The many flavors of: Avengers – Self Titled LP

The Avengers probably need no introduction. From the first wave of 70s punk in Northern California (San Francisco to be exact), they were around for a very short time, but left their mark and influenced generations of punk to follow. They were one of the first female-fronted punk bands in the USA, and still to this day remain the best.

The story of this record is one wrapped up in confusion and turmoil. It seems that the label somehow strong armed the band into signing their life away, and also included the Dangerhouse recordings on this when in actuality they had no legal right to do so. This album also came out a couple years after the band broke up. Rumor has it that the band tried to reclaim the recordings and the label actually sued the band over it! When Frontier Records reissued some of the Dangerhouse Records catalog, David Fergusson, owner of CD Presents sued Frontier claiming rights to the Avengers Dangerhouse recordings which was proven not to be true and thus he lost the lawsuit. He promptly filed for bankruptcy upon losing the lawsuit, in an effort to get out of having to pay the enormous legal fees.

All controversy aside, this stands as one of the all time greatest punk albums and deserves a spot in every person’s record collection. Unfortunately no one can go out and buy it on vinyl, or any format anymore for that matter, with the exception of a poor sounding bootleg LP. The label, CD Presents, ceased operations years ago and the owner hasn’t bothered to reprint it even on CD, or even license it to anyone. It is as if the record is being held hostage and there is a whole new generation of music fans being cheated out of the opportunity to own this mandatory piece of plastic.

While it was available throughout the years, it came in a whole plethora of vinyl colors and variations and I believe this is the record I own the most copies of. If you are stricken with the need for completion, this one will give you quite a headache and a lot of sleepless nights trying to get them all.

The first pressing came on black vinyl. This was released in 1983.

It was then pressed on “Limited Edition Red Vinyl” and had a sticker on the shrink wrap indicating this. This was the version I bought originally when I was in high school.

After that, it was pressed on blue vinyl. It was at this time that a barcode was added to the back cover.

At this point I’m not sure what order these were released in. They were…

Green vinyl,

Clear vinyl,

Purple Vinyl,

Orange vinyl (which seems to be the hardest color to find),

and another on black vinyl with a barcode on the back cover and a different label

There were two different test pressings for this, the original one,

and the second one from 1988 when CD Presents pressed their records at a plant in Mexico.

To further add to the confusion, there was an alternate sleeve. This sleeve was meant to be the one used when this was originally slated to come out on Go Records before it was taken over by CD Presents. There were covers printed in anticipation of this release but they were scrapped. Some sleeves were salvaged and were floating around, then later on 200 were filled with blue vinyl records and sold by CD Presents as a limited edition.

An interesting note that most of the later color vinyl pressings featured much darker cover printing than the earlier black and red vinyl copies. The album was released on CD officially in the 90s but sadly it is out of print and a reissue doesn’t look like it is going to happen anytime soon.