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.
She's got a face that could stop a clock. As ugly mugs go, it doesn't get much worse than actress Linda Blair in The Exorcist — in full possession mode — not long after she's told the local priest that his mother "sucks cocks in hell." That's the infamous image that appears on the 1982 debut from Detroit hardcore heroes Negative Approach.
The band crammed 10 songs on to this now legendary seven-inch, from the nine second "Pressure" to the downright epic "Nothing," which clocked in at 1:47. The record also features some of the band's most famous songs, like "Ready to Fight" and "Why Be Something That You're Not."
As it turns out, this self-titled seven-inch — commonly known as the Linda Blair EP — has a unifying theme. "I write songs about things I hate, and that's a lot of people in Detroit," Negative Approach frontman John Brannon told a Dearborn, Michigan, public access show in 1982. "So it's easy to write songs." That the show was called Why Be Something You're Not — named after a track on this very EP — is a testament to the band's instant impact.
Released on the then-fledgling Touch and Go Records, the first pressing of the Linda Blair EP was limited to 1,000 copies with black-and-white center labels and came with a printed lyric sheet. A few of the sleeves were hand-colored, and some included a hand-written note from a band member. Depending on the combination of these elements — and the condition — the asking price for an OG copy can vary wildly. In April 2020, a VG+ copy sold on Discogs for $1,204.82. Less than three months later, a VG+ copy with hand-coloring on the sleeve and the original hand-written note sold for $5,499.99. As of this writing, there's a NM- copy with a hand-written note from Negative Approach bassist Graham McCulloch available for $6,000.
Touch and Go pressed another thousand copies in 1982, this time with red-and-white center labels. The second pressing is still pricey — buyers should expect to pay $450 to $650. But the label unveiled a re-mastered reissue in 2010 that's still widely available for less than 10 bucks. As with most iconic hardcore seven-inches, there were many bootleg versions released between '82 and 2010. The most interesting one of all sold on eBay in 2013 for just $31. It was signed by Linda Blair.