I have been a “Rev Collector” since Revelation Records started up in 1987. Being a 16-year-old kid in NYC at the time, their records and bands were readily accessible to me.
While I focus my Rev collection on the early stuff, there is a real treasure trove of releases throughout their 30-plus years of existence. Social media has connected me with some of the best collectors of the label in the world and I picked a few of my favorite “Rev Collectors” for this in-depth interview.
These guys hail from Switzerland, Netherlands UK, and US (Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Jersey). So, hunker down and get ready to nerd out!
Follow them on Instagram:
Marcus Andrews: @chungking48
Dave Brown: @vinyls_is_not_a_word
Geoff Creary: @gtc_2
Marc Hoogenboom: @circlestorm69
Christoph Luepold: @recordnerdchris
Jeff Smith: @lordxhumungus
How and when did you start collecting records?
Marcus Andrews: The short answer is that I started collecting in 1992 when I moved away from friends who I used to tape music from. All of a sudden, I had to buy my own music, and I fell into collecting when I started seeing color vinyl records and just thought they were cool.
I then started intentionally trying to seek out color vinyl copies of records if I knew they existed, but it was a few years before I would actually think of myself as a collector. I was a teenager and even though I was writing to people all over the world trying to find rare records, I had it in my head that 'record collectors' were the grumpy, middle-aged hippies with beards and long hair that I would see manning the stalls at record fairs.
I'd hear things like "collectors pay a lot for this" and I would assume that this was a way of saying that it wasn't really for me, and that such items were all bought by these sad old men who had nothing in their life... which is pretty much the point I have now reached I suppose.
Dave Brown: I started buying punk records in 1986 in Woodbridge, Virginia but I would say I didn’t start collecting until 1989. I think the first record where I chased the variants was the Insted 7 inch. I thought it was great how Nemesis made another pressing on red with a red cover and I was hooked.
I used to have a rule that I would only buy 1 copy of a record. Clearly that has changed!
Geoff Creary: It was the late '80s, my good friend who lived across the street from went to private school in Buffalo (we lived way out in the burbs) and really got to learn about a lot of hardcore bands from being there. Every week there was a new band that he got a tape of, or we were lucky enough he would get a record at Home of the Hits and bring them back to the burbs. It all started from there.
Marc Hoogenboom: In the early '80s I bought my first records. 7”s singles from radio hits I liked and bought from money I saved. Michael Jackson’s Thriller was the first album I got from my parents.
The first album I bought from saved money was Licensed to Ill by the Beastie Boys, when it came out in 1986. I thought it was a pretty cool album combining rap and loud guitars. I was already into louder stuff like Iron Maiden but only had those on dubbed cassettes.
A friend of Mine had Number of the Beast and Somewhere in Time on vinyl, and I thought the album sleeves and artwork were so much cooler than tapes (CDs did exist but were not really common yet), one day I wanted those as well. At that time I started skateboarding more than I ever did before. I really got into music that was played in those video’s.
A couple of years later, in 1989, I was in a huge record store in Cologne, Germany and bought albums from bands that were in those video’s: Drunk Injuns, Underdog (Frontside Grind), Eight Dayz, Skatemaster Tate and some SNFU records as well. Big chance they sold some early REV pressings as well, but I wasn’t into those at the time. I wish I had known what I know now haha.
The years after that I bought more CDs because if bands released bonus tracks it was always on the CD format. And when I like a band I want all their stuff. I did occasionally buy vinyl but not much. When I started playing in bands in the mid-'90s I bought vinyl more and more at shows and distro’s. But I still wasn’t really collecting. I also still bought CDs for the same reason I mentioned before but also because I was on the road a lot and CDs could be played in my car.
It was in 2012 that I really started collecting. A former band member had one of the biggest REV collections in the world and started selling his. A huge part of his collection was the beginning of mine. All were in awseome condition and I picked up more than I planned in the first place.
Since he lived 15 minutes from where I lived I saved tons on shipping, and could spend that on more of his collection. And I didn’t have to pay all at once so that was great. Of course heavy hitters like tests and some colored early presses were already gone, but this was a chance to start of right. And I paid a small part of his new car haha. All the record’s and CD’s mentioned above I still own. #hoarderlife
Christoph Luepold: Well, it’s been a few years and I would say that I started to collect records in a more serious way for 15 years. Before that, I bought pretty much what I found or what I had on my “list." I fell in love with music at a very early age and to me music was already then, more than just nice sounding tunes. It was all about my feelings I got when I listened to it and the lyrics.
I was a very lazy bug in school and always headed for trouble, so learning English was not an option in school for me. I mostly sat in my room with my dad’s dictionary and tried to translate what the Beatles, the stones were singing about. Back then, I spent my pocket money on Mickey Mouse, Spider-Man, and tapes.
But real collecting began around 93 when I got in touch with Biohazard, Slayer, Focused, Unashamed. Yes, these two bands where the first hardcore bands I got to know, thanks to some Christian dude I met in a French boarding school. In '94, I definitely started to collect records.
Jeff Smith: My fascination with records started at an early age. I always liked going through my father’s and my stepfather’s record collections. A lot of those '60s and '70s releases had great artwork with nice gatefold layouts so it’s easy to see how a young kid could be fascinated by them. Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Jethro Tull, and of course the Beatles and Stones. At that age I think most kids get their musical influences from whatever their parents are listening to and I still listen to a lot of that stuff.
The earliest records in my collection were swiped from my stepdad. They were just sitting in his closet anyway so why not? Somewhere around the age of 9 or 10 I discovered my stepdad’s metal tapes. He always liked heavy music and listened to a lot of college radio. Those tapes were an eye opener for me and helped steer me down the path I’m on now.
My first real record of my own was a gift from an older kid, a family friend. Overkill Taking Over. I still have it (although my younger brother did destroy side B with a pencil).
As far as buying records regularly, that didn’t really happen until my later teenage years. Portability and the ability to share music with friends made tapes my preferred format back then. It wasn’t until I started going to shows regularly that I began to amass a small collection. I don’t know about you but I sure as heck didn’t have a lot of money for records as a teen.
As I got older and started getting better paying jobs, I was able to really start collecting. I didn’t do much mail order at first, mostly buying directly from bands at shows and from record stores. Once I discovered the internet, I was off and running. The internet changed everything (obviously).
How did you get into collecting the Revelation Records catalog? What led you to becoming a fan of the label?
Marcus Andrews: Really it all started with the Burn 7 inch. My friend's girlfriend had a birthday party in Summer '93 and I was one of a bunch of 17/18 year old skateboarders in attendance. We were jumping around on this bouncy castle, knocking each other over and piling on top of each other to whatever music was on the stereo. Then some dude turned up and put on a tape of Burn. It pretty much changed my life right there.
It was like nothing else I had heard at that point, and the next day I went about trying to find a copy of the 7 inch, which in the UK in 1993 was not an easy task. Then a couple of months later in my first year at university I met this kid who was into hardcore and record collecting, and he turned me on to some of the classic straight edge bands and records.
He actually let me borrow a small stack of hardcore records for a couple of weeks, which included the Judge LP, Youth of Today Break Down the Walls, and a Chain of Strength 7 inch, amongst others, and I was so excited by it all.
It was like finding the keys to a whole new world. This dude also told me he had the Burn 7 inch on pink vinyl, which blew my mind at that point. And also around the same time my eye was caught by a copy of the The Way It Is compilation in a record shop window.
All of these things happened within a couple of months of each other, and I quickly began to notice that the common thread was the 'R' in a star logo on the back of each record.
From that point I would buy every Revelation record I could find, whether I had heard of the band or not. It was pretty soon after that I found out that every release also came on limited color vinyl, which then led me to start seeking these things out and annoying people all over the world with letters and questions... which I still do to this day.
Dave Brown: I started collecting Rev stuff by 1988. We had a local shop here in Norfolk called Offbeat Records who started getting Rev stuff when the Side by Side 7 inch came out. Bill Bradshaw who owned Offbeat was super knowledgeable and helpful to all of us younger punks. That guy was a saint.
After the Side by Side inch was released he started getting everything right when it came out. Start Today, Chain...all the early stuff. That shop was our Yesterday and Today here in Virginia Beach and I was buying every single Rev or hardcore record that Bill got in.
Geoff Creary: My friend Josh (mentioned above) exposed me to a ton of great music in the late '80s, he really enjoyed the heavier side of hardcore. There are some records that really stuck with me, like Sick of It All, and of course, the Gorilla Biscuits 7 inch.
Of the records I enjoyed the most, they all seemed to be on Rev. At that point I would start blindly buying anything that had that iconic star logo on the cover.
Jeff Smith: That’s a little bit harder to pinpoint. Early on I wasn’t really focused on things like record labels or who put out what, I just knew what bands I liked. But thinking back I’d probably have to say that the Sick of It All 7 inch was the first Rev release I heard. I saw them a ton back in the day, more than any other band.
But the first Rev record I actually owned was the Burn 7 inch. That thing blew me away. I “borrowed” my copy from a local college radio station and, wouldn’t you know it, I never actually returned it to them. Oh well. It was around that time that I started noticing bands like Quicksand, Into Another and Iceburn doing their own thing.
I guess seeing that yellow star more and more being associated with bands that weren’t playing typical hardcore really helped me notice the label and made me want to follow the direction that they were heading in.
Christoph Luepold: I would say, like everybody else? I mean reading thank lists, checking out new bands and figuring out at one point that lots of these straight edge bands from NYC are on the same label.
Marc Hoogenboom: When I got into hardcore more and more friends pointed out certain bands and I discovered others through compilations. It turned out that many of them I really liked were REV bands. Not only hardcore bands btw. Also bands like Sense Field and Shades Apart who were about to release their 3rd and 2nd release on REV.
And the logo is kinda magical. You saw it on many releases, and not only REV. Also Crisis Records and Ambassador Records had the logo. Oh, and I still think Revelation Records should release the In-Flight Program compilation on vinyl. Just becasue they can.
How did you get most of your rare Rev variants?
Marcus Andrews: The short and boring answer here is simply that I bought pretty much all of them. Like most collectors, I've done a few trades over the years, especially when the Revelation trade board was in operation in the late '90s, but the vast majority of my records I have just bought from a variety of sources over the last three decades.
Yet even though I have been collecting for a long time, it's only been quite recently that I have picked up quite a lot of the rarer versions of the earlier releases. 20 years ago, I was happy with just one copy of each release, then at some point in the '00s I decided to collect some additional versions of some of the releases that I already had.
For example, I only had one copy of the Together 7 inch on gold vinyl, so I then went after the orange vinyl and black vinyl copies about 10 years later. So for someone who has been doing this for so long, there were quite a few of the rarer versions of the "classic" releases that I was missing until the last 10 years or so.
Marc Hoogenboom: Most of them I bought from that former band member and REV collector, but also some were bought on Ebay, Discogs (you gotta love wrong listings), Ebay and Instagram.
Jeff Smith: Back then, I didn’t think about things like rarity at all, in fact I’m not even sure I knew such a thing existed or, if I did, to what extent the Rev catalog created these hard to find rarities. I think just finding any variant of any record by a band that I was into was an achievement.
Colored vinyl was always a bonus, but I had no clue about pressing numbers or different versions or anything like that at all.
My friends and I were just stoked when any of us would find anything. That was all pre-internet of course. Once you were able to research stuff online and compare notes with other collectors everything changed. The early days of eBay were a lot of fun too.
Most of my rarities were either purchased by chance at shows or record stores or, later on, through eBay, Discogs and social media platforms.
I was never into having penpals or trading records, but social media helped me locate and communicate with like minded people. Nowadays it’s pretty much common knowledge that we are all able to help each other and locate things we need and catalog our collective information.
Dave Brown: All of my rarest Rev records were bought or traded for from other collectors and their private collections. It was super easy to get the records when they came out from 1988 onward. First press, colored wax, represses etc.
Christoph Luepold: I could tell you, but then I have to kill you! I would say, I had a lot of luck for some and I was early with getting into them before the prices went completely bananas!
Geoff Creary: There is no clean answer for this one, it was many combinations of different things, so let's start off when I went off to college in 1991. The school was in the middle of nowhere and was desperate for more hardcore. Luckily there were a couple of hardcore kids there and that helped out.
Shortly after I learned that people actually tape traded, and traded records. That really helped me out. I only traded a few then, but one of the greatest things was an “auction” advertised in the back of Maximum Rocknroll. That is where I found an auction from some guy from NYC selling his collection. He sent out weekly photocopy updates of the records and you had to call or fax your bid in.
That auction list is still legendary by today's standards. Top tier records: Sick of It All Gilman, Gorilla Biscuits on white, BOLD mix and pink, tests, and much more.
He had records that to this day I still dream about, like a Uniform Choice Screaming for Change on white (not gray). This was how I got my first Warzone b-side Gorilla Biscuits 7 inch. That might have been my 4th or 5th GB 7 inch at that point (1992). Little did I know, I was just starting the GB collection.
Then 1993 rolled around and I went to school in Syracuse by then money was tight until the late '90s and my collection didn't grow all that much. By the mid to late '90s, I moved down to Northern Virginia and collecting was back in full force. I would visit Smash, a DC record shop, twice a month and get some great records there. Shortly after, the Rev board was born and the rev.txt file compiled.
Once I learned about the different pressings, I didn't stop. I had no idea there were so many different versions of each release. All of those Rev releases had now become much more expensive. Luckily eBay came along, and you could fill those gaps quickly. That was in 1998 when kids were selling records and finding things for a fair price wasn't difficult.
By 2001, prices were on the rise, and not slowing down. Although some gems could be had off of Skylab Commerce. Records were getting out of control, but at that point I was able to get some of my best records (early Rev tests) before the prices skyrocketed.
I shouldn't forget to mention C.I. Records in Philly. Late '90s I moved to Philly and worked up the street from C.I. and could go record shopping on South Street every week. I got tons of Rev color vinyl from the mid-'90s at that shop. By 2002 my Rev collection was where I hoped it would be.
Are you a “test press” guy?
Marcus Andrews: Absolutely, although I didn't used to be. I used to think test pressings were boring, as most come in a plain white paper sleeve and have nothing aesthetically interesting about them. But at some point, I just decided that I liked them and wanted to collect them. I think that it's kinda cool to own something so scarce that only a small handful of copies exist.
Plus it's a good excuse to pick up more copies of my favorite records and get excited by them again. I do kinda wish I wasn't into tests though, because they are hard to find and they are expensive. But I get more excited about test pressings than anything else these days.
A few years ago, I picked up a test press of the first Garrison LP for $30 and I was stoked as hell [laughs].
If anyone has any Revelation test pressings that they can live without then please get at me. There are a lot that I am missing.
Jeff Smith: Not compared to some people’s collections that I’ve seen! But, yes, I do own quite a few tests.... NONE of them are Rev tests though! I have never owned a Rev test.
I think part of that is because Rev typically presses low numbers of tests, especially compared to the amounts that some labels press these days so they’re harder to locate let alone talk someone out of!
Christoph Luepold: I have to quote my friend Roger Miret here “a test is an incomplete record, missing the art and the lyrics” and that’s pretty much how I feel too. They get too much attention for what they really are.
Nevertheless, I always said to myself that I somehow need one of the early rev tests and side by side would the absolute perfect fit for it. I never dreamed of getting it for real!
Dave Brown: I am not a Rev test press guy. I only occasionally collect Dischord tests but jumping in the Rev test press game at this stage is insanity. I feel bad for anyone just getting into hardcore who wants to have original presses of the records. Rev has done a great job keeping nearly everything on print which is admirable... (I’m looking at you, Warzone 7 inch!)
Geoff Creary: I am, or should I say I was? In the late '90s, I was able to track down many of the early Rev tests. I am still thankful I was able to track them down then, and not now. Needless to say, Rev tests are difficult to come by now.
Collectors really have to work diligently at tracking them down. It used to be somewhat easy, now you have to be ahead of everyone else. Let’s not forget, the prices are so high. Collectors are willing to pay more than I am now, well…. sometimes, foreshadowing to the The Way It Is test on green.
Marc Hoogenboom: When I seriously started collecting records I wasn’t. Too expensive and they were hard to find because not many were made. Especially with old Rev records they only made 4 or 8. These days there are 20-25 Rev tests made I think.
To be honest, I don’t even own a single Rev test. I had the chance to trade one a couple of months ago for a white Manic Compression, but I already promised that record to a friend who was looking for it for a long time and he always helps me out with records, so we traded and I skipped the test.
What are your “rules” for collecting Rev stuff? It seems everyone has a different approach.
Marcus Andrews: I think my rules have changed over time. Back in the '90s when I started out, my initial goal was simply to collect the color vinyl version of every release. This was in the days when there was one color version of most of the records, and at the time there were less than 30 releases, so it seemed achievable.
I managed to get most of the big hitters in the '90s, and then to keep the collection complete I just carried on buying the new releases directly from Rev whenever they came out. From about the 30th release I think I have bought everything directly from RevHQ. But along the way I flexed my rule and I made mistakes.
For example, at one point in the mid-'90s I had a Chain of Strength 7 inch on clear in the regular sleeve, but then I managed to get one with a silver sleeve, so I decided that I didn't need both and I let the clear one with the regular sleeve go in a trade.
I also had a Warzone 7" on orange and one on clear, and I figured that I didn't need both, so I let the clear one go when I got a good trade offer. I didn't really appreciate how difficult it would be to replace it.
Yet at the same time I had 2 color Gorilla Biscuits 7 inches (yellow and green) and I decided to keep both. Then at some point I widened my focus to every 'limited' version of every record that exists.
So, I went after a Supertouch LP test press because there was no color vinyl version of that one, and I also chased the limited sleeve versions of each release that has one (most of which were made by the bands, so Rev doesn't even have most of them).
Then at some point I decided I wanted one copy of each color vinyl version of each record, so I then went back and started chasing the additional colors I was missing on the earlier releases, and I kept on buying all of the represses.
I also bought the vinyl copies of the few releases where Rev only put out a CD and licensed the vinyl to a different label (which is a small handful of releases from the early '00s).
And I try my best to collect test pressings too. Plus, I also collect stuff on Rev's sister label, Crisis Records, which I've noticed that most die-hard Rev collectors don't seem to bother with. So basically, I collect everything except for the 'regular' black vinyl pressings.
I never was bothered about owning common, black vinyl pressings, and I'm definitely not into multiple black vinyl copies of things. I mean, I have zero interest in owning fifteen black vinyl Gorilla Biscuits 7 inches just because they have slightly different inserts or fonts on the front cover.
But that said, there are a few releases where I own several different color copies, so now I'm starting to feel like I kinda want to pick the first press black vinyl copies too. The illusion of "completeness" always feels just around the corner.
Geoff Creary: It used to be to buy any Rev color vinyl I didn't have. Pretty simple and it worked well, but some of the new records and represses are out of control. Like the double Texas Is the Reason 12 inch. I am missing a few of those, and I don't think I will try and get them either. At this point it would be very difficult to know the differences with just a photo.
Marc Hoogenboom: I changed my “rules” over the years. It started with one or two (the colored and black version of the first press) of each release and more variants of the bands I really really liked. It turned out I liked so many bands on Rev that my collection grew pretty fast.
And I already focused on Rev 1- 23 like many do but also wanted to have every Sense Field, CIV, Shades Apart, Youth of Today, Better Than a Thousand, Burn and Dag Nasty release. To name a few [laughs]. Of course there are way more. And as I mentioned in question 3. I was lucky that I could buy so many Rev records at once.
Christoph Luepold: Fuck the rules. No seriously. Rules are made for idiots and they ruin the fun. If you set yourself rules you set borders. And once adapted to them, it takes the fun out of collecting. I tried to get all the early variants and all colors.
But Rev put out way too many pressings from the same releases that I lost interested in having 20 YOT, 20 Judge and 15 Quicksand records. I just stick to the goodies and some additions. I am also not a fan of that rock and indie stuff, so I skip collecting these.
Jeff Smith: I really don’t have any “rules” for anything that I collect. I’m swayed heavily by my moods. One day I’ll be hell bent on finding something and then the next day maybe I’ll pass on that same record.
If anyone has seen my collection photos on Instagram or if we’ve had the chance to speak then you’ve probably noticed that I’ve started lots of collections and hardly ever actually finish any of them!
Dave Brown: My only rules for Rev are no tests and no stamps. Once I start collecting something, I have to have everything and chasing down Liberty, Superman, Batman, and Dinosaur stamps would drive me crazy and set off my OCD. I wouldn’t turn a stamped record or a test down if the price was right, but I’m not actively seeking them out.
What is your favorite Revelation release and why?
Marcus Andrews: This is such a difficult question to answer, so I'm gonna cop out and name my 3 favorites - Sense Field Killed For Less, Into Another Ignaurus, Farside Rochambeau. These are the 3 releases that I spent most time with and are the most important to me.
They were released at what was, for me, a very special time in life and they each sounded fresh and different to anything else around at the time. Plus, it was great to see hardcore kids going in different directions musically and pushing the boundaries.
I used to love seeing a band name pop up on the Rev roster and having no idea what the band would sound like until the record arrived in the mail, and I was rarely disappointed.
Dave Brown: My favorite record is the Warzone 7 inch. It’s where everything begins for me. It’s the beginning of Rev and basically marks the beginning of my collecting. It’s a perfect record as it’s a perfect mix of punk and hardcore. A lot of people say they can’t stand the recording, but I think it’s perfect. Hardcore is dirty. Hardcore is abrasive. I love the songs. I love the message.
The packaging is incredible. Some got stickers. Some got 2 inserts. Stamps. Numbered center labels. Different B-side labels within the same press. Different color wax with different color logos. An aborted press. Photocopied covers. The Warzone 7 inch has it all.
Geoff Creary: This changes yearly, maybe a couple times a year. It often centers around a record I’ve always wanted. I think right now it's Elliott False Cathedrals. Only because it's the latest Rev test added to the collection, and a record I regularly listen to.
Right before that, it was The Way It Is test on green. That was because I finally found one for sale in 2016. That might have been the toughest record to track down for me. The other favorite that has been at the top of the list for 30+ years, is the Gorilla Biscuits 7 inch. Never have I grown bored of it. Everything about it is perfect, the music, the artwork, right down the color vinyl.
Christoph Luepold: That’s the toughest question. I love the Warzone EP. It’s so rough and represents NYHC in '87 at its finest. But hands down, the recordings suck. Sick of It all is a great one too, that cover picture is iconic! When I got Start Today and bringin it down, I found the green version in a local store for 20 bucks in '96 (just to add some spice to it) these two records meant a lot to me.
Break Down the Walls is to me still somehow a Wishing Well release. Cut to the chase I pick Side by Side. Even it sounds like its recorded in CB’s bathroom.
Jeff Smith: Because I have to choose only one... REV 22: Burn 7 inch. The right band, the right music, the right time. This record will always mean a lot to me. It’s only 4 songs but it has everything that I want. It’s just so good!
Marc Hoogenboom: This is probably the hardest question since there are so many I really like. It’s all about the the music in the first place, but also the sleeve/art and in the best case matching the color of the record. Also the number made (or the rumors about how many were made) can make a record (more) special.
The colored Together versions, especially the yellow I don’t own, Gorilla Biscuits on yellow (all of them) and green, Start Today on purple, the Youth of Today 7 inch (my favorite YOT release), Inside Out on blue, CIV Set Your Goals on blue (Top 10 album of all time), Sense Field Building on pink/salmon (artwork), Dag Nasty Minority of One on pink/36 are just a few of the records I really like.
Which Rev records do you save if your house is burning?
Marcus Andrews: Test pressings and the Chung King. Everything else would be replaceable if I had the money and time, although I don't think I would bother trying to collect it all again if it did burn. I have approximately 500 pieces of Revelation vinyl, and I seriously could not summon the motivation to try to track them all down again if they all got wiped out.
Dave Brown: I keep my Rev singles for 1-22 in a separate box so if shit goes down I will just grab that box and go. I’ve even trained my kids to know that if anything happens, they grab the “REV BOX." It’s a family affair.
Geoff Creary: Every single one of them, including the Bluebird 12 inch on white vinyl. (which is actually one of the hardest Rev records to come by)
Marc Hoogenboom: Family and cats first of course, but after that I grab my Rev 7” boxes, at least 1-23. I don’t have a box with my most beloved Rev 12 inches. Maybe I should create one or two rescue boxes! There are a bunch that are worth quite something, and not only Rev records.
Thinking about this I wonder how guys like Geoff and Marcus rescue their Rev (and other) tests and albums... Let’s hope we’ll never experience anything like that.
Christoph Luepold: Actually, that’s my biggest fear. A fire is very final and it would end my existance as a collector. To me, it makes no sense to only save one record. So, I probably would sit outside and watch the fucker burn, take the insurance check and buy me a Mercedes G63 with it. Pretty dead serious about it, except the car.
Jeff Smith: Ah yes, the record collector’s worst nightmare. At this point I save my kids and the records all burn but that’s not the answer anyone wants to hear. I’ll probably only be able to carry 2-3 boxes of 7”s at once but most of them are in there. The LPs.... they’re just too heavy. All records are replaceable.
Which Rev variant do you own the most copies of? Why do you collect the different variants?
Marcus Andrews: Right off the bat I'm going to say that I don't think the word 'variant' is quite correct in this context so I'm going to answer what I think your question is. The release that I have the most versions of is the Sick of It All 7 inch. I have 16 copies of that one. The reason I collect them is mainly just fun, something to do and a constant feeling that I need one more copy to feel complete.
I enjoy the thrill of the hunt, and I like sitting down and looking at these things and soaking up the detail as much as I do listening to the songs. All in, I think my favorite "version" of any release in Rev's catalog is the Chain of Strength 7inch in silver sleeve, just because it really does look like something special.
Plus, I love how they made the effort to make them and then decided to keep most of them in a box in a cupboard for 30 years, haha.
Dave Brown: I have 15 different copies of the Sick of It All 7inch and 20 copies total. My favorite variant for the record is the Gilman press. I have 150/300 which is a great number for me. I love the logo in black. So sick!
The Gilman stamp and the stamped number are icing on the cake. My first press copy has “...and he never went to college...” written in blue pen on the inside of the cover. It’s numbered 843 or something similar. I love how a few have personal messages written on the inside and that they all seem to be from 840-855 or so.
It was all written using the same Bic light blue pen. I wonder who wrote it? What do the messages mean and why are they there? I picture a bunch of dudes sitting in a small apartment stuffing inserts into covers while eating pizza and partying.
I recently found a 4th press copy in the wild with an inner sleeve with a Rev Mailorder list printed on the inside cover. (Similar to the 3rd press of the Gorilla Biscuits 7 inch). The clear pressing for Record Store Day was a pleaser too. I love how they were pressed with first press labels. Or how about how there are 4 different variants within the Record Store Day press itself...including leftover Gilman covers!
I love printing anomalies. There are copies of what I think are the fourth press that have a more orange (not the typical burgundy) stripe on the bottom of the back cover. I don’t think they are rare, they just add to the fun. What about the Conne Island press! Or the solid yellow repress that Generation Records and Corerex did with stamps!
Even my recent blue press has a sick black swirl. The Sick of It All 7 inch is like a gift that just keeps giving. Sick of It All has been doing everything right for 35 years. This 7 inch is no different.
Jeff Smith: I have 23 copies of REV 10: Chain of Strength The One Thing That Still Holds True 12 inch. Even after selling off some of my collection last year I still have at least one of every version and plenty of doubles.
I also have lots of Judge LPs and Gorilla Biscuits 7 inches but Chain wins out numbers wise. I’m not really sure why I like collecting so many variants and doubles (and triples and quadruples) ...
Hoarder? Probably. My favorite variants? Anything oddball or out of the ordinary. Rev has always had a tendency to mix up covers and inserts for various pressings of numerous records. I think the Gorilla Biscuits 7 inch variations are the most fun.
Geoff Creary: I did have to check on this because it's always between two records, the Sick of It All 7 inch and the Gorilla Biscuits 7 inch.
Now that Super 7 put out the new versions, the Gorilla Biscuits takes the title of most copies owned. That number is at 37. Just typing that out makes it feel strange. didn't realize it was that many.
Those Sick of It All and Gorilla Biscuits 7 inches are incredible, so many different pressings to collect. It is fun to collect them. It's difficult to say what my favorite Gorilla Biscuits 7 inch variant is. It's easy to say the stamped label, or the test press, but it has to be the entire 2nd press on yellow vinyl.
I would spend so much time just looking at the color of that record. I thought it was the best-looking record ever and thought for sure it was the rarest record. Had i known there were so many pressed back then it could have changed my perception. Now, I can’t believe how difficult it is to get one. Gone are the days of finding one for $15 or $20.
Marc Hoogenboom: I have 31 copies of REV 4: the Gorilla Biscuits 7 inch. Besides, Gorilla Biscuits is one of my favorite bands ever, it’s a fun one to collect because there are so many variants. Blue, red and purple logo sleeve, so many different inserts, different shades of blue on the back cover and of course different colors of vinyl. And yes, I’m still missing a few.
Christoph Luepold: Gorilla Biscuits 7 inch or Sick of It All 7 inch, these are fun to collect. Well, Sick of It All is pretty easy to complete but Gorilla Biscuits is so wild. There are so many rare pressings and so many cool variants! Ever seen that Warzone B-side one in real? Or a Luke drawing? Ridiculous fun to see them.
What are your other favorite non-Rev bands and labels to collect?
Marcus Andrews: My main problem is that I buy too many records, because I basically collect records by every band or label I like, which is far too many. The main bands I collect and have tried to obtain every version of every record for are Integrity, Bane, Cave In, and Gameface. The first two I set out to collect and the latter two I decided to collect after amassing a lot of test pressings as time rolled on.
There are a lot of other bands that I have a lot of records by but I don't feel that I "collect." For example, I have about 50 Youth of Today records, but I don't actually feel like I collect Youth of Today.
There is no other label that I have every release for other than Revelation, but I have amassed quite a few records over the years on labels like Hydra Head, Youngblood, Sub Pop, New Age, Dischord, Jade Tree, Lockin' Out, Equal Vision, Indecision, SST, and on and on.
Dave Brown: I collect DC music. Lots of Dischord. Fountain of Youth. Etc. Tests. Variants. Rev is different for me bc I was along for the ride from the beginning. Almost like they were my peers, or we were in it together. There’s something about DC and Dischord. The ethos. The sense of community. Creating a scene and documenting it.
For me, DC was a major influence. Living in Northern Virginia for a time and then moving to Virginia Beach, the DC scene was always around. Speaking of, I am a Government Issue fanatic. From start to finish I think GI was one of the best bands ever. They don’t get enough credit.
Perhaps because a John was such a character. Maybe it was their change in sound. Maybe their being on Mystic or Fountain of Youth. They were the best. I have every record. Every press. Every cover or vinyl variant that I know of. Every test except the Mystic tests. Unworn tour shirts. Posters. Everything. Thank you, John Stabb. RIP.
Geoff Creary: Oh, this could change your view on me…… how does New Start Records grab you? [Laughs] I do have an ok New Start record collection. My early Trustkill collection is solid, and my Bottled Up Records collection is tough to beat.
My Earth Crisis collection is up there too. Being from Buffalo and going to school in Syracuse in the early '90s, I was fortunate to be a part of my personal favorite time period of hardcore. Syracuse hardcore in 1993 to 1996 was unstoppable, legendary in fact.
Marc Hoogenboom: I collect a lot of other stuff. Maybe a bit too much haha. My biggest obsession is SNFU. Besides two Canadian guys I probably have the most complete SNFU collection. Not much left I don’t have, except for a bunch of old tests that never pop up. I collect all Walter Schreifels’ bands and what is put out (except compilations unless it features unreleased material) and that’s a lot!
Discogs says I have just over 200 records involving Walter [laughs]. So many bands he did and I like them all [laughs]. I collect all bands Jon Bunch and Dan ‘O Mahony were in, bands I played in like Shelter and Crivits and of course my own bands GuidingLine, X-MEN, North, and Once I Cry.
A label I collect is Unity Worldwide Records. That one is almost complete including all tests except for the Battery 7 inch test that only Sven and Joe own. I also collect all the stuff bands I mentioned in Question 5 have put out, a lot of skate rock bands, and all Atari, Fastbreak, Excel, The Kik, Turning Point (on Rev now) Up Front did. But I’m probably missing a few.
And there are many bands I collect one (mostly colored) version of each release of like Descendents, Juliana Hatfield, Lemonheads, Jane’s Addiction, Snapcase, and some more.
And I have a soft spot for many Orange County bands like Unity, Uniform Choice, (old) Ignite, Triggerman, The Killing Flame, Blood Days, Last Light, Winds of Promise ...so basically bands Joe Foster and or Joe Nelson were in [laughs].
Jeff Smith: There are many. Too many to name them all. Once again, if you know me then you know I follow lots of bands and labels from the '80s on up until the present. And just like with my Rev collection, I’m all over the place with hardly anything complete. But for the purpose of this interview, I’ll choose one label: Trustkill Records.
No matter how many changes hardcore goes through, no matter how many awesome new bands come out, no matter how many older bands from the '80s that I consider to be my favorites, I will always come back to the '90s.
For me, that was my favorite period in hardcore music. Trustkill really got my attention back then and helped me mold my musical tastes. They are a fun label to collect with lots of great bands, different versions and pressings, limited covers, etc. And because I’m on the subject, they’re Trustkill related, and I recently rounded out my collection, I’ll mention the band Poison the Well. I love them beyond words.
Christoph Luepold: Well, besides Rev there are sooo many things to collect. I am a sucker for early hardcore and punk. I set my focus pretty much on early Killed by Death and hardcore stuff.
Picking out the cherries: The Abused, Urban Waste, Minor Threat, Chronic Sick, Necros, Antidote, Youth Brigade, The Fix, Anti Cimex, SSD, Negative Approach, The Worst, Koro, Misfits…..and above all, Agnostic Front!
Here are also some new bands that are worth to get a copy from: Magnitude, Ecostrike, Vanguard, Change, Give Today, Locked Inside, Restraining Order, Wall Breaker. Check em out!
Any wild stories of getting a Rev or any other record that you thought you would never own?
Marcus Andrews: Honestly, I have lots of records that I thought I would never own, both on Rev and otherwise. I have a good few stories too, probably all of which I have told to everyone who may be interested over the years. One of my favorite stories (which I have told before) was back in the year 2000 when I was trying to arrange a trade with Anthony Pappalardo from In My Eyes for a rare version of their second LP, Nothing to Hide. He wanted Stone Roses records, which I figured I would be able to get relatively easily over here in the UK.
So one day I went shopping around second hand record shops in London looking for Stone Roses records for this trade, and there was this crazy moment when I walked out of a record shop in Islington and Ian Brown (singer of The Stone Roses) was walking down the street towards me. I recognized him instantly, and I just stood there looking at him, trying to decide whether I should ask him if he had any spare copies of his band's records laying about that he could sell me.
He definitely clocked me staring at him, and probably knew that I recognized him. But for some reason I decided not to bother him, which is quite unlike me, and with hindsight I really wish I had as it would have made for a better story. But I did end up finding some Stone Roses records that day, and I still have the In My Eyes LP that I traded as a result.
Dave Brown: Getting a sliver sleeve chain was a real surprise. I already had a clear copy but the silver sleeve was super elusive. I ended up trading an unworn Smorgasboard long sleeve and an Iceburn 7 inch test for just the cover which I then upgraded. It is so much more rewarding to trade for things rather than buying.
I got a pink BOLD from the same person. I never thought I’d get a pink BOLD 7 inch. It’s so pink! That’s another thing I love about collecting Rev. Some of these records are so rare that no matter how much money a person has to throw around, quite a few records are unattainable if no one will sell their copy. Side note: I would love to see a pinker 7 inch than mine.
Geoff Creary: The GB Warzone B-side might be one of the best because I was able to get that record for less than $35 (if i remember correctly). There are at least half a dozen records that would fit this category, but sometimes stories are best told in person.
Marc Hoogenboom: I don’t have really wild stories, but one I like is when I saw someone post a Turning Point 7 inch on Instagram and one of the comments was from a girl who said her local shop in the US had a red Turning Point 7 inch for sale. The person who posted the Turning Point 7 inch asked how much they were selling it for. The girl replied it was $150 and even tagged the shop.
I saw this post but it was already a couple of hours online. So when I read all this I went to their IG profile, and send them an email. No idea why, because a DM might have been the better option. Other readers DM’ed the shop, I found out later, but they didn’t reply to them (or didn’t saw them at all). So I was very lucky they responded to my email and a week later I received the hard to find red Turning Point 7 inch.
Another funny story is how I got my blue Gorilla Biscuits box. I woke up early (Dutch time) and went to Instagram to see if there were already pictures of the blue box that everyone was so excited about, which was just released a few hours before (NYC time) when Gorilla Biscuits sold them at their show in the Coney Island Baby.
When I opened my Instagram I saw I had a DM from a guy from the Netherlands, who I met only twice. He happened to be in NYC. His hotel was only 5 minutes away and he went to the show. He bought the box, but went back in line (good thing they didn’t recognize him) and bought a second one for me since he knew I collected Rev and liked Gorilla Biscuits a lot since he saw me posting all those records on Instagram.
So the DM showed a picture of the box and he said “look what I got for you!” Hardly knowing him and not knowing he was in NYC, this all was a big surprise!
Christoph Luepold: Like finding a together comp on orange for $200 bin on eBay? Or buying a soia gilman with red/black splattered vinyl for a $200 and talking it down to $150? I guess the only cool story is the way I got the Chung King. But that story is mentioned in a previous No Echo interview.
Jeff Smith: I do have one interesting story and it happened recently too which makes it even more unlikely. With all of the various resources we have at our fingertips today it seems nearly impossible for someone with even minimal knowledge to sell a rarity or a misprint accidentally, especially on Discogs where there’s a listing for each and every different version for most records.
It’s like going to a record store and finding a rare record in the used bin for $1. It just doesn’t happen anymore. People know what they’re holding, and everyone wants top dollar. That being said, last year I sold a bunch of my records. After some time had passed and I came to my senses, I realized that I had sold all 5 of my yellow Gorilla Biscuits 7 inches and I decided that I wanted one back.
So I looked on Discogs and found one for a reasonable price by 2020s standards. The gentleman I bought it from had a nice sized collection for sale with some very nice rarities, all with very knowledgeable descriptions of which pressing each record was from and prices within the expected ranges.
When my record showed up in the mail and I opened the box the first thing that I saw staring at me was a Warzone B-side label. For those who don’t know, there were a small number of the second pressing on yellow vinyl that came with the wrong B-side label, which is the one normally used on the B-side of the 3rd pressing of the Warzone 7 inch.
Some of these had even been stamped with a number on the dust sleeve. To my surprise I had scored a numbered Gorilla Biscuits 7 inch with a misprinted Warzone B-side label for the price of a regular yellow 7 inch. So apparently you can still find the occasional rarity out there and this gives me hope that one day I’m going to find a Chung King at a garage sale for 25 cents.
What are some of your prized Rev records, the ones that will go to your grave with you?
Marcus Andrews: If you're asking which ones I would never sell or trade, then the answer is all of them. I can see no likely situation in which I will ever decide that I need to get rid of the things that I have spent the best part of three decades collecting.
Dave Brown: I’m not taking any records to the grave. I think about this a lot. Eventually everything You own ends up owning you. One day all these records will go to my friends or my kids will sell them when I’m dead. Besides being buried in a Chain of Strength True Till Death shirt everything I own will go to my friends.
They may be 60 or 75 years old but at some point, but [Brian] Benoit [Canephora, Channel, Jesuit, Time Flies, Dillinger Escape Plan] will own my Dischord. Sayerville will get my pink BOLD. Etc etc.
Some of my favorite Rev records are the ones with special covers because they found extra vinyl. The Ray and Porcell 7 inch with the purple paper cover. The Dag record with the screen-printed sleeve. The BOLD LP with the screened sleeve.
Photocopied Sick of It All 7 inches with red vinyl copies that no one knows anything about. Yet they exist! And we know they are legit because they have the same printing anomalies as those weird photocopied Warzone covers that are legit. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve traded pictures of those records with people and we all have the same lines on the covers! What other label creates this level of insane nerdery?
Geoff Creary: As my wife knows, my Chung King goes to the grave with me. Just joking, hopefully my collection ends up with another younger hardcore kid someday.
Marc Hoogenboom: I prefer handing them over to my kids. They like a lot of my music and they can keep them or sell them later. Whatever they want. Destroying records is not what I like especially if it makes a limited one even more limited. But I have enough records I will never sell unless I have huge money problems and it’s the only way out. But let’s hope that will never happens.
Christoph Luepold: Don’t know if I will take any with me. but it would be the first color of each ref 1-23. Maybe I would leave the Shelter, Burn, and Ray and Porcell out.
Jeff Smith: A couple of years ago I would’ve had a much different answer to this question. I couldn’t picture being able to part with anything. But since then, I’ve learned to “let go” somewhat and I feel much happier because of it.
A lot of my harder to find rarities have, in fact, been passed along to other collectors and I feel a certain sense of satisfaction having been able to help out a few people. These things are not easy to find and these collections are very difficult to complete.
Most of the records I decided to hold on to I have a more emotional connection with, such as the aforementioned Burn 7 inch. Another one that I hold near and dear to me is a recently acquired Quicksand Manic Compression 12 inch on white vinyl. It took me a super long time to connect with one and I might not ever let it go.
What is the Top 5 on your Rev want list?
- Bold, Speak Out green vinyl test press
- Into Another test pressings (any)
- Farside, Rochambeau test press
- Damnation A.D., Kingdom of Lost Souls LP test press
- No For An Answer 7 inch 'Live' sleeve & 'I Spy' sleeve
- Gorilla Biscuits 7 inch of 102
- Judge, Chung King Can Suck It
- BOLD, Looking Back on purple
- No For An Answer, I spy and live sleeve
- Underdog, Demo LP on blue
Geoff Creary: This is another category that changes often. Test presses will alway be on the want list but as mentioned previously it's just not realistic anymore. At this point in time, it has to be:
- Crippled Youth on neon green
- Down to Noth, The Most screened cover, color vinyl
- Sinking Ships, Disconnecting European tour cover
- Down to Nothing, Life on the Elbe
- Shook Ones, Body Feel record release cover
Last minute addition: Himsa Death is Infinite on green with blank labels
- Gorilla Biscuits 7 inch /102
- Gorilla Biscuits 7 inch Warzone B-side label
- Gorilla Biscuits 7 inch cream yellow
- Together 7 inch yellow
- Youth of Today, Can't Close My Eyes 7 inch orange (if that counts as a Rev release...depends who you talk to...and if not number 5 will be the Chung King Can Suck It album.
- Warzone clear
- Chain silversleeve
- Gorilla Biscuits Warzone B-side.
- That’s about it. Maybe some crazy Gorilla Biscuits variant but these are not a must have. I’ll leave them to the completists.
Jeff Smith: Over the years I’ve learned that most Rev collectors have a very similar want list once they’ve “hit the wall." I imagine most people’s lists look like mine...
Judge, Chung King Can Suck It
Gorilla Biscuits 7 inch numbered /102
Chain of Strength 7 inch on clear vinyl with silver sleeve
Warzone 7 inch on clear vinyl
BOLD 7 inch on pink vinyl (and maybe also a true pink/orange mix)
What’s your favorite Rev record that people sleep on?
Marcus Andrews: I'm always disappointed when people ignore some of the less 'hardcore' records in the label's catalog. There are a lot of great records that Rev have released that I have spent a lot of time with and that I know most people either haven't heard or wouldn't give a chance to, which I don't get.
I genuinely don't understand why some people decide that they only want to collect or listen to the first 20 or so releases. Anyway, my view is that the most overlooked release in recent years is the second By a Thread LP. It came out in 2011 and they only pressed 549 copies and they still have it for sale today, so clearly not many people care, which is such a shame.
Dave Brown: Burn Last Great Sea 7 inch I don’t think people “get” Burn in general. Maybe it’s a northeastern thing here in the US. I’m not sure Burn ever played south of DC the first time around. Maybe that’s a part of it.
In 1992, no one knew what happened to Burn. Were they broken up? Was there another record coming out? No one really knew and there was no internet, so everything was a rumor. We knew there were other Burn songs because we had a 3rd generation VHS copy of a Boston show where Chaka was yelling “FIGHT BACK." Or some weird bootleg where we were told not to “take the bait."
Then Burn disappeared and morphed into Orange 9mm. Fast forward to 2002. The urban legend of an unheard Burn demo was true and out of nowhere Burn was back again and The Great Sea was released.
100% this record is slept on. Look at the lyrics for "New Morality." Tell me that song isn’t 100% pertinent today. Listen to "Last Great Sea." "Tales of Shatou." These are among Burn’s best songs. Maybe people don’t get it. You can’t listen to Burn as background music. It demands your attention. People want the "Out of Time" riff...but it’s not that easy.
The beauty of Burn is what’s happening behind the scenes. A brutal rhythm section and Gavin’s tone. Holy shit. No one has ever played chunkier. Or heavier. Sometimes the heaviest part of the song is the space that’s within it. Burn is different. It’s aggressive but it’s more inwardly aggressive. Like it’s you against yourself.
All with Chaka’s maniacal stage presence and spot-on lyrics. This record is a masterpiece, and it should be properly appreciated bc for 12 years no one was sure if it would ever be properly heard.
Geoff Creary: There is no doubt this one, it's the first Himsa 7 inch. That record is fantastic. Heavy and catchy like Covid. I still buy it on blue vinyl when I find one at a record store. Runner up, By a Thread, either of the 12 inches.
Jeff Smith: I’m gonna go with REV 82: By a Thread Last of the Daydreams. It’s a great record and finding one on white vinyl /226 isn’t easy.
Marc Hoogenboom: I like both By a Thread albums a lot and the same goes for the Pitch Black album. If you like Nerve Agents/Redemption 87/Rancid Bay Area punk, check this out. You can have a purple version of the album for $10-20 Go grab one!
Christoph Luepold: Pitch Black. Such a great record. Put it next to AFI, Nerve Agents, and some Kid Dynamite.
What is a record that you parted with that you completely regret now? Or any Rev record you regret not pulling the trigger on when you had the chance?
Marcus Andrews: There are actually very few records that I have parted with over the years, so not many to regret. The couple that I did stupidly part with I managed to get back years later, so nothing really comes to mind. In terms of regretting things that I didn't pick up when I could have, there are probably loads, but everything that I turned down in the past was because the price seemed too high at the time.
I think that the only thing I wish I had done differently was to chase the limited sleeve versions of the No For An Answer 7 inches years ago, as they seem nigh on impossible to find.
Geoff Creary: This has to be the first press test press of the Warzone 7 inch. It was for sale for an absurdly high price at the time (late '90s), by a guy who didn't live all that far from me. I couldn't justify paying that much. That is still a regret. It would easily go 4 or 5 times that amount now.
The other is the same record I've mentioned a couple times already. It was my first Wazone B-side Gorilla Biscuits 7 inch. I traded it away for a record that only sells for $20 now. Terrible, I know.
Oddly I don't have too many regrets considering what I have traded away. It has been a lot of rare rev records over the decades. Some of those are Gorilla Biscuits on off white, chain silver sleeve, a couple tests, warzone on clear, and a bunch of others. What I have received for them has always been equally as good. It's just how the game is played.
Marc Hoogenboom: I’m a hoarder so I hardly part with records haha. But not one I really regret. I had the chance to buy some records over the years that are still on my wantlist, but at that point I didn’t have the money or better, didn’t want to spend so much fort hat record. Not really regretting that either.
Christoph Luepold: There was a time in the '90s where lots of these rarities where on ebay and not many cared. I regret that I was satisfied with one copy of each Eev release back then. I could have gotten more crazy shit before the prices increased.
Jeff Smith: I don’t regret selling any of my records and I know where each and every one of them ended up if I ever feel the need to look at them. As far as not pulling the trigger and letting records slip through my fingers.
A wiser person than myself once said: “The only records I regret buying are the ones I didn’t”
Dave Brown: My buddy Tom in north New Jersey had it all and was looking to sell and he had a really great collection. Including a Gorilla Biscuits of 102 and a Chung King. He also had a near white Gorilla Biscuits 7 inch. He offered them to me, but I passed. I still don’t know why. I could have paid him in installments!
20 years later this remains my biggest record regret. Also: Remember when Rev moved to Cali and found a bunch of stuff in the warehouse? Then they sold them at regular prices just to get rid of them. That was incredible. When was that? 1994?
What is something about record collecting that bothers you?
Dave Brown: A.) People who collect tapes. That format died died for a reason. What’s next? Reel to reel or 8 tracks?
B.) People who think once a record goes out of print it automatically becomes a $50 record.
C) Record collecting, more specifically the internet has killed finding things in the wild. Worse yet are shops that only sell the good shot online. I really respect shops like Sit and Spin and Vinyl Conflict who put the rare shit on the walls. Especially when they know that it’s worth more than what they are selling. That sort of thing really helps the local community.
D) Record Store Day sucks. I’m glad Rev quit doing it. The bins are getting clogged with stupid Record Store Day releases. No one needs a repress of Rumors or some other classic rock record. It’s bullshit and it also slows down record releases from bands and labels that actually need to get records out there.
Marc Hoogenboom: Nowadays a lot...beside that prices of many records are insane, shipping costs are going through the roof. I envy US collectors who can buy the newest repress and pay $5 for shipping while we pay $20-25 for the same record.
Luckily, some European distro’s and shops get almost all of them as well but we still pay way more for the same record because of import fees the distro’s also have to deal wit hand than of course shipping from them (Germany) to me is still expensive. And since i collect so mant different bands and a lot of Rev the ongoing repress flow sometimes bothers me too.
But since I’m weak I buy many of those [laughs]. I also felt pressure posting all my records all the time which I did for years. My life changed a lot the last couple of years and I’m way behind posting them. Maybe at some point I’ll catch up who knows. Last year I did only 7 vinyl posts and some more in my stories.
Christoph Luepold: Jealousy. There is a lot of jealousy going on. While you could enjoy watching other people’s collection, people start to envy them. Most of them put a rather derogatory etiquette on collectors, just out of pure jealousy. It’s pretty bewildering me, that some people make jokes about record collectors, but they run podcasts for profit about exact the same records.
They talk a lot, but they don’t know the facts. Facts that us die-hard collectors care about and soaked in over years. To us, this is not about fame, money or followers. But these people will never understand the fun of nerding around about pressing info or variants. All they care about is pointing fingers and a way to squeeze every possible dime out of hardcore.
Then there are the collectors that try to get stuff from you with nasty low prices using the “friend-card." It’s always funny, how they block you for not selling them what they want. Ridiculous. I am not trying to be an asshole right here, but that’s exactly how I feel. A lot of things changed since I got into it.
As an example, hardcore became a place for all the jokes and bullies that we all hated and avoided back then. The scene was a safe place for misfits and outcasts and It saddens me that these kinda people are among us now. Times are changing, I know, but to me this is not the same place anymore and I realized somehow that sometimes I don’t wanna take part anymore.
Did you ever listen to the Alone in a Crowd song "Is Anybody There?" I can relate to that one so much. it sums up exactly how I feel about it. Maybe it’s just me getting old and bitter. Who knows?
Jeff Smith: There seems to be this new trend where a record will be released by a label and then there will be umpteen different “exclusive” versions released simultaneously all over the world by other outlets. I understand more than anyone the “need” to have every version of every record so I can see both the positives and the negatives in this.
Personally, I prefer the way it used to be. A record would be released on 2 or 3 different colors, all differing in rarity, and then there’d be the possibility of limited tour versions or fest versions or whatever somewhere down the road.
That being said, it is nice to see that lots of records are being pressed nowadays and, with more outlets being available for people to purchase from, more people are able to scoop one up instead of missing out.
Geoff Creary: I've never been fond of flippers. I get it, I understand why they do it, but still bothers me. The repress game can be difficult to keep up with, but I still love when Rev represses some of my favorite records. The gray version of the Orange 9mm comes to mind. So happy to have that in my collection. One of these days I will find a test of that.
Marcus Andrews: The main thing that bothers me is the continued supply of horrendously ugly splatter vinyl that is spewed out of the Czech pressing plant, and the fact that most people seem to think it looks cool. There are a few Rev releases that got pressed there in the early '00s, and they all look terrible. The worst is the Judge discography on double splatter vinyl.
I mainly bought it to keep my collection "complete," but it is without doubt the ugliest piece of vinyl that the label has ever released, closely followed by the Sinking Ships LP on half green and half clear splatter.
I was very happy that Rev moved back to using local Californian pressing plants not long after those releases, but there are other labels out there who still use this place to press records and continue to put me off buying their records with their ugly splatter color choices.
Whenever I see a new release and then see that it will be pressed on an array of vomit splatters, my heart sinks. It probably sounds stupid, but I'm pretty sure that if every label moved to using that Czech plant, I would literally stop buying new records altogether. They look like cheap imitations of real records and I wish everyone else would agree and move on.
What is the most you ever paid for a record? Or a crazy trade?
Marcus Andrews: I've always thought money to be a relative concept. I once openly admitted that I paid $250 for a particular 7 inch, and then later I found an online forum of people insulting me and calling me all kinds of names because I was stupid enough to pay that much for that record.
So, I don't really want to disclose the price, but I will admit that the record that I paid the most for was a Youth of Today Break Down the Walls green vinyl test press. It cost me approximately one third of a month's net pay.
Dave Brown: Let’s talk about my best day. Back in '98, I knew a guy who was selling his collection. I picked up: a purple Start Today, Together comp, Judge LP on green, Sick of It All on red, a stamped Project X and some other minor things. All for $250.
I remember walking away thinking I just got a great deal and I remember the look on my friend’s face telling me he thought he just got me good. At the time we were both happy and that’s all that counts. Today that haul is probably worth $2000+.
Geoff Creary: There have been some incredible trades in the decades past, but the last big trade I did was for the Warzone aborted label. I didn't think I would ever own one, but I was willing to go big on it if needed. That record at the time was going for more than I would pay but trading for one was an easy decision. The record is in perfect shape, clean and crisp. Not a crease on it, very fortunate to own one.
Marc Hoogenboom: About €450 or less than $500. I raised my limits over the years but I know there are many who pay 4 figures easily for certain records. It also means I will always have some of the top wants mentioned before on my want list. Unless I raise my limits again, get a heritage or win the lottery [laughs].
Christoph Luepold: I don’t think that I ever paid more than I did for my Chung King.
Jeff Smith: No comment. More than I should have. And I also don’t like trading. Never have.
How long do you plan on collecting and how do you feel about the future of record collecting, especially skyrocketing prices these days with Rev stuff?
Marcus Andrews: I don't plan much in life generally, and I don't really think much about the future. I remember when I was 30 that I hoped I would have moved on and not still be collecting at 40, but here I am now on the wrong side of that age and I'm buying more than ever.
I'll probably stop either when I feel bored of it, have everything I want, or run out of space... but neither of those look remotely likely to ever happen.
Dave Brown: I don’t think I will ever stop collecting but I could see one day selling a few things. Or maybe everything. The thrill is in the chase. Even the rarest of the most rare records get filed away. A regular Gorilla Biscuits 7 inch has the same songs as a cream copy. The Warzone 7 inch on black plays just like an aborted copy.
There are certain things I don’t think I’d ever sell...but the idea of selling a few records and flying to Hawaii or Switzerland is very tempting. Or buying a house! The music is the most important part. Based on that, people will always collect records.
Hardcore is full of people who document and archive and collect or hoard. It’s not going away. One of the best things about hardcore is that kids respect the history and want to know about it. Popular culture isn’t like that.
I keep hoping that the Rev stuff will plateau. I mean, how much will someone pay for a record? We all thought $300 was crazy for an orange Warzone and now people are paying well over $1000. DCHC was my first love and that’s always where my heart is at. It’s crazy that a Gorilla Biscuits record goes for 3x more than a Filler 7 inch! It just seems wrong!
Time has a way of putting things in perspective. There were only 3 years between Minor Threat breaking up and Break Down the Walls. That’s nothing! Back in the '80s ,those 3 years felt like a lifetime. Fast forward to 2021 and Rev is every bit as iconic as Dischord or Dangerhouse.
Revelation’s staying power is that it’s connected to straight edge. Kids care more about straight edge, Air Jordan’s, and 40-year-old T-shirt’s than they do Revolution Summer. Like Dischord, Rev has the back catalog to sustain itself forever and that should be respected.
Those people created an entire scene based around a handful of people and they worked very hard to make it happen.
Geoff Creary: I pretty much focus on Rev records now. I do buy others, but Rev will always be the collection that I enjoy the most. I might stop one day, but I don't think that will happen.
I feel bad how high prices are for all the rare Rev records now. It takes a lot of the fun out of it for new collectors. Also, old collectors like myself aren't letting go of their records. You don't see those insane records for sale anymore.
Marc Hoogenboom: Until I’m done. Sometimes I think I’ve reached that point and than all of a sudden I like collecting again. But I didn’t buy that much the last two years. For this year I want to concentrate on some bigger fishes and buy less repressings.
2020 sucked but was in my opinion a great year for new music. Prices will get crazier but as long as people want those records, they’ll pay.
Christoph Luepold: Well, as I wrote two answers before, the whole scene changed, and I lost somehow interest in participating as I did over all these years. That does not mean that you can ask me now if I sell this or that. Its just me taking a step back.
I still enjoy a new record or filling a gap in my collection. That moment when you hold that record in your hand and checking it out...priceless! But, to be honest, getting a Warzone on clear in these times is almost impossible.
Jeff Smith: I’ll always have records so it’s safe to say that I’ll continue to collect them forever. As for the future? Skyrocketing prices? It’ll get worse before it gets better. I really couldn’t fathom a guess to what the ceiling might look like.
I’ve never researched record collecting in other genres, but I imagine there has to be a point in time when values begin to decrease.
For such an iconic label and the collectability of the early Rev catalog, why is collecting an important part of its history? Or is it not important?
Marcus Andrews: I think that collecting is definitely an important part of Revelation's history as it was a defining part of the label in the early days. Everyone knows that some records were used to trade for toys back in the day. But the mere fact that Jordan [Cooper] and Ray [Cappo] did this just confirms that they knew there were collectors out there who would be interested.
So, the way I see it, the label fueled collecting, but collectors also fueled the label. The two things are connected, and after 30+ years they're part of each other. At the end of the day though, the collectors are just one very small group of the people who helped make Revelation what it is.
I don't think that the collecting aspect matters too much in the present day, but it's cool that Rev recognizes that a lot of their customers are nerds, and they keep it going by pumping out collectible records.
Dave Brown: Rev made collecting records a thing and it is a huge part of the history. Those dudes had all of us searching thru basements and thrift stores looking for lunchboxes and GI Joe’s. I’m no expert but before Rev I don’t think things were made specifically for the sake of collectability. I think records were limited by a lack of cash or they were made just for fun.
I’m sure that if The Fix or Necros had the money or thought they could sell 1000 records they would have pressed 1000 records. Nobody knew that we would all want an I.Q. 32 with a skatepark sleeve. Or that the “S” on the back of the In My Eyes 7” would make it more collectible. It just happened.
With Rev, I’m sure it got to a point where those dudes knew. Basically, they were printing their own money and who could blame them! We all wanted the records then and generations of kids still do today.
The collecting aspect is in Rev’s DNA and there is no way to overlook it. Ultimately, the music and the message are the driving force, but Rev found a way to make their records stand out at the same time they made it fun. All those records don’t stand the test of time because they are on colored vinyl...it is because they are great punk records.
Geoff Creary: It's what I grew up on. It's what 1000s of hardcore kids grew up on, and kids still do this very day. Rev remains relevant, and still puts out great music. Thick and thin those Rev records have been there for everyone to listen to. Those records mean so much to so many people across so many countries. It's an emotional attachment.
Add in the incredible artwork, the limited sleeves, crazy limited color vinyl, it's perfect for collectors like me. It's easy to see why the demand has evolved into what it has today. I have so many incredible friendships based on hardcore, and Rev in particular.
For 25+ years my wife and I still enjoy going to see Rev bands play, it doesn't get better than that. It hasn't changed, it's a constant that doesn't happen for people outside of the punk rock world.
Marc Hoogenboom: I guess it is. It’s cool that we know a lot about the label, the releases and pressing info, but there are, 30 years later, still a lot of questions since not everything has been documented well over the years which lead to assumptions.
Christoph Luepold: If you wanna talk about Revelation Records, you need to know some basic pressing informations, variants, what release is which catalogue number. That’s mandatory! You get so many informations and fun facts if you just dig a bit deeper than the average.
But yet, one question I have, still remains unanswered 'till today. If REV: 7 represents NYHC at its finest, why there isn't Agnostic Front represented on it? I talked with Roger about this too and he had no answer for it as well, since AF never got asked to take part. So, if Jordan or any Rev employee reads this, I’ll be glad to get any solving answer.
Jeff Smith: I definitely think collecting records is an important part of the Rev story. Jordan and Ray have admitted to “creating their own currency” by making rare records that they could trade with people for toys and other rare records.
All of the early releases have those trade list inserts included so the importance of collecting, even from the earliest of days, can’t be denied. Because of their dedication to their hobby, we’re still talking about it now!
What is in your collection that might surprise the No Echo readers?
Marcus Andrews: Honestly, I don't think that much in my collection would surprise anyone, as I only really collect hardcore (and related) records. But I would imagine that probably a lot of people think of Rev as a label for the middle-aged dudes, so perhaps people would be surprised to know that I still collect newer stuff too and have some cool records by current bands.
For example, I've got a Restraining Order test press. I'm old enough to know better, but I still know what's up.
Dave Brown: Surprises in my collection? I love low-fi indie rock like Beat Happening and anything on K Records. Slumberland put out some of the best early American shoegaze and single handedly helped created an entire scene along with the fine people at Vinyl Ink.
Records like Black Tamborine, Lily’s, and The Ropers are all worth seeking out. Lastly, Unrest and the label Teen Beat. Mark Robinson and his Arlington, Virginia friends were able to create their own scene and aesthetic with their big brother Dischord living right next door. Unrest. Bells of. Johnny Cohen. Eggs. Air Miami. Romania. Versus. Such great records that are all worth looking into.
Geoff Creary: Possibly the best Naked Angels collection in the world? Or my ABBA 12 inch (which is technically my wife’s)
Marc Hoogenboom: George Michael’s Faith album that I got from a special friend recently.
Christoph Luepold: Wham Last Christmas 7 inch!
Can I add this: First of all, thanks to Andrew and No Echo for this opportunity to answer these questions. It’s an honor for me to get interviewed by such an amazing and important source for hardcore. It means a lot to me! And compared to Geoff, Marcus, Andrew, Dave, Marc and Jeff who are participating here as well, I am a noob, the odd-one or the wildcard.
They are the true Rev collector nerds! And thanks to all the readers that are still interested in the “life of record collector." Usually, we don’t get a voice all too much and that makes perfectly sense. We are the fans, the nerds, the ones that just purchase the whole catalogue.
And last but not least, don’t take everything to serious, don’t be a dick, stop racism, homophobia and any other shitty behavior! MAKE A CHANGE, GO VEGAN!
Jeff Smith: I don’t just listen to hardcore (although I mostly do) so I have a few things in my collection that don’t quite fit. I have a lot of My Bloody Valentine stuff, but I don’t think that’s too surprising. I think a lot of hardcore enthusiasts listen to them.
Maybe some of the 4AD stuff that I own like This Mortal Coil and The Flashbulb. I don’t even know how to characterize his stuff, but I love anything that Benn Jordan has done.
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Tagged: record collector