Bad Brains ‎– Pay To Cum! (1980)


April 19:th 2013 – Hardcore holy grail

Bad Brains ‎– Pay To Cum!

Bad Brains Records ‎– BB001 – 1980 – 7″

As this is a collector-scum site the text will mainly be about the pressing but I promise a little about the music and the band. If you can’t wait for an audio clip – here it is: ♬ Pay To Cum! (MP3 320 kbps)

This a record I bought at several occasions, or rather tried to buy. The reason that I have not been successful is that there are a lot of counterfeits out there. As this is one of the most wanted hardcore vinyls the prices tend to be quite high. On top of that not all records were issued with a picture sleeve and it’s rare that an insert is included. So scrupulous dealers that have the right record have incentive make a sleeve and an insert. On one case it’s was obvious that it was a counterfeit that was offered me as the sleeve was in very good condition (Near Mint) and the record was graded Very Good at best. In the other case the guy trying to sell it was likely ripped off himself. I have been lucky enough to be provided ways to identify the real deal. Also a couple of guys in the collector community has looked at high-resolution images from potential purchases and they could by this see that the sleeve and insert was a counterfeit. This record is from a collector / trader who have had it for 25 years. But I still took help from one of my collector friend for a second option. This despite I have bought some other rare stuff from the guy. Better safe than sorry!

It seems like no one really knows how many copies was pressed in June 1980 when this record was released. What we know is that a few of these records got a sleeve and maybe fewer got an insert. We also know that two different print job was used for the sleeves. There is a white sleeve (glued) with an insert (in the same type of paper as the sleeve). The sleeve is slightly oversized. There is also a cream sleeve version that seems to come in a thicker stock of paper. It seems to be a folded sleeve. The insert of that one has the same cream color, but I believe (but is not sure) that it’s cut slightly different. For more stuff on Bad Brains sleeves please check out Ryan Richardson excellent web-page, Break my face.

There are a lot of figures in circulation of how many copies came with sleeve / insert. The most common number is 150 copies, preferable used by eBay sellers. Honestly – that seems a little low. I am basing this on how many copies that has been sold (on eBay) versus other hyper-limited records / sleeves like first Necros (100 copies), the Fix (200 copies), Minor Threat – Gary Cousins sleeve (125 copies) or the Adolf Hitler sleeve by Last Rights (100 copies). A quick math on how often you see this record for sale (given that some of them are counterfeits) and the low numbers on records mentioned above and other records pressed in 500 copies (that pop up a little more often) I would guess the correct number is more like 300 copies .

The first press record comes with a light tan label with tan lettering. It got matrix MOD •001• A and (PR) and RL and MASTERDISK stamped (A side) and MOD •001• B and (PR) and MASTERDISK stamped (Side B).

The repress had tan labels and red lettering and came without a picture sleeve, but in a dust sleeve stamped “Prank Productions”. The matrix carving is the same (I believe) indicating that the same pressing tool was used.

A re-issue came out in 2011 for the record day. It seems to be at least 3 bootlegs: a Japanese counterfeit from 1989 is the best made. There is also bootlegs on white vinyl and one with blank label, easy identified. I got everything released except the Japanese counterfeit.

There is no argument that Bad Brains (first Washington D.C., USA, later New York) was a very influential band for the hardcore scene. Not only did they great songs (in my opinion) but they were excellent musicians top with their positive thinking philosophy. I guess that they were also an all black hardcore act made it somewhat unusual. They combined the hardcore songs with reggae / Rastafari which at least said was unusual. Often claimed to be the first to make a hardcore record (by people on the east coast (US) at least). At their height (at least on the hardcore scene) between 1979 and 1982 they were the worlds most important hardcore bands. This would include statements from bands like Minor Threat. I head them first on the Alternative Tentacles Let Them Eat Jellybeans! comp, however not in 1981 as I was too young then. I have no ambitions making a deep analysis of the band or the music – I just don’t have the skills to express it. Killed From The Heart has a nice overview (as usual).

To the left: the ROIR tape.

There is not much advice I can give except that getting their second release is a good idea. It’s the ROIR cassette – it’s a masterpiece.

You can find the re-press of the tape for 10 bucks.


The song on side B is ♬ Stay Close To Me (MP3 320 kbps).

Click on the images to expand them to higher resolution. The rips and images are from my record. It was hard to make good pictures with my bad camera. The front sleeve looks too yellow and the rear sleeve and the insert too blue. The labels are more okay.


Front and Rear Sleeve



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