Minor Threat is the best and most important hardcore band of all time. Truth. What more is there to say?
Now we’re getting into the classics of classics. Minor Threat’s first 7″, the “s/t”, or “Filler” 7″. You’ll see the familiar yellow United Record Pressing labels on the test pressing on the upper left. I got that Filler 7″ test pressing from Jon Gallagher, a dude in the UK that is big into Revelation Records collecting. It’s kind of funny that I ended up owning this 7″ from him, because there is this crazy story surrounding how he got this 7″ in the first place – in a round about way, it was kind of originally supposed to be mine! So here’s the deal: Jon emailed me, asking me if I wanted to buy a Minor Threat – In My Eyes 7″ (not Filler). The thing was, I already owned a MT – IME 7″ test, and I didn’t really need to own a 2nd copy. But then I remembered I knew 2 different people who really wanted my MT – IME 7″ test, and if I could pick this 2nd copy up from Jon, I could probably get one of these other guys to trade me a couple records that I’d wanted from either of them for a long time. So I told Jon I’d buy the MT – IME 7″ test pressing, and I sent him the cash. Well, Jon didn’t tell me this, but he actually didn’t have the record in his hands yet. ….A big no-no in the record collecting world. (Whattup Jon! Sorry I’m ratting you out here. The story is worth it though!). Jon’s situation was that he’d found this old punk dude in the UK who was dumping a bunch of his stash for cheap. Jon had agreed to buy certain records from the guy, but hadn’t gone over there to exchange the cash for records yet. Obviously the Minor Threat – In My Eyes 7″ test was one of these records he was planning to buy from the guy, and then flip it to me for some pretty decent cash real quick. So Jon goes over there, and much to his surprise, it’s a Minor Threat – Filler 7″ test pressing, not the In My Eyes 7″. Jon buys it anyway, because Filler is worth even more and he’s getting an even better deal than he expected! So why is this a problem for me? Well, Jon is so stoked on the score because he’s always wanted to own a Filler test. So he comes back to me with his tail between his legs, and not only tells me that he can’t sell me my 2nd copy of the In My Eyes 7″ test, but that it’s actually a Filler 7″ test (which I’ve always wanted to own!), and I can’t buy that either! In Jon’s defense, he felt really bad, and didn’t just insist on refunding my money. Instead, he offered to keep the same cash I’d already sent him and he’d send me a Youth Of Today – Break Down The Walls test pressing (the accepted version of the Green rejected copy I already owned). At first I was kinda pissed just because of the principle of the way the whole thing had gone down, but I was stoked on the YOT test too, so I said that’d be fine. Jon and I have continued to be buddies for years, so it wasn’t a huge crazy issue, but stuff like this could get real ugly real quick, haha. Anyway… That means Jon owned the Filler 7″ test, not me! So, how did I get it? Well, at some point about 3 years later, Jon was selling off almost everything to focus solely on Revelation collecting, he offered the Filler 7″ test to me, and I bought it. So in the end, I got it! As far as the regular copies of the Filler 7″. There were 5,000 total pressed: 1,000 first pressing with red covers, 1,000 2nd pressing yellow covers, 1,000 3rd pressing green covers, and 2,000 4th pressing blue covers. I’m super proud of my 1st pressing red sleeve with yellow labels. It’s in like perfect condition. I got it from Scott Pesek a couple years ago, who got it from Gus straightedge, an old NYHC dude. All the other copies are in super great condition too. You’ll notice I have another red cover copy next to it, however the vinyl is 2nd pressing blue labels instead of 1st pressing yellow labels. Some dude was selling this on eBay one time. He’d gotten it direct from Dischord back in 1981, and it came like this. My guess is they had something like 1,050 red covers, but only 1,000 1st pressing vinyl with yellow labels, so there’s probably a certain amount of “over-run” red covers that got put with some 2nd pressing blue labels. It went for like $130 on eBay because of how weird it was, but that is crazy cheap for a red cover copy, so I figured I’d go ahead and pick it up just to add another story to my Minor Threat collection. I love how this release has no colored vinyl, it’s all black and white printing, and the only difference in pressings is the paper color of the 7″. It should also be noted that for all of these early Dischord singles, the covers came printed flat, and the band/label had to fold and then glue every fucking one of these pocket covers. Can you imagine glueing 1,000 of these damned things every time you repressed it? How do I know they did this for sure? Well for one, it’s common to see messy glue jobs on some of these early Dischord singles. Secondly, it’s been said in interviews, and it’s common knowledge that’s how it was done back then. More definitively, I happen to own an extra blue sleeve that came with my test pressing, and the glue is starting to come undone…. And what do I find? On the little flaps where the band folded flaps and glued them together, is written in blue ballpoint pen “Flex Your Head” (see photo below). Are you fucking kidding me? I’ll bet they did this on every damned one, or at least a bunch of them. Knowing that if the glue ever came undone, someone would find this hidden gem… Which I did. So fucking cool!
“Flex Your Head” was written on the inner flaps before the cover was glued. Now that the glue has come undone, I found this hidden gem! Can you imagine writing this on every cover?! This is not my 4th pressing blue cover (which is still glued) – this is an extra cover that came with my test pressing.
Since I have two red covers, I figured I’d use them to show the front and back cover in one photo. Both covers are in pristine condition. One of my red covers has the first pressing vinyl with yellow labels, the other has second pressing vinyl with blue labels.
This photo shows all of my Minor Threat 7″s together in one photo! But right now, we’re just focusing on the 2nd row – Minor Threat’s second 7″, In My Eyes. This picture shows two MT – IME test pressings, one on 2nd row far left, one on the far right. Owning 2 of these is completely unrelated to the description in the Filler 7″ write-up regarding the MT – IME test that Jon and I thought I was going to own but never did. I ended up owning 2 of these anyway, but via a different path. I got the copy on the far left from a dude in Salt Lake City who was selling it because he had recently upgraded to another copy of the MT – IME test that was in slightly better condition. It’s not in awful condition or anything, he probably just got a copy that had no marks at all, etc. So I bought it from him and I owned it for 3 or 4 years before I also got an opportunity to get a really nice clean copy, so I picked up the one on the right, with the intention of selling/trading the copy on the left. That clean copy on the right is autographed by all 4 members of Minor Threat – Ian MacKaye, Jeff Nelson, Lyle Presslar, and Brian Baker. I’m sure glad I did that, because I was able to include the test on the left as a crucial piece of a trade which brought a Chain Of Strength – True Til Death 7″ test pressing my way, so that came in pretty handy.
This In My Eyes 7″ came in 3 pressings with only 3,000 copies of this 7″ ever pressed – 1,000 on red vinyl for the 1st pressing, 1,000 on black with yellow labels for the 2nd pressing, and 1,000 on black with blue labels for the 3rd pressing. Of the 1,000 copies on red vinyl, 125 of them were sold early with a photo-copied cover, which had a small error on the back. Gary Cousin had his named mis-spelled as Gary Cousins. This is affectionately referred to as the “Cousins sleeve”, and is super hard to find. In addition to the Cousins error, you can tell the difference between the two covers because the 125 copies are obviously low budget photo copies (top row, middle), whereas the other 875 are the “real”professionally printed covers (top row, far right). I got my copy from Jon Gallagher in the UK at some point around 2007.
The first copy is yet another Minor Threat test pressing, this time the Salad Days 7″. I’ve always really loved the photo on the cover of this 7″ – so timeless. I also like the big fold out lyric sheet with photos.
There have been a ton of pressings of the regular black vinyl over the years, but I’m pretty sure the first pressing copies come with a jacket that says Made In France and has no website on the back. The later pressings have “Made in USA” and “www.Dischord.com” printed on the back of the jacket.
It’s awesome that after 25 years they used a similar photo on the Minor Threat “First Demo Tape” 7″ as they did on the Salad Days 7″. But this time, Susie the Dischord dog makes an appearance in the “Demos” photo! I think the very first pressing was purple vinyl, then they switched to represses on black vinyl.
The insert has a bunch of funny photos of the young Minor Threat guys dressing up… Maybe it was Halloween, maybe it was a regular day and they were just being weirdos, haha. The photo above shows one side of the insert, with Ian in a wig and huge fake ears. The other side of the insert shown below.
First and foremost, all of the Out Of Step LP’s laid out together…
The first press of the Minor Threat “Out Of Step” LP did not have the colored stripe on the front cover, it had the “sheep” label art, and the back cover was 100% black with nothing on it. This was due to an error in the setup of the art files. It was supposed to be a grey background with photos of each band member, but something in the way they set up the art or instructions for the offset printing yielded a solid black back cover. Whoops. I’ve always heard that there’s 3,500 copies of the 1st pressing with solid black back cover. I found this copy above in near mint condition on eBay for a reasonable price, so I picked it up.
I actually have 2 copies of the first pressing with all black cover. One is autographed “B.B” (Brian Baker) on the middle of the front jacket. I kind of liked having the autograph, but I also don’t like it because of how it’s written right on the middle of the front cover. That’s why I have another copy that is very clean in near mint condition.
In the upper left hand corner of the main “Out Of Step” photo you may have noticed the first press test pressing. The dust sleeve is autographed by Brian Baker – “Still out of step 2003”. Pretty cool! The labels are pretty beat up. This copy was sent to the WDIM radio station as a promo copy, and it got the song titles, band name, and record speed written on the NRP (Nashville Record Pressing) labels. I actually currently own 2 test pressings of the first pressing, both shown above. I got a chance to upgrade to a copy with perfectly clean labels, so I went ahead and picked it up. I just haven’t gotten around to finding a home for my old copy yet.
The photos above compare the 1st and 2nd pressing of Out Of Step, both front and back. With the 2nd pressing, they corrected the back cover art. It’s now got the grey cover with photos of each band member, which they were trying for in the first place. There’s 5,000 copies of the 2nd pressing. They also changed the label art, which is a total bummer! The first pressing had the cool sheep labels, but the 2nd pressing onwards has these basic yellow labels. The matrix etching has also changed. Here’s 1st vs. 2nd pressing matrix etchings:
1st: A=”NR-14410-A THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER” B=”NR-14410-B 350 P.P. – CASHING IN?”
2nd: A=”NR-14410-1RE1 THE SOAP THAT NEVER ENDS” B=”NR-14410-2RE1 $3:50 P.P. – CASHING IN”)
Notice the 2nd pressing has “RE1” next to the catalog ID, which is very common for denoting re-mastering jobs (see my Negative Approach test pressing for a related story). Also note the “$3.50 postage paid, cashing in?” written in the matrix… Wow, looks like even back then, long before messageboards, hardcore bands were getting shit for “selling out” when they saw a little bit of success. I love that MT talked shit right back with this smart ass little matrix etching. $3.50 including postage for an LP, are you fucking kidding me? So cheap!
Here’s a cool little advertisement for the 2nd pressing, noting that “the cover’s fixed!” In the top left there’s a little apology for those that have been waiting for their order. This is probably due to the fact that they blew through the 3,500 1st pressing copies faster than they expected, and then the 2nd pressing took some time because they were fixing the back cover art and changing up the labels, etc. The part at the bottom is pretty cool too – “We’ve started keeping books and paying taxes. So we’re broke, but we’re legal!!!” hahaha, the story of life when running a punk label – to be “legit” or not, that is the question.
This photo shows some real crown jewels of my collection: the 2nd pressing test pressing of “Out Of Step” with silk-screened “sheep cover”. At one point I owned 3 copies of the 2nd pressing test pressing with the silk-screened sheep cover!!! This is one of the most sought after punk records of all time. Only the 2nd pressing tests got silk screened sheep covers, and I’ve heard that there’s 25 or 50 of these, not sure if either figure is true. To confirm it’s 2nd press, you can also check the matrix etching and see “the soap that never ends” instead of “the grass is always greener”. Notice that the 2nd pressing tests do not have the usual NRP (Nashville Record Pressing) labels. Instead they have blank white labels with “NR-14410” written on the labels. The thing that is neat about the silk screened cover (other than looking super sweet!) is that it was made using the first screen they ever made to print this same design on t-shirts. I’m sure you’ve seen this t-shirt design, as it’s been mass produced thousands of times over the years. But it’s cool to think that they very first incarnation of this screen is what was used to make this particular cover. I’m not totally sure why this was the only time Dischord made special covers for the tests (maybe it’s just because they already had a screen handy!), but I’m sure glad they did. It makes it even cooler that this is the only release that ever got a test pressing cover. I actually only own 2 of these now, as I used one as a crucial piece in a trade that brought me some final Revelation and Dischord rarities that I needed to finish these collections. So I have 2 copies of the 1st pressing test, as well as 2 copies of the 2nd pressing test with the silk screened sheep cover.
I wanted to show that the back cover of the silk-screened sheep covers also has the song listing printed out and glued on the back. I had the advantage of owning two sheep covers, so I could display the front and back in the same photo!
From the 3rd pressing onwards, they changed a bunch of things. The record was now pressed and managed by Southern distribution (can you imagine how hard to manage this would have been for Dischord alone if they had already blown through 8,500 copies?), the mastering changed from 45rpm to 33rpm, and the back cover art was changed to a basic black cover with a white square that listed the song titles. Most noticebly, the colored stripe appeared at the top of the front cover, with a postage paid price listed. I think this was a further attempt to combat the mark-ups at record stores and advertise the fact that you could mail order this thing direct for super cheap. Essentially printing a super cheap price tag INTO the artwork of your own release so kids shouldn’t/wouldn’t get gouged… Again, could anything be more punk than that? I think it is so cool that they were so aggressive about maintaining their punk standards. This is one of the things that makes Minor Threat and Dischord so special to all of us today. The 3rd pressing started out with a dark royal blue stripe and a $3.50ppd price. During the same time period, the record was released in the UK with a red stripe and 2.50 GBP price, and Germany with a green stripe and 12 DM price. This band was huge, one of the first truly global hardcore punk bands. Later they changed the stripe to a turquoise stripe for all regions, keeping it at $3.50ppd. Later it was updated to $5.00ppd, then again to $7.00ppd. There are actually some $8.00ppd copies out there, but I’ve never seen one! This collector in Japan, Dobek, told me about them. He asked Jeff Nelson about it, and at first even Jeff Nelson said they didn’t exist!! But sure enough, they exist and have been sold a couple of times on eBay (with photos!). We’re guessing that right before they changed the cover permanently to remove the stripe, they must have done one small run of $8.00ppd. They are pretty tough to find, but I’d like to get one!
Just recently, they removed the stripe and price from the artwork, reverting to the “original artwork”, albeit some new “shading”. The copy on the left is the original first pressing artwork, the copy on the right is the latest Dischord pressing. It’s as if they did a water color of the original cover or something. They probably got sick of having to update the price all the time for inflation and postage increases. I’m amazed they stuck with the stripe+price for even this long – almost 30 years!! This will also be more cost effective for them, because they could run of hundreds of thousands of these jackets at once if they wanted to, without being tied to a particular price tag on the album itself.
The bottom of this photo shows the back cover of the most recent pressing (the ones with the “watercolor” original cover). They went back to the grey back cover with the band photos, which originally appearead on the 2nd pressing. The copy at the top of the photo shows the back cover of all the various “striped” pressings over the years, starting with the 3rd pressing $3.50ppd and continuing up through the $8.00ppd.
Comparing the inserts used over the years… All are very similar. The small insert at the bottom was used in the 1st pressing only. The 2nd pressing had the insert on the left, printed on thin paper. The 3rd+ striped pressings had the same insert, but printed on glossy paper (shown in the middle in the photo above). The most recent press with original “water colored” cover has the insert on the right, which features a few small changes to the insert, like the border removed around the lyrics.
Before I end the Out Of Step write-up, I wanted to make one last comment about the sheer number of copies that must have been pressed of this LP. If they blew through 3,500 1st pressing and 5,000 2nd pressing within 1983/1984 timeframe, I can’t even imagine how many they’ve gone through in the last 30 or so years. Granted, vinyl fell off a bit (and then recently made a come back), but still… It would be interesting to know just how many they’ve done. I’d also like to illustrate what selling this many records (without limited colored pressings, by the way!) means about their popularity and what Minor Threat has meant to punk rock as a whole. We in the modern U.S. hardcore scene think Youth Of Today or Gorilla Biscuits are huge, classic bands. But the Revelation pressings of their LPs must pale in comparison to the Minor Threat LP’s that have been sold. I once heard that Minor Threat and Gorilla Biscuits were one of the few punk bands that had gone “gold” with 500,000 copies sold (obviously most of these are in CD format). I don’t know how true any of that is, but my guess is the Minor Threat sales eclipses the GB sales by hundreds of thousands of copies.
I sometimes accidentally call this the Minor Threat “Discography” LP just because I’ve gotten so used to the classic Filler 7″ album photo on the Discography CD. But this is really just the 7″‘s on a 12″ format. This is the only Dischord #1-12 release of which I never owned a test pressing (other than the “.5” releases – I don’t have tests of those). Jeff Nelson told me these would be hard to find since they were already pressing everything through Southern Distribution by the time this record came out, and they were a much bigger type operation, so who knows what goes on with test pressings, etc.
The first pressings had red jackets, with metallic silver ink on the back and a $4.00 price. It looks like there was actually a second pressing of red jackets with grey ink (non-metallic) on the back. I actually don’t own one of each, but I’ve seen them and there’s definitely a difference.
Similar to the Out Of Step LP, they also did a UK and German release during the first pressing. The UK release has a dark blue cover with a 2.50 GBP price. The German pressing has a grey jacket with a 12 DM price. I think the German grey jacket looks so cool with the dejected vibe of the photo and also the fact they they’ve never used this color on the discography CD or the original 7″s. Eventually they switched to light blue covers for all territories, but the price stayed $4.00ppd. Over time they switched the price to $5.00ppd on the light blue jackets, and the font got bigger. You can see a pretty big difference in the shades of the blue covers. I’ll bet there’s several different shades of blue if you got tons of different pressings and compared. Next they switched to green jackets, but they still had $5.00ppd on the back. They stuck with green covers, but increased to $7.00ppd. In 2009 they finally did away with the postage paid pricing on the back, and switched to yellow jackets with re-mastered vinyl. I imagine they’ll stick with this for a long time since they won’t have to reprint jackets when postage prices keep rising all the time.
My Minor Threat collection, at its peak:
- Minor Threat – Filler (TEST PRESS, Dischord #3)
- Minor Threat – Filler (BLACK, 1st press, RED sleeve, YELLOW labels, both inserts, DEAD MINT CONDITION)
- Minor Threat – Filler (BLACK, 1st press, RED sleeve in NM condition, but 7″ is 2nd press BLUE labels – came straight from Dischord like this)
- Minor Threat – Filler (BLACK, 2nd press, YELLOW sleeve, BLUE labels, EX/EX condition)
- Minor Threat – Filler (BLACK, 3rd press, GREEN sleeve, SILVER labels, EX/EX condition)
- Minor Threat – Filler (BLACK, 4th press, BLUE sleeve, SILVER labels, NM/NM condition)
- Minor Threat – In My Eyes (TEST PRESS, hand written dust sleeve, Dischord #5) — I own 2 of these
- Minor Threat – In My Eyes (RED, COUSINS SLEEVE, 1st press yellow labels, out of 125 -no insert)
- Minor Threat – In My Eyes (RED, COUSIN SLEEVE, 1st press yellow labels, out of 875)
- Minor Threat – In My Eyes (BLACK, 2nd press yellow labels, out of 1000 -no insert)
- Minor Threat – In My Eyes (BLACK, 3rd press blue labels, out of 1000)
- Minor Threat – Salad Days (TEST PRESS, Dischord #15)
- Minor Threat – Salad Days (BLACK, Made in France, no website)
- Minor Threat – Salad Days (BLACK, Made in USA, http://www.Dischord.com, re-mastered 2009 pressing)
- Minor Threat – First Demo Tape (PURPLE)
- Minor Threat – First Demo Tape (BLACK, re-mastered 2009 pressing)
- Minor Threat – Out Of Step (TEST PRESS, 1st press, 45rpm, matrix A=”NR-14410-A THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER” B=”NR-14410-B 350 P.P. – CASHING IN?”, autographed “Still out of step – Brian Baker 2003”, it is missing the glued on sheep labels unfortunately) — I own 2 of these
- Minor Threat – Out Of Step (TEST PRESS, 2nd press, Silk Screened Sheep Cover, 45rpm, matrix A=”NR-14410-1RE1 THE SOAP THAT NEVER ENDS” B=”NR-14410-2RE1 $3:50 P.P. – CASHING IN”) — I own 3 of these
- Minor Threat – Out Of Step (BLACK, BLACK back cover, 1st press, NM/NM condition, out of 3500)
- Minor Threat – Out Of Step (BLACK, BLACK back cover, 1st press, autographed by Brian Baker on front cover, out of 3500)
- Minor Threat – Out Of Step (BLACK, GREY back cover, 2nd press, out of 5000)
- Minor Threat – Out Of Step (BLACK, DARK BLUE stripe, $3.50 price)
- Minor Threat – Out Of Step (BLACK, RED stripe, UK pressing, 2.50 GBP price)
- Minor Threat – Out Of Step (BLACK, GREEN stripe, German pressing, 12 DM price)
- Minor Threat – Out Of Step (BLACK, LIGHT BLUE stripe, $3.50 price)
- Minor Threat – Out Of Step (BLACK, LIGHT BLUE stripe, $5.00 price)
- Minor Threat – Out Of Step (BLACK, LIGHT BLUE stripe, $7.00 price)
- Minor Threat – Out Of Step (WHITE, LIGHT BLUE stripe, $7.00 price, 2007 pressing)
- Minor Threat – Out Of Step (BLACK, re-worked cover art no stripe, 2009 pressing)
- Minor Threat – s/t (BLACK, DARK BLUE cover, UK pressing, 2.50 GBP price)
- Minor Threat – s/t (BLACK, GREY cover, German pressing, 12 DM price)
- Minor Threat – s/t (BLACK, RED cover, $4.00 price)
- Minor Threat – s/t (BLACK, BLUE cover, $4.00 price)
- Minor Threat – s/t (BLACK, LIGHTER BLUE cover, $5.00 price)
- Minor Threat – s/t (BLACK, GREEN cover, $5.00 price)
- Minor Threat – s/t (GREEN, GREEN cover, $7.00 price, 2007 pressing)
- Minor Threat – s/t (BLACK, YELLOW cover, no price, 2009 pressing)
- Minor Threat/Youth Brigade – Demos 12″ (BLACK, out of 1000)