It just so happens that one of my three favorite punk rock albums of all time came in quite a few variations. I can’t tell you how many thousands of times I’ve played this double album in my life from start to finish. It is truly one of those records that I think should be issued with every home. Not only did this record come on a few different colors of vinyl, but it was released overseas in two different countries. Well, enough of my blabbering, let’s get down to business.
The first pressing came on black vinyl, and had no barcode on the back, as I’m pretty sure they had not even been invented yet when this was released! The sleeve was a heavy cardboard type stock. The lyrics and liner notes are printed inside the gatefold sleeve in blue and white.
There was also a UK pressing, also on SST. The only real difference is just the address on the back cover.
The record was also licensed to Aggressive Rockproduktionen in Germany and released there. The back cover had their own label information,
and the inside sleeve was black and white instead of blue and white. The spine also was plain white with regular type as opposed to all the other variations where the spine was part of the artwork.
Around 1989 when SST started pressing their records on colored vinyl for a year or so, there ended up being five different colored vinyl runs of this album, with 1000 being pressed of each one according to the information former SST employee, Chuck Dukowski, told me. The colors for this particular release were:
gold vinyl (perhaps my favorite),
a sort of lime green vinyl,
and orange vinyl.
So there you go, every variation of Zen Arcade that I’ve ever seen with the exception of the test pressing (which I’m certainly in need of!).