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A Record Collector's Guide

Sub Pop Singles: SP12 to SP50

These were the 7"s that started everything.  They shaped 90's vinyl collecting and beyond.  Many of the singles on this page can be called legendary.  It began with a few singles, mostly on color vinyl.  Then, color vinyl stopped for a while, but would return with a vengeance.  The earliest Sub Pop singles exist on transparent black vinyl (giving a brown effect), rather than solid black vinyl.  This was an unintended effect of the pressing process.  Some black copies are thinner, lighter vinyl than others.  The lighter ones exhibit this semi-translucent brown effect.  The black versions of the first six Sub Pop singles were all translucent black.  The Sonic Youth/Mudhoney split 7" (SP26) started to change over, but those are still mostly translucent black, as far as I can tell.  I would not be surprised to find a solid one, though.  On the Flaming Lips single (SP28), we started to see both solid black and translucent black.  Solid black appears to be more common.  Basically everything after that point seems to have been on solid black, wit the exception of the SP50 Dwarves single.  Almost all of these were on translucent black.  I have heard recent reports of solid black ones, but cannot confirm this yet.

SP12a Soundgarden

Hunted Down b/w Nothing to Say

Sub Pop SP12a, released June 1987

The first Sub Pop 7".  500 copies on blue vinyl with a blue paper sleeve.  This one was later bootlegged.  Beware fakes.  They are regularly sold as the real thing.  I got burned.  The fakes are still rare, but the collecting community is increasingly aware of them.  They are not very valuable.

    Originals
  • Clear blue vinyl with no marbling.
  • "Soundgarden" on label: not cut off at all
  • Matrix codes in trail-off wax: R10866 and R10867
  • Comes with blue paper sleeve
    Fakes
  • Thin blue vinyl with slight marbling
  • "Soundgarden" on label butts up against the edge and can be slightly cut off
  • Matrix code in trail-off wax: 19c87
  • Blue paper sleeve is generally missing

Version Approximate Value ($) Price Trending
SP12a Blue 150-250 Volatile
Original
Fake
Sleeve Plain blue construction paper

This page was last updated on February 9, 2016.

SP13 Blood Circus

Two Way Street b/w Six Foot Under

Sub Pop SP13, released June 1988

The second Sub Pop single.  800 copies on red vinyl and 200 on black.  The black ones were mainly used as promotional items.  The single had no picture sleeve, but did come in a plain red paper sleeve.

Version Approximate Value ($) Price Trending
SP13 Red (800) 10-20 Down
SP13 Translucent Black (200) 30-40 Stable
Test Pressing
Sleeve Plain red construction paper
Test Pressing Black vinyl, small hole, plain silver labels

This page was last updated on February 9, 2016.

SP14 Swallow

Trapped b/w Guts

Sub Pop SP14, released June 1988

Sub Pop single #3.  600 copies on yellow vinyl and 200 on black.  The black ones were mainly used as promotional items.  The single had no picture sleeve, but did come in a plain yellow paper sleeve.

Version Approximate Value ($) Price Trending
SP14 Yellow (600) 20-35 Stable
SP14 Black (200) 30-40 Stable
Test Pressing
Sleeve Plain yellow construction paper
Test Pressing Black vinyl, small hole, plain silver labels
Credits Costa: Test pressing image

This page was last updated on February 9, 2016.

SP18 Mudhoney

 

Touch Me I'm Sick b/w Sweet Young Thing (Ain't Sweet No More)

Sub Pop SP18, released August 1988

Oy.  Where to start with this one...one of the most famous 7"s from the Sub Pop era, Mudhoney's debut Sub Pop single exists in almost too many incarnations to discuss.  The first pressing was of 800 on reddish-brown vinyl (see pic), with an additional 200 on black vinyl, most of which were used for promotional purposes (these are probably translucent black, but I have not seen one up close).  These copies all had no picture sleeves and had the classic toilet labels, which had a light blue-green tint to them.  In addition, there were a few other colors of vinyl (10-15 each) that came with toilet labels.  Many have now surfaced.  I've seen yellow, blue, clear, red, orange, and several mixed colors.  There may be more.  There are several stories floating around about these, one of which is that they were a gift from the pressing plant for being late with the order.  I don't know for certain.  What I do know is that these are all preposterously valuable.

Second pressing: Touch Me I'm Sick was later re-released with a picture sleeve.  It was released this way during the period in which Erika Records was pressing all of Sub Pop's color vinyl releases on a huge variety of colors.  As a result, there are many colors of this one out there.  This was actually a completely different version of the record, with distinct matrix codes.  All subsequent versions were from the same mold.  The back of the sleeve has "Second Edition" printed on it.   Sorry about some of those images...some were scanned with the sleeves behind them.  I cleaned them up, and the transparent ones look a little odd.

Third pressing: After the color vinyl parade, a third pressing of the single came out with the same picture sleeve, but on black vinyl with Sub Pop's mid-90's era black labels.  The back of the sleeve has "Third Edition" printed on it.  This one isn't worth much.

Fourth pressing (3b): Sometime in 2006, Sub Pop threw us a curveball.  They released a version of this single with "third edition" picture sleeves, but on black vinyl with toilet labels.  This is where it gets screwy.  The toilet labels are slightly different from the original ones.  These had either a blue background color, much darker than the original, or a white background.  Very interesting to see...I paid way too much for one of these when it first showed up on the market.  Oh well, at least I wasn't the guy who dropped $500 on one...

Version Approximate Value ($) Price Trending
SP18 1st Pressing: Reddish-brown vinyl (800) 125-175 Up
SP18 1st Pressing: Black (200) 125-200 Volatile
SP18 1st Pressing: Rarer Colors (yellow, blue/purple, clear, red, orange, any mixes of the above) 450-600 Stable
SP18 2nd Pressing: Green 10-15 Stable
SP18 2nd Pressing: Purple 15-20 Down
SP18 2nd Pressing: Purple Marble 20-25 Stable
SP18 2nd Pressing: Pink 15-20 Stable
SP18 2nd Pressing: Pink Marble 15-20 Stable
SP18 2nd Pressing: Blue Marble 15-20 Stable
SP18 2nd Pressing: Light Blue w/ Marbling 15-20 Stable
SP18 2nd Pressing: Brown 20-30 Down
SP18 2nd Pressing: Black 5 Stable
SP18 3rd Pressing: Black 2-4 Stable
SP18 4th Pressing: Black, Blue Toilet Label 5 Stable
SP18 4th Pressing: Black, White Toilet Label 5 Stable

1st Pressings

Test Press

2nd Pressings

3rd-4th Pressings

Test Press 3rd/4th
3rd Press
Sleeve 1st pressing: Plain white paper
2nd-4th Pressings: Paper foldover
Test Pressing 1st pressing: Black vinyl, large hole, plain white labels
4th Pressing: Black vinyl, small hole, yellow Erika labels
Credits James: Called my attention to the red 1st press
Ryan: Orange 1st press image
Costa: Green, brown 2nd pressing images, 3rd press image
Stan Ballard: Most of the other 2nd pressing images

This page was last updated on February 9, 2016.

SP19 Tad

Daisy b/w Ritual Device

Sub Pop SP19, released August 1988

Dear world: meet Tad.  This one was released with no picture sleeve.  964 copies were on clear vinyl (no idea where this number came from).  There are some black ones out there - probably 200, like the ones before it.  There are also some gold vinyl copies (Sub Pop says 70).  I have only seen this one a couple of times.

Version Approximate Value ($) Price Trending
SP19 Clear (964) 50-85 Volatile
SP19 Translucent Black (200) 100-125 Stable
SP19 Yellow (70) 125-150 Volatile
Test Pressing
Sleeve Plain white paper, some in clear PVC
Test Pressing Black vinyl, large hole, plain white labels

This page was last updated on February 9, 2016.

SP23 Nirvana

  

Love Buzz b/w Big Cheese

Sub Pop SP23, released November 1988

Sub Pop Singles Club #1

Nirvana's legendary first single.  1000 hand-numbered copies, 200 additional copies with red marker across the number space on the sleeve.  All are on transparent black vinyl.  The value fluctuates wildly on this record.  Even if you catch it in a downswing, however, it will cost you an awful lot of money.  Check out sliver.it for the full details.  I cannot do a better job than that.  However, the basic ways to recognize a real one are: 1. The names Alice Wheeler and Susan Sasic on the back of the sleeve are legible.  2. The side A trail-off wax reads: Why don't you trade those guitars for shovels? L-31540 SP-23-A kdisc; side B reads: L-31540X SP-23-B kdisc.

Note that there are MANY bootlegs out there (also see sliver.it for details).  They are not terribly difficult to spot once you know what to look for.  Remarkably, the bootlegs also sell for a considerable amount of money...at one point in 2008, the fakes were going for over $300.  Asinine.

Version Approximate Value ($) Price Trending
SP23 Translucent Black - Hand-numbered Sleeve (1000) 1300-2300 Volatile
SP23 Translucent Black - Red marker stripe Sleeve (200) 2000-2500 Volatile
Test Pressing
Sleeve Paper foldover, hand-numbered or w/ red stripe in place of a number
Test Pressing Black vinyl, small hole, plain white labels

This page was last updated on February 9, 2016.

SP26 Sonic Youth/Mudhoney Split 7"

 

Touch Me I'm Sick b/w Halloween

Sub Pop SP26, released December 1988

Sub Pop Singles Club #2

Glitterhouse GR0056 - Split 12" (Germany)

500 on clear vinyl and 2500 on translucent black (some may be on solid black).  Sonic Youth and Mudhoney cover each other.  A classic.

Version Approximate Value ($) Price Trending
SP26 Clear (500) 35-50 Stable
SP26 Translucent Black (2500) 15-25 Down
Test Pressing
Sleeve Paper foldover
Test Pressing Black vinyl, small hole, plain white labels

This page was last updated on February 9, 2016.

SP28 Flaming Lips

Drug Machine b/w Strychnine/(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding

Sub Pop SP28, released January 1989

Sub Pop Singles Club #3

Glitterhouse GR0043 (Germany)

1500 copies, all on black vinyl.  Many of these are on solid black vinyl, but some are out there on translucent black.  Based on the number of these I have seen, I would guess it is about 2:1 solid/translucent.

Version Approximate Value ($) Price Trending
SP28 Black (800) 20-25 Down
SP28 Translucent Black (200) 20-25 Down
Test Pressing
Sleeve Paper foldover
Test Pressing Black vinyl, small hole, plain white labels

This page was last updated on February 9, 2016.

SP29 Les Thugs

Chess and Crimes b/w Sunday Time

Sub Pop SP29, released February 1989

Sub Pop Singles Club #4

1500 copies, all on black vinyl.

Version Approximate Value ($) Price Trending
SP29 Black 10-15 Stable
Test Pressing
Sleeve Paper foldover
Test Pressing Black vinyl, small hole, plain white labels

This page was last updated on February 9, 2016.

SP30 Helios Creed

Nothing Wrong b/w The Sky

Sub Pop SP30, released March 1989

Sub Pop Singles Club #5

1500 copies, all on black vinyl.

Version Approximate Value ($) Price Trending
SP30 Black 8-12 Stable
Sleeve Paper foldover

This page was last updated on February 9, 2016.

SP32 The Afghan Whigs

I Am the Sticks b/w White Trash Party 7"

Sub Pop SP32, released April 1989

Sub Pop Singles Club #6

Limited to 1500 copies, all on black vinyl.  The version of "White Trash Party" on this single is a different version from the one that was released on the Up in It album.  After many years, I came across a copy that contained an early loose Singles Club insert.  This one appears to have been designed specifically for this release.

Version Approximate Value ($) Price Trending
SP32 Black 15-25 Stable
Loose Insert
Test Pressing
Test Pressing Black vinyl, small hole, plain white labels.

This page was last updated on February 6, 2016.

SP33 Mudhoney

 

You Got It (Keep It Outta My Face) b/w Burn It Clean

Sub Pop SP33, released May 1989

Glitterhouse GR0060 - Burn It Clean 12" (Germany)

According to Sub Pop, the first 3000 of these were released with poster sleeves (see image above).  There were 300 on white vinyl, and the rest were on black vinyl.  I am guessing that the 300 white were part of the 3000 (i.e. there are 2700 black ones with poster sleeves).  Not positive on that one.  I do know that some of the white copies come with a slightly different poster sleeve.  It is on a glossier, magazine-like paper, while all of the black (and some of the white) have a poster sleeve with a thicker stock paper - more of a cardboard feel.  For a record that supposedly only has 300 copies, the white one seems to show up for sale pretty often and does not sell for that high a price.  I have no proof, but this leads me to believe there are more than 300 on the market.  There were also 2000 pressed on black vinyl with normal sleeves.  These later black copies came with loose inserts.

Version Approximate Value ($) Price Trending
SP33 White w/ poster sleeve (300) 15-20 Stable
SP33 Black w/ poster sleeve (2700) 6-8 Stable
Black w/ normal sleeve (2000) 5 Stable
Loose Insert
Test Pressing
Sleeve Paper foldover, poster printed on inside of sleeve (3000); Paper foldover, no poster
Test Pressing Black vinyl, small hole, plain white labels

This page was last updated on February 9, 2016.

SP35 Mad Daddys

Take Me Back to Woodstock b/w Alligator Wine

Sub Pop SP35, released May 1989

Sub Pop Singles Club #7

Limited to 1500 copies, all on black vinyl.  The labels are misnumbered; they say it is SP31...it isn't.

Version Approximate Value ($) Price Trending
SP35 Black 5-8 Down
Sleeve Paper foldover

This page was last updated on February 10, 2016.

SP37 Tad/Pussy Galore Split 7"

Damaged I b/w Damaged II

Sub Pop SP37, released June 1989

Sub Pop Singles Club #8

Limited to 2500 copies, all on black vinyl.  Both bands cover Black Flag songs.  This was the first real appearance of the Singles Club enrollment form insert.  The inserts started showing up with every Sub Pop single for a year or two in this photocopied cutout format, before eventually giving way to the attached printed insert.

Version Approximate Value ($) Price Trending
SP37 Black (2500) 20-25 Stable
Loose Insert
Sleeve Paper foldover

This page was last updated on February 10, 2016.

SP39 Das Damen

Sad Mile b/w Making Time

Sub Pop SP39, released July 1989

Sub Pop Singles Club #9

Limited to 1500 copies, all on black vinyl.

Version Approximate Value ($) Price Trending
SP39 Black (1500) 5-8 Down
Loose Insert
Sleeve Paper foldover
Test Pressing Black vinyl, small hole, plain white labels

This page was last updated on February 10, 2016.

SP40 Rapeman

Inki's Butt Crack b/w Song Number One

Sub Pop SP40, released August 1989

Sub Pop Singles Club #10

Limited to 2500 copies, 1000 on clear vinyl and 1500 on black vinyl.  After a steady run of consistent value, the price of the clear vinyl version has been rising.

Version Approximate Value ($) Price Trending
SP40 Clear (1000) 40-50 Stable
SP40 Black (1500) 20-30 Stable
Loose Insert
Test Pressing
Sleeve Paper foldover
Test Pressing Black vinyl, small hole, plain white labels

This page was last updated on February 10, 2016.

SP43 Lazy Cowgirls

Loretta b/w Hybrid Moments

Sub Pop SP43, released September 1989

Sub Pop Singles Club single #11

Limited to 2000 copies, 1000 on clear vinyl and 1000 on black vinyl.  I always thought there were 1200 clear, but Sub Pop says it was 1000, so...well, I am believing that at the moment.

Version Approximate Value ($) Price Trending
SP43 Clear (1000) 8-12 Stable
SP43 Black (1000) 8-10 Stable
Loose Insert
Test Pressing
Sleeve Paper foldover
Test Pressing Black vinyl, small hole, plain white labels.  Mislabeled as "SP44" on one label on the copy that I have.  "Mudhoney SP44" is also written on the sleeve.

This page was last updated on February 10, 2016.

SP44a Mudhoney

This Gift b/w Baby, Help Me Forget

Sub Pop SP44a, released 1989

Glitterhouse GR0070 12" (Germany)

Released in conjunction with Mudhoney's self-titled album, the first 3000 copies of this single were on purple vinyl.  Most of the rest (I do not know how many) were on black vinyl.  There is a very rare version on a maroon-purple color.  It looks to be the same purple as the SP46 test pressing.  There is also an absurdly rare green vinyl version.  It surfaced in an auction.  The seller called it a test pressing, but... I don't think that's accurate.  I think it's just a very rare version.

Version Approximate Value ($) Price Trending
SP44a Purple (3000) 6-8 Down
SP44a Black 2-4 Down
SP44a Maroon-purple 80-100 Up
SP44a Green 300-350 Up
Test Pressing
Purple
Purple vs. Maroon
Sleeve Paper foldover
Test Pressing Black vinyl, small hole, plain white labels
Credits Gregg Conover: Maroon-purple images
STOUTR: Green image

SP45 Love Battery

Between the Eyes b/w Easter

Sub Pop SP45, released 1989

Love Battery's first record, a two song 7" on Sub Pop.  The two songs on this single were both released on the Between the Eyes EP.  The first 500 copies were on red vinyl, and the next 2500 were on black.  One interesting note on this one: there is a rejected test pressing of this record with a different mix of the songs on it.  The matrix code of this test pressing reads as follows: Side A -  "Dial M for Muzak SP-45-A Kdisc ch L-33610" / Side B - "SP-45-B Kdisc ch L-33610-X".  The matrix code of the final release is: Side A - "Dial M for Muzak SP-45-A Re-1 Kdisc ch L-33610" / Side B - "SP-45-B Kdisc ch L-33610-X".  The "Re-1" in the final version is the indicator of the second test pressing.

Version Approximate Value ($) Price Trending
SP45 Red (500) 10-15 Down
SP45 Black (2500) 5 Down
Rejected Test Pressing
Sleeve Paper foldover
Test Pressing Rejected: Black vinyl, small hole, plain white labels

SP46 Lonely Moans

Shoot the Cool b/w Texas Love Goat

Sub Pop SP46, released October 1989

Sub Pop Singles Club single #12

Limited to 2000 copies, 1200 on red vinyl and 800 on black vinyl.  The test pressing of this record was on purple vinyl.

Version Approximate Value ($) Price Trending
SP46 Red (1200) 8-10 Down
SP46 Black (800) 5 Down
Loose Insert
Test Pressing - Maroon
Test Pressing - Purple
Sleeve Paper foldover
Test Pressing Purple or maroon vinyl, small hole, plain white labels

SP47 Skin Yard

Start at the Top b/w Watch

Sub Pop SP47, released October 1989

The first 500 copies of this single were on white vinyl, and the rest (3000) were on black.  Originally, after the first 500 were pressed, the next 500 were supposed to be on clear vinyl.  I am fairly certain this never happened.  I have never seen one.

Version Approximate Value ($) Price Trending
SP47 White (500) 5 Down
SP47 Black (200) 2-4 Down
Loose Insert
Test Pressing
Sleeve Paper foldover
Test Pressing Black vinyl, small hole, plain white labels
Rumors Clear vinyl version.  I am now fairly sure this does not exist, but if anyone has one of these, please email me and send pics.

SP48 Screaming Trees

 

Change Has Come

Sub Pop SP48, released 1989 (2x7" - U.S.)

Glitterhouse GR0080 (12" - Germany)

Finally...a 7"!!!  This was Screaming Trees' only release on Sub Pop, a double single in 1989.  Most copies of this one either contain two black 7"s or one white and one black.  Both discs exist on white vinyl, but SP48C on white seems to be slightly more difficult to find.  There is a version with both records on red vinyl (~60 were supposedly made).  I heard a rumor that there was a double purple copy out there...I have never seen one of these, so as far as I am concerned, it is unconfirmed.  There was also a concurrent German release of this EP on Glitterhouse, but it was a 12" with one extra song (the same track that is on the Sub Pop cd version).

Version Approximate Value ($) Price Trending
SP48 2x7" White 30-35 Down
SP48A White/SP48C Black 20-25 Down
SP48A Black/SP48C White 20-25 Down
SP48 2x7" Black 15-20 Down
SP48 2x7" Red 50-60 Down
GR0080 Black 10-15 Down
Loose Insert
SP48A White
SP48C White
SP48A Black
SP48C Black
SP48A Red
SP48C Red
Sleeve Poster w/ loose insert
Test Pressing 7": Purple vinyl, white labels (purportedly)

SP50 Dwarves

She's Dead b/w Fuckhead

Sub Pop SP50, released February 1990

Sub Pop Singles Club #16

Limited to 3000 copies, 1500 on white vinyl and 1500 on black vinyl.  There are solid and translucent black versions, but the translucent black is MUCH more common.  Supposedly, there was a second pressing of this one of about 50 on purple vinyl.  I have never seen one of these.  I am not convinced they exist.

Version Approximate Value ($) Price Trending
SP50 White (1500) 15-25 Down
SP50 Translucent Black 8-10 Down
SP50 Black 12-15 Down
Loose Insert
Sleeve Paper foldover
Rumors Purple vinyl version.  If anyone has one of these, please email me and send pics.
Sub Pop Singles: Next Page 
Sub Pop Singles Club V1
Sub Pop Singles Club V2
Sub Pop Index
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