Monday, February 10, 2014

A history of Dave Matthews Band on vinyl. Updated 18 July 2016.


If you haven't noticed already, I'm a bit of a DMB fanatic. A friend of mine recently asked me about the history of Dave Matthews Band vinyl releases, and I thought I should write a little article about it. As one of a handful of people in the world who have the entire DMB vinyl collection, I figured this would be fun to share my collection and talk a little about DMB vinyl releases over the years. For a band with such a large library, surprisingly there haven't been a whole lot of releases. 2009 and later has been when the bulk of the DMB vinyl library has been released, but I'm hopeful that the future is bright! So, let's dive right into it and start at the beginning.


1995 "The Next Generation": The earliest DMB appearance on vinyl came with a release from Greece, "The Next Generation". This was a rather strong mixed collection of various artists from the 90's, and includes the only released vinyl studio version of DMB's "Ants Marching" from "Under The Table And Dreaming", their first studio album.  This isn't an official DMB release but I do like to include it in this list for completion sake.


1996 "Too Much": Next came a single release in 1996, "Too Much", from the 1996 DMB studio release Crash, their second studio album. The A side was the studio version of "Too Much", and the B Side was an acoustic version of "Jimi Thing" by Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds from "Live At Luther College". This is one of the more rare DMB vinyl album, fetching up to 300$-400$ to own this one.


1998 "Before These Crowded Streets": Another rare DMB vinyl, "Before These Crowded Streets", reported to have only about 5,000 pressed making it another rare album. This one can fetch anywhere from 300$ to 700$, but isn't as hard to find as the "Too Much/Jimi Thing" single, these pop on eBay all the time. This was DMB's first studio album to be released in full on vinyl. In my opinion, BTCS is the greatest work DMB has ever recorded, so it's great to be able to have this one on vinyl to listen to.


1998 "Don't Drink The Water": This one is rather interesting and very rare. In 1998, a single for "Don't Drink The Water" was released. Side A is the traditional 4:35 studio cut, while side B was extended to 6:35. Only about 100 of these were made and only about 50 of those 100 were distributed.  This album wasn't released in the traditional way. Management released it as a "guess who" single, not even labeling the record, sleeve, or insert with DMB or Dave Matthews Band. An attached sheet of paper provided "clues" to make you guess who the artist was. The "clues" went on to say, ""The last 2 albums have sold over 11 million copies. Their New York and Boston stadium dates this July sold out in 2 hours (a total of almost 100,000 tickets). At those gigs, they'll be supported by Beck (goddamit!) and Ben Folds Five. Alanis Morissette appears on the forthcoming album. The band recently supported the Rolling Stones, and the singer was asked by Mick Jagger to join him on stage for a version of 'Wild Horses'. The band are to support the Stones again on parts of their forthcoming European tour."


2001 "The Space Between": This year saw the release of "Everyday", and a 7" vinyl single was released for the songs, "I Did It and The Space Between". This would be the last vinyl release from DMB for the next 8 years. This album is slightly rare, for a single it fetches more than the average single price, I've seen them going up to 40$-50$ just for this 7".


2009 "Big Whiskey And The GrooGrux King": This year saw the release of the Rob Cavallo produced album, "Big Whiskey And The GrooGrux King", the name a tribute to the recently passed saxophone player, LeRoi Moore. This is the second full studio album released by DMB since 1998's "Before These Crowded Streets".


2009 "Funny The Way It Is": A 7" vinyl single was released for "Funny The Way It Is" with the B Side being #27, a song that didn't make it to Big Whiskey, but was released on a disc of songs that didn't make the album, #27 being one of the 4 on that disc.  When you bought "Big Whiskey And The GrooGrux King" album on vinyl at a participating independent record store on June 2nd, you got this vinyl promo for free with your purchase.


2010 "Squirm": On April 17, 2010, for Record Store Day 2010, a single was released from Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds performance in Las Vegas, "Squirm/Lying In The Hands Of God", both live acoustic versions of songs performed from Big Whiskey by D&T in Las Vegas. This is the second time Dave & Tim vinyl material has been released, the first time being the "Too Much" single in 1996.



2012 "Away From The World": This year saw the highly anticipated release "Away From The World", which reunited DMB with producer Steve Lillywhite who produced their first 3 albums. Confusion arose when this vinyl was announced, it was listed as "Limited Edition Clear Vinyl", making you think there would be a black vinyl version as well, but that wasn't the case. This was the only version released of Away From The World, and it wasn't very limited, you can still find this album for sale virtually everywhere. The quality of this release is my only qualm with it. The CD master was used by Sterling Sound for this vinyl. Pressed at United in Nashville, the record quality ended up horribly loud, off center, and imbalanced.


2012 "Mercy": A single was released from "Away From The World", "Mercy", with a B-Side of "Gaucho".
2012 "Best Of Kokua Festival": In 2008, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds performed at The Kokua Festival for this appropriately titled release, "Best of Kokua Festival". This release includes a performance of Dave & Tim with Jack Johnson performing "A Pirate Looks At 40". Though it wasn't officially in their set, it was included on this album's release. This isn't an official DMB release, but I do like to include it for completion sake.


2013 "Live Trax 1": On April 20th, 2013, for Record Store Day, DMB released the first album from their Live Trax series, "Live Trax 1", on blue vinyl. This was limited to 500 individually numbered copies and was very hard to find, and still remains very rare and expensive if you buy this on eBay or through another collector, fetching as much as 300$-500$. This album was recorded December 8th, 1998 and was the second night the band performed at Worcester's Centrum Centre in Worcester, MA. This album was remastered by Scott Hull at Masterdisk, who I came to appreciate through his mastering work with artists on the Luaka Bop label that David Byrne owns. As with all subsequent LT vinyl releases, the 16/44.1 production masters were used, which were the original mixes for the digital releases before mastering. It was pressed on 180gram virgin blue vinyl at United in Nashville.


2013 "Live Trax 1": The Warehouse, the DMB Fan Club, released a second pressing of "Live Trax 1" on black vinyl, limited to 1,000 copies on June 6th, 2013. This is another one that is slightly more rare, still fetching a high dollar on the secondary market.


2013 "Live Trax 2" and "Live Trax 3": On Friday, November 29th, 2013, a Record Store Day sponsered event for Black Friday was held at participating independent record stores. This time, "Live Trax 2" and "Live Trax 3" were released.  These were pressed at Record Industry in The Netherlands.  Seemingly learning from the demand from Live Trax 1, 1000 copies of each were pressed and each box set was individually numbered. LT2 was a performance from September 12th, 2004 in San Francisco at Golden Gate Park, and LT3 was a performance from August 27th, 2000 at Hartford, CT. The secondary market suffered from this, thankfully, "record flippers" asking high prices were disappointed to see they weren't fetching as much money for these as those selling the Live Trax 1 vinyl.  


2013 "Live Trax 2" and "Live Trax 3": On December 9th, 2013, the Warehouse Fan Club released a black vinyl version of "Live Trax 2" and "Live Trax 3", limited to 1500 copies of each. Again, the secondary market thankfully suffered from the high number of these pressed, "record flippers" weren't making as much profit off these as those selling "Live Trax 1". Hopefully management learned from this and will continue to release these in higher quantities. 


2014 "Live Trax 4":  Since first hearing the Live Trax series referred to as the "Archive Series", I was hoping they would go to "Live Trax 4", which in my mind is one of the top 10 Live Trax releases. From 1996, it is the Crash Release Show which took place April 30th, 1996 in Henrico, VA at the Classic Amphitheater.  This was the first show using the sound system they The Grateful Dead, and the first show using multitrack recording.  It has my favorite released version of Cry Freedom, as well.  11 out of 12 songs from Crash were played for this show.  This album was pressed on orange vinyl for Record Store Day 2014 and released in a numbered batch of 2,000 records on April 19th, 2014.  Side H of this album also has a Firedancer Etching (see below for that photo).  In the days following Record Store Day, it became apparent that the record flippers on eBay were no longer getting their sky high prices they were asking in the past, so DMB was able to press enough to keep them from being sold at a high premium on eBay.  They went for around 100$-120$ on eBay in the days after RSD.    The only problem that occurred surrounding the release of this vinyl set was distribution.  Many stores received zero copies, while some stores received 30.  Many fans were able to get these by helping each other out and watching out for each other via online forums such as AntsMarching.org


The release of Live Trax 4 featured something that no other Live Trax vinyl release had. Side H of this album featured a laser Firedancer etching.  A neat little added bonus!



2014 "ONXRT Volume 15": Another 2014 Record Store Day release is "ONXRT Volume 15".    This was released only in Chicago to independent record stores, and online via mail order in the days following RSD.  Only 300 copies of this were pressed.  This one stands out because it is the first vinyl in my collection that features a song from a show I actually attended.  This album features "Gravedigger", from Night 3 of the 2011 Dave Matthews Band Caravan on Lakeside in Chicago.  This version has better mastering and sounds much better than the Live On Lakeside release.


2014 "Remember Two Things":  This is the first time "Remember Two Things" has ever been pressed on vinyl. It came in a hand numbered, gatefold 2 LP set on 180 gram vinyl. The lacquers were cut by (thankfully) Chris Bellman of Bernie Grundman mastering and was pressed at MPO in France. It also included a new eight-page booklet with full lyrics and rare and previously unpublished photos of the band. A download card was also included which contained the full album plus two previously unreleased bonus tracks: early studio versions of “Pay For What You Get” and “Typical Situation,” newly mastered by original album engineer David Glasser.  The amount pressed was not made public knowledge, but looking at numbers of those who have purchased this album, my best guess is 15,000 were pressed.  This album was released on June 17th, 2014.


2014 "Live Trax 4": The Warehouse, the Dave Matthews Band fanclub, released "Live Trax 4" on Black Vinyl for sale in it's store on June 18th and June 19th, 2014. The pressing was limited to an estimated 1,000 copies, which sold out very quickly. This pressing was, presumably, made from the same stampers, as this copy contains the same etching as the orange RSD version.


As I mentioned above, this version was presumably made from the same stampers, as it contains the same etching as the RSD orange vinyl released earlier this year. 










2014 "Recently":  On November 28th, 2014 for Record Store Day Black Friday, "Recently" was released on vinyl for the first time ever.  There was reported to be a total of 4,500 pressed, however people have reported getting numbers as high as 6184, so there may have been more pressed than initially reported.  It came in a double 10" gatefold package that included both Recently and Pumpkin Recently.  The Original EP (Recently) and the Promo EP (Pumpkin Recently) have different tracks. The vinyl was mastered by David Glasser at Airshow Mastering with lacquers cut by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering, Hollywood, CA.  The album was pressed from digital rather than analog, probably due to a lack of source material since most recordings were live songs and from separate live shows.  


For this release, the Original EP cover was the front of the album and Promo EP cover (Pumpkin Recently) was the reverse side of the cover. The reason for the grey area surrounding the cover was due to the fact that the original artwork wasn't available, so to keep the quality from distorting, a grey border was placed around the CD insert sized artwork in the center.

For a little historical background on this release - there were two different versions of Recently released. The Original EP and the Promo EP. The Promo EP (Pumpkin Recently) had the pumpkin photo on it and the Original EP did not. There were also different tracklists. The Promo EP was released before the Original EP and is one of the most rare albums in the DMB catalog (more so than any vinyl), only about 200-300 of the Pumpkin Recently EP were made according to what I’ve heard. Pumpkin Recently was a radio station promo disc and wasn’t released for sale from what I’ve heard in the past. Pumpkin Recently was tracks from Remember Two Things edited for the radio.

Original EP:
1. Recently (Edit 2) - R2T version (8/10/93)
2. Dancing Nancies - (2/21/93)
3. Warehouse - (2/21/93)
4. All Along The Watchtower - (2/22/94)
5. Halloween - (2/22/94)

Promo EP (Pumpkin Recently):
1. Recently - Remember Two Things Radio Edit (8/10/93)
2. Ants Marching - Remember Two Things Radio Edit (8/17/93)
3. Tripping Billies - Remember Two Things Radio Edit (8/17/93)
4. The Song That Jane Likes - Remember Two Things Radio Edit (8/10/93)

NOTE:  There was a wider release of this album on December 9th, 2014, shortly after Record Store Day Black Friday.


2014/2015 "Under The Table And Dreaming":  The product description says that the project was mastered from the original flat analog tapes and new lacquers were cut by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman.



The first pressing of UTTAD that was released in late 2014 and the digital downloads that went up prior to the vinyl release had a completely different version of Jimi Thing that lacked LeRoi Moore’s saxophone outro. This caused a second pressing to be done, which pushed the release date up to February 2015. The Warehouse sent an email shortly thereafter telling people who already received copies of UTTAD would receive a corrected side C/D with the correct version of Jimi Thing.  People have asked how to find out if they have the 2014 pressing with the wrong version of Jimi Thing or the corrected 2015 version, and to do that, you have to look in the wax right beneath the label.  If you have the 2014 Side C mispress, it will say 88875009631/-C, if you have the 2015 Side C repress it will say 88875009631/-C-RC2.  

So now, there are essentially two versions released: "Under The Table And Dreaming" (2014/Mispress) and "Under The Table And Dreaming" (2015/Repress).  The mispress has been seen online for anywhere from $100-$200, whereas the second pressing is priced at a regular retail price.  Management did not release an amount for how many was pressed, but I've seen as high as 16,441 - so I would assume they pressed around 20,000.

The bonus content included the previously unreleased track “Granny” from the UTTAD studio sessions, as well as two previously released demo tracks, “Dancing Nancies” (Acoustic) from the 1995 Radio Promo disc and “The Song That Jane Likes” (Acoustic) from the Rutabaga Demo. “Dancing Nancies” and “The Song That Jane Likes” were listed as being “previously unreleased”, despite the fact that they were previously released on demos.


2015 "Live Trax 5":  On Friday, November 28th, 2015, for Record Store Day/Black Friday, Live Trax 5 was released on limited edition pink vinyl.  There were 2,000 copies released, like last year's Live Trax 4 release.  This show took place August 23rd, 1995 at the Meadow Brook Music Festival.  A standout track from this release is "Exodus", which takes up an entire side of one record.   Much like we've been seeing with the last few releases, the "eBay flipper" issue has been lessening, as people have been able to get copies of these on eBay for pretty close to face value.  I hope that trend will continue.  


2015 "Live Trax 5": As expected, Live Trax 5 was released by the DMB Warehouse shortly after Record Store Day Black Friday. On December 8th, 2015, an estimated 1,000 copies were made available and sold out rather quickly as other subsequent Live Trax Warehouse releases have. It seemed at the time that most who wanted a copy of this release were able to attain one.


2016 "Crash": On July 15th, 2016,   "Crash" was released for the first time ever on vinyl.  What was interesting about this release was that no bonus tracks/studio outtakes were included on a download card like we had seen with UTTAD previously. The product description said, "First-Ever Vinyl Release of DMB's 1996 Grammy Award-Winning Album Crash! RCA Records and Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, celebrate Dave Matthews Band's 25th anniversary with the first-ever vinyl release of Crash, DMB's best-selling second studio album, on Friday, July 15. Newly remastered from the original flat analog tapes, Crash will be available as a 2LP set, pressed on 180g 12" vinyl and housed in a gatefold jacket that features an eight-page booklet packed with previously unpublished photographs of the band."
  
Something that was interesting about this release was that there were two variants released.  It was released on standard black 180-gram vinyl to the usual retailers, but there was also an Amazon.com exclusive Splatter color variant on 150-gram vinyl released, as well.  However, when people received their copies, many noted that the version they received didn't look like the originally released concept art by Amazon.


This photo is a comparison by "jenhen27" on the AntsMarching.org forum.  You'll notice the Amazon concept art put side by side with what was actually received.  Though the audio quality didn't differ from the black vinyl to the splatter vinyl, many were dissatisfied with the quality of the splatter variant and requested and received refunds from Amazon.  Amazon was kind enough to let those who requested refunds keep the vinyl. If you read this thread on AntsMarching.org from page 14 onward, you can see some of what people were saying about the vinyl. 


2017 "Live At Red Rocks 8.15.95":  On April 22nd, 2017, DMB released Live at Red Rocks 8.15.95 from their 1995 show at Red Rocks.  We were told that there were 2,500 pressed, but higher numbers than that have been reported.  As of the date of this writing, the highest number I've seen is 2,928.  I'm assuming there were 3,000 pressed, as I haven't seen a number higher than 3,000. The album was pressed on 150 gram silver vinyl. It was remastered and cut by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman and released in a slipcase with four individual jackets.  Shortly after the album was released, some reported skips on this release.  

Special thanks to my friend Dobyblue at AntsMarching.org for helping with additional technical information on these releases. Check out his posts for more in-depth mastering information.

9 comments:

  1. Thank a lot for taking the time to put this together. As a DMB fan and recently getting back into vinyl, this was exactly what I was looking for. Especially explaining the "recently" release.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Do you have any idea if the Crash album will get the vinyl treatment?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely. That should be released this year.

      Delete
  3. I'm holding out hope that BTCS will get re-released on vinyl for the 20th anniversary in 2018. If we could get that and then, hopefully, Live at Luther College that would be perfection.

    ReplyDelete
  4. any idea best place to find the LT1,2 and 4? without getting killed on price?

    ReplyDelete
  5. You just have to watch eBay. I see them pop up from time to time at face value, you just have to be watching it closely. Not LT1, that will always go for a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This was amazing. I likes reading about UTTAD. I have the misspress and never opened it. I hate the way the correct record was shipped. I of course bought a repress to listen to.
    If you're not already in DMB Family on FB you need to be!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The DMB Family on FB is one of the worst corners of the internet.

      Delete
  7. Here's another addition to the DMB vinyl collection, http://www.xpn.org/component/k2/item/1254-live-at-the-world-cafe-20th-anniversary-edition-cd

    From a Philly radio station A the University of Pennsylvania. It's a few years old now so I'm not sure if its available anymore.

    ReplyDelete