EP: Wake Up by Essential Logic
1979 Virgin VS 261-12
Favorite Track: Quality Crayon Wax O.K.
Record Store Day is Saturday and you better believe I am excited. Recently, despite that every year more and more record sales are happening, people have started to voice dissenting opinions about RSD. From what I’ve read, the majority of the complaints deal with major record labels hogging the few vinyl factories which delay indie releases. Maybe I will touch on that in a later post (although this is what happens to all things that start small and relatively unknown then become part of the social consciousness–Amazon and Starbucks were once a dream, you know) but this post is going to focus a little on what makes rare and/or limited-release editions (such as found on Record Store Day) so appealing.
Which is why I put the Wake Up EP by Essential Logic as this blog’s record.
I have met numerous punk rockers and fans of punk music in my short life time. Seemingly few have heard of Essential Logic even though nearly all have claimed to be huge fans of X-ray Spex. Lara Logic was 15 when she and her friend Poly Styrene started X-ray Spex. Lara blared that sax on the wonderful “Oh Bondage, Up Yours!” single which remains not only a staple but one of the best songs of that rich era. Lara left (one source I read said management didn’t want two girls in one group, but I haven’t been able to confirm that with any other source) and started Essential Logic, which has a similar sound to X-ray Spex albeit more off-kilter and art-rock. They produced very little material: 1 full length, 6 singles, and a compilation album. Currently, I own 2 of the singles. As far as I can tell, none of it has been reissued on vinyl; I used to own the double disc CD which I sold to Papa Jazz Records during my great “Goodbye to CDs, Hello Vinyl” clearance in the summer of 2008. Finding Essential Logic records to me is like finding a magical weapon in Dungeon and Dragons. Oh, sorry. It is like kissing a lover.
I don’t believe that many people when they find a rare or limited-release album snatch it up and think: “Ha! I’m the only person in the neighborhood that has this album. People are going to be so jealous of me.” Instead, I think they think: “Holy shit! *mind goes blank*!” It is overwhelmingly exciting. A limited-release record usually has two numbers on the back such as 615/2000. Again, I don’t think many people care that only two thousand were made and only two thousand record collectors can boast of it in their collections. They are just shocked that one of them was still on the shelf by the time they got there. Record Store Day is slightly odd in that sense because it is a specific day that declares “When we open up at 8 am, there are going to be a bunch of limited-release items sitting there. Have at it!” It is a little too much like Black Friday to me, but I am a staunch supporter of record stores. Yes, I occasionally buy online mostly through discogs or ebay but, for the most part, I do my best to give my money to these independent stores.
This is the first year I remembered to call off RSD since it has gotten huge. I am excited to wake up at 4 am and wait in line for a chance to buy some albums I have craved for many years now. But it is just one day. There will always be another day like they day I walked into Black Plastic and found Wake Up by Essential Logic. I read they got in trouble for using the Alice in Wonderland rabbit which caused the record to be recalled. I wonder how many of them are out there in various collections. When I saw it, I immediately snatched it up and ignored how much it was going to cost me. I was too busy fist pumping.