It was recorded in October 1980 at a small studio in Westlake, a neighborhood in Los Angeles. It was run by Jay Ziskrout's drum teacher, out of his garage. But when it came to mastering their vinyl debut, the band decided to go to the best, Goldstar Recorders in Hollywood. Goldstar sent the masters on from there to a place called Greg Lee for the two-step processing. The receptionist at the front desk of Goldstar was Johnette Napolitano, who back then was just a wannabe singer and a fellow punk (with dyed purple hair and all -she became famous with Concrete Blonde). BR gave her a copy of the EP and she was so impressed that she asked them to have her boyfriend (Jim Mankey) produce their next album; she assured them he would get them studio time and stuff.
Brett and co. took the masters to a record plant and had 500 made up and then Brett went to a little distributor called Jem Records. Jem was based in Reseda and was also an importer. Brett met with a guy over there who bought 300 records from him.
Then they realized that the snare drum was mastered too high, and with each snare hit, the record skipped. However, no one else seemed to notice, and Jem Records, who could tell just how good BR were, happily distributed the EPs to all the record shops up and down the coast. Brett and co. also brought records directly into stores, but mostly in L.A.. They would drive to Moby Disk or Middle Earth and drop off two or three or five records.
When they came to press up another batch, this time of 1,500, they had the flaw fixed, only for a new one to appear. As was typical for the day, the band had a message scratched on the run-off groove; on one side was written, "We're not Bad Religion..." on the other "... you are". They called down to make sure that the message would be etched into the second pressing, but to their horror, the records came back with "We're not Bad Religion..." "Elipses U R".
It was released in February 1981, although many people think it was 1980 because of the "80-85" comp.
Brett had borrowed about $1,500 from his dad and with that money he hired a graphic artist to design the 7" sleeve and, according to him, also a logo for Epitaph.
The 7" itself has pretty rare pictures (never published anywhere else) and folds out to the size of an album cover. The lyrics are copyright 1981, but "The Original Bad Religion" 12" re-issue states that it was "previously released in 1980 as a limited edition 7" e.p."
In 1984 the E.P. was re-issued, this time as a 12". "The original" was added to top left corner of the front cover. The 12" also has a remarkably different mixing compared to the first 7" mixing from 1981. There's a lot more reverb on the entire mix, especially the drums, which are a bit louder. And perhaps most remarkably, there's a heavy delay effect on Greg's voice throughout the record. Also, the part at the end of Slaves where someone says "(...) cut it" is gone.
In 1989, imported copies of the No Control LP to West Germany were repackaged with a limited edition 7" of the first EP. However, it came only with a plain white paper sleeve. The mixing appears to be same as the 1984 re-issue.
That same year, a German bootleg was released called "Suffer", which most likely is a copy of the before-mentioned 7" vinyl that came with No Control in Germany. The mixing is therefore the same.
In 1990 the songs from the EP appeared on the 80-85 compilation, with the original 1981 mixing.
In 2004 the songs from the EP were included on the remastered version of How Could Hell Be Any Worse?. Also here, although remastered, the songs are the same version as the original 1981 release.
In 2009, Epitaph re-released the EP once again as a limited edition 7" with the songs having the original 1981 mixing. This time in 5 different colors:
|Bundle (Black + White + Red)||100|
There is no difference between the vinyls of the bundle and the ones sold singly.
|Black/Red marble (regular)||500|
There is also an unlimited Gray (marble) re-issue.
One of their fans back then was Bobby Schayer: "The EP was phenomenal! I like it because of the fact that at that time, every band in LA didn't sound the same, and the record was unique. What separated the band was that Greg had a really unique voice, that made a big impression on me. They were from the valley, and so was I (Bobby was from Encino), it was inspiring to know that if these guys could do it, anyone could do it."
With the success of the EP, they were able to pay back the money they'd borrowed for the pressing, and still have enough left over to record How Could Hell Be Any Worse?.
With only 2,000 pressed of the first 7", the EP remains BR's most collectable release, and with only 500 copies correctly inscribed, the first pressing will inevitably fetch even higher prices.
|01/07||Another typo - By Marty|
|01/07||Typo - By Marty|
|11/07||Added some details about Jem and the distribution - By Marty|
|05/31||Changed the details about the 1984 re-issue and added info on the other re-issues - By Marty|