Ok I admit it, I have a few records. I've been collecting records now for close to 20 years. Jesus Christ, that in itself is a scary fact. It makes me sound OLD. Fuck. Anyway, despite having something like 3800 records in my collection, I don't think that I have a complete collection of any single band. There are a lot of bands for which I own all their releases, but I don't think there is a single band of which I own a complete collection. Not one.
Having said that though, it's not easy. For the last ten years or so, every single record released is likely to have at least 5 versions. There will be a test press, a record release version, a pre-order version, probably a couple more 'regular' vinyl colours, a tour version, and probably a last show version. So if you try collecting records by a band that releases say 3 records in a year, that means that you most likely have about 15 different records to track down. Not to mention any uber rare variants like transitions, friends presses, etc. So really, what I am saying is that it's a tall order for anyone to ever get a complete collection of any band these days. So it's perhaps no surprise that I don't have any complete collections.
However, if there was one band that I might conceivably achieve this feat for, it would be Bane. I now own 11 different Bane test pressings and most of the rarest variants of their releases. But ironically, I realised recently that what I am now missing is the common versions of some of their records. Although, after more than ten years since they were released, suddenly even the common versions aren't that common any more. So I got in touch with a friend who I knew would be able to help me out, and I was able to add a couple of variants to the collection that I was missing so that I could one (or four) steps closer to being complete...
First up, the third 7" that was released by Equal Vision Records, 'Holding This Moment' on plain old black vinyl. I have three colours of this already and a test press. And ironically, this regular black copy was the last one I needed to complete that particular set. But at least it's now done.
(Note the b-side label which features a picture of Ben Affleck)
Next, the split 7" with Adamantium on Indecision Records, also on black vinyl. Again, I have a test press and also the more limited grey vinyl, but this black copy now completes that set.
I once heard that this 7" was supposed to come with a set of dog tags, but for some reason that never happened. I imagine cost and packaging would have caused a few problems.
Next up is a(nother) copy of the second 7", 'Free To Think, Free To Be' 7" that was released by the Life Recording Company, on green vinyl. This one is both interesting and annoying. There were 200 of these things made on green vinyl. One hundred were stamped and numbered out of 100. The other 100 were simply stamped with the Bane stamp and left unnumbered. This copy is one of the numbered copies.
However, there is a quirk to this copy. As I just said, one hundred of these were numbered. They were numbered using a mixture of hand writing and a rubber stamp. The stamp says '/100' and the numbers (1-100) were then written on by hand. This copy follows that same pattern. However, as you can see, rather than this one being number 8/100, it is 8/300.
Now, hang on a second... this is number 8 out of THREE hundred? That can't be right. There weren't even 300 of these things made. So how the hell did the '/300' stamp find its way on to here? It doesn't make sense. I mean, if you were going to sit down to stamp 100 records, then by my reckoning you would need one hundred and one things - a stamp reading '/100' and one hundred seven inch records. So how on earth does a situation arise where would you stamp 99 copies with '/100' and then somehow stamp another one with a different '/300' stamp? And how or why would you then number that particular copy number 8? As you can imagine, I'm keen to try to figure out how this weird stamping error may have happened, although I fear that I will never get an answer because the person who released this is unlikely to remember.
Finally, here's another quirky variant. This is another copy of the 'Free To Think, Free To Be' 7", but this one is on black vinyl. There were originally two different black vinyl versions of this record. One with printed labels (with the Bane logo printed on them that I still don't own), and three hundred copies which came with plain white labels. However, these plain label copies were (just like the green vinyl copy above) stamped and numbered out of 300 (using that damn '/300' stamp). This copy I have just acquired has plain white unstamped labels, and also does not come in a sleeve. In pretty much every way it looks like a test press. However, the person who sent it to me is as sure as can be that it's not a test press. It's just one of the 300 copies that had plain white labels that never got stamped & numbered (and also never given a sleeve it seems). Apparently there were only about 30 copies that were not numbered, although as they are not numbered and there is no official record, there seems no way of verifying that.
So that's that. Four steps closer to completion. But still several steps away. I am aware that I now need one of the black vinyl versions of the first 7" (I think the one with the white labels), a test of the second 7" (which is impossible), the black vinyl copy of the second 7" with bane logo labels, and a test of the 6131 Records 7". Oh, and possibly a test of the 10 Year Anniversary 7", if such a thing exists. And also I once heard of a clear yellow copy of the second 7" that is ultra rare. And then there's the compilations too. Ugh. It never ends.