Clear vinyl version of 2nd Anti-Cimex 7"

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Over recent years, and especially over the recent days, I have received more questions about the clear-vinyl variation of "Raped Ass" than any others. A copy of it recently sold on the Swedish online auction site Tradera for 2032 kr, or approximately $289, which led to a flurry of e-mails to me and blog postings online. Actually, the occasion led to me hearing from an old friend, Christoffer, to whom I hadn't spoken in several years. I will attempt to give all the information available about this record, with the caveat that there is a good deal of conflicting information out there.

The vinyl facts: the record has the same matrix as the typical versions of "Raped Ass," clear vinyl, with one blank blue label and one blank white label. The sleeve is what's interesting.



Christoffer posted about the auction and the record on his blog and quoted what I hastily e-mailed to him before my morning coffee:

There are supposedly 333 copies of that Raped Ass clear vinyl. Most of them seem to have the photo cover but I’ve seen some with a different cover that looks like a cross between the usual Raped Ass cover and the usual VOAB cover. It might be that there are 333 with the photo and 167 with the picture cover, for a total of 500 clear vinyl. It's definitely rare and very cool looking and also from later than 84...but I haven't been able to figure out exactly when. The photo is printed on photo paper and has the photographer's stamp on the reverse side but no other info.

Back in April 2008, I received an e-mail from a Finnish friend, who mentioned this:

Actually my question is...about...the clear vinyl version with blue and green labels. That one has a photo sleeve. Just one photo (I guess there are few different photos...) I have a band picture sleeve on that one. It came from Jonsson in... well, quite a while ago. He said there was 30 made. So, have you seen these phosleeve variations and have some one told you any info about all this confusing shit? There's 300 on clear vinyl, right?

(I think he meant to say "blue and white" labels.) I replied that 30 seemed unreasonably low, considering that I've seen something like 25% of that number in the last few years both in collections and on eBay. In a subsequent e-mail, he wrote:

I've seen few copies myself, though all of them in Sweden.
But Jonsson told me himself that 30 was made... but maybe he meant that he made 30 or something. But that has to be wrong. Though he's the kind of guy that I wouldn't trust to remember stuff like that. Or care really.

Now, I had written that there were 333 copies of the clear-vinyl version in Maximum Rocknroll back in 2001 based on a conversation I'd had with Mats B., who released the record. I don't stand by everything I wrote about Anti-Cimex pressing variations in that article because new information has come to light in the years since. But I had never heard anything to contradict what I understood to be the pressing info for the photo sleeve in 2001. However, since that article, a few copies of the record with clear vinyl and a picture sleeve have turned up. I referred to this version in the e-mail to Christoffer. This is what it looks like:

I have seen fewer copies of this two-piece, photocopied sleeve in circulation than any other of what I'll call the "mass-produced" versions (ie, not the "Swedish Punk" variation), which is the reason I have guessed that there were something like half the amount of the known next-largest (ie, smallest overall) version, the photo sleeve. It would make sense for there to have been 500 pressed on clear vinyl, with the remainder after the photos were printed acquiring this one-off photocopied sleeve. But I now no longer think this speculative accounting to be accurate, based on information that I received this week.

Tony Gunnarsson, upon seeing the photo version for auction on Tradera, got in contact with Mats Bodenmalm, who wrote the following to him (originally in Swedish, translated by Tony):

The whole story is as follows:

Anti cimex & Agoni goes on UK tour 1986 when MiniLP is released by Distraught. Per from Agoni was going on about promo stuff for promotors etc. At that time there was nothing for cimex in sweden in print—ergo to make a limited reissue press for promotional purposes financed by me / Jonsson.

Edition is total of 300 ex clear vinyl blue/white labels.

Approx. 90 ex that used had the group photo.

Approx. 10 ex had band member faces.

The rest spread with a xerox cover / to die hard fans and some magazines that did not get it sent in the first round 1983.

That is how it is.

Pressing was made by Grammoplast, 1986 Spånga [Sweden].

Fascinating stuff, but it raises two questions:

1. What did the 10 with the "band member faces" look like? I've never seen one of these.

Update! Within a few hours of this post, I received an e-mail from a reader, Robin Wiberg, that contained this photo. Update your wantlist accordingly!

Next question: did Todor print two each of the five band members' faces, for a total of ten? Or was each one unique? I'm sure more info will emerge soon.

2. If it's true that only 90 had the band photo, why does the photo sleeve/clear vinyl seem more common (though also more expensive) than the photocopied sleeve/clear vinyl version, by consensus of Cimex collectors?

Tony also e-mailed Sebastian Todor (aka, Betong Negativ), the photographer, who wrote the following to him (again, translated from Swedish by Tony):

Regarding Betong Negativ it was my photo project for punk and rock in the 80's. I documented the punks in Gothenburg and eventually elsewhere in Sweden and also in Denmark and Finland. I was attracted by the tough and fantasy-edged anti-attitude as well as of course the punk music that I had been listening to ever since the first Ramones-summer 1976.

Pictures became cassette covers, fanzines, posters, singles and even a couple of photo exhibitions. It is fun that my photos still gives response and gets used now and then. For example in the Asta Kask movie that came out two years ago, in TV shows, in student work of different types etc. And now you have also discovered the photos.

The punk bands I photographed most were Anti Cimex, Troublemakers, Disarm, Tatuerade Snutkukar and Nuts (Nisses Nötter) among others. Passion for photography remains after a 691 year long life (I was born in the middle ages). Still involved in techno- and electro-scenes + as well as punk now and then.

Betong Negativ changed its name with time into Electric Shots, which by the way Mats Bodenmalm became the first to hear about during a record fair in the 80s. Mats inspired a lot with his big enthusiasm and constantly dragged me along to yet another photo brief for Distortion.

As for this particular and mysterious Raped Ass edition I sat and mass-enlarged in my basement darkroom in a number of a couple of hundred I think. Every photo and single-cover of Raped Ass is therefore an original in its own. The record was released with the purpose of Anti Cimex' England tour in the 80s.

I think what we can take away from all of this is the following:

1. There were 300 copies pressed on clear vinyl.

2. Some of these included the photo sleeve.

3. Others of these included the photocopied sleeve.

4. A variation, or several variations, of the photo sleeve may does exist.

5. The clear-vinyl pressing was made for Cimex's UK tour in 1986, which explains why the line-up depicted on the photo had 5 punx, whereas the record originally featured the classic 4-piece line-up.

As always with Anti-Cimex records, likely to be continued...