Observed on the third Saturday of April, Record Store Day will once again be upon us and this year has been earmarked as it will include a special Sublime reissue of their first official (underground) album of Jah Wont Pay The Bills.
The Press Release we received perfectly sums up the news, stating: Sublime is set to reissue their original Skunk Records album, Jah Won’t Pay The Bills, on vinyl for the first time! This was a cassette-only release 25 years ago, sold out of the trunk of their cars before they got signed. It’s re-mastered from the original analog tapes with Brian “Big Bass” Gardner and will also be reissued on cassette tape. In addition, 420 limited edition Green Cassettes and 420 limited edition Green Vinyl will be available at random. All formats will be available April 16th, 2016 at your local RECORD STORE DAY indie shops.
Jah Won’t Pay The Bills was an underground tape the group released a year before completing the ground-breaking release of their first commercial record with 40oz to Freedom. The final product of Jah Won’t Pay The Bills included 10 total songs, most of which were early versions of songs that were re-recorded or moved over to 40oz to Freedom.
What’s interesting about celebrating this rare release isn’t so much the choice to cut a vinyl record of the album for the first time, but to bring it back to its initial format on Cassette Tape.
As our own Andrew Aroche previously wrote, compared to vinyl records, cassettes didn’t have the same audio quality. Cassettes often had a scratchy, “room noise” accompanying the music while vinyl records sounded crisp and clean. Although the audio quality of vinyl was and still is highly sought after, quality was gladly sacrificed for mobility in the case of cassettes when they were once embraced to enjoy your music on the go with a cassette walkman.
It’s an interesting choice by Sublime to return to the original music format of their time during the early ’90’s when cassettes, mix-tapes and cassette walkmans were common place. It’s a bit nostalgic for early Sublime fans to hold a freshly sealed reissue of a tape that may have shaped their youth. Before the Internet gave us the freedom to buy songs individually, people either recorded mixtapes from their boomboxes or you would go to your local record store to buy the latest tapes from your favorite artists; or in Sublimes case, you found the band outside their gig selling them out of the trunk of their car.
A full list of participating stores for Record Store Day can be found at RecordStoreDay.com. If you’re reading this and you plan to treat this Record Store Day as a priority to get your hands on this limited edition reissue, then I would suggest waking up early on April 16th to get your ass down to your local Record Store to wait in line to be sure you have an opportunity to pick up this limited edition reissue before they’re outrageously marked up and resold on Ebay from some of the more greedy, opportunistic Sublime fans.
For me personally, I plan on picking up an old fashioned Cassette Walkman with the hopes that I’ll get my hands on this reissue to enjoy authentically. Plus, I heard Eminem plans to reissue the Slim Shady LP on cassette. Maybe we’ll look back at 2016 as the year that key artists brought back the demand of cassette by reissuing older material on tape. Not sure if it’s enough to bring back the OG mix-tape, but as a kid of the ’80’s and ’90’s, I’d gladly embrace and celebrate it’s nostalgic presence.
Sublime – Jah Won’t Pay The Bills Track List:
3.) Let’s Go Get Stoned
4.) New Song
5.) Had a DAT
6.) Don’t Push
7.) Ball and Chain
8.) Slow Ride
9.) Date Rape
10.) Live at E’s