So only one month removed from writing a post on the Breeders biggest selling record, I’m writing a second post on the classic Last Splash. Last night I saw a Facebook post from Runt Records who are also the people behind 4 Men With Beards and Plain Recordings. They are putting out Last Splash on red translucent vinyl. You can pre-order the record now or wait until the September 18th release date… if they have any left by then.
It’s amusing that the greatest criticism handed Kim Deal and The Breeders is that Last Splash wasn’t something slightly bigger than it was. It wasn’t Pixies enough; it wasn’t grunge enough; it wasn’t polished enough; it wasn’t poppy enough, or it didn’t have the right producer. Yet the album went on to sell more than a million copies and was an alt-rock staple of 1993 and ’94. The single “Cannonball” was so damn infectious just the thought of the opening can get your head nodding and body moving in that familiar 90’s pogo.
For all the complaints, Last Splash remains an eclectic journey that has moments of pure pop joy (“Cannonball”), acoustic head turners (Drivin’ On 9”) and outright experimentation (“Do You Love Me Now”). Twenty-two years since its release and it still finds its way onto my stereo when I need a musical boost.
So , what about vinyl?
Well, by 1993 vinyl was just about taking its final bow and some records on smaller labels weren’t printing wax releases at all. The Breeders’ Last Splash fell into a weird spot. Here was a Chicago based band that North American fans had to import if they wanted the record on vinyl. The wax edition was only available to shoppers in Brazil, Spain and the UK. From that original release, only one country, the UK, was offered a bonus 7” to go with the vinyl. Not surprisingly, the reseller market for the initial release is all based out of the UK and people are asking for anywhere between $75 and $200. If you are looking for a newer option, there are only two. In 2009, Plain Recording released a 180 gram edition with no frills. It is still available if you look in the right places and can usually be had for around $30. The next version is a lot more complicated. In 2013, The Breeders released a special 20th anniversary edition of Last Splash that was a full blown vinyl box set containing three 12” records and four 10” records. The first 12” was the re-mastered Last Splash with the other two containing a live show (called Stockholm Syndrome) and demos and rarities. The ten inches are re-masters of the bands EP’s – Safari, Cannonball, Divine Hammer and Head to Toe.
Considering just how much is in the box a price tag that can range from $110 to $140 new isn’t surprising. However the reseller market has gone tragically insane at times with one e-bay vendor asking over $300. You can still find new copies if you do a bit of searching and used copies go for under $100 on discogs.