Monday, 8 May 2017

One Life Thug Free

I'm convinced that there are some records that I'm chasing that literally nobody else in the world cares about. Here's a great example. I've been looking for one of these for YEARS. I'm not sure how many, but at least ten, and possible as many as 18. Regardless, the point is that this record is tough to find, but I FINALLY have one and am stoked!

I don't know much about the band REINFORCE other than that they were from North Carolina. Their second 7" was called 'One Life Thug Free' and was, at the time it came out in 1998, quite interesting. At some point in time I learned that there was a limited version with a cover featuring Mel C (from The Spice Girls). It sounded like something I wanted, so I added it to my want list. I have only ever seen one copy of it before, which was on eBay a good few years ago. Someone else won it, but recently I managed to buy the exact same copy from the person who outbid me. Yet again, patience paid off.

This 'Melanie Jayne Chisholm' pressing is numbered out of 30 copies. No wonder it doesn't show up very often! One nice surprise was that this contains a postcard which has a picture of Mel on one side and an amusing quote from her on the reverse:

So that's that really. An obscure 7" from an obscure band that, in 2017, not many people will remember or care about. But it made my day / week. One thing was is quite annoying, however, is that I checked on Discogs and there's a picture of this pressing on there, except that copy has a different postcard. Both the picture and the quote are different. I thought I'd grab the pics from discogs and put them up here:

This makes me think that there could be three options - either there are two different postcards (mine, and this one), there may be more postcard variations, or possibly all 30 records have a different postcard. it wouldn't surprise me if they made 30 different ones, such seems to have been someone's love of Mel C. Cutting out 30 different photos of her was probably a night's entertainment for this person back in the day. Haha! But will I ever know how many postcards there are? Probably not, sadly. Unless anyone reading this happens to know anything. If so, get in touch.

Well, the person who was selling this one also had a test press of the band's first 7" (the 'Youth Shall Sing' 7" on Third Party Records). I figured I'd grab it as it was cheap.

What I didn't realise until I received it was that this is the rejected test press. The reason it was rejected was that half the songs were missing!

As the sleeve shows, there were upposed to be 7 songs on this record, but this test press has only 4. As cock ups by a pressing plant go, that's a pretty major one!

Aside from two 7"s, Reinforce also had a full length which was CD only. It was recorded by Roger Miret, and was actually really good. I'm not sure why this band ended, but it seems a shame as it felt at the time they were destined for bigger things. I guess that how things work though sometimes...


nico said...

Pretty cool cover, funny enough ever HC kid in his late 30's or early 40's who is selling their collection has a regular Reinforce 7" for sale that none is interested in.

Mike said...

I'm pretty sure that Stephen from The First Step played guitar in this band...or something like that.

Very cool cover. I've never seen this, and would love to have one myself.