A Record Collector's Guide

Sub Pop Promos and Strangely-Numbered Items

SP 1000 Tad

Jack Pepsi b/w Plague Years

Sub Pop SP1000, released 1990

This was a promo-only release that Sub Pop included with one of the original singles club singles.  It was released in 1990 on black vinyl.  It had no picture sleeve.  Limited to 3000 copies and pretty easy to find.

Version Approximate value ($)
SP1000 Black (3000) 5-8
Sleeve Plain white paper

SP2000 Beat Happening

Nancy Sin b/w Left Behind

Sub Pop SP2000, released 1990

Another promo-only release from 1990.  Same deal as the Tad single.  Black vinyl.  No sleeve.  3500 copies.

Version Approximate value ($)
SP2000 Black (3500) 8-10
Test Pressing
Sleeve Plain white paper

SP3000 Eric's Trip

Notes from Stereo Mountain

The Meeting/Sail Boat b/w The Tub/She Came Back To Me

Sub Pop SP3000, released 1994

There is a back story with this promo that I don't know all that well.  I do know that it's very rare, and makes Eric's Trip collectors salivate.  I think this was a re-release of something that they (or maybe just Julie Doiron?) had released on their own before this one came out.  I once heard that there were 1000 of these pressed, but I find that difficult to believe due to its scarcity.  The sleeve is a black & white comic book, which supposedly corresponds with the songs.

Version Approximate value ($)
SP3000 Black 50-60
Sleeve Paper comic book

SP4000 Sunny Day Real Estate/Shudder To Think Split 7"


In Circles b/w X French Tee Shirt

Sub Pop SP4000, released 1994

There were 2000 of these promos pressed on black vinyl, but there were some color variations in the sleeves.  The fronts of the sleeves were stamped with the basic information about the single, while on the backs, there were stamps detailing tour dates for the two bands.  The sleeve variations were: 1. front - red ink/back - blue ink, 2. front - red ink/back - blue ink, 3. front & back - black ink.  I am not sure whether any version is rarer than any other.  For now, I am assuming no.

Version Approximate value ($)
SP4000 Black (Red/Blue Ink Sleeve) 20-25
SP4000 Black (Red/Green Ink Sleeve) 20-25
SP4000 Black (Black Ink Sleeve) 20-25
Sleeve Paper full

SP5000 Red Red Meat

Oxtail b/w Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)

Sub Pop SP5000, released 1995

Black vinyl promo, not too hard to find.  I think the b-side is a Flock of Seagulls cover or something.

Version Approximate value ($)
SP5000 Black 5-8

SP1776 V/A

Helter Shelter Box Set

Sub Pop SP1776, released 1995

Contained within: the four Brit-pop singles: SP 275 - Elastica, SP 276 - S*M*A*S*H, SP 281 - Supergrass and SP 294 - Gene.  The out-of-numerical-order catalogue number was a nod to the year of the Declaration of Independence...for no good reason other than it was the U.S. releasing UK bands...

Anyway, this set was a big collector-dork tease.  They claimed initially that there were 250 of these, if I recall correctly.  I can't see that as being remotely possible, considering that you can buy this now, many years later, on every vinyl-vending web site, in sealed condition...for less than or equal to the original retail price.  Something doesn't add up, folks.  Granted, Sub Pop sold out of it very quickly.  I bought two copies from that initial pressing thinking I had a solid collectible.  I still have one of those sealed...yet the value has never really increased.  Maybe the label pressed more copies later or something.  I don't know.

This one really bugs me.  I don't think I have ever been more incorrect about the projected value of a collectible.  The set royally screwed up the market for the records contained within...all it did was drive down the values of all of the individual singles (and, simultaneously, itself).  It didn't help that all of the bands fell out of style either due to inactivity or general suckage.

Right.  SO...contained in the box set are all four singles, in the same colors that the individual releases had (except the S*M*A*S*H single, which, from what I understand, mostly came in standard green in the box set, and mostly appeared as olive green individually).  They were all housed in the same cardboard inner sleeves that they came with initially, but without the outer cardboard sleeves.  Well, the set contained ONE of those, which held a booklet.

Version Approximate value ($)
SP1776 Box Set 25
SP275 Elastica
SP276 S*M*A*S*H
SP281 Supergrass
SP294 Gene
Sleeves Full cardboard x 4, one cardboard outer sleeve, and a cardboard box containing the whole set.

SUB PRO#77 Sebadoh

Flame (Remix Radio Version) b/w Saltwater Garden

Sub Pop SUB PRO#77, released 1998

Sebadoh promo - black vinyl.

Version Approximate value ($)
SUB PRO#77 Black 15-20
Sleeve Plain red paper
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