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Nervous Breakdown (EP)

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Nervous Breakdown
Black Flag - Nervous Breakdown
EP by Black Flag
Released October 1978
Recorded January 1978 at Media Art Studios in Hermosa Beach, California
Genre Hardcore punk
Length 5:13
Label SST (001)
Producer Black Flag
Black Flag chronology
Nervous Breakdown
(1978)
Jealous Again
(1980)

Nervous Breakdown is the debut EP by the American hardcore punk band Black Flag, released in 1978 through SST Records. It was the label's first release.

Recording historyEdit

The recording was financed by Greg Ginn with proceeds he had earned from his mail-order ham radio electronics business, Solid State Transmitters (SST).[1] Through Spot, then an apprentice engineer whom Ginn had already known from living in Hermosa Beach, California, the band found Media Art, a studio that had recently completed construction.[2]

The recording was originally supposed to be released through Bomp! Records, but the band felt that the label was taking too long to put the record out. Eventually the band took the master rights back, and Ginn put some more earnings from his ham radio business, located a pressing plant in the phone book, and co-founded SST Records with Black Flag bassist Chuck Dukowski, borrowing the label's name from his business.[1]

It is commonly misconstrued that Spot was the producer and engineer of Nervous Breakdown. In his sleeve notes for the 1982 outtakes anthology Everything Went Black, Spot pointed out that as an apprentice engineer, his involvement in the sessions was limited to setting up microphones during the tracking sessions, and doing rough mixes for the band to hear.[2]

According to Greg Ginn in an interview with Outcry Magazine in 1980, the initial pressing of Nervous Breakdown was 2,000 copies. Black Flag were able to use the record as "a badge of legitimacy" (according to Dukowski) to begin getting live gigs in the Los Angeles area.[2]

Four other songs were completed during the recording, "Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie", "I Don't Care", "White Minority" and "No Values", which were later released as part of the Everything Went Black compilation album.

Release historyEdit

There are 16 distinctly different releases of the Nervous Breakdown EP on 7" vinyl, three different releases on 10” vinyl, one release on cassette tape and several releases on CD including both 3” and 5” varieties. The EP is still in print both in its original form (a 7" vinyl EP), as a 5" CD single, and as part of the anthology The First Four Years. In the past, it has also been available as part of the various artists compilation of SST singles, The 7 Inch Wonders of the World.

There are no official records of how many of each of the early releases were produced, but Greg Ginn explained the numbers of the first two releases in an interview with Outcry Magazine on September 25, 1980. He stated that as of that moment, they had fully distributed two releases totaling 3,000 copies. The first pressing was 2,000 copies and the second pressing made up the balance of 1,000 copies and they were preparing for a third pressing.


THE 7" VINYL RELEASES ARE AS FOLLOWS:


1st Release

Release: Recorded in January 1978, 2,000 copies released about February 1979, all copies distributed prior to the Summer of 1980.

Sleeve: Black ink on glossy white paper. Artist - Raymond Pettibon's Brick Wall artwork. The sleeve is folded and cut straight across the top with front and back top edges the same height. No glue was used on the sleeve... it consisted of a folded piece of paper. It has no bar code.

Label: Color is bright fuchsia (pink) with matte finish, “Bubble Font” is used for the word “Records” and the “R” and “E” in the word “Records” touch.

Vinyl: 7”, Black, big hole, deadwax runout has “SST 001-A” on side A and “SST 001-B” on side B.



2nd Release

Release: 1,000 copies released around the Summer of 1980, all copies distributed prior to October, 1980.

Sleeve: Light blue ink on white gloss paper sleeve. Artwork varies from 1st release with no Brick Wall. The Black Flag font and logo appear for the first time. The sleeve is cut straight across the top with front and back top edges just about the same height. Since these were hand folded and glued, the front edge may occasionally be a little lower than the back edge. The artwork on the back of the sleeve is "large" and goes all the way to the very top. It has no bar code.

Label: Color is bright fuchsia (pink) with glossy finish, “Bubble Font” is used for the word “Records” and the “R” and “E” in the word “Records” touch.

Vinyl: 7”, Black, big hole, deadwax runout has “SST 001-A” on side A and “SST 001-B” on side B.

PRIMARY DIFFERENCE(S) TO PREVIOUS VERSION: This 2nd Pressing/Version has a light blue ink on the sleeve and the sleeve is not just a folded piece of paper... It has been folded and glued. Also the label is glossier and a slightly darker shade of pink compared to the 1st Pressing.



3rd Release

Release: Unknown quantity released after October of 1980, but because of its similar rarity to the 2nd release, the quantity is guessed to be 1,000 copies or less. It is believed all copies were distributed prior to the Summer of 1981.

Sleeve: Red ink on white gloss paper sleeve. Artwork is exactly the same as 2nd release and the artwork on the back of the sleeve is "large" and goes all the way to the top edge. The sleeve is cut in a crescent downward across the top front edge and arches up across the back top edge. It has no bar code.

Label: Color is not as pink as the 2nd release with almost a more maroon color and a matte finish, “Bubble Font” is used for the word “Records” and the “R” and “E” in the word “Records” touch.

Vinyl: 7”, Black, big hole, deadwax runout has “SST 001-A” on side A and “SST 001-B” on side B.

PRIMARY DIFFERENCE(S) TO PREVIOUS VERSION: This 3rd Pressing/Version has a red ink on the sleeve and the label is back to more of a matte finish and a slightly different shade of pink compared to the 2nd Pressing.



4th Release

Release: Unknown quantity released around Summer of 1981; quantity is believed to be near 2,000.

Sleeve: Red ink on white gloss paper sleeve. Artwork on front is exactly the same as 2nd and 3rd releases but it is noticeably smaller on the back. The sleeve is cut straight across the top edge of the front and is straight across on the back but the back edge is about 5/16 to 3/8 of an inch lower than the front top edge. It has no bar code.

Label: Color looks to be the same pink color as the 3rd release and has a matte finish, “Bubble Font” is used for the word “Records” and the “R” and “E” in the word “Records” touch.

Vinyl: 7”, Black, big hole, deadwax runout has “SST 001-A” on side A and “SST 001-B” on side B.

PRIMARY DIFFERENCE(S) TO PREVIOUS VERSION: This 4th Pressing/Version a slightly different sleeve design with a flat top edge on both the front and rear with the edge on the rear being 5/16 to 3/8 of an inch lower than the front edge. Also the artwork on the reverse of the sleeve is smaller.



5th Release

Release: Unknown quantity released around the year 1982; quantity is believed to be 2,000 or more.

Sleeve: Red ink on white gloss paper sleeve. Artwork on front and back is exactly the same as the 4th release. The sleeve exactly the same as 4th release and is cut straight across the top edge of the front and is straight across on the back but the back edge is about 5/16 to 3/8 of an inch lower than the front top edge. It has no bar code.

Label: Color is just a little lighter pink in color than the 3rd and 4th releases and has about the same matte finish, “Arial Font” is used for the word “Records” and the “R” and “E” in the word “Records” DO NOT touch.

Vinyl: 7”, Black, big hole, deadwax runout has “SST 001-A” on side A and “SST 001-B” on side B.

PRIMARY DIFFERENCE(S) TO PREVIOUS VERSION: This 5th Pressing/Version has a different label design on the record with new fonts for the word "RECORDS" as well as "BLACK FLAG".



6th Release

Release: Unknown quantity released around the year 1983 or 1984.

Sleeve: Red ink on white gloss paper sleeve. Artwork on front and back is exactly the same as the 5th release. The sleeve is cut in an upward arch across the top edge of the front and a crescent downward across the back top edge.

Label: Color is fuchsia pink in color and has about the same matte finish as the 5th release, “Arial Font” is used for the word “Records” and the “R” and “E” in the word “Records” DO NOT touch.

Vinyl: 7", Black, big hole, deadwax runout has “SST 001-A L-19417” on side A and “SST 001-B L-19417-X” on side B.

PRIMARY DIFFERENCE(S) TO PREVIOUS VERSION: This 6th Pressing/Version has a different sleeve design with an arched edge on the front of the sleeve and a concave edge on the rear of the sleeve. It also has additional information added to the deadwax runout.



7th Release

Release: Unknown quantity released around the year 1985.

Sleeve: Red ink on white gloss paper sleeve. Artwork on front and back is exactly the same as the 5th and 6th releases. The sleeve is cut in an upward arch across the top edge of the front and a crescent downward across the back top edge. It has no bar code.

Label: Royal Blue Label with Black Flag font and Black Flag 4 Bar Logo. Sides labeled as "Side One and Side Two". Label has a typo showing the song length of Nervous Breakdown on Side One as being 2:55 instead of 2:05.

Vinyl: 7”, Clear Yellow, small hole, deadwax runout has “SST 001-A R-12806 L-19417” on Side One and “SST 001-B L-19417-X R-12807” on Side Two.

PRIMARY DIFFERENCE(S) TO PREVIOUS VERSION: This 7th Pressing/Version has a different label, now blue and completely redesigned. The vinyl has been changed to a clear/translucent yellow and the deadwax runout has changed.



8th Release:

Release: Unknown quantity pressed around the year 1986. Sleeve: Navy Blue ink on white gloss paper sleeve. Artist - Raymond Pettibon's artwork on the front of the sleeve is exactly the same as the 7th Pressing (only now in navy blue ink). The back of the sleeve shows some significant changes... the artwork is smaller, the four Black Flag Bar Logo has been added and a bar code shows up for the first time. The sleeve is cut in an upward arch across the top edge of the front and a crescent downward across the back top edge. Has a Bar Code "0 18861-0001-7 6".

Label: Blue label same as the label on the 7th Pressing with the same following characteristics: Sides are labeled as "Side One and Side Two". Has Black Flag font and Black Flag 4 Bar Logo. Typo showing the song length of Nervous Breakdown on Side One as being 2:55 instead of 2:05.

Vinyl: 7”, Clear Red Vinyl, SMALL Hole, deadwax runout has “SST 001-A R-12806 L-19417” on Side One and “SST 001-B L-19417-X R-12807” on Side Two.

PRIMARY DIFFERENCE(S) TO PREVIOUS VERSION: This 8th Pressing/Version has a sleeve with Navy Blue Ink with changes to the artwork on the back of the sleeve including the introduction of the Bar Code. The color of the vinyl changed from Clear Yellow to Clear Red.



9th Release:

Release: Unknown quantity pressed around the year 1986.

Sleeve: Navy Blue ink on white gloss paper sleeve. Artist - Raymond Pettibon's artwork on the front and back of the sleeve is exactly the same as the 8th Pressing. The sleeve is cut in an upward arch across the top edge of the front and a crescent downward across the back top edge. Has a Bar Code "0 18861-0001-7 6".

Label: Blue label same as the label on the 7th and 8th Pressings with the same following characteristics: Sides are labeled as "Side One and Side Two". Has Black Flag font and Black Flag 4 Bar Logo. Typo showing the song length of Nervous Breakdown on Side One as being 2:55 instead of 2:05.

Vinyl: 7”, Clear Red Vinyl, LARGE Hole, “SST 001-A R-12806 L-19417” on Side One and “SST 001-B L-19417-X R-12807” on Side Two.

PRIMARY DIFFERENCE(S) TO PREVIOUS VERSION: This 9th Pressing/Version has a LARGE center hole.



10th Release

Release: Unknown quantity pressed around the year 1988.

Sleeve: Navy Blue ink on white gloss paper sleeve. Artist - Raymond Pettibon's artwork on the front of the sleeve is exactly the same as the 8th and 9th Pressings. The sleeve is cut in an upward arch across the top edge of the front and a crescent downward across the back top edge. Has a Bar Code "0 18861-0001-7 6".

Label: Blue label same as the label on the 7th, 8th and 9th Pressings with the same following characteristics: Sides are labeled as "Side One and Side Two". Has Black Flag font and Black Flag 4 Bar Logo. Typo showing the song length of Nervous Breakdown on Side One as being 2:55 instead of 2:05.

Vinyl: 7”, Black, SMALL Hole, deadwax runout has “SST 001-A R-12806 L-19417” on Side One and “SST 001-B L-19417-X R-12807” on Side Two.

PRIMARY DIFFERENCE(S) TO PREVIOUS VERSION: This 10th Pressing/Version is now Black vinyl and has a SMALL center hole.



11th Release:

Release: Unknown quantity pressed around the year 1988.

Sleeve: Navy Blue ink on white gloss paper sleeve. Artist - Raymond Pettibon's artwork on the front and back of the sleeve is exactly the same as the 8th, 9th and 10th Pressings. The sleeve is cut in an upward arch across the top edge of the front and a crescent downward across the back top edge. Has a Bar Code "0 18861-0001-7 6".

Label: Blue label same as the label on the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th Pressings (except for large hole cut out) with the same following characteristics: Sides are labeled as "Side One and Side Two". Has Black Flag font and Black Flag 4 Bar Logo. Typo showing the song length of Nervous Breakdown on Side One as being 2:55 instead of 2:05.

Vinyl: 7”, Black, LARGE Hole, deadwax runout has “SST 001-A R-12806 L-19417” on Side One and “SST 001-B L-19417-X R-12807” on Side Two.

PRIMARY DIFFERENCE(S) TO PREVIOUS VERSION: This 11th Pressing/Version has a LARGE center hole.



12th Release:

Release: Unknown quantity pressed in 1998.

Sleeve: Navy Blue ink on white matte (not glossy) paper sleeve. Artist - Raymond Pettibon's artwork on the front and back of the sleeve is exactly the same as the 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th Pressings. The sleeve is cut straight across the top edge of the front and is straight across on the back but the back edge is about 3/16 to 1/4 of an inch lower than the front top edge. Has a Bar Code "0 18861-0001-7 6".

Label: Blue label same as the label on the 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th Pressings with the same following characteristics: Sides are labeled as "Side One and Side Two". Has Black Flag font and Black Flag 4 Bar Logo. Typo showing the song length of Nervous Breakdown on Side One as being 2:55 instead of 2:05.

Vinyl: 7”, Black, SMALL Hole, deadwax runout has “SST 001-A R-12806 L-19417” on Side One and “SST 001-B L-19417-X R-12807” on Side Two. Interestingly, there is a slight difference in the deadwax runout between this pressing and the previous five versions... in the previous five versions, the "R-12806" in the deadwax runout looks like the "0" was actually a very small "6" and then was scratched out in a circular motion giving the appearance of a "0". In this 12th Version, the small "6" is intact and has not been scratched out.

PRIMARY DIFFERENCE(S) TO PREVIOUS VERSION: This 12th Pressing/Version changed the design of the top opening of the sleeve from arched to straight. The paper sleeve is now matte and not glossy. It changed again to a SMALL hole. Deadwax runout is slightly different on Side One.



13th Release:

Release: Unknown quantity pressed in 1998.

Sleeve: Navy Blue ink on white matte (not glossy) paper sleeve. Artist - Raymond Pettibon's artwork on the front and back of the sleeve is exactly the same as the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th Pressings. The sleeve is cut straight across the top edge of the front and is straight across on the back but the back edge is about 3/16 to 1/4 of an inch lower than the front top edge. Has a Bar Code "0 18861-0001-7 6".

Label: Blue label same as the label on the 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th Pressings with the same following characteristics: Sides are labeled as "Side One and Side Two". Has Black Flag font and Black Flag 4 Bar Logo. Typo showing the song length of Nervous Breakdown on Side One as being 2:55 instead of 2:05.

Vinyl: 7”, Black, LARGE Hole, deadwax runout has “SST 001-A R-12806 L-19417” on Side One and “SST 001-B L-19417-X R-12807” on Side Two. Same as Version #12, there is a slight difference in the deadwax runout between these pressings and the previous five versions (7-11)... in the previous five versions, the "R-12806" in the deadwax runout looks like the "0" was actually a very small "6" and then was scratched out in a circular motion giving the appearance of a "0". In this 13th Version, the small "6" is intact and has not been scratched out.

PRIMARY DIFFERENCE(S) TO PREVIOUS VERSION: This 13th Pressing/Version has a LARGE hole.



14th Release:

Release: Unknown quantity pressed in 2007.

Sleeve: Navy Blue ink on white card stock sleeve. Artist - Raymond Pettibon's artwork on the front and back of the sleeve is exactly the same as the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th Pressings. The sleeve is flat across the top of the front and back with front edge lower than the rear edge by 1/8". Has a Bar Code "0 18861-0001-7 6".

Label: Blue label and label artwork same as the label on the 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th Pressings with the same following characteristics: Sides are labeled as "Side One and Side Two". Has Black Flag font and Black Flag 4 Bar Logo. Typo showing the song length of Nervous Breakdown on Side One as being 2:55 instead of 2:05.

Vinyl: 7”, Black Vinyl, SMALL Hole, deadwax runout has “595- SST 001-7 (A) R-12806 DS” on Side One and “595- SST 001-7 (B) R-12807 DS” on Side Two.

PRIMARY DIFFERENCE(S) TO PREVIOUS VERSION: This 14th Pressing/Version is that the sleeve is now card stock and the Vinyl has a SMALL center hole. Deadwax runout has changed.



15th Release:

Release: Unknown quantity pressed in September, 2010. Although released before the limited release of Version 16, it was also released after Version 16.

Sleeve: Navy Blue ink on white card stock sleeve. Artist - Raymond Pettibon's artwork on the front and back of the sleeve is exactly the same as the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th Pressings. The sleeve is flat across the top of the front and back with front edge lower than the rear edge by 1/8". Has a Bar Code "0 18861-0001-7 6".

Label: WHITE label same as the label design on the 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th Pressings with the same following characteristics: Sides are labeled as "Side One and Side Two". Has Black Flag font and Black Flag 4 Bar Logo. Typo showing the song length of Nervous Breakdown on Side One as being 2:55 instead of 2:05.

Vinyl: 7”, Black Vinyl, Small Hole, deadwax runout has “595- SST 001-7 (A) R-12806 DS” on Side One and “595- SST 001-7 (B) R-12807 DS” on Side Two.

PRIMARY DIFFERENCE(S) TO PREVIOUS VERSION: This 15th Pressing/Version has a WHITE label.



16th Release:

Release: Unknown quantity pressed in 2011. Believed to be a limited release.

Sleeve: Navy Blue ink on white card stock sleeve. Artist - Raymond Pettibon's artwork on the front and back of the sleeve is exactly the same as the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th Pressings. The sleeve is flat across the top of the front and back with front edge lower than the rear edge by 1/8". Has a Bar Code "0 18861-0001-7 6".

Label: WHITE label and label artwork is same as the label design on the 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th Pressings with the same following characteristics: Sides are labeled as "Side One and Side Two". Has Black Flag font and Black Flag 4 Bar Logo. Typo showing the song length of Nervous Breakdown on Side One as being 2:55 instead of 2:05.

Vinyl: 7”, Clear BLUE Vinyl, Small Hole, deadwax runout has “595- SST 001-7 (A) R-12806 DS” on Side One and “595- SST 001-7 (B) R-12807 DS” on Side Two.

PRIMARY DIFFERENCE(S) TO PREVIOUS VERSION: This 16th Pressing/Version has CLEAR BLUE vinyl.



Photos of each release with specific individual differences can be found at:

Nervous Breakdown 7" EP Variation Photos


Track listingEdit

[3]

All songs written and composed by Greg Ginn, except where noted. 
Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Nervous Breakdown"   2:07


Side B
No. Title Length
1. "Fix Me"   0:55
2. "I've Had It"   1:20
3. "Wasted" (Keith Morris, Ginn) 0:51
Total length:
5:13


PersonnelEdit

[3]

BandEdit

ProductionEdit

  • Black Flag - producers
  • David Tarling – recording engineer
  • Spot – recording engineer, mix engineer
  • Raymond Pettibon – artwork

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Michael Azzerad, Our Band Could Be Your Life, Little Brown, 2001
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Spot with Chuck Dukowski, Liner notes of Everything Went Black, SST Records, 1983
  3. 3.0 3.1 Template:Cite AV media notes

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