A couple of months ago, Geoff emailed me to tell me that someone had put a bunch of Cave In test presses up on eBay. I had a quick look, and what I found was bittersweet. On the one hand, there were a couple of tests that I didn't have. On the downside, the ones I didn't have were by far the most expensive on offer. I thought about it for an hour or so, and then realised that in the time I was thinking about them, I was getting worried that someone else might buy them... which made me realise that I did want them, and that if I didn't buy them then I would probably regret it. So almost inevitably, I pushed the button.
The first test is for probably the rarest Cave In record made - the 'Beyond Hypothermia' 12".
This 12" was pressed only once, circa 1998, in a pressing run which totalled only 320 copies. Getting one of these at all is quite an achievement as there were 300 copies on grey vinyl and 20 copies on purple vinyl. No idea how many test presses there were, but probably less than ten I would guess. I decided to get my other copies out for a collection photo.
Getting these out, I thought I would also take a photo of the insert that came with my purple copy, which explains the story of this record. I love the final sentence of this - 'Thank you for helping avoid the death of the beloved 12" record format for a few more days'. Back when this came out it did feel like vinyl was on the way out, yet here we are sixteen years later. I can only assume we're all here because I bought this Cave In record and single handedly kept the music industry afloat... right?
The second test is for Cave In's first proper LP, 'Until Your Heart Stops'. This one also came out in 1998 and was a huge release back then. This one fused metallic hardcore with 70s rock and launched the band to the forefront of what was going on in the late 90s. It's a modern day classic, and I feel pretty lucky to own this test pressing, which is from the first pressing from 1998 (as opposed to the reissue from a year or so ago).
Again, I got my other copies out for a photo, but I only have the clear vinyl and the orange/blue vinyl pressing. I don't have the tour press, or any of the reissues from last year. But I'm still happy enough with this mini-collection.
At the start of 2013, I owned one Cave In test press. With these two that I have just picked up, I now own 11. A year ago I would have been happy with three, but now I can only think about the ones that I DON'T have, and I feel stressed because I feel a NEED to pick them up to 'finish' my collection.