Other than random local bands, Good Riddance and AFI were the first hardcore punk bands that I ever saw. They were also the first 2 bands that really stuck with me, mostly because I was able to see them play semi-regularly, growing up in Northern California. I was initially drawn into the passion and aggression of their live shows (obviously now I realize that these bands were relatively tame compared to any other hardcore/punk/metal, but compared to what I had seen up to this point, it was intense). As I got further into their material, I was increasingly drawn to the straight edge lifestyle and their animal rights focus. The first show I can remember feeling like “Yup, this is for me, I’ve finally found something that clicks with me” was an AFI / Good Riddance / Fury 66 show at the Zocolo Room in Chico, CA. The singers of all 3 bands just seemed to bring it, in such a different way than any other pop punk or goofy punk that I had seen up to that point. I was hooked on hardcore, and I never looked back. Over the years, my tastes have obviously changed somewhat, but I still regularly throw on Good Riddance “A Comprehensive Guide To Moderne Rebellion” and I think I love it today just as much as I did back then.
Good Riddance – “For God And Country” LPThe first Good Riddance LP on Fat Wreck Chords did not originally have any colored or limited versions. It was all black vinyl. Sometime in the 2000’s they pressed these copies on blue vinyl.
Good Riddance always used these old conservative American images to poke fun at past and current conservative socio-political positions. These vinyl labels were the beginning of that whole theme, haha.
Good Riddance – “A Comprehensive Guide To Moderne Rebellion” LPThis is far and away my favorite GR album. As I said above, I think I love it today as much as I did when I was a kid listening to it a hundred times a week. The red vinyl version is the original colored vinyl that was pressed for this release (not sure if it was 1st press or if it came a little later). Like most Fat Wreck stuff, it was out of ~300-500 copies only, with all the rest being black vinyl. I know there have recently been some represses by Fat (yellow vinyl, etc).
Here’s an original 1st pressing test pressing of the “Comprehensive Guide” LP from 1996 that I scored from Fred Hammer (It’s Alive Records). He must have gotten it from the band around the time he was releasing the Good Riddance / Ill Repute split 7″ on It’s Alive. It’s absolutely the only Fat Wreck Chords test pressing of any Good Riddance LP that I’ve ever seen sold or traded. I’m not sure why they don’t pop up more often, but I’ve never seen another. I recently sold it to Adam Bender, a fellow lover of GR’s “Comprehensive Guide” LP, so I’m glad it went to a good home!
Good Riddance – “Ballads From The Revolution” LP“Ballads” was a strong follow-up to “Comprehensive Guide”. It’s got to be my 2nd favorite GR album. That song “Salt” was definitely a hit, as well as “Waste”, a pro-Animal Rights song that was uncharacteristically heavy and distorted which really stuck with me. The last song, “Years From Now”, was another really good one – “…when you hear this song, you’ll know it comes, straight from the heart”. The blue vinyl was the original colored pressing on Fat out of ~300-500.
Good Riddance – “Operation Phoenix” LPThis is most definitely the most “hardcore” of GR’s LP’s, and oddly enough, I didn’t like it as much as the previous records. I know most hardcore kids liked this one best, but I don’t know, I preferred the previous formulas. Still a good record though. The white vinyl was the original limited colored vinyl for this release.
Reverse side. Gnarly war photo on the back cover! Point taken. They always did a good job with the imagery on their releases. That image on the b-side label is from the movie, “The Crow”, where Brandon Lee died while filming it. Crow = Phoenix, I guess. Note: Russ is wearing a NJ Devils hockey jersey in the insert photo above. More on that below in the “Symptoms” LP.
Good Riddance – “The Phenomenon Of Craving” 10″This release was an EP, so they pressed it on 10″ instead of LP. I think I remember one of my Santa Cruz friends telling me that the cover photo is a well-known homeless person around SC. I could be remembering that wrong though. Either way, cool idea for a cover photo, and I hope the compensation for appearing on the album cover helped that dude out a little bit. The blue vinyl was the original color pressed for this release.
Good Riddance – “Symptoms Of A Leveling Spirit” LPI distinctly remember this album sounding really “soft” to me, with Russ “singing” a lot more. I think I noticed it mostly because I’d gotten so heavily involved in the hardcore scene, touring around with bands, etc. I think at this point I kind of lost track of what Good Riddance was doing, and didn’t listen to this or later records much when they would come out. When I re-visit these records, I think they’re still pretty cool, but I just think I had moved on with my musical taste at this point.
Back cover. That’s an NHL player for the NJ Devils hoisting the Stanley Cup while wearing a Good Riddance shirt, haha! As I noted in the “Operation Phoenix” insert photo, Russ is wearing a Devils jersey, so there’s obviously some sort of connection there.
Good Riddance – “Remain In Memory: The Final Show” 2xLPThe final Good Riddance recording was released on double-LP format with a nice stapled booklet full of photos. Listening to the final show on record, you can tell what a machine Good Riddance had become over the decade-plus of being a band – everything sounds almost perfect. Usually live recordings are “eh”, but when listening to this one, it’s hard to tell it’s even a live performance at some points. As I said above, by this point I had pretty much lost track of what was going on with Good Riddance, but I did hear that they were breaking up and playing final show(s) in their hometown of Santa Cruz, CA. I decided that I didn’t want to go, mostly just because it would be so crazy and crowded. I never really thought about it again, until one day my girlfriend and I decided to go to Santa Cruz for the day on a Monday-off (it must have been Memorial Day or something?). I ran into a friend, Donald Scully, who was a huge Good Riddance fan. He asked me if I was going to the show…? I said “what show?”. He laughed and thought I was kidding. Haha, Apparently I had randomly gone to Santa Cruz on the very day of the last GR show. I thought about it for a moment and honestly had a sick feeling in my stomach, knowing that I was going to be bummed later if I didn’t go to their last show, especially since I was already in Santa Cruz. There was just something in me that felt like this would be a “coming full circle” kind of thing – GR was one of the first bands that got me into punk, and I just felt like I should go. Ultimately I decided not to, because it would be a big hassle to get a ticket (if at all), and I knew my girlfriend hadn’t really planned or wanted to do that. I do regret not being there, but I’m glad they released it on recording so I could check it out. It sounded like it was a really great show!
The inside of the booklet has a ton of great photos of the band over the years. I picked the most colorful member of the band, Chuck, to display in the photo, haha. This dude was always doing hilarious/wild shit.
Good Riddance – “Gidget” 7″I got into Good Riddance after they released their first LP “For God And Country”, so it’s always hard to go backwards in a band’s catalog and get into the earliest shit. That’s the case with Good Riddance. Their earliest 7″s just aren’t nearly as good as the later LP’s, so I never got much into them, though they feature a couple of the same songs which were used later.
Good Riddance / Ignite – “Split” 7″Split with Ignite, on Revelation Records. This split was destined to happen, with both bands having this vibe of “surfer-bro-hardcore-on-the-fringe-of-mainstream-music”. I’m not taking a shot at anyone – I always liked both bands and I’m feelin it! haha. 1st press = 2000 black vinyl, 2nd press = 2000 green vinyl, then there was a later press in ~2001 on red vinyl out of 330 (I never had that one).
Good Riddance / Ill Repute – “It’s Only Fun Til Someone Gets Hurt” Split 7″This split 7″ with Ill Repute has one of my favorite Good Riddance songs, “Lame Duck Arsenal”. Such a good song! I’ve heard that this was an out-take from the “Comprehensive Guide” LP and didn’t make the cut. I don’t know why they didn’t use it, I think it would have fit perfectly on that album! This split was released by Fred Hammer on It’s Alive Records out of Oxnard, CA. The blue vinyl is hand numbered on the labels. I think there was also regular black vinyl, but not sure if there were other colors.
Good Riddance / Kill Your Idols – “Split” 7″This split was released on Jade Tree Records (CD) and Bridge 9 Records (7″). (The rest of this release’s text was originally written in the Bridge 9 Records blog entry): The 1st pressing was 300 pink, 700 white, 1,000 black. 2nd pressing was 1,000 on red. It seems like Kill Your Idols has more songs than any other hardcore band in existence! Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually a big fan of KYI, but man it was hard to keep up with all the material they were always releasing. They may also have set a record for most split EP’s ever – I can think of splits they did with Full Speed Ahead, Voorhees, Nerve Agents, Crime In Stereo, Good Riddance, Fisticuffs, and I’m probably missing something. On top of that, they had a bunch of their own EP’s and full length records! I wonder how many total songs they had? I know it’s well into the hundreds. This split was cool because I’ve always loved Good Riddance. Growing up in California, GR was one of the first hardcore punk bands I ever saw. I saw them right after they released their second album, “A Comprehensive Guide To Moderne Rebellion”. That has always been an album I held up as a “classic” for me, just because I played it over and over when I was a kid. That record has held up really well, and I still listen to it pretty often. In fact, I like pretty much all of the Good Riddance albums, they were a really good band.
Ensign / Good Riddance – “Split” 7″This is a really good split 7″, with a bunch of really bad artwork, haha. I always loved Ensign too, so this was an awesome 7″ to me. But the layouts just sucked. First, the covers weren’t done, so there’s this ugly limited cover of some gnarly mutilated dude’s face. Then the actual cover (middle) looks like a bad pop punk band’s CD on Hopeless Records or something. Then years later, the people who ran the record label found 90 copies on black vinyl lying around, so the “Ieper Fest” cover on the right was made and sold at Ieper Fest in Germany. This cover is just weird because it uses the artwork from the Ensign – “Price Of Progression” LP layout, which really had nothing to do with this split 7″. Anyway, cool 7″, bad layouts!
Creep Division – “s/t” LPCreep Division was a side project band with Craig Ahead (Straight Ahead, Sick Of It All, bassist in every NYHC band ever) on vocals, Russ Rankin (Good Riddance vocalist) on guitar, and Chuck from Good Riddance on bass. This LP came out on Indecision Records, with 329 pressed on blue vinyl.
My Good Riddance collection, at its peak…
- Good Riddance – Gidget (BLACK)
- Good Riddance – Decoy (BLACK)
- Good Riddance / Reliance – Split (BLACK)
- Good Riddance / Ignite – Split (BLACK, 1st press, out of 2000)
- Good Riddance / Ignite – Split (GREEN, 2nd press, out of 2000)
- Good Riddance / Ill Repute – Split (TEST PRESS)
- Good Riddance / Ill Repute – Split (BLUE, #199/???)
- Good Riddance / Ensign – Split (BLUE, limited “face” cover, out of 100)
- Good Riddance / Ensign – Split (BLUE, regular cover)
- Good Riddance / Ensign – Split (BLACK, regular cover)
- Good Riddance / Ensign – Split (BLACK, Ieper Fest 2000 press, #76/90)
- Good Riddance / Kill Your Idols – Split (PINK, 1st press, out of 300)
- Good Riddance / Kill Your Idols – Split (WHITE, 1st press, out of 700)
- Good Riddance / Kill Your Idols – Split (BLACK, 1st press, out of 1000)
- Good Riddance / Kill Your Idols – Split (RED, 2nd press, out of 1000)
- Good Riddance – For God And Country (BLACK)
- Good Riddance – For God And Country (BLUE)
- Good Riddance – A Comprehensive Guide To Moderne Rebellion (TEST PRESS)
- Good Riddance – A Comprehensive Guide To Moderne Rebellion (RED)
- Good Riddance – A Comprehensive Guide To Moderne Rebellion (BLACK)
- Good Riddance – Ballads From The Revolution (BLUE)
- Good Riddance – Ballads From The Revolution (BLACK)
- Good Riddance – Operation Phoenix (WHITE)
- Good Riddance – Operation Phoenix (BLACK)
- Good Riddance – Symptoms Of A Leveling Spirit (GREY)
- Good Riddance – Symptoms Of A Leveling Spirit (BLACK)
- Good Riddance – Bound By Ties Of Blood And Affection (WHITE, out of 322)
- Good Riddance – Bound By Ties Of Blood And Affection (BLACK)
- Good Riddance – My Republic (TAN, out of 220)
- Good Riddance – My Republic (BLACK)
- Good Riddance – Remain In Memory The Final Show 2xLP (1 BLUE, 1 RED)
- Creep Division – s/t (TEST PRESS, out of 8)
- Creep Division – s/t (BLUE, out of 329)