death records

One (bootleg) label that I have never read anything about was L.A. based Death Records, a Wizardo sub-label slotting in nicely into WRMB’s 500 series and sharing its cover design. Despite the morbid name, this was one cutting edge label in its time, up there with TAKRL, although with about 5% of the output. They certainly took some chances, produced a couple of legendary titles and worked very economically by sometimes recording both the opening and the main act and releasing both. They also made the most out of their ‘field trip’ to Seattle in April of 1977. Audio quality was not one of its stronger points though but that is balanced out by providing us with the only source for these recordings in almost all cases. At least these were not copied from other labels or common nationwide radio broadcasts.

Doing research on this label is tough, as the name was, of course, irresistible to many punk and death metal publishers. If you enter “Death Records” into popsike, you get 25000 hits! It’s like searching for a couple of needles in a really big haystack. If there are any missing releases, please let me know and I will add them.

352 Paul Simon & George Harrison “Live From New York…”

507 Jefferson Starship live ‘L.A. Forum Sept 30 1976’ [also on WRMB 507, titled ‘Live’; latest research pinpoints date & venue to the Shrine Auditorium in L.A., 1975-11-05]

520 Heart ‘Frostbacks Live, L.A. Forum’ – September 30 ’76

521 Peter Frampton ‘In London’

525 Runaways ‘No Olds Allowed’ – Santa Monica Civic, April 1, ’77
526 Cheap Trick ‘In Concert’ – Santa Monica Civic, April 1, ’77 [supporting The Runaways]


528 Patti Smith ‘Good Friday – Part 1’ – 1976 recording
529 George Harrison & Bob Dylan ‘When Everybody Comes To Town’
530 Dolly Parton ‘Live In Hollywood’ – The Roxy, April 15 ’77
531 Procol Harum ‘Snails and Pentagrams’ – Seattle Arena, April 20 ’77 [supporting Supertramp]
532 Supertramp ‘Live’ – Seattle Arena, April 20 ’77 (there was also a Who project numbered W 532 B that as one could have predicted ended up erroneously as the B-side of the Supertramp LP on a few copies. It consisted of the tracks: A Quick One, Easy Goin’ Guy, Shakin All Over and Boris The Spider)
533 Tangerine Dream ‘Fotzenslecker / Netz-Lautstärke’ – Seattle, Paramount Theater, April 21 ’77
534 Nils Lofgren ‘Old Grey Whistle’

536 Jefferson Airplane ‘Flight Log’ [death / Canyon release]


I did not find any cover images for the Procol Harum release and for N. Lofgren just for the limited K&S re-issue “In London” but I will cover all the others in detail, I have the Cheap Trick LP documented quite well as I used to own and transferred the record to cassette some 30 years ago.

  1. Andrew Molloy said:

    I have Death528, not listed here. It’s Patti Smith ‘Good Friday Part 1’ (don’t believe there was a part two). I gather it’s run was limited to 100 copies. There is no date or location listed but, judging by the fact Patti says “I saw the Stones a couple of months ago at Earl’s Court”, I would say it’s summer/fall ’76. The recording is decent. Black vinyl, dog ‘n’ cat labels. I bought this copy from a seller on discogs. It came from the collection of Jenny Lens, famed punk photographer, and was still sealed and unplayed.

    Track listing: Side One: Free Money/Pale Blue Eyes;Louie Louie/Ask the Angels/Time Is On My Side
    Side Two: Pumping (My Heart)/Ain’t It Strange/Gloria

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