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A Record Collector's Guide

SP73 Nirvana

Sliver b/w Dive

Sub Pop SP73, released September 1990

This one gets complicated. Bear with me here.

First Pressing: The initial pressing of the Sliver 7" had blue marble and black pressings, and came with foldover sleeves with singles club forms attached. The labels and sleeves did not mention Erika Records. Sub Pop says the first 3000 were on blue marble vinyl. If the pressing pattern of the time holds true, there were probably between 3500 and 4000 black ones. Word of warning: the black first pressing was bootlegged. Real ones are super cheap now, so not a major danger, but be aware.

Pressing 1b: There are several versions of the the Sliver single that have first pressing labels (with no mention of Erika Records). First, we have the clear pink ones. These are generally considered to be part of the first pressing. They are a darker pink than the second pressing clear pink ones. Most of these came in a version of the first pressing sleeve (the foldover paper sleeve). However, some came with Singles Club forms attached, and others did not, and not just because the form had been torn off and lost in time. Some were just made without the form.

Next, we have the legendary white vinyl copies. These are terribly rare and are some of the most collectible Nirvana records. They had first pressing labels, but came in second pressing sleeves (full glossy sleeves, sealed on three sides, with Erika Records information on the backs). The story is that not many of these were made, and they were only made available to the band and employees of Sub Pop or Erika Records. When they hit the market, they were mostly found in a single record store in Los Angeles. Over the years, the price of these has fluctuated. There were enough of these in circulation that the price stayed stable in the $400-500 range for a number of years, but then...it disappeared. None were sold publicly for about a decade. As a result, demand spiked and the price went with it when it sold in 2018 (if you are looking at auction results, ignore the one that went for $600...it's not a real result).

Still going with 1b. There are also clear blue copies. These can get confused with the first pressing blue records, but those were an opaque blue. These were not. As with the white copies, these blue ones also had first pressing labels and (mostly) second pressing sleeves. The color ranges from a straight blue to a teal color. They are not particularly hard to come by. This was also the version of the Sliver 7" that came packaged with the red and white splatter version of the Bleach LP.

Oh yeah, and then the red one happened. After years of rumors, one of these surfaced in 2008. When it was auctioned, I assumed it was just a particularly dark version of the pink first press. The person who bought it proved otherwise. I've seen pictures (beyond the one below) that convinced me. It definitely has some pink in it, but...it's red.

Second pressing: this is where it gets messy. (Wait, THIS is where it gets messy?!?) These versions had full sleeves, sealed on three sides, and most (not all) had Erika Records credits on the back. These had Erika Records credits on the labels as well. Colors include: black, light blue w/ black marbling, orange marble, peach, yellow, clear blue/teal, pink, pink marble, and clear. It is often difficult to tell the difference between the orange and peach ones from pictures. If you examine them up close, though, the peach version is partially translucent, while the orange one is a completely solid marbled orange. Orange and pink marble are both very scarce versions of the Sliver single, perhaps even more so than clear, which tends to sell for a bit more.

Third pressing: These had full sleeves with the late-90's era black labels. Very common. There are some variants, though. Some have the song titles in capital letters on both sides, some on one side, others neither. Most have the same matrix codes as previous pressings, but there is a version that has GOLDEN stamped in the trail-off wax as well. Keep in mind when I say "third pressing", I do not mean to indicate that there was a single press run. This record was likely pressed in this style many times over. Calling it a third pressing is convenient for grouping them.

Fourth pressing: I call this a fourth pressing, just based on the patterns of some other Sub Pop releases. The vinyl is exactly like the third pressing, except that the sleeves were of the foldover variety, on thick card stock.

Fifth Pressing: Done? Nope. There was a fifth variety. Sub Pop went back to the classic yellow labels, but the band name was much larger on them. They stuck with the thick-stock sleeves for these. Then, Newbury Comics jumped on board with some exclusives. They did two runs of the Sliver single. First, in 2015, they pressed 1,000 copies on split blue and pink vinyl. This one surfaced with both the classic matrix codes and the GOLDEN ones. Then, in 2018, Newbury Comics did it again, this time with two more versions: 500 copies each on split blue/clear and split clear/pink vinyl.

Version Value ($) Scarcity Price Trending
First (and 1b) Pressings
SP73 Blue Marble (3000) 60-90 1 Volatile
SP73 Black (3500-4000) 10-12 1 Down
SP73 Pink 100-150 7 Volatile
SP73 Blue/Teal 40-60 5 Stable
SP73 White 1000-1200 10 Up
SP73 Red ? 10 Up
Second Pressings
SP73 Clear 175-225 8 Stable
SP73 Orange Marble 165-220 9 Volatile
SP73 Pink Marble 150-190 8 Volatile
SP73 Light Blue w/ White/Black Marbling 50-100 6 Volatile
SP73 Peach 50-85 6 Down
SP73 Yellow 80-110 5 Up
SP73 Blue/Teal (2nd Labels) 40-60 5 Stable
SP73 Pink (2nd Labels) 20-30 3 Down
SP73 Black (2nd Labels) 6-10 5 Down
Third Pressing
SP73 Black 5 1 Stable
SP73 Black (Golden pressing) 5-8 2 Stable
Fourth Pressing - Thick Stock Sleeve
SP73 Black (Golden pressing) 5-8 2 Stable
SP73 Black (Erika pressing) 5 1 Stable
Fifth Pressings
SP73 Black 5 1 Stable
SP73 Blue/Pink Split (1000) 20-30 3 Stable
SP73 Blue/Clear Split (500) 15-20 4 Stable
SP73 Clear/Pink Split (500) 15-20 4 Stable
1st Pressing Attached Insert
Test Pressing
1st Pressing - Blue Marble
1st Pressing - Black
1st Pressing - Pink
White
Red
Clear Blue/Teal (1st Pressing Labels)
Clear
Orange Marble
Hot Pink Marble
Light Blue w/ White/Black Marbling
Peach
Yellow
2nd Pressing - Clear Blue/Teal
2nd Pressing - Pink
2nd Pressing - Black
3rd/4th Pressing - Black
5th Pressing - Black
Blue/Pink Split
Blue/Clear Split
Clear/Pink Split
Sleeve 1st pressing: Paper foldover w/ insert attached
2nd pressing: Full glossy
3rd pressing: Full glossy
4th/5th pressing: Thick-stock paper foldover
Test Pressing Black vinyl, small hole, plain white labels
Credits Enrico: red image
Recent Sales Data: White Vinyl:

Year Sold Quantity Median Price ($) Platform
2019 0 N/A N/A
2018 1 1100 eBay
2017 0 N/A N/A

Recent Sales Data: Clear Vinyl:

Year Sold Quantity Median Price ($) Platform
2019 3 181 Discogs
2018 0 N/A N/A
2017 4 227 Discogs, eBay

Recent Sales Data: Orange Marble Vinyl:

Year Sold Quantity Median Price ($) Platform
2019 1 168 eBay
2018 1 165 eBay
2017 2 244 eBay

Recent Sales Data: Hot Pink Marble Vinyl:

Year Sold Quantity Median Price ($) Platform
2019 4 152 Discogs, eBay
2018 1 45 eBay
2017 1 242 eBay

This page was last updated on October 19, 2019.

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Scarcity Score Definition
10 Near impossible: Fewer than 50 copies or publicly sold every few years
8-9 Very rare: 50-199 copies or publicly sold 1-2 times per year
6-7 Rare: 200-499 copies or publicly sold a few times a year
4-5 Medium: 500-999 copies or publicly sold ~10 times a year
1-3 Common: 1000+ copies, readily available, or publicly sold 20+ times a year

Estimated values are based on recent auction results or online sales. Commercial use of images on this site is not permitted. Non-commercial use of images permitted, with attribution to Pette Discographies. All images copyright their respective owners.

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