Violent Femmes – Violent Femmes (40th Anniversary Picture LP Review)

There is no question that the 1980s was a magical time for music. It was a time where you Marvin Gaye and Quiet Riot could sit next to one another on the Billboard charts, yet no one would bat an eye. It was a time where Pop, Rock, Metal, and Punk all seemed to have a place… and it still felt genuine.

An unforgettable era, speaking of Punk music, we all know that it comes in different forms, and thankfully the ’80s gave this artform many places to grow. Creating various styles, one of the coolest sub-genres to spring up was Folk Punk. A style that had the attitude of Punk Rock, with more acoustic based instrumentation, one of the key pioneers of it all would have to be the Midwest American trio Violent Femmes. In fact, their 1983 self-titled debut is not only remembered, but has reached legendary status.  

Simply titled Violent Femmes, the album was recorded in ’82, first released on cassette & vinyl on April 13th of ’83, on CD in ’87, and somehow continues to pick up steam in each of the years that have followed. A story of an album that had its initial success, but still seems to garner attention, many consider it one of the best albums recorded in the ’80s. An interesting phenomenon, the question most will probably ask… is it really that good? The answer is yes, this album consisting of ten very original songs somehow captivates your attention; and this goes beyond the popularity of songs like “Gone Daddy Gone” or “Blister in the Sun.”  Breaking it down, the album features direct lyrics, clever melodies, and an overall vibe that just makes you want to smile. 

All these aspects considered, believe it or not, but Violent Femmes is now forty years old! A big anniversary to celebrate, Craft Recordings put out an exclusive picture disc LP release of it on Saturday, April 22nd apart of Record Store Day 2023. A day that celebrates music and the magic of physical format, this special edition of Violent Femmes comes as a mere 6,000 copy pressing worldwide. A very limited release, at this stage in the game it is completely sold out from any standard retail standpoint. However, you might be able to pick it up as a resale item; perhaps through eBay or local record dealer… but you more than likely pay a hefty price.

Nonetheless, this 40th anniversary edition of Violent Femmes is a great collector’s item for any fan of this album or those who simply adore ’80s culture. Featured in a cardboard sleeve, the center is completely open in order to expose the large picture disc artwork, and it is really quite beautiful. After all, who was not immediately drawn to the album artwork which features a curious little girl peering into the window? In truth, the photograph is timeless, and is right up there with some of the best album covers ever.

All in all, this Craft Recordings 40th anniversary release of Violent Femmes is perfect, yet simple. The packaging is solid, the pressing is stellar, and the sound is equally as great. So, if you have some extra cash go out and acquire a copy somewhere before it jumps up in value even more as time goes by. Highly recommended, Cryptic Rock gives the 40th anniversary Picture Disc release of Violent Femmes 5 out of 5 stars. 

Violent Femmes – Violent Femmes 40th anniversary Picture Disc / Craft Recordings (2023)
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