Negative Approach

Negative Approach – “s/t” 7″

Ah, the Negative Approach 7″. This is somewhat of a holy grail type 7″ for hardcore purists. Fast, blistering, nasty ass hardcore. I have recently sold the test pressing shown in the photo, but it’s absolutely one of the most unique records I’ve ever owned.  This copy is actually a “rejected test pressing” of the very first mastered version of this 7″ that was never heard!  It comes with a certificate of authenticty, signed in the year 2000, from Tesco Vee of Touch & Go Records.  You can check out the matrix of the NA  7″ to confirm everything.  The matrix of this rejected test pressing reads: MATRIX A=”NR-13918A SLEE STACKS ARE TOTALLY INTO IT”, B=”NR-13918B BANG BANG BE NO THANG”)

However, both the 1st and 2nd pressing of the Negative Approach 7″s shown do NOT have the little custom “message” in the matrix etching, and they have a “RE-1” next to the catalog number to denote a re-mastering job.  I’ve pressed lots of Rivalry stuff with United Record pressing in Nashville, so I know that their test pressings that get re-mastered get a “RE-1”, “RE-2″, etc. Here is the matrix etching on any Negative Approach 7″ you’ll find:  MATRIX A=”NR-13918A Re-1”.   You know what I’m most curious about?  What did the “Slee Stacks are totally into it” or “Bang Bang be no thang” mean on the rejected matrix, and why didn’t they put it on the re-master?  Also funny they were using “thang” as slang way back in 1981. I figured that started in the late 80’s, early 90’s with hip-hop going mainstream.  haha.

On to the other 7″s… The 1st pressing had black labels, the 2nd pressing had red labels.  One thing that is cool about the NA 7″ is that some of the first pressing copies have a little message written on the INSIDE of the 7″ pocket sleeve. Mine says: “WHAT IT BE WHAT IT WAS”.  Again, who knows.  But the reason these messages are noteable is that they are written pretty deep down inside the pocket cover, meaning they had to have been written BEFORE the 7″s pocket sleeves were glued. There would be no way you could get a pen down in there to write inside the pocket.  This is just a cool nod back to how things were back in 1981 – the band and record label would get the 7″ covers printed flat, and had to fold and GLUE every god damned one of those things themselves. 1,000 in each pressing.  I’ve had to fold thousands of 7″ covers while I was doing Rivalry…. But glueing them would be maddening.  The NA 7″ was out of press for like 25 years, but has been repressed recently by Touch & Go. It has the same basic cover art, but it’s a shaded hand drawing of the art or something, almost cartoony looking.

Negative Approach – “Tied Down” LP

This photo shows an original green cover 1st pressing and purple cover 2nd pressing of the LP.  The LP was also out of press for a long time, but has recently been repressed with a green cover. You can tell the original green cover by the Maumee, OH address for Touch & Go on the back.  Now Touch & Go has a Chicago, IL address.  I think the green color on the represses is slightly different than the original as well.

My Negative Approach collection, at its peak:

  • Negative Approach – s/t (TEST PRESS, Touch and Go Records. It’s actually a rejected test pressing of the very first mastered version of this 7inch that was never heard!)
  • Negative Approach – s/t (1st press, BLACK ink labels “WHAT IT BE WHAT IT WAS” written on inside, out of 1000, MINT CONDITION w/insert + Touch & Go ad)
  • Negative Approach – s/t (2nd press, RED ink labels, out of 1000, NM condition w/insert)
  • Negative Approach – Tied Down (GREEN cover, Original 1st pressing with Maumee, OH address on back and early Touch & Go catalog inside + insert)
  • Negative Approach – Tied Down (PINK cover, 2nd pressing)

18 Responses to Negative Approach

  1. zusarmy says:

    hot damn i love me some negative approach.

  2. Matt says:

    I’ve seen a copy of the test press before that had a different song order. Is that the one in your pic? Just curious.

    • Kyle Whitlow says:

      You know what, I’m not sure! I actually sold this Negative Approach test pressing last month, so I can’t throw it on now to check. I only listened to that test once or twice, and I don’t remember noticing the songs in different order, but maybe they were! I remember listening to it and not totally sure what was “rejected” about it. Sometimes it’s hard to hear differences though when you listen to them one after the other, and there’s obviously no way to do it side by side. haha. It must have just been something was too low in the master, or too much fuzz, or something like that. Anyway, sorry I can’t answer your question about the song order. But if you’ve seen that before, my guess is that YES, this one probably has a different song order.. I don’t think there are like multiple “rejected” tests, just the one version I had.

    • Rob McCulloch says:

      If it’s the 7″ test pressing you are referring to, the bass was too low in the first test pressing, so Corey remastered the tapes to boost the bass.

      • To add to this, to the best of my recollection. Corey boosted the bass after we heard the test pressing, but we didn’t order a second test pressing as this was all funded out of Corey’s pocket and there was an extra charge for a second test pressing.

  3. Pingback: Touch And Go (And Dischord)

  4. Artie Philie says:

    I picked up a copy of the 2nd press w/ red labels in what appears to be mint condition. However, the side 1 and side 2 labels are switched. Any knowledge of this being the case with any other copies?

    • Kyle Whitlow says:

      Hmm, I’m not sure. I’m not at home right now so I can’t throw the NA 7″ on. But if I can ever remember sometime when I’m at home, I’ll play mine and/or check the matrix to see if the labels are reversed.

  5. Anonymous says:

    “I picked up a copy of the 2nd press w/ red labels in what appears to be mint condition. However, the side 1 and side 2 labels are switched. Any knowledge of this being the case with any other copies?”

    This happened rarely but I do know of at least one other copy like this that is owned by a friend.

  6. giuseppe says:

    here my question:
    also i’ve just bought a 2nd pressinv of the n.a.’s lp,but:
    the paper on the records is green,not violet as usual…you have any idea of wich pressing is this??
    thx and greetings from italia!

    • Kyle Whitlow says:

      Nope, I dunno… Could just be that the inserts got switched?

      • Anonymous says:

        The Tied Down with purple cover and purple center labels, like the picture here, I think that is original 1983 European issue.
        Tied Down with purple cover and green center labels is a repress. I can’t put a date on it. I’ll go out on a limb anyway. We’re The Meatmen… And You Suck was repressed. The guess is that was around 94-96. If you want to say that was a trend for Touch And Go and consider that I bought a purple cover green label tied down in the late 90’s early 00’s maybe it was done around 97-99.

  7. Dan says:

    I also have a copy that sounds like Giuseppe’s – this, but with a violet cover rather than a green one:

    Mine also came with two copies of the insert for some reason. Bought it in the UK about 8-9 years ago

  8. Rob McCulloch says:

    Hey, this is Rob. I was the original guitarist in NA. I found myself on your site looking at some Minor Threat records, and noticed you mentioned NA, so I linked over to read the thread.

    To answer your questions about the Sleestacks, and Be No Thang. The Sleestacks was a nickname we gave to these huge guys (Randy and TIm) who looked like they would kill you just for looking at them, but were really cool when you actually talked to them. One of the Stacks (Tim) even came along on the Process Of Elimination tour we did. John had a catch phrase he used to say all the time “[blank] is totally into it”, so that was just a progression from that. Be No Thang actually cam from a Burger King across the street from the Freezer Theater that had a meal deal call the “Burger Thang”. Thang was very much in use in the early 80’s deep down in Detroit.

    You are right about writing way down in the record sleeves. It was cheaper for us to get the records if we folded and glued the sleeves ourselves. We would have record assembly parties down at John and Larrisa’s apartment. We’d all grab a gluestick, and Sharpie and write whatever the hell came to mind, then fold and glue the sleeve. Sometimes you’d be on a roll writing funny stuff, you’d read it out loud, and everyone would be rolling around laughing, other times you couldn’t think of anything to write and it was so boring assembling them. We did all make a pact though, to never write the same thing twice.


    • Manny says:

      Hey rob would you happen to know about some 1st pressing “tied down” LP with the labels switched? I picked one up about a year ago and noticed the labels were switched when I got home. Made me feel better about spending the cash haha

      • Hey Manny, I vaguely remember some issues with the LP, but don’t/’ know the details. Chris and I had told John before we went into the studio to record that we would be quitting after the recording session, so we were kept out of the loop after that. My brother Graham was in NA for about another 6 months. I’ll ask him if he remembers any label switching.

  9. SAL PEPE says:

    you never mentioned the 7″ variant with the orange colored in covers

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