About a week ago it was the second anniversary of the day that I started learning how to put out a record. I went to the Coffee Hag on January 20th, 2015, and wrote the geekiest fan letter ever to Chris Dorn from The Beatifics. In a nutshell, I told him that their album "How I Learned To Stop Worrying" is my favorite album of all time, and that I wanted to put it out on vinyl to celebrate its 20th anniversary. Happily, Chris agreed to this, and that enrolled us in a crash course on Record Pressing 101.
While the album was on CD and briefly available digitally, it had been completely out of print for far too long in ANY format, and it had never been available as an LP. To release it in that format and make it available to a deprived world had been something of an on-air day dream for me. There would be mornings where reissuing it would come up and we'd get distracted by looking up pressing plant websites and record packaging printers. We didn't have to do this when the mics were on, but sometimes you just have to act, right? On the plus side, listeners would sometimes actually inquire about whether or not the record was going to happen, which was cool.
The reference disc cut by Kevin Gray.
We wanted to go top shelf with this, so the lacquers (plates that are used to create the actual metal record stampers) were done by Kevin Gray from Cohearent. Kevin has done work on releases by Steely Dan, The Beach Boys, Billy Joel, The Grateful Dead, Husker Du, The Travelling Wilburys, New Pornographers, Yo La Tengo, and a zillion others. Not too shabby. The records were done through Pallas USA and pressed in Germany. Pallas has a reputation for clean sounding records, and that was definitely the case with this release.
Chris listening to his album on vinyl for the first time.
The jackets are high quality Tip-On style printed by Dorado Music Packaging, and the already incredible jacket art really pops in this classic presentation. The original elements were tracked down and reassembled for LP jackets by original designer Patrick Nistler, who also did the liner notes insert for this release. Mike Haeg knocked it out of the park with his design for the Grandma Camp Records logo, too. We were also lucky enough to get John M. Borack, Contributing Editor for Goldmine Magazine to write notes for the release. John wrote a review of the original release for Goldmine, and he also ranked "How I Learned to Stop Worrying" the 73rd greatest Power Pop album of all time in his book Shake Some Action: The Ultimate Power Pop Guide.
For bonus materials were were fortunate to get assistance from radio legend Vin Scelsa. Vin hosted the radio show Idiot's Delight for decades in NYC, and in 1997 The Beatifics performed eight songs on his program. Vin still had the tape from that show in his archives, and he was able to provide us with a high quality copy of it. Seven of those tracks are included as part of the digital download included with the LP. The eighth, a cover of Paul McCartney & Wings' 'Junior's Farm', is exclusively on the bonus vinyl 10" included with the Bandcamp-only deluxe edition. Chris also had some pre-Beatifics versions of album tracks that were done by The Rockefellers. He was in that band along with Andy Schultz, who played on "How I Learned To Stop Worrying".
Here we are, two years later, and The Beatifics' "How I Learned To Stop Worrying" is available again, and FINALLY available on vinyl. Everything turned out beautifully, and far beyond expectations. It has been an honor to be working with Chris on this record, and I feel like we did my favorite record of all time a solid.
Currently it is available at Tune Town in Mankato, MN, the last record store in town (and the best in the state of Minnesota!), but we're hoping to get it into record stores in the Twin Cities soon. For those of you that live out and about, the record is available as a digital download, on vinyl, and as a deluxe edition with the bonus 10" via the Bandcamp website. The download is included with both editions of the vinyl, too, so you can get all the bonus tracks and amazingness.
Hope you guys like it!