The Punk Vault

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.


  • MXV is so right – this album is a punk essential, in whatever format, and is one of the sadder rip-off stories. On Avengers vocalist Penelope Houston’s site, you can order a Euro reprint of this on vinyl; or if you need it on CD, Penelope will make you a CDR w/ 2 bonus tracks.

  • Like others, I dig these posts detailing the quest for “completion”. I thought this was reissued by lookout as Died for Your sins, but nope, that is outtakes, demos and re-records. It’s a shame, this is essential listening and deserves to be re-released, but you’ve summed up the story of CD Presents perfectly.

  • Great band. Great info.
    The Lookout LP is good too but of course a re-release of the CD Presents album would be good. Some people might be less enthusiastic about the remixed version from the original 12″.
    I have a question : does anyone have the Avengers booklet originally sold by CD PResents ? I need this. I still wonder why I didn’t buy it in time.

    Thanx for the “mexican plant” thing, cos I have for years a copy of the DOA “Bloodied but Unbowed” LP which came from Mexico…I wasn’t sure if there were many of them cos it arrived here in France totally bent and I had to ask for another copy (which I got, thanx to a CD Presents employee I will never know the name of, but I thank him for the nice free poster which came with the new record 🙂

  • I have the Avengers booklet. One of these days I’ll get around to scanning it and putting the images up on my site somewhere.


  • Thanks for all the great info. I’m real happy I found a copy of that first cover. Didn’t know it was limited to only 200!

  • GO records did get as far as a Test Pressing. So, that is something else to look for. I guess the boot “fanclub” later issues must also test pressings, if you need all of them. That would be a little much, right?

  • Actually, I have an original Go! cover with a Go! test pressing. My friend Mark has the only other set that I know of (unless he sold his). Actually I have a couple of extras, and I’ve eBayed a couple.

    The Mayking test press can’t be for the original, since Mayking is in Europe, and the originals were pressed in the US. They might be from the licensing deal I did with Red Rhino in York when I was working for CD Presents. I suspect they fumbled the ball bad enough that the records were never pressed. If the runout groove says Porky Prime Cut on it, then that’s correct, since I had Porky cut some stuff when I was living in London. That was a while ago, so my memories not pristine.


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