This page is devoted to a bunch of my NYHC and/or classic punk records that didn’t fit into another label or band sub-collection. The picture below is just a cool random sampling of some of the rarest hardcore punk singles of all time! Detailed photos of these and many others shown below.
Bad Brains – “Pay To Cum” 7″This may be the rarest and/or most sought after 7″ in punk history. Sure there are other “KBD (Killed By Death) records” out there out of 10 copies or some shit, but as far as legitimate influential releases, this has got to be the rarest punk 7″ ever. Some would argue The Fix “Vengeance” 7″ out of 100 or Necros “Sex Drive” 7″ out of 200, both on Touch & Go Records, but I still say it’s “Pay To Cum”. Why? Because of how hard it is to actually find a copy with sleeve and insert! Most of these were sold without sleeves in the first place. There have been different numbers thrown around – some say 400 copies had a sleeve, some say only 150-200 copies got the sleeve. And of the small amount that actually did get sleeves, it’s rare to find a copy that is in somewhat decent condition and even harder to find one that actually has the insert after 30+ years. This is definitely the cleanest copy I’ve ever come across, and it still has the original insert! Mine does have two small coffee stains (or something) on the glued pocket cover (still glued!), but other than that, I’d seriously call this thing EX/EX condition. I can honestly say that I’d be surprised if there were more than 25 copies on the planet in this condition, maybe less. Of course I’m just guessing… But I mean, how many have YOU seen? To compare it to The Fix “Vengeance” or Necros “Sex Drive”, I’ve literally seen 3 or 4 of each on eBay in the last year alone. Sure, those sold for $3000-$4500, so I’m not trying to devalue those records in any way! But again, how many Bad Brains 7″ with sleeve and insert have you seen in VG+ or EX condition? Anyway, I was stoked when I got this copy!
The back cover does not have any marks or damage. “Copyright 1979 Bad Brains”… One of the first hardcore records of all time. Also notice that one of the only bands they thank is “The Stimulators”, Harley Flanagan’s (of Cro-Mags) first band when he was just a little kid (Harley played drums). The Stimulators “Loud Fast Rules” 7″ is also a super rare and expensive hardcore punk 7″ single. Oddly enough, I’ve actually never owned one of those.
I’ve actually owned a couple of copies of “Pay To cum” without sleeve/insert over the years, and always sought to upgrade it. This was the last copy that I owned before finally getting that clean copy with sleeve and insert. I was pretty pleased when I first upgraded to this copy… If I couldn’t have a sleeve and insert, I wanted an original that was signed by all the bad members! I sold this copy once I received my copy with insert/sleeve. I actually really regret not saving the dust sleeve from this copy. I would have rather sold this copy for a little less and kept the dust sleeve. I always kick myself whenever I look back at this photo. I owned both copies together for a few months, so it would have been easy to just swap the dust sleeves. For some reason it just never crossed my mind when I was getting ready to sell it. Stupid. This autographed dust sleeve would look so sweet on my copy with sleeve + insert! Bummer…
Black Flag – “Nervous Breakdown” 7″The original Black Flag “Nervous Breakdown” 7″ from 1978, SST Records #1, only 500 copies pressed. This is another record that many consider to be the “first hardcore record of all time” (along with the The Middle Class “Out Of Vogue” 7″ and the Bad Brains “Pay To Cum” 7″). This is an original pressing with bright pink labels and the bricks in the background of the original Raymond Pettibon drawing. Later pressings have a solid white background (no bricks), different color inks (blue, red, etc), and different color labels. I’m psyched on the condition of this record – sharp corners on the sleeve, clean vinyl, perfect labels, the whole bit. This is obviously a hugely important hardcore punk record, both as Black Flag’s first record and SST Records’ first release. Black Flag paved the way for touring the way across the nation for the thousands of bands that followed them. Not to mention they have influenced the attitude and style of multiple generations of hardcore punks for over 30 years now. My friend Ryan and I (you know him as Toast) also talk about how he and I ultimately followed the same general path through punk and hardcore, but with one formative difference: I got into Minor Threat and Youth Of Today, whereas he got into Minor Threat and Black Flag… We are obviously kind of joking around and over-generalizing things, but we really can pinpoint a lot of our similarities and differences in perspective (not to mention fashion, vibe, etc) to this moment as kids when we chose our “favorite bands”. It just goes to show how influential these bands and early punk records can be in shaping entire generations of people.
Antidote – “Thou Shalt Not Kill” 7″Straight up, one of the best hardcore EP’s of all time. And that is a pretty easy statement to make, since you’d be hard pressed to find someone who would dispute that statement. These old NYHC records are extra cool, because they were self-released without any label backing – this one is “Antidote Records #1”. I believe 1,000 copies were pressed (but maybe it was only 500?). Check out the condition of this copy. Other than some very slight pricetag residue in the upper right hand corner and a couple marks on the upper left hand corner of the back cover, this thing is in spectacular condition. Good luck finding one that looks as nice as this one, with insert included. Due to the over-sized sleeve and the really thin paper, almost all copies have all sorts of fucked up corners and tons of creases all over the place that built up over time of stuffing it back into plastic sleeves. Not this one. I upgraded my copy a few times over the years, and am really happy with this one that I’ve finally settled on.
The front cover is in great condition, with a little bit of pricetag residue in the upper right hand corner, and a faint bit of ringwear, but very few other wrinkles or corner damage like you see on most copies of the Antidote 7″. Glued pocket cover is still intact and glued together!
the Abused – “Loud And Clear” 7″Another NYHC 7″ that almost everyone agrees is an absolute classic. The cover art alone is so fucking classic, and we’ve seen bands try to replicate this look and feel for about 30 years, but no one has ever really been successful. This one is yet another self-released release, “Abused Music #1”. I think this one was out of only 500 copies ever. The condition of this one is also really nice, given that it was also an over-sized sleeve from 30 years ago, and most copies have been dinged up really badly over the years. Other than a little corner wear, this sleeve and insert are in really pristine condition for its age. This is another one that I upgraded a couple of times over the years, and this is honestly one of the nicest copies I’ve ever seen!
Agnostic Front – “United Blood” 7″One of the records that started it all for NYHC and hardcore skinhead culture becoming a global style and movement. There are 1,000 copies of the original “United Blood” EP, self-released as “Agnostic Front Records #1”. I believe 400 have the skinhead b-side label (like mine), the remaining 600 with blank labels. I was stoked on this copy because it has an insert! It is a bitch to find copies of this EP with an insert. However, the down-side of this particular copy is that the sleeve is not glued nor taped together anymore, so it folds out like a folder cover instead of pocket sleeve. You can see the marks on the left and right side of the back cover where tape used to hold the cover together. Other than that, this copy is in really nice condition (no big marks or bends, only a little corner damage, etc).
The b-side Skinhead label. Only 400 copies had the Skinhead b-side label, the other 600 had blank white labels. The Flex discography says that the other 600 Skinhead labels allegedly ended up on a Disco record by mistake, haha.
Urban Waste – “s/t” 7″Another classic NYHC record. I believe my copy is a 1st pressing out of 500 copies (or maybe it is 1,000?). There was a 2nd press, which is actually more rare, that has a white border around the cover. The Urban Waste 7″ comes with two inserts – one has a front/back with photo collage and thanks list, another is a lyric sheet (my lyric sheet is a blue insert).
Agnostic Front – “Victim In Pain” LPOne of the most classic full-length hardcore albums of all time, hands down. This is the original gatefold release on Ratcage records. This copy is the very first version, as it does NOT have the “Important Distribution” logo on the back. I don’t know the pressing information for the first version of the Ratcage release, but good luck finding these things. This album has some of the gnarliest imagery/photographs ever – shit is intense. It’s no wonder it had to be censored and changed before it could be more widely distributed, but still a bummer!
My copy is obviously not in the greatest shape. It’s tough to find one of these first edition gatefold copies that hasn’t gotten pretty beat up over the years. The spine just tends to break down after 30 years of opening and closing it. Luckily mine is still absolutely intact, with no major cracks or tears in the spine, it’s just generally weathered. I’ve got the vinyl slipped into a dust sleeve outside the gatefold, to deter me from having to open the jacket very often unless I want to view the lyrics on the inside.
Cro-Mags – “Age Of Quarrel” LPCro-Mags’ “AOQ” LP is cited by tens of thousands of hardcore kids as their favorite hardcore LP of all time. It’s definitely not my favorite hardcore LP of all time, but I can’t argue with the fact that this is a classic hardcore record that influenced thousands of bands after them. Pictured is the original release on Rock Hotel / Profile without the censored dust sleeve. Apparently the label / distributor censored/changed the original image, so the band insisted on a “censored” stamp to express their outrage, but obviously some copies were pressed before the censored stamp was added. For the censored copies, all they did was slap “CENSORED” in big text on top of the already softened “bomb image” you see on the dust sleeve, so there’s no copy out there that has what would have been the “original” image. I honestly don’t know what the original image looked like before it was censored. Anyway, you don’t see any of this “censored stamp” in the photos because mine is the original version before it got the censor stamp.
Warzone – “Don’t Forget The Struggle, Don’t Forget The Streets” LPDFTS is an absolute classic. The original version on Fist Records has red labels and a different back cover with hand-drawn graffiti lettering. Later it was re-released through Caroline Records / Distribution, so both the Fist and Caroline logos appear on the back, and everything is all typed out now. Bummer! The graffiti stuff is what makes Warzone, well… Warzone!
The insert is pretty much the same on both versions of this release… I love the “party group shot” here, as well as the ass shot of them mooning the camera. Fun things to note here: “No Thanks to Satan (go to hell)”, and a huge fuck you paragraph to Maximum Rock N Roll fanzine who were slamming NYHC and skinhead culture during this period.
Sick Of It All – “Blood, Sweat, And No Tears” LPThe original 1st pressing of the classic SOIA album on In Effect Records. It’s been repressed a billion times over the years, but this is the OG!
Close-up of the printed dust sleeve / insert. I absolutely love this photo of skins, hardcore kids, dorks, jocks, and punks, all pitting around together. A photo taken at a show these days would just be a bunch of homogenous looking suburban kids. The kid on the left who looks like he’s about to eat shit cracks me up – looks like a failed crowd buster maneuver meets a banana peel or something, haha. Very interesting to note that the lyrics are not included with the original release of this album. Instead, only the lyrics to “Injustice System” are printed on the photo, and a message below saying “for complete lyrics write to:”. Not totally sure why this was done.
Straight Ahead – “Breakaway” LPStraight Ahead’s “Breakaway” 12″ EP has a classic sound that everyone has tried to imitate but no one has ever really properly duplicated. This record absolutely has a “cult following” of people who consider this one of their favorite (if not their favorite) hardcore record of all time. It’s definitely the template for never relenting on the SPEED of hardcore, while maintaining the hard edge to it. A lot of cross-over bands took hardcore heavy, but they lost the speed. Straight Ahead didn’t do the cross-over thing… They did take it hard, but they kept the speed. Everyone tries to do that, and they’re never successful – but Straight Ahead got it just right. I remember in a SOIA video or something, someone commented on how good Straight Ahead was by saying something along the lines of “Craig has played bass in every cool NYHC band, but there’s a reason his name is Craig Ahead!” Enough said. The Straight Ahead 12″ technically has 3 pressings, all released by “I Risk Records” run by Duane of Some Records, the classic record store in NYC. The 1st pressing was just a plain white DJ sleeve, with a sticker attached to the upper right hand corner, out of only 500 copies. The 2nd pressing had a real jacket, which featured the classic “lion cover” that we associate with Straight Ahead, plus the labels and insert changed. The 2nd pressing vinyl has white labels (not pictured), whereas the 3rd pressing is the exact same, but has black labels. So I guess mine is 3rd pressing. I remember seeing a post by Duane from I Risk and Some Records where he was saying something about the 3rd pressing with black labels being super rare because most of the 3rd pressing were either lost or there was some confusion as to why a new batch with black labels existed, or something. I honestly don’t know the details.
Killing Time – “Brightside” LPWhat started as the classic Raw Deal demo culminated with a band name change and the Killing Time “Brightside” LP. This is a cool LP, and the song “Backtrack” is a classic song that hardcore bands on the heavier/hard side of things love to cover. “One step forward, one step forward, two steps back!” It’s a good one!
Outburst – “Miles To Go” 7″Yo, straight up, this 7″ is so fucking sick. I love this thing. Guido NYHC bouncy hardcore at its best. It’s funny, look at what a bunch of young little shits these guys look like. I feel like this band must have been like the “No Warning of their era” – a bunch of little suburban looking kids playing sweet ass NYHC, haha. The original 7″ on Blackout Records on blue or red vinyl are a bitch to find. I finally got a blue vinyl copy a few years ago. I never did score a red vinyl copy, despite searching for like 10 years. This 7″ was repressed by Dead Serious records in Europe a few years ago, and they also did blue and red vinyl, so most of the copies you see are going to be the Dead Serious pressing. But it’s easy to tell the difference, with different label art and Dead Serious logos on the back.
Breakdown – “Hangin’ at WRSU” and “The ’87 Demo”A couple of Breakdown 7″s… Look at those hand-drawn logos on the labels. That is total classic NYHC stuff.
V/A – “New York Hardcore: Where The Wild Things Are” Compilation LPThe original Blackout Records #1 – New York Hardcore “Where The Wild Things Are” LP compilation! This comp featured Raw Deal (Killing Time), Outburst, Breakdown, Sheer Terror, Life’s Blood, Uppercut, Gorilla Biscuits, etc. The 1st pressing was 1,000 on gold/black swirl and 1,000 on gold vinyl. Shown above is the black/gold swirl. This LP came with a stapled booklet with photos and lyrics of each band. In the photo above, the booklet is opened to the middle, with a two-page spread featuring a Sheer Terror live photo.
The two-page spread for Raw Deal (name to be changed to Killing Time later). It features the classic “prehistoric Mastodon” illustration that has been duplicated on other bands’ rip-off t-shirts, stickers, and limited record covers for ages.
Beyond – “No Longer At Ease” LPI originally got turned on to Beyond by several hardcore bands in the 1999-2001 era covering the song “Vitality”. I think I saw Count Me Out cover “Vitality” once at a live show? That was pretty cool. I’m glad I checked out Beyond, because this is a classic LP that proved you can do some “technical guitar work” and still maintain your hardcore presence. Beyond tends to fall into the same “unique hardcore” category as Burn and Inside Out, because some of the musical qualities are similar, and some of the band members are the same.
Absolution – “s/t” 7″Absolution is in the same vein as Beyond, Burn, etc.
Madball – “Ball Of Destruction” 7″The first Madball 7″, featuring a young Freddy Madball – seriously like 14 years old or younger! That is so fucking crazy.
Madball – “Hold It Down” LPThis is my favorite Madball LP. Most people would probably clown me for thinking this LP on Epitaph is the best, over “Set It Off” or “Demonstrating My Style” or even “Look My Way”. But I don’t care, this one hits me the hardest. Freddy’s vocals kind of hit their pinnacle on this record. They just sound so fucking sweet, and the production on the record is dope as hell. I also dig the hip hop influence and the bounce it adds to the record. Yeah, I’m a wigger. haha.