl and black copy of the original gatefold release. I think the artwork is really cool. Why on earth they repressed it later with that weird eyeball looking image (middle row) is beyond me. The bottom row is a 7″ single type release for songs on this album.
The inside of the original gatefold layout, depicting this sweet photo of them on the cliffs in Orange County, hair blowing in the wind. I crack up everytime I see this photo, just picturing them posing there having this photo taken.
“Uniform Choice has evolved into one of the best accessible hardcore bands in the country”. haha, uh oh… That’s never a good sentence to utter about a hardcore band. In fact, this entire promo write-up is fucking hilarious. Saying “This new record ‘Staring Into The Sun’ is amazing” about your own band is awesome, since I imagine Dubar was still involved in writing the promos for his own label (and band), hahaha. And then “Instead of rambling on and giving you the same old bullshit other labels do, let me just say this, ‘Listen to this record! Solicit it to your accounts. I’m sure you will sell tons’”. Hey, you gotta respect the confidence, huh?
In the photo you can see an original Uniform Choice demo tape, with the classic x’d up skinhead. The insert is all hand written in tiny lettering, the way all the old demos were in the 80′s. The demo was later repressed on a double 7″. There’s also a test pressing of this release pictured, which I think I bought off Igby on eBay somewhat recently. “Igby on eBay” sounds like a weird children’s book or something, haha.
Close-up of the UC demo casette. The casette is labeled “Side O”, and “Side C”, haha. The demo cover was pretty clever – they made real stickers, and then cut them out and affixed them to the construction paper, giving a look of full color printing. Pretty good idea, much cheaper, and the stickers can serve multiple functions. The “Uniform Choice” on the spine appears to be written in white-out! That must have taken some talent to write it so clearly with a fucking white-out brush! haha. The lyric sheet has a bunch of cool hand drawn hardcore skins running around.
Unity… the pre-cursor to one of my favorite hardcore bands of all time, Uniform Choice. Everyone always said the Unity 7″ on blue was out of 70 or 80 copies, but that doesn’t make much sense. First of all, they seem a bit more common than that. Secondly, why would there be 70 or 80 copies? It’s almost always done in increments of 100′s, unless there’s an over-run/under-run, which does happen sometimes. Either way, it’s a cool record and can be hard to run down sometimes. The first pressing came on blue and black vinyl, and had basic black and white labels. The later pressing(s) had these cool pink and green labels, using that oh-so-sweet Wishingwell circle design that was used on all of their label art from the UC LP onwards. My roommate, Aaron Menesez, found one of these pink/green label copies without a cover (vinyl only) in a bin at Streetlight Records in Santa Cruz for $.25 one time. Not a hugely valuable score or anything, but c’mon – an original Unity 7″ on Wishingwell for a quarter is always a cool thing! The red vinyl copy was an official repress done by Indecision Records in the 90′s.
Front and back of the sleeve and insert. Since I have more than one, I can show it all in one photo. The back cover is so cool and weird. The guys in Unity/Uniform Choice were always all about “nature” and “beach” photo type shit. I dig it! haha.
My Uniform Choice collection, at its peak:
- Uniform Choice – original demo
- Uniform Choice – Demos 2×7″ (TEST PRESS)
- Uniform Choice – Demos 2×7″ (BLACK)
- Uniform Choice – Region Of Ice (BLACK)
- Uniform Choice – Screaming For Change (1st pressing, yellow letters on cover – WITH POSTER AND STICKER)
- Uniform Choice – Screaming For Change (1st pressing, yellow letters on cover – WITHOUT POSTER)
- Uniform Choice – Screaming For Change (2nd pressing, LIGHT PINK SWIRL, The rarest color variation, for sure. I’ve heard different stories about this. It’s either out of 100 “swirl” copies OR even more limited to about 10 of a special variant LIGHT PINK color that happened as a result of the transition between SEPARATE grey vinyl and purple vinyl pressings. You be the judge.)
- Uniform Choice – Screaming For Change (2nd pressing, PURPLE/PINK SWIRL, The rarest color variation, for sure. I’ve heard different stories about this. See above.)
- Uniform Choice – Screaming For Change (2nd pressing, GREY, absolutely no pink or purple in it at all – only white/grey/black, The rarest color variation, for sure. I’ve heard different stories about this. See above.)
- Uniform Choice – Screaming For Change (2nd pressing, GREEN, green letters on cover)
- Uniform Choice – Screaming For Change (2nd pressing, RED, green letters on cover)
- Uniform Choice – Screaming For Change (2nd pressing, BLACK, green letters on cover)
- Uniform Choice – Staring Into The Sun (TEST PRESS)
- Uniform Choice – Staring Into The Sun (BLACK, Giant Records)
- Uniform Choice – Staring Into The Sun (RED, Giant Records)
- Uniform Choice – Staring Into The Sun (BLACK, Tacklebox / Cargo Records)