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A Record Collector's Guide

The Slackers - Albums

Better Late than Never

Moon Ska MR067 CD, released 1996

Special Potato SP003 CD, released 2002

Special Potato SP0003 2xLP, released 2002

Asbestos ASB041 LP + 7", released 2009

No album title could possibly have fit better.  The Slackers' first album was a game changer.  There were some really solid ska albums on the market when this one came out.  Better Late than Never raised the bar.  Excellent, top to bottom.  The only knock on it might be that the production is a little bit bass-heavy, which mutes the rest of the sound a bit.  The album was remastered years later and re-released on Special Potato (along with three bonus tracks from the original recording sessions).  At that point, it was also released on vinyl for the first time - as a double LP on black vinyl.  That double LP was a very easy find for several years, and then suddenly became scarce (it mostly coincided with the Jammyland shop closing).  Asbestos Records repressed it again in 2009.  This version did not include the three bonus tracks.  It was also done as an LP + 7".  No real reason for this, but it's fun.  The Asbestos version is much rarer than the previous one (150 copies on black vinyl and 350 on white), but is still readily available.  I expect this to change over time. 

Version Approximate value ($)
Moon Ska MR067 CD 10-12
Special Potato SP-3 2xLP 15-20
Asbestos ASB041 LP+7" Black (150) 12
Asbestos ASB041 LP+7" White (350) 12
Special Potato Disc 1
Special Potato Disc 2
ASB041 LP Test Pressing
ASB041 7" Test Pressing
ASB041 LP Black Vinyl
ASB041 7" Black Vinyl
ASB041 LP White Vinyl
ASB041 7" White Vinyl

Redlight

Hellcat 80403-1 LP, released 1997

Hellcat 80403-2 CD, released 1997

Something big happened in 1997: Tim Armstrong got the go-ahead to form Hellcat Records, a subsidiary of Epitaph.  When this happened, it shifted the balance of power in the ska world tremendously.  Hellcat went out and snatched up a good number of top ska bands in one shot: the Slackers, Hepcat, and the Pietasters all made the jump at the same time (along with the Gadjits).  The Slackers's second album, Redlight, was their first on Hellcat.  I consider this album to be basically perfect.  It is one of my all-time favorite albums by any artist - no exaggeration.  Available on vinyl from the start.  Supposedly, it is no longer in print, but it is still very easy to find.  Black vinyl.

Version Approximate value ($)
Hellcat 80403-1 LP 15-18
Test Pressing Black vinyl, white labels

The Question

Hellcat 80410-1 2xLP, released 1998

Hellcat 80410-2 CD, released 1998

The Slackers' third has a little bit of everything.  They threw a lot of material into this one.  Very good overall.  Released as a CD and a black vinyl double LP, which went out of print pretty early on.  It can sell for quite a bit of money.  I have seen it sell for up to $100.  The price fluctuates a lot, though, so if you get it at the right time, you can occasionally find a good deal.  Somewhere in the $50-70 range is more the norm.

The Question was finally re-pressed in 2013 by Whatevski Records.  During the crowdsourcing campaign, Whatevski reported that the original Hellcat pressing was only 250 copies, which would certainly explain its scarcity.  It remains to be seen how much the re-press will affect the value of the original.  The 2013 version is almost identical to the 1998 version, only it adds the Whatevski information.  Oh, and they did a color vinyl version in addition to black for this one.  The black one was (again) limited to 250 copies.  The clear ("coke-bottle blue") version was limited to 40!  That's going to be a tough one to get down the road.

Version Approximate value ($) Price Trending
Hellcat 80410-1 2xLP Black (250) 50-70 Stable
Whatevski WHTVSKI-39205 2xLP Black (250) 30-35 Stable
Whatevski WHTVSKI-39205 2xLP Clear (40) 50-60? Stable
1st Press - Side A
1st Press - Side C
2nd Press - Side A
2nd Press - Side C
2nd Press Clear - Side A
2nd Press Clear - Side C

This page was last updated on May 18, 2013.

Before There Were Slackers There Were the Nods

Special Potato CD, released 1999

I had trouble determining where to put this CD in the whole framework of the Slackers discography.  This material predates the Slackers, but the album did not actually see official release until 1999.  It can be relatively difficult to find now.  There are some very interesting recordings on here.  Some are characteristic Slackers songs, while others sound nothing like them.  I would definitely suggest getting this one.

Version Approximate value ($)
Special Potato CD 15-20

Live at Ernesto's

Hellcat 80426-2 CD, released 2000

The Slackers' first official live album - only available on CD.  Recorded in Sittard, Netherlands, at what has become one of the band's favorite venues.  This is an excellent live recording.  It is an accurate depiction of the live Slackers experience of the time, and fully captures the tremendous talent of the band.

Version Approximate value ($)
Hellcat 80426-2 CD 10-12

Wasted Days

Hellcat 80429-1 LP, released 2000

Hellcat 80429-2 CD, released 2000

I get the bass line from the title track of this album stuck in my head all the time.  There's some really good material on here.  I think my opinion of it suffers from my brain comparing it to all of their prior efforts.  Interestingly, the vinyl is actually a very different release from the CD.  The vinyl contains 10 tracks vs. 16 on the CD.  9 of those 10 tracks are different (Wasted Days is the same): the LP contains So this is the Night (alt. version), Don't Break My Heart, Fifteen, Information Error (alt. version), Wasted Dub (Dub version of Wasted Days), Tales of the Rugaroo (Remix of Tales of the Mongoose), A Fifth of Slack (Remix of Made up My Mind), Old Days (alt. version), and Remember When.  The vinyl was readily available for a good long time, but is now getting fairly rare.  The word finally got around about the alternate set of tracks.  Black vinyl.

Version Approximate value ($)
Hellcat 80429-1 Black 25-35

The Slackers and Friends

U.S. CD - Special Potato 38071, released 2002

Germany CD - Select Cuts SC2020, released 2003

This CD was a fun batch of Slackers collaborations.  An 11-track version came out in the U.S., and a 13-track version was released in Germany (the extra tracks are You Turn Me On and Since I Found You, both with Susan Cadogan.  I believe the disc was reissued domestically with the extra tracks, but I am a little hazy on the details.  I have some conflicting reports...it was either 2004 or 2008, and I am not 100% positive that it contained all 13 tracks from the European version.  Only released in CD form, though a four-track 12" sampler came out in Germany.

Version Approximate value ($)
Special Potato 38071 CD 10-15
Select Cuts SC2020 CD 10-15

Close My Eyes

Hellcat 80455-1 LP, released 2003

Hellcat 80455-2 CD, released 2003

The Slackers' sound continues its steady development.  The vinyl (black) is not hard to find.

Version Approximate value ($)
Hellcat 80455-1 LP Black 12-15

The Slackers/Pulley Split

Do Tell DTR-009 CD, released 2003

This was a random split CD that the Slackers did with Pulley.  You probably couldn't have figured that out from the title.  It's a good one, but I can't give you a full opinion, because I have not listened to it in years.  Bizarre artwork.

Version Approximate value ($)
Do Tell DTR-009 CD 10-12

Upsettin' Ernesto's

Music Machine MMRLP 003 2xLP, released 2004

Music Machine MMRCD 003 CD, released 2004

Here we go...time to decide whether you are really going to be a Slackers collector.  This is the toughest Slackers album to find.  The vinyl was produced in the Netherlands and limited to 500 hand-numbered copies.  It can occasionally sell for less than the Question, but is usually more expensive.  The CD isn't the easiest find, either, but it's nothing compared to the double LP.  Plus, the vinyl contains two extra tracks: I Still Love You and Midnight Rendezvous.  Oh yeah, it's also a very good performance - another live set from Ernesto's, accompanied this time by Glen Adams and Susan Cadogan.  Black vinyl.

Version Approximate value ($)
Music Machine MMRLP 003 2xLP Black 65-75

An Afternoon in Dub

U.S. CD - Special Potato, released 2005

Europe CD - Echo Beach, released 2005

Brazil CD - Tratore, released 2005

Japan CD - Ska in the World SIWI-045 CD, released 2005

U.S. LP - Asian Man AM180, released 2009

Lots of Slackers songs done dub-style.  I don't get dub...I don't know why.  Perhaps it is my complete lack of desire to consume the illicit substances that might be prerequisites for being able to enjoy dub.  This one was released on CD in many different countries with a variety of album artwork.  It did not appear on vinyl until 2009, when Asian Man got ahold of it (which resulted in dramatically different artwork - the yellow one above).  It is on black vinyl and is still in print.

Version Approximate value ($)
Asian Man AM180 Black 10-12

Slack in Japan

Ska in the World SIWI-025 CD, released 2005

Guess what this is?  No, don't be ridiculous.  It's a Slackers live album from Japan!  A very solid live performance, at that.  The highlight has to be their version of Linda Linda by the Blue Hearts.  My sister actually once got on stage with the Slackers and sang that song in Japanese (not in Japan).  It was only released in Japan, but some copies have made it to the States.

Version Approximate value ($)
Ska in the World SIWI-025 CD 20-25

Peculiar

Hellcat 80479-1 LP, released 2006

Hellcat 80479-2 CD, released 2006

Peculiar was a very solid Slackers album with some odd, yet very cool, artwork.  Released on black vinyl, which is easy to procure.

Version Approximate value ($)
Hellcat 80479-1 Black 10-12

Big Tunes! Hits & Misses from 1996 to 2006

Ska in the World SIWI-063, released 2007

Big Tunes is a greatest hits CD, only released in Japan.  It was released to commemorate ten years of Slackers releases.  Not much else to say, really.

Version Approximate value ($)
Ska in the World SIWI-063 CD 15-20

The Boss Harmony Sessions

Special Potato SP-11 CD, released 2007

Ska in the World SIWI-091 CD/DVD, released 2008

The Boss Hamony Sessions contains some interesting originals, covers, and alternate versions of Slackers favorites, as recorded by DJ Boss Harmony.  Definitely worth your time.  No vinyl for this one.  A limited press run, but you can still find it.  The Japanese version was released on Ska in the World, and came with a DVD (which I have never seen, so I can't really comment on it).

Version Approximate value ($)
Special Potato SP-11 CD 12-15
Ska in the World SIWI-091 CD/DVD 15-20

Self Medication

U.S. LP - Special Potato SP-21, released 2008

U.S. CD - Indication IND 2, released 2008

Germany CD - Moanin' MOACD 8013, released 2008

Japan CD - Ska in the World SIWI-098, released 2008

Hey, look - a Slackers album!  The vinyl for this release contains very different artwork from the CD (it's the red sleeve above).  Black vinyl, easy to find.

Version Approximate value ($)
Special Potato SP-21 Black 10-12

Lost and Found

U.S. CD - Special Potato SP-27, released 2009

U.S. LP - Paper & Plastick PP0030, released 2009

Japan CD/LP - Ska in the World SIWI-138, released 2009

Digital - Whatevski DIP004, released 2009

This release made me happy.  It is a collection of random material that the Slackers recorded over the years that had, to this point, never seen the light of day.  There are some really excellent recordings on here.  The vinyl came out on three different colors: the standard black, a yellow/black split, and a greenish "mustard mix" vinyl.  The mustard mix was limited to 100 and supposedly only available through Interpunk, but I got it later from Paper & Plastick. I'm not positive the color of this version was what they were going for.  If you look closely, it is actually two different colors, split down the middle, but the colors ended up being very similar...kind of a greenish brown mess.

As far as I know, the yellow/black split was only available directly from Paper & Plastick or directly from the band.  It's a tough find - took me over a year.  Most are black.  The Japanese LP is the standard U.S. black vinyl with a "Ska in the World" sticker added to the outer packaging.  NOW...be forewarned: the vinyl does not contain as many tracks as any of the other versions.  In fact, it has substantially fewer (12).  The digital release contains a bonus track.

Version Approximate value ($)
Paper & Plastick PP0030 Mustard Mix (100) 18-20
Paper & Plastick PP0030 Yellow/Black 18-20
Paper & Plastick PP0030 Black 12-15
Ska in the World SIWI-138 Black 15-20
Mustard Mix
Yellow/Black
Black
Sleeve Gatefold

The Great Rocksteady Swindle

U.S. LP - Hellcat 80515-1, released 2010

U.S. CD - Hellcat 80515-2, released 2010

Japan LP - Ska in the World SIWI-134, released 2010

Japan CD - Ska in the World SIWI-131, released 2010

Digital "Album and Fun Pack" - Whatevski DIP009, released 2010

The latest Slackers album sees them going back to Hellcat.  The vinyl came in red and black varieties.  As far as I can tell, the red one is only available through Kings Road Merch (it was still available at last check).  The black one went to everyone else.  As with Lost and Found, the Japanese LP is just the U.S. one with a Ska in the World sticker on it.  It is only more valuable because the retail price is so much higher.  The digital release contains a whole extra set of tracks (25 live tracks plus an interview).

Version Approximate value ($)
Hellcat 80515-1 Red 12-15
Hellcat 80515-1 Black 12-15
Ska in the World SIWI-134 Black 20-25
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