Prepare your turntable for some heavy rotation bangers vinyl fans, ’cause Bandbox record club is officially in town, and they’re set to bring band-themed boxes to your own front door every single month.
Groove Is In The Bandbox
If you’re wondering what the big deal with Bandbox is, the words FULLY CUSTOMIZABLE explain it all. That’s right, Team Bandbox offers a tailor made listening experience each and every month, giving you the chance to fill your monthly box with artists and albums that fit your own personal tastes. As their slogan goes, it’s pretty much like having the record store delivered to your front door every month, and Bandbox is currently boasting a record store style variety of artists including Neil Young, Weezer, Ride, Joy Division/New Order, Johnny Cash, Wilco, and more. And just FYI – they’ve got a slew of sexy exclusive color pressings on the way from artists like Death Cab For Cutie and Nada Surf.
If you’re among the legions of music fans out there excitedly reading my vinyl unboxing every month, you know a big time format change has recently come to Bandbox land, and that customizability is now the key to their coveted box. And with a fully customizable format (via a single artist/album of your choosing) Team Bandbox is pairing each selection with their “Band Dox” zine full of insight, interviews, and behind the scenes pics of your personally selected artist. As such, you’ll now be able to dig their vinyl+zine treasures for a super reasonable $29 a month.
Did I mention Bandbox even offers FREE SHIPPING? Well they do. And it’s sort of just the icing on the vinyl box cake.
Ready for a look inside October’s Bandbox? You should be, ’cause it features a legendary release from a legit classic rock icon.
Hopefully, Bandbox’s wonderfully customizable format will help ease the nerves of folks wary of letting a group of complete strangers “surprise” you with artist/album selections every month. Just so you know, you can still choose to be surprised every month if that’s your bag. If you’re still suspect, you should know Bandbox will even let you integrate your Discogs account to ensure they never even offer you something you already have in your collection.
And if you’re really, really suspect, you can pump the brakes out of your subscription at any time by pressing “pause” on your sub. It’s unlikely you’ll want to “pause” anything once you’ve signed up and experienced Bandbox for yourself. Just know that your Bandbox experience will be every bit as amazing as you make it.
Let The Great World Spin
It should be obvious from the pictures, but yes, Bandbox went all in this month with the works of the late, great Tom Petty. And yes, I seized the moment to finally snag a copy of his legendary 1989 solo debut Full Moon Fever.
Full Moon Fever (1989)
Far be it for me to presume anything, but it’s a safe bet that, even if you’ve never listened to Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever all the way through, you’ve probably heard every single track therein … because virtually every single track on Full Moon Fever was a hit when the album was released. More importantly, almost every single track on Full Moon Fever has become a classic rock radio standard in 30-plus years since.
As it is, I’m not gonna bore you all to tears with a history lesson about Tom Petty or his work with longtime backing band The Heartbreakers here. Nor am I gonna run down the astonishing legacy of the singularly gifted man behind the music that led them all to become first-ballot Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees. That’s mostly because I’m certain that, if you’re reading this, you know all the Petty lore already. And if you don’t – or somehow aren’t at least casually aware of Petty’s music, you’d be far better off reading up on the man elsewhere and/or discovering his music on your own.
I’m also gonna keep it pretty brief in relation to Full Moon Fever too because, well, it really is one of the great rock albums of the 1980s, and that fact would remain true based on the strength of the album’s A-side alone, which features iconic Petty tracks like “Free Fallin,” “I Won’t Back Down,” “A Face in the Crowd,” and “Runnin’ Down A Dream.”
What I will say is that, as big a Tom Petty fan as I consider myself to be (1994’s Wildflowers is an all-time Top-tenner for me), and as big a fan as I am of the songs on Full Moon Fever, I’d actually never listened to the album in its entirety before. I blame that mostly on the fact that you almost can’t turn on the radio without running into one of those A-side hits. But having finally taken a dive deep into the B-sides via my October Bandbox, the album is rounded out by a collection of vintage Petty deep cuts (see “Yer So Bad”) that are worthy of their own album.
Of course, when it comes to deep cut bangers, few artists have made quite the sport of filling out his albums with them than Tom Petty. For that reason alone, no matter how often a “Free Fallin” or an “I Won’t Back Down” turns up on the radio, Petty’s albums (be they solo or with The Heartbreakers) never seem to get played out. As for the hits on Full Moon Fever, if 30 years of heavy airplay hasn’t done the job, it never will. And I cannot wait to test that theory out with spin after spin of this timeless classic in the comfort of my own home.
A Cardboard Box For Sharing Music
For the record, Bandbox is all about living up to that, “cardboard box for sharing music” definition. As the focus of each month’s box is hardcore customizability, they’ve taken the opportunity to beef up their killer “Band Dox” zines with more pictures, interviews, and insightful artist breakdowns. Which means readers are set to dive deeper into your chosen artist’s history than ever before.
“Band Dox” #23 pulls the curtain back on one of the more storied careers in rock & roll, offering a run down of some of Tom Petty’s deep cuts, an exploration of his solo material, and a handful of killer photos of Mr. Petty and his various bandmates throughout the years. Here’s a cover to cover glimpse of what’s inside.
At the risk of putting a few of you off, I’m gonna take a little detour before we get to the vinyl purely so we can all appreciate the fabulous art deco flourishes on the Full Moon Fever inner sleeve. And for those who like to sing along while you spin, there’s also a full lyrics sheet printed on the back.
You really should take a moment to check the credits on Full Moon Fever too, ’cause Tom Petty was joined by a couple of rock & roll icons throughout, including his Traveling Wilburys bandmates Jeffy Lynne (Electric Light Orchestra), George Harrison (The Beatles), and Roy Orbison.
As for what’s inside that inner sleeve, it’s nothing short of a 180g slab of beautiful, glossy black wax.
You’d better believe Full Moon Fever is one of those albums all but guaranteed to find its way to your deck on a regular basis. And yeah, it’s gonna look as lovely as it sounds.
It’s the Bandbox You Want, And The Bandbox You Need
The “vinyl boom” is not gonna fade away anytime soon, friends. And if you’re one of the many who’ve found themselves giddily wrapped up in the madness, you’re already aware there’s a million and one ways to get your hands on some sweet, sweet wax. While I’d always encourage you to shop first at your local record store, I also understand that subscription vinyl clubs are an excellent way to help fill in/round out your growing collection.
If you’re looking to round out that collection, or just discover new artists and albums, or do a little of both while finding out some behind-the-scenes info about both, Bandbox is the vinyl subscription for you. And yes, their savvy mix of sexy wax and an even sexier zine should make it easy for diehard music lovers and newbs alike to board the Bandbox bandwagon. So get on board and get spinning today!
A huge THANKS to the folks at Bandbox for sponsoring this subscription. If you like what you’ve seen here, you can head over to the official Bandbox website and sign up to have a sexy new Bandbox delivered to your own front door every single month. Be sure to check back in and see what goodies the Bandbox team sends our way next month!