An unofficial release (sometimes known as a ‘bootleg’) is a fan-made/pressed album generally produced because:
- The title is no longer being pressed (and ‘official’ copies are being sold at ridiculously high prices making them near impossible for most people to afford).
- The title has never been pressed to vinyl.
- It is a live concert or studio outtake release that has never been made available (often recorded by someone in the audience)
Unfortunately, because these items are ‘unofficial’ there is no governing on how they should sound, look or even match the original release. It is definitely a ‘buyer beware’ scenario when buying unofficial releases from unknown sources.
We have spent many years getting ripped off with bad pressings, stuff never arriving OR something arriving that doesn’t even come close to what we ordered so we decided to work really hard to find the BEST of the best when it comes to unofficial releases and we are pretty confident that we only have really high end merchandise in this area.
Unofficial releases are a very small part of our catalogue however we see them as essential. It is not fair to be charged up to 100x the original price for an LP just because it is no longer officially pressed. And if you’re worried about the band getting money from unofficial releases or not…. Rest assured, they don’t get 1 cent from the official releases being sold for 100x the price. As always, we encourage our customers to purchase an official title with an unofficial… it keeps the world going round.
We do guarantee that any pressing you buy from us will sound AWESOME and look great. Remember, these aren’t made by pirates sailing the seven seas… they are made BY fans FOR fans so they usually include awesome artwork, true to the original where possible. They often include inserts with pictures & lyrics. Often you’ll get a gatefold or picture disc pressing (when they’ve never been pressed like that before) and, quite often you’ll get bonus tracks that were never included on the original release.
Finally, not all unofficial pressings are as unofficial as you think… we have had many cases where the bands have been worked with directly to get their album re-pressed ‘unofficially’ and YEP, they get a cut of the sales (usually more than what they did back in the day!).
A bit of food for thought, but hopefully that helps answer some of your questions.