Updated: November 22, 2012
Added: White Stripes, The Clash, The Damned, Captain Beefheart, Nirvana, Violent Femmes, Can, plus more colors.
In early 2011, I came across a series of bootlegs put out by a couple different people in Long Beach, California. All of the covers are hand screenprinted and most of the music is post-punk/alternative, etc. Needless to say, I fell in love with them.
As they were released, I did my best to collect them all, also gathering as much of the pressing info as I possibly could. It became an obsession for me.
All of the boots are done by pretty much the same people. The bulk of them seem to come from Long Beach, California. Many of the boots use fake labels like Alti Philosophi or Arkain Filloux. They also have fake addresses from Germany and Italy printed on them.
I can (almost) safely say that all of the records come from the same pressing plant. I can also (almost) safely say that all of the covers are printed with the same inks on the same blank covers.
One thing to keep in mind. These are bootlegs of a fairly mediocre quality. Most are sourced from MP3s. This seems to be little more than a money grab with the twist of screen printed covers. They seem hastily put together and are hit and miss when it comes to quality. The press runs that I list are based only on the information put out by the folks that do them. I can assure you that this is not an accurate representation of reality. What little hand numbering that is done may or may not be honest and all of the other figures are suspect. These are bootlegs, after all.
Let’s have a run down, shall we?
The first series started with CDs, I think. I don’t know if the covers were screen printed, but CDs were released by Adam & The Ants, Oingo Boingo and Brian Eno. Since I don’t really care about CDs so much, I’m very glad they moved on to vinyl.
The first vinyl released was an Oingo Boingo bootleg called Marching In Time. It was on black vinyl and originally had a three color printed cover. It was later rereleased with a two color cover and then, more recently, with a one color cover. From there, I don’t really know the order of things, but I’ll try to list them as close to chronologically as possible.
Oingo Boingo – Marching in Time (Polyrhythm Industries) (discogs)
-Black 500(?) (three color print)
-White 75 (two color print)
-Orange 20 (one color print, though there are probably some with two colors)
The Boys Next Door – The Lost & Brave Exhibitions Of…1977-1979 (Il Cane Lento Records, Italy) (discogs)
The Cure – Pillbox Tales 1977-1979 (Arkain Filloux Records, Belgium) (discogs)
*some have brown cover – also, probably a LOT more in number than listed.
Brian Eno – The BBC Sessions (Il Cane Lento Records, Italy) (discogs)
Echo & The Bunnymen – BBC Radio Tapes ’79 – ’80 (Arkain Filloux Records, Belgium) (discogs)
*Second cover has same design, but it’s red ink on black.
-Clear 100 (second cover)
-Black 500 (second cover)
The Smiths – The Old Guard – BBC Tapes 1983 – 1986 (Alti Philosophi Records, Germany) (discogs)
-Red (first cover) 100
-Black (first cover) 500
-Clear (second cover) 100
-Black (second cover) 500(?)
-Green (second cover) 100
-Red (second cover) 100
-Purple (second cover) 100
-Blue (second cover)
My Bloody Valentine – Lost Tracks And Rare Cuts (Alti Philosophi) (discogs)
-Test Pressing (white cover/label) 30
The Pixies – Into The White (Tensionesque) (discogs)
The Smiths – The Old Guard – BBC Tapes Volume Two (Alti Philosophi) (discogs)
-Clear (dark) 100
-Blue 100 (possibly 200)
Siouxsie And The Banshees – Songs From The Void – BBC Recordings 1977-1979 (Alti Philosophi) (discogs)
Slowdive – Hide Yer Eyes (Alti Philosophi) (discogs)
-Green (tealish) 100
New Order – Western Works Demos 7/9/80 (discogs)
Joy Division – Autosuggestion (discogs)
-White 100 (with white cover)
Morrissey – Reader Meet Author (Alti Philosophi) (discogs)
-Black 500 (with white or brown covers)
-Orange 100 (with brown paperboard cover)
-Dark Gray 100
-Off White 100
-Bright Blue 100
-Light Blue-Green 100
Swervedriver – Planes Over The Skyline (Alti Philosophi) (discogs)
*Second cover has blue and purple ink with black background
Velvet Underground – Prominent Men (Arkain Filloux) (discogs)
Nirvana – Almost Everything – The BBC Sessions (Marble Four Records) (discogs)
Joe Strummer – Nefertiti Rock (Arkain Filloux) (discogs)
-Red Marbled 100
-Bright Green 100
The Fall – Container Drivers – The BBC Sessions (Arkain Filloux) (discogs)
*comes in both black and white covers
Syd Barrett – Scarecrow (Arkain Filloux) (discogs)
*side b is syd with pink floyd
Radiohead – Other Colors (Marble Four) (discogs)
-Light Baby Blue w/ pink label 100
-Pink w/ black label 100
The Smiths – Panic (1986 live show)
Can – Horrortrip in the Paper House
Violent Femmes – Good Ideas
Captain Beefheart – Bat Chain Puller
The Damned – At the BBC
The Clash – Ties on the Line
White Stripes – BBC Sessions
The folks who put out the above LPs also released four 7″s.
Oingo Boingo – All The Pieces 7″ (discogs)
The Mars Volta – A Plague Upon Your Hissing Corpse (discogs)
-Red 30 (screen printed on the blank b-side – no covers)
-Blue 30 (and possibly 300 more)
-Black/Clear Swirl 300
-Dark Purple 300
Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds – The Willow Garden / The Ballad of Robert Moore and Betty Coltrane (discogs)
*Note – The song “The Willow Garden” doesn’t appear on this release. Instead, “The Ballad of Robert Moore and Betty Coltrane” is where “The Willow Garden” should be. Originally, the covers and labels on the vinyl were wrong, but a new run was made with corrected covers (with the vinyl still wrong). Some of the second covers were also printed on white stock with gray/black and red/black ink.
Nirvana – …And the Rest
From what I can tell, the covers have remained the same for all of them, except the first Smiths boot, which was changed once the second Smiths boot was released. Some covers switch the color of the actual album (from white to black to craft paper).
All of these have some copies that were hand numbered, but many of mine are not. This throws into doubt the number of total copies, but from the best that I can tell, my figures are fairly accurate, at least according to the people who release these.
Moving on, the second (and possibly third) series, I know much less about.
I believe their first release was the Talking Heads CBS Demos. They pressed 500 (hand numbered) copies of black vinyl and then 250 on very pretty blue.
Talking Heads – The 1975 CBS Demo Session (No Label) (discogs)
The Jesus and Mary Chain – Send Me Away – Early Demos (No Label) (discogs)
-Black w/ white printed label (Number unknown)
-Black w/ red stamped label 100
-Clear w/ red label 100
*Also some with white covers and blank ink.
The Cramps – Memphis Poseurs, The 1977 Demos (Embassador) (discogs)
The Birthday Party – Welcome to the Car Smash (No Label) (discogs)
*There was probably more than this
Adam & The Ants – The Decca Demos & More (No Label) (discogs)
*The paper label of the record is very sloppily spray painted black. The reason for this is because the labels were actually labels for the Birthday Party bootleg Welcome To The Car Smash, which is put out by the same people.
Pulp – The Demos (1981-1984) (No Label) (discogs)
Sonic Youth – Kill Yr Idols (No Label) (discogs)
Nick Drake – Demos Collection Vol. 1 (No Label)
Nick Drake – Demos Collection Vol. 2 (No Label)
I can (pretty well) safely say that, at the time of this post, these are all of the screen printed vinyl bootlegs from Long Beach, California. Granted, my figures might be off and incomplete, so if you know something different, drop me a line, okay?
Below are images of the front/back covers and center labels to each release!