A Record Collector's Guide

The Joy Formidable - Albums


A Balloon Called Moaning

Pure Groove PUREGROOVECD001 CD and Box Set, released 2009 (UK)

Ralleye RYECD 055, released 2009 (Japan)

Black Bell BB001-1 LP / BB001-2 CD, released 2010 (U.S./UK)

Somehow, no one considers A Balloon Called Moaning a full album. Fine. Semantics. Even calling it an EP, though, it may be the best record of the last decade. Really, really good stuff. It gives me hope for the music industry. This one came out in several different formats.

First and foremost, we have the box set. The band initially put this out under the Pure Groove moniker. The limited box set contained the CD, a booklet, several postcard-size pieces of Rhydian's artwork, and an actual balloon with "Moaning" printed on it. It all came in a carefully assembled box, hand numbered out of 500. This is now a beast to procure. On the rare occasions when it sells, it can fetch up to $150.

There was another Pure Groove edition of the CD. The CD itself looked exactly the same as that of the box set, but this one came attached to a folded up poster sleeve (the green image above). Logically, this one should be valuable as well, but I have seen it sell for a minimal price more than once.

Then, we have the big time re-release of the album - the Black Bell and Ralleye versions. Black Bell gave us the only vinyl version of the album - it is on black vinyl and easy to find. The Japanese CD (Ralleye) contains modified artwork with a black base color, and has a slightly different track listing. The first five tracks are the same, but it then contains the remix b-sides from the "Cradle" single.

Version Value ($) Scarcity Price Trending
PUREGROOVECD001 CD Box Set 125-150 1 Up
PUREGROOVECD001 CD 12-15 1 Stable
RYECD 055 CD 20-25 1 Stable
BB001-1 LP Black 15-20 1 Stable

This page was last updated on January 9, 2019.


First You Have to Get Mad CD

TJF000 CD, released 2009 (UK)

This disc is trouble for late-adopting collectors. It is a self-released CD, limited to 500 copies. It is a complete, early live set from the Garage in London. I saw exactly one of them sell over the period of about a year. It went for a lot. Then, another was sold in early 2013, and it also went for a large sum. People must have been paying attention at that point, as several others appeared in short order after that point. I thought the price might go down after the most enthusiastic collectors overspent, but it did not. It has held steady in the $150 range. If you bought one when it was available from the band, you are fortunate. There does not seem to be a real catalogue number for this disc, but on the underside of the CD, it says TJF000, so that's what we're going with.

Version Value ($) Scarcity Price Trending
TJF000 CD 125-150 1 Up

This page was last updated on January 9, 2019.


The Big Roar 2xLP/CD

Atlantic/Canvasback 075678833274 CD/DVD Box Set, released 2011 (Europe)

Atlantic/Canvasback 7567-88335-3 CD, released 2011 (UK)

Atlantic/Canvasback 1-526623 2xLP / 2-526623 CD, released 2011 (U.S.)

Atlantic/Canvasback WPCR-14125 CD, released 2011 (Japan)

Atlantic/Canvasback 7567-88258-0 2xLP, released 2011 (Europe)

The Big Roar was the first proper full-length album from the Joy Formidable. It is an excellent record. A chunk of the tracks are recycled from A Balloon Called Moaning, so only about half of it was new when it was released. That said, it is a really solid album. There is a limited edition version of this one - the box set - which is loaded with exclusive items and rarities. It contains two CDs and two DVDs. Naturally, the first disc is the actual album. Next up, we have a CD EP called It's Just a World Apart. This is the key piece in the box set for me, as it contains several tracks that were either exclusive to the disc or on other releases that are difficult to obtain. It contains:

  • "Greyhounds in the Slips," one of my favorites of theirs (only available elsewhere as a free mp3 from the band and on a promo CD)
  • "My Beerdrunk Soul Is Sadder than a Hundred Dead Christmas Trees" (from a very limited Christmas compilation)
  • "Popinjay" (from the 7" of the same name)
  • "Chwyrlio," ("Whirring" b-side)
  • The Butterfly's Last Spell (exclusive)
  • wide eyed (exclusive)

The DVDs in the box set are called One Shape Under the Magnifying Glass (Live at the Mercury Lounge) and A Bridge Splits November's Sky, which is a compliation of the band's music videos. The box also contains a pin and a card signed by the band. This set was limited to 1000 copies overall. A select few (300) came with a piece of one of Ritzy's smashed guitars. The set is extremely difficult to find these days. Rarely sold, and expensive when it is. It is definitely worth tracking down for those rarities, though.

Whew. Of course, there were normal versions of the album as well. It was released on vinyl as a double LP on black vinyl. The two vinyl versions are pretty much identical, aside from the matrix codes and catalogue numbers. The vinyl is not rare yet. It sells for its retail price.

Version Value ($) Scarcity Price Trending
075678833274 CD/DVD Box Set 125-150 1 Up
1-526623 2xLP (U.S.) 20-25 1 Stable
7567-88258-0 2xLP (Europe) 20-25 1 Stable
1-526623 (U.S.) Side A
1-526623 (U.S.) Side C
7567-88258-0 (EUR) Side A
7567-88258-0 (EUR) Side C
It's Just a World Apart CD (Box Set)
One Shape Under the Magnifying Glass DVD (Box Set)
A Bridge Splits November's Sky DVD (Box Set)

This page was last updated on January 9, 2019.


Wolf's Law LP/CD

Atlantic/Canvasback 533001-1 LP / 534374-2 CD, released 2013 (U.S.)

Atlantic/Canvasback 7567-87617-9 LP / 7567-87325-1 CD, released 2013 (UK)

Atlantic/Canvasback 533001-1 / 075678761614 LP + 12" Deluxe Box Set, released 2013 (U.S.)

I will readily admit that I was concerned about Wolf's Law leading up to it's release.  The Big Roar was a great album, but it was largely living off of previously released tracks.  I was worried further when they released the first single from the album, "This Ladder Is Ours," before the album itself was released.  That one just doesn't do it for me.  I am also just so jaded at this point when it comes to the music industry that I think I was just waiting for the let down once I finally found a current band that had gotten me hooked.  Crisis averted.  Wolf's Law is spectacular.  "This Ladder Is Ours," turned out to be my least favorite moment on the record.  "The Turnaround," the last non-hidden track on the album, does not really hook me, either.  Every other song on the record is excellent.  A truly impressive sophomore effort for the Joy Formidable.

This one was released on black vinyl in the U.S. and Europe.  As there had been for the previous album, there was a deluxe edition box set released for Wolf's Law, but this one focused on the vinyl.  The box contains a bonus 12" with the title track on it (which is not listed on the album, but does appear as a hidden bonus track).  The b-side is etched with silhouettes of wolves.  The box also contains a few lithographs by the artist who did the cover art, as well as a hummingbird pin.  The box set is still available from Warner through the band's website as of this writing.  A "super deluxe" version was also made available in the U.S.  It was limited to 15 copies and came with a signed drum head used in the recording of the album.  The price tag on that one was kind of insane (I think it was $150), but they sold out very quickly anyway.

Version Approximate value ($) Price Trending
533001-1 LP Black 20 Stable
7567-87617-9 LP Black 20 Stable
533001-1 LP + 12" Deluxe Box Set 50 Stable
Wolf's Law LP
Wolf's Law - Box Set Bonus 12"
Wolf's Law - Box Set Bonus 12"

This page was last updated on April 14, 2013.

All Joy Formidable Singles and EPs
The Joy Formidable Index

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