White Whale Vinyl: The Strange History of Paradoxx's 'Plan of Attak' 12-Inch | Revolver

White Whale Vinyl: The Strange History of Paradoxx's 'Plan of Attak' 12-Inch

Eighties rarity has sold for more than $4,000
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Our weekly column "White Whale Vinyl" spotlights the most sought-after rare vinyl in the heavy-music universe. Shop for vinyl, including a selection of limited-edition Revolver-exclusive variants, via our store.

Widely regarded as one of rarest and most valuable pieces of metal vinyl on the planet, Paradoxx's ultra-elusive Plan of Attak 12-inch has a strange history. A lot of this information is second-hand (we're still trying to track down the surviving band members as of press time), but the story goes more or less like this:

Paradoxx came roaring out of Chicago in the early Eighties, playing that anthemic but short-lived style of heavy metal that bridged the gap between NWOBHM and thrash. Led by brothers John (guitar) and Glen Dobbs (vocals), Paradoxx opened for the likes of Ratt, Krokus and Blue Öyster Cult when those bands hit the Windy City on tour. Sometime in 1985, they recorded the four-song Plan of Attak EP at Sound Summit Studios in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and had vinyl manufactured at a local plant.

And that's where it gets weird.

Originally pressed in an unknown quantity, Plan of Attak was never available commercially. However, it was released in 1985 by a tiny label called Silver Fin Records. As the story goes, the Paradoxx dudes grabbed 50 copies, hot off the press, to hand out to friends and journalists at their record release party. Apparently, they weren't happy with the sleeve layout — or the mix of the record itself — so they never bothered to pick up the remaining vinyl. According to legend, the rest of the pressing was recycled.

Which means there was a maximum of 50 copies in circulation when Plan of Attak was pressed 35 years ago. How many have survived the ravages of time and the rise of compact discs?  No one knows. But the last recorded sale occurred on eBay in September 2016, for a whopping $4,100. Plan of Attak is so insanely rare that it's never been sold on Discogs, though as of this writing there is one listed on the site for the totally reasonable price of $6,890.


Unfortunately, Paradoxx were a one-and-done proposition. The band split up in 1988 with Plan of Attak as their only release. Guitarist Dave Shankle, who joined shortly after the recording of the EP, went on to a stint in Manowar and appeared on that band's 1992 album, The Triumph of Steel. Sadly, vocalist Glen Dobbs passed away in 2016. On September 27th, 2019, the surviving members of Paradoxx played a one-off reunion show to celebrate what would have been his 61st.