This month sees the release of a special limited edition 30th anniversary version of Motorhead’s classic 1977 debut album. This facsimile LP release in our Hip Pocket series, will feature a silver Motorhead logo, just like the first pressings of the LP thirty years ago.
Being so involved with a collector's shop like Rock On, I had always been aware of the commercial value of packaging gimmicks. American independent record companies regularly used coloured shellac or vinyl during the 1950s to help move initial copies of many of their releases.
At Chiswick, from the release of our fourth single, we always pressed the first 1000 copies of each 7" on virgin vinyl and ensured that these were packed in laminated sleeves.*
It was natural that we should try to do something special for the initial 1000 copies of Motorhead's first album release. We figured that the Motorhead 'War Pig' icon would look great in chrome out of a black background and so we asked our sleeve printer to take care of this for us.
The only way it could be done was by printing the black design on chrome coated board and although this cost an extra 18p a copy, we figured that it was worthwhile. It would mean that all those hard core Motorhead fans that had supported the band through thick and thin and who we knew would rush out to buy the album on day one would be rewarded with something special.
Only problem was that the adhesive used to glue the sleeve together did not bond very well with the chrome-coated inside flaps on the back cover and about 100 copies of the chrome sleeve were returned to us as faulty. I did have a few of these stashed away, but they were destroyed in a fire about four years ago.
The original album in chrome and black sleeve is now worth up to about £100 in mint condition and for those who can't locate one of these, we also issued the second 1000 copies of the LP in a shiny laminated black and white sleeve which goes for around £25 in mint condition.
Hopefully this limited edition facsmile CD will also gain in value over the years.
*[This practice was discontinued after a year or so as it was becoming too difficult to make scheduled release dates on time with the laminated sleeve / virgin wax pressings].
By Ted Carroll