October 15th, 2019

Marshmello Drops Merch Exclusively to Merchbar and YouTube

Merchbar launches their official merchandise partnership with YouTube today, fulfilling its mission of bringing artists and fans closer together. Merchbar will power merch listings on YouTube as the platform continues to invest in its Merch Shelf

The collaboration will allow thousands of artists to surface their own official merch and vinyl listings to fans below video pages within an artist's YouTube Official Artist Channel. To celebrate the launch, brand phenomenon Marshmello has created a soccer jersey available exclusively to Merchbar and YouTube.

The partnership, built on top of Merchbar’s proprietary merch distribution and retail technology, and YouTube’s Merch Shelf system, closes a major gap for artists and their fans - seamless discovery to purchase merch.

Merchbar CEO Ed Aten from Merchbar said: 

“YouTube is the first platform to give everyone on earth the opportunity to explore the world’s creativity and our universal language; music. We’re honored to work with YouTube to bring people even closer to their favorite artists and provide new ways to express their love and identity.”

Today’s launch enables YouTube viewers in the US to see merchandise listings from nearly 3,000 artists following a successful pilot between the two companies.  Eligible artists who have an Official Artist Channel and a Merchbar store with US fulfillment enabled can sign up for the merch shelf in YouTube Studio. YouTube and Merchbar are working to expand the partnership to more artists and territories in the coming months, as well as provide additional support for non-music creators.

Co-Founder of Merchbar John Hecker said:

“We created Merchbar to empower artists to own their own destiny when it comes to their merch. Marshmello and his team have been experts in using everything available to them since the outset which makes him a perfect Merchbar partner.”

(Nowhere is this more true than Marshmello’s innovative use of YouTube to reach his fans, which continues to surprise and delight. From cooking with Tyler Florence to the music video for his hit song Stars (with nearly 150,000,000 views on YouTube). Today he brings that expertise to a new level by harnessing the power of this new partnership to bring his fans a limited edition soccer jersey. 

The partnership is expected to boost merchandise sales for artists and Merchbar as the holiday season approaches. 

August 22nd, 2019

When you think Led Zeppelin the first thing that's come to mind are the incredible albums released over the 12 years span they revolutionized rock. The second thing might be the iconic Icarus Swan Song logo that is so closely associated with Jimmy Page and company. It's the perfect image for a band like Led Zeppelin, a timeless piece of art that just feels right in the lore of classic rock.

We looked into the history of the Swan Song logo and picked out five interesting facts about the history of one of the most iconic logos in music history.

The Original Artwork Is In A Museum

The Led Zeppelin Swan Song logo is actually based off a sketch by William Rimmer, titled Evening (The Fall of Day), originally drawn in 1869. You can find the original piece at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts. 

The Pink Floyd and Motorhead Connection

The man who drew the incredible Swan Song logo is none other than Joe Petagno, a renown artist who also worked with Pink Floyd, Motorhead and plenty of other rock bands. Petagno is known especially for creating Motorhead album art and designs, like their own iconic mascot Snaggletooth.

The Swan Song Design Was Created For Their Record Label

While the Swan Song logo is tied so closely to the band, it was actually created as the “mascot” for their record label, Swan Song Records. The label lasted nine years (’74-83) before shutting down, publishing just under 30 studio albums while active. The next biggest act to Led Zeppelin was probably Bad Company, another legendary band.

“Icarus” Never Appeared On A Led Zeppelin Album Cover

Since the design was actually created for Swan Song Records, Led Zeppelin never actually featured the Icarus imagery on an album cover. Icarus is on plenty of tour tees and amazing Led Zep merch, it never graced their album artwork.

What Is Icarus, Anyway?

You know that saying about not flying too close to the sun? That’s from Greek mythology, from the story of Icarus. Young Icarus flew too high while escaping Crete, causing his wings to melt and plucking him out of the sky. It's the story of the rise and fall of a shooting star, though Led Zeppelin's lasting legacy will keep them in the air forever.

August 7th, 2019

If you've never seen someone blur the lines of reality and art by recreating vinyl album cover art, you're in for a treat. A post on Facebook from DeskX Art of some of these amazing creations they curated through the tunnels of the Internet has been making its round in our office and we wanted to share a handful of our favorites!

Enjoy! We could look at these things forever!

August 2nd, 2019

Old Town Road, New Billboard Record
Congratulations to Lil Nas X, who now owns the record for the longest-standing Billboard No. 1 record with “Old Town Road.” Read All About It!

Stream Some Tool
It’s finally happening! Tool’s catalog will be streaming on all digital platforms as of this Friday! Here’s The Announcement.

Take A Trip To ’99
We love a little nostalgia, and The Ringer’s deep dive into 1999’s biggest tracks and albums is amazing. Check It Out.

Prince Taught Nas A Valuable Lesson
We almost had a Nas x Prince collaboration, but The Purple One chose to teach Nas an priceless lesson instead. What Was It?

August 2nd, 2019

Mac Miller’s Swimming was one of 2018’s best albums, a personal favorite that’s come out in the past few years. Aug. 3 is the one-year anniversary of its release, so it felt like as good a time as ever to share some thoughts on Malcolm’s astounding final piece of work.

It’s impossible to separate the two from each other — Mac’s tragic passing occurred just over a month following the album’s release. The album’s importance felt elevated because how personal a passage it is from beginning to end, Mac bringing listeners into his headspace one last time, and that will always hold true with each listen. There’s gravity to each song.

With that said, this album is an absolutely joy on the ears. Mac reached the next level as a songwriter, musician and artist in every way. No longer was he the scrappy Easy Mac “with the cheesy raps,” he was writing funky ballads like “What’s The Use” with Thundercat, dropping melodic bars over J. Cole produced songs, and bringing it all together on introspective tracks like “Wings” and “2009.” It had depth, texture and a little bit of something for everyone. Mac gave us the full breadth of his musical vision and talents, and it was an experience.

Swimming is a transcendent body of music, one fans will forever hold dearly. Not only is it an objectively great album, it will always have a special place in our hearts as fans. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to give this one another spin. 

— Drew

August 2nd, 2019

77 countries.

That’s how many places we shipped vinyl to just last month.

It’s kind of crazy, considering we actually only technically ship to 44 countries.

That means there’s at least 33 fans out there working through freight forwarders, fake IPs and other end-runs around our fraud detection just to get the records they love.

What’s more amazing when you break it down is that there are different kinds of fans all over the world. Metal heads in Japan. K-Pop fans in Estonia. Hip-Hop fans in Norway.

And pretty much everything going to everywhere else. Genres have no borders.

Its a new world of music sharing and we’re honored we get to play a small role in spreading the magic.

— Ed

April 19th, 2019

Based in London, Warp Records has been a staple in the independent music scene for over three decades. With artists ranging from Aphex Twin to Danny Brown, their roster is rarely bound together by genre, instead by sheer excellence. Warp artist and lo-fi experimental god Flying Lotus just announced a new album, Flamagra, set to hit stores on May 24th. Featuring the likes of Thundercat, Solange, George Clinton, Tierra Whack, and Anderson .Paak, this is one pre-order you don’t want to miss out on.

Need other Warp recommendations? We’ve cherry-picked some of their hottest vinyl releases to date and co-sign all of them. 

April 19th, 2019

Operation: Doomsday is a once-in-a-generation album, and it’s only right to honor this record on the eve of its 20th release anniversary. The supervillain known as MF DOOM made his presence felt on 4/20/1999, releasing a hip-hop masterpiece that has since become one of the most influential projects of its time. 

The album is filled to the brim with the riddling rhymes of MF DOOM, all set in place by a grimey backdrop of sample-heavy production. It’s everything that made 90’s rap great, making it a must-have for any hip-hop vinyl collection. Besides, look at that album artwork, it’s tremendous! Operation: Doomsday is a true classic and still one of my favorite albums to spin front-to-back even two decades later.  - Drew

March 29th, 2019

The Ramones are one of the most influential bands of all-time, birthing an entire genre of music as the fathers of punk. 40-plus years since their 1976 debut, the Ramones remain musical icons, and their logo is one of the most recognizable band logos ever created. Here are 10 awesome facts about the history of the Ramones' seal.

1. The man who designed their logo was the “fifth” Ramone

Arturo Vega, the man who designed the iconic Ramones logo, was widely considered the “fifth” Ramone. He was the band's creative director, archivist, and was responsible for creating the seal and t-shirt that propelled the Ramones’ image in their early years. Vega was also a close confidant of the group, even letting Joey and Dee Dee live with him before the band had recorded their first album.

2. The Ramones have sold more shirts than albums

The legendary Ramones classic logo t-shirt was actually the band’s primary source of income for several years, and overall, they've sold more shirts than albums. The Ramones seal continues on as a piece of living history, transcending music culture and becoming iconic around the world.

3. The “ultimate” all-American band

Vega saw the group as the “ultimate” all-American band, so he decided to use the US presidential seal as the foundation for the Ramones’ official logo. This design has stood the test of time, first created in 1976 and still going strong over four decades later. 

4. “Beat on the Brat” with a baseball bat

The eagle holds a baseball bat in one of its talons. This was meant to symbolize Johnny Ramones’ love for baseball, replacing the arrows traditionally held by the eagle. It was also a play off of the track Beat On The Brat. 

5. As American as apple pie

The eagle’s other talon, which holds an olive branch as a peace offering in the presidential seal , is actually holding an apple tree branch. This ties back to Vega’s belief that the Ramones were “as American as apple pie.”

6. “Hey Ho, Let’s Go!”

The banner held in the eagle’s beak reads “Hey Ho, Let’s Go,” which are the famous lyrics from the band’s first single “Blitzkrieg Bop.” Vega initially had the idea of using the text “Look out below” instead, but decided to go with the now-iconic lyrics. 

7. Capturing the Ramones’ sound

The Ramones’ logo is filled with imagery, and while Vega did remove the arrows from the eagle’s talons, he still included them as a way to represent the band’s “aggressive” sound. Instead of the star design above the eagle’s head, arrows are striking outward. 

8. Replacing the red, white and blue shield

The red, white and blue shield at the center of the presidential seal was also replaced by Vega. The use of arrowheads was another way to symbolize the edgy punk sound the Ramones created. 

9. The founding members

While Vega may have been the “fifth” Ramone, the final detail of the seal was the inclusion of the four founding members names. Dee Dee, Tommy, Johnny and Joey — the original Ramones — each had their names included around the seal. The logo would update these names as lineup changes occurred over the years, but the original founding members’ names are the finishing touch on the world-famous logo.

10. The logo’s debut

The Ramones’ seal logo was a part of the band from the very start. The seal appeared on the back of the Ramones’ self-titled debut album and has been a part of the band’s identity ever since. 

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March 13th, 2019

From his infamous outlaw persona, to his expansive recordings, Johnny Cash made a mark in the history books that will never be erased.

We dug in to the stories and history of Johnny Cash, picked out 10 incredible facts we couldn’t believe about America’s last desperado, and couldn’t wait to share what we found with his fans.

1. “Ring Of Fire” wasn’t actually written by Johnny Cash

There’s no question that “Ring of Fire” is the most famous song in Johnny Cash’s catalog, but he actually didn’t write the song himself. It was originally written by his future wife June Carter, whose sister Anita Carter would record it in 1962. Cash did indirectly play a part in the song, however, as Carter wrote the song to express her feelings about Cash. Both Carter and Cash were married to other people at the time but had toured together. Eventually the two married in 1968.

2. He was once arrested for picking flowers

Johnny Cash’s reputation as a desperado certainly came from the amount of run-ins he had with the law, but did you know he spent a night in prison because he picked flowers? The story goes that one night in Starkville, Mississippi Cash was drunk and walking about the town. He would eventually wander into someone’s yard to pick flowers and was arrested by police for trespassing.  

Cash spent the night in Starkville jail and, while protesting being locked up, kicked his cell door so hard he broke his toe. He wrote a song about it called “Starkville City Jail” and performed it for the Johnny Cash At San Quentin recording.

“36 dollars for picking flowers and a night in jail.”

3. The infamous mug shot

The most notorious moment in Johnny Cash’s problems with authority stems from his arrest in October of 1965. Cash had traveled to Juarez, Mexico to purchase cheap amphetamines while he was struggling with his drug addiction. Police stopped Cash to search his belongings while he was returning to in El Paso, Texas. Officials found over 1,000 prescription pills in his guitar case and proceeded to arrest him. 

The mug shot from El Paso has since become part of The Man In Black’s lore. Cash was jailed for misdemeanors seven times throughout his life but never spent more than a single night in captivity for his infractions. 

4. Rock-A-Bye Baby

One of those nights in captivity for Cash was particularly tense. Cash’s irate cellmate in Carson City, Nevada didn’t buy that he was actually the Johnny Cash, so The Man In Black sang to his cellmate all night. The man would eventually fall asleep, and Cash successfully stayed out of harms way by rocking his cellmate to sleep. 

5. Chicken little

Cash was known to cause chaos while traveling in his early days, and one hotel back in the 50s was victim to a feathery prank. The story goes that Cash and his band were staying at a five-story hotel and decided to release baby chicks on each of the inns floors. A few baby chickens running around may not be a problem, but they released 100 chicks on each of the five stories. Yes, they somehow gathered up 500 baby chicks to pull off this wild prank. Absolute chaos. 

6. Caveman

Cash’s outlaw image was built during his early career, struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, as well as legal problems. His life had begun spiraling out of control in the late 60s, and while the following story is unconfirmed, it has lingered as part of the mystique behind Cash.

In 1967 Cash hit an all-time low and was once again under the influence of drugs. He decided to enter the Nickajack Cave in Tennessee, hoping to lose himself inside of it to die. Eventually Cash passed out on the cave’s floor, then went on to have a spiritual awakening. He found his way out of the cave, despite exhaustion, because he felt the presence of God in his heart leading him out. He went on to become sober after emerging from the cave and was very involved with religion from that point in his life. 

7. A prolific discography

Johnny Cash is one of the most prolific musicians of all-time. He released a total of 96 studio albums through his 49-year career, incorporating more styles than country in his recordings. Cash also recorded gospel, blues, rock and spoken word, to name a few of the genres he tried his hand at. 13 of his 170 singles charted at number one. 

Cash’s outlaw persona may have drawn attention to him, but at his core, he was a dedicated musician that worked tirelessly as an artist.

8. His brother’s keeper

Johnny Cash’s trajectory in life took a turn when he was just 12 years old. Johnny looked up this eldest brother Jack, who was two years older than Johnny. Jack worked to help support the Cash family but was pulled into table saw while cutting wood, severely wounding him. Jack survived a week following the incident, but would pass away. 

On the morning of Jack’s funeral, Johnny went to the gravesite early to help workers dig his brother’s grave. Jack’s passing deeply affected Johnny, and Johnny would even ask himself “what would Jack do,” when facing obstacles throughout his life. 

9. The Elvis situation

Johnny Cash proposed to June Carter 30 times before she finally accepted, only after Cash had cleaned up his drug addiction problems by 1968. The two would remain married until June’s passing in 2003. 

One day when Cash was in the attic of their home he discovered a stash of letters from the legendary Elvis Presley professing his love for Carter. Johnny immediately burned them, perhaps a perfectly poetic ending that June’s past love ended in a “Ring of Fire” of its own. 

10. Cash’s Desert Island albums

If you were stranded on a desert island, what albums would you want with you? It’s a timeless question we’ve all been asked (or perhaps asked ourselves), and one that Johnny Cash answered in his autobiography. So what albums did the Man In Black pick out?

Bob Dylan’s The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, Merle Travis’ Down Home, Jimmie Davis’ Greatest Gospel Hits, Emmylou Harris’ Roses in the Snow, Roseanne Cash’s The Wheel, any gospel album by Rosetta Tharpe, You Are There by Edward R. Murrow, and last but not least, “something by Beethoven.” 

March 13th, 2019

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of the greatest bands of all-time, evolving their sound and the entire rock genre since their self-title debut album released in 1984. Frontman Anthony Kiedis and legendary bassist Flea have been members of the lineup for all 30-plus years of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ existence, founding the group while classmates in High School. Little did they know they’d be setting the foundation for one of the most influential groups ever.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers official logo was actually drawn by Kiedis in 1984. Label management asked the group to produce a logo, and Kiedis sketched the eight-pronged asterisk that fans associate with around the globe today. Kiedis didn’t have any specific reasoning or meaning behind the asterisk at the time, but it’s since gone on to be one of the most iconic band logos in music history. The bright red asterisk wound up being up the perfect logo for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, even if created on a whim. 

Fans have also connected the logo to the “Star of Affinity,” which was designed by author Michael Moorcock in 1970. The “Star of Affinity” created by Moorcock was his own representation of chaos, beginning his sketch by drawing the four cardinal directions (North, South, East West), then adding the additional four arrows to represent the additional “possibilities” representing the chaos in choice and life.  

Legendary author Kurt Vonnegut’s drawing of a similar asterisk in the preface of his 1973 novel Breakfast of Champions has also been associated with the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ logo. Vonnegut’s explanation of his drawing is a bit more… colorful… to say the least. Vonnegut’s asterisk was not an asterisk at all, according to him, but his “picture of an asshole” meant to give readers a forewarning about the “maturity” of his illustrations in the book. 

Vonnegut’s explanation is actually very close to what Kiedis explained about the logo in his 2004 autobiography Scar Tissue. Kiedis said that the the logo isn’t an asterisk at all, but that it’s “actually an angel in heaven’s asshole” viewed from below on Earth. 

No matter the meaning behind the logo, its significance to the band is unquestionable. Both Kiedis and former guitarist John Frusciante have the asterisk tattooed on their left wrists. Fans have done the same, getting their own tattoos of the logo, wearing merch with the asterisk, and designing their own unique versions the legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers’ calling card. 

Ultimately, the asterisk logo stands for one very important thing when fans see it: The Red Hot Chili Peppers. What was a quick sketch will forever be recognized as the sign of one of the greatest bands ever. From Fairfax High School to the history books, the Red Hot Chili Peppers carved their own path and brought their legion of admirers with them the whole way.

March 13th, 2019

You may not recognize the name Brian “Pushead” Schroeder, but there’s absolutely no question you’ve seen this renown artists work if you’ve ever pressed play on a Metallica song. Pushead was one of the most influential artists in music during the late 80s and early 90s, known for creating visually stunning designs that most-often included skulls and skeletons. 

Pushead has been the man behind the scenes creating the iconic Metallica artwork fans love. Here’s some fascinating history (and art) behind this perfect pairing of metal and skulls. 

1. Damage Ink

Pushead’s work with Metallica began in 1986 with Master Of Puppets, the metal masterpiece that would propel the band to superstardom. Metallica brought in Pushead to design the artwork used for the Damage Inc. Tour that followed the release of Master of Puppets, and the legendary artist delivered. 

The fanged skull and spiked bat artwork Pushead created fit perfectly with the hardcore metal image Metallica was creating, becoming one of the earliest fan-favorite designs. 

2. …And Justice For Art

Pushead's work with Metallica took off exponentially with the release of their fourth studio album …And Justice For All. Schroeder didn’t design the album cover, but did provide illustrations for the booklet artwork. Most notable is his take on the “Doris” Lady Justice statue. 

…And Justice For All’s cover concept was built around the idea of society revolting and tearing down a Lady Justice statue with ropes. Pushead put his own spin on it, turning the statue into the iconic skeleton design that has since become one of Metallica’s most iconic pieces of original art. 

3. One of a Kind

Not only did Pushead design the …And Justice For All booklet illustrations, he also created the cover artwork for the VHS release of Metallica’s “One” music video. “One” is not only one of Metallica’s most famous songs, but is also the first song the band ever shot a music video for. 

The 2 of One VHS cover is a direct translation from the song. It features one of Pushead’s infamous skulls as the head of a mummy-wrapped torso. The torso is limbless, tying back to the song telling the story of a man who lost all of his limbs and face after stepping on a land mind during war. 

4. Short Straws and Skulls

…And Justice For All was truly Pushead’s coming out party as a recognized artist. His illustrations inspired by Metallica’s “Shortest Straw” have also gone on to become classics. The song, which is a critique on the rich and powerful controlling the lives of the less fortunate, became the perfect canvas for Pushead. 

The eerie skull, straws and eyes primary design is one of the best in Metallica’s vault, but the additional “In Vertigo” skull art is also iconic. The straws poking out of the skull’s head in place of its brain is a brilliant translation of Metallica’s message.  

5. Damaged Justice

Metallica hit the road again after releasing …And Justice For All, and once again looked to Schroeder to create the eye-catching visuals for the tour. Pushead’s “Damaged Justice” design is unique in Metallica’s collection as it’s one of the few designs that heavily uses the color purple, making it stand out. The original design for this was used to promote “Harvester of Sorrow,” using red instead of purple in the color palette. 

Another notable visual created by Pushead is the Metallica gavel design, also originating from …And Justice For All. It’s a very cool visual of the band forming a gavel being swung down, crushing those being hit with metal-fueled justice. Fitting to say the least.

6. Thrashing With Metallica

Pushead is famously known for working with Metallica, but he’s also done design work for The Misfits, Travis Barker and many others. He also created numerous visuals for Thrasher magazine, making him one of the biggest pioneers of the 80s and 90s thrasher scene. 

It’s only fitting that Pushead would bring both of those worlds together to design some of the most sought-after Metallica collectors items available. Pushead designed a handful of Zorlac Metallica branded skateboards in 1988 that are still relevant decades later. The original set of Zorlac-Metallica decks are still selling for over $1000 each on auction sites. 

7. St. Anger

Pushead worked with Metallica for decades, but it wasn’t until 2003 that he designed his first (and only) album cover for the band. Pushead created the St. Anger album cover artwork, using bold reds and oranges to add to the visual perception of what anger looks like. The tightly-balled fist, strapped by the wire that wraps around the wrist, definitely provides great visual context for what’s inside the album. 

It’s also worth noting that Schroeder didn’t lean on his knack of creating the most metal skulls around for his Metallica album cover debut. He also designed the illustrations inside of the album cover booklet. 

  1. A legacy of influence

Pushead had an extremely strong influence on “thrasher” and metal culture. His ability to create an array of designs, across multiple mediums, make him one of the most prolific artists in music history. Brian Schroeders art has been featured on magazine covers, posts, skateboard, action figures, album booklets, t-shirts, and he’s even designed his own shoes with Nike.

If imitation is the highest form of flattery, Pushead’s one of the most beloved artists in music. His artist stylings of skulls and skeletons have been “copied” time and time again. Look no further than one of the more recent designs that Metallica added to its collection for proof of this. At first glance, the “Four Horsemen” design looks directly out of a Pushead sketch book. The art was actually created for Revolver magazine in 2011, however, but Metallica’s James Hetfield loved it so much he bought the original illustration along with licensing rights so they could get this amazing Pushead inspired art out to their fans. 

March 12th, 2019

Metallica's Master Of Puppets is one of the most iconic albums of all-time. It's a flawless metal record from top to bottom, filled with everything that makes Metallica the “Gods of Metal.”

Albums like this don't come together without some amazing stories behind them, so we dug in to find some of the most fascinating details behind the creation of Metallica's metal masterpiece.

1. Master of Puppets was recorded in Denmark.. and only at night

Metallica recorded Master Of Puppets in drummer Lars Ulrich’s homeland of Denmark and never adjusted to the time change. The band would start working on the album at 7 pm and end their sessions around 5 am, living a nocturnal cycle while creating this metal masterpiece. It was such a distinct vibe that Ulrich even commented that he felt like they “never saw daylight” and being in darkness so often was his “main recollection” from the recording process. 

2. Metallica made quick work of recording

It took Metallica four months to record Master Of Puppets, while each of their previous releases to that point (Kill ‘Em All, Ride The Lightning) took less than a month to complete. The band hasn’t spent less than four months on an album since they finished Master Of Puppets in December 1985. 

3. James Hetfield created the first album art sketch

The iconic Master Of Puppets album cover began as a sketch from Metallica frontman James Hetfield. What is now one of the most recognizable pieces of art in music history came directly from the lead singer’s imagination. Final artist Don Brautigam used the sketch as a rough draft to create the legendary design.

4. The original art sold for $28,000!

The original Don Brautigam Master Of Puppets album cover painting sold for $28,000 during a 2008 auction. It features the art elements of the design only, omitting the Metallica logo and Master Of Puppets title.

5. The Stephen King-Metallica connection

Brautigam has interesting ties to Metallica. He previously had designed the artwork for Stephen King’s The Stand, which the band actually drew inspiration from in their previous album Ride The Lightning. Ulrich was reading King’s novel and came upon a passage about a death row inmate waiting to be executed so he can “ride the lightning.” Brautigam creating the immortal Master Of Puppets album cover is fascinating full-circle moment.  

6. Obey your master

The Master Of Puppets album artwork is filled with symbolism. “Master Of Puppets” itself is a song about the destructive influence that addiction has on society. Hetfield wanted to capture those feelings of despair and loss with endless rows of nameless gravestones, controlled by the ominous puppeteer pulling strings from the sky. 

7. Remembering the Disposable Heroes

The other track the cover draws inspiration from is “Disposable Heroes,” Metallica’s scathing anti-war song. It’s not just nameless crosses, though. There’s a lone hanging military helmet on the left-most cross, as well as an often-overlooked set of dog tags hanging from the cross that’s front and center.

8. When worlds nearly collide

Rush bassist and singer Geddy Lee was originally slated to produce Master Of Puppets but couldn’t due to a scheduling conflict. Progressive Metallica, anyone?

9. Say what?

The final 20 seconds of “Master Of Puppets” is actually a backwards recording of their guitars, layered with an echo of the entire band laughing.

10. Mastering the metal

Kirk Hammett took the time to work on his craft before entering the studio to record Master Of Puppets, seeking out his mentor and renowned guitarist Joe Satriani. Hammett wanted to improve his recording efficiency before stepping into the studio, then connecting with him again when Metallica was on break following the first leg of the Damage, Inc. Tour.

11. Share the snare

Another surprising band that played a hand in bringing Master Of Puppets together is Def Leppard. The snare drum that Lars Ulrich used through the studio sessions was actually loaned from Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen, sharing a classic Ludwig “Black Beauty” snare model that’s still being manufactured today. 

12. James Hetfield’s tribute to Cliff Burton

Master Of Puppets is the final album founding bassist Cliff Burton is featured on prior to his tragic death. Burton is heavily-credited for developing Metallica’s sound and evolving the thrasher genre by applying his advanced music theory knowledge. Burton left an all-time classic album behind while solidifying the foundation for Metallica, and frontman James Hetfield honored his memory by tattooing the bass notes from the epic “Orion” instrumental on his left arm. 

13. On the road with Ozzy

Metallica played a total of 144 shows during the Damage, Inc. Tour, the concert tour in support of Master Of Puppets. The headlining act for their concerts through the first six months was Ozzy Osbourne, however, despite the tour being centered on Metallica. Other notable bands that played on this tour include: Armored Saint, Anthrax, and Metal Church. 

14.Banned in China

It’s estimated that Metallica has played “Master Of Puppets” in concert over 1,500 times, but when the band played in China for the first time in 2013, they were prohibited from playing the famed tune due to its “subversive” and drug-related themes.

15. Six million sold and counting

Master Of Puppets sold 300,000 copies the first three weeks following its release, Metallica’s first gold certification. In the 33 years since its release, it’s now been platinum certified six times, selling over 6,000,000 units and solidified itself as one of the greatest albums of all-time. 

March 22nd, 2018

Heavy metal as we know it may not exist as it does today if it weren't for four letters, a lightning bolt and two brothers who carved their own path with guitars in hand. AC/DC is synonymous with rock ‘n’ roll.

Even if you can't name more than a handful of AC/DC tracks, their logo is recognizable anywhere to anyone. The iconic red bold letter font and lightning bolt logo wouldn’t come to fruition until their fourth studio album was released, though. 

Here are 15 facts about the legendary AC/DC logo! 

1. When the band was founded in 1973, brothers Angus and Malcolm Young drew inspiration for their name from seeing the initials AC/DC on their sister’s sewing machine.

2. Why AC/DC? The Young brothers felt it captured the energy of the music they wanted to create.

3. Their first album High Voltage (1975) was an Australia exclusive and featured Angus Young in his classic school uniform outfit front and center of the cover artwork. What it didn’t feature was the logo they’re known for.

4. The band went with a spray paint stencil look for TNT, their second album,  but were still honing in on the idea of the high voltage sign splitting the lettering.

5. AC/DC’s third studio album, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (1976), took a different approach with the logo. Gone was the lightning and raw look of the previous albums, looking something more like it came straight out of the Miami Vice collection.

6. It wasn’t until their fourth studio album, Let There Be Rock, that the iconic AC/DC logo made its appearance. 

7. 25-year-old Gerard Huerta created the now-iconic design in April of 1977. He also designed the logo for High Voltage.

8. The record label paid Huerta for a one-time commission for the band’s logo, never indicating that it would be used on a permanent basis. 

9. Huerta has never received royalties for the logo despite it being one of the most recognizable in music, and never hired a lawyer or complained. The band or record label also never contacted him about it, either. 

10. The font design was inspired by the Gutenburg Bible, the first mass-produced movable metal type book in history.

11. The album’s title track “Let There Be Rock” was a biblical storytelling of how rock ‘n’ roll was born, inspiring Huerta’s design. 

12. AC/DC went away from the logo for their next album Powerage. This would be the last cover artwork on a studio album that didn’t feature their famous logo. 

13. The logo has appeared on 12 covers total, featured on 11 straight albums for AC/DC. The coloring and outline has been modified for aesthetics, but the basis of the design is still Huerta’s Gutenburg Bible font.

14. AC/DC merchandise is still a huge draw, and in 2016, the band filed a lawsuit to prevent bootleg products from being sold during their Rock or Bust tour

15. AC/DC is the 10th-most selling music act in history, selling 72 million records throughout their illustrious career. That logo has been in the hands of many music lovers around the world over the 40-plus years they’ve been making music. 

You can check out all of AC/DC’s merchandise and vinyl records here.

June 22nd, 2016

We started Merchbar because we believe in the universal power of music to connect people. In a world of opposing teams and opposite sides music has an unrivaled power to bring people from all over the world together.

Outside of the concert, merch is a unifying force too. Whether it’s a loud Def Leppard shirt, a baggy Wu Tang hoodie or an elegantly simple product from Ghostly International, these physical emblems of our shared connections can bring high fives on the street or a subtle nod from a fellow fan on the subway.

Its this passion that’s driven us to spent the last 2 years building the ultimate merchandise platform for artists and fans.

Features like personalized merch alerts, optimized mobile browsing and a mobile app that’s rated 4.5 stars and been featured by Apple over 30 times have allowed Merchbar to become the destination millions of fans turn to when they’re looking for merchandise from their favorite artists.

From the beginning we’ve also been focused on being a close partner to artists, and we’re honored to be an official merchandise partner for over 35,000 of the world’s artists from The Beatles merch, to Justin Bieber merch to Beacon records.

Today we’re thrilled to announce a new partnership with Spotify that will create a massive new channel for artists to distribute and for fans to discover merch; ultimately increasing revenue for artists and creating even better discovery and shopping experiences for fans.

As Spotify’s official merch partner, Merchbar will power merch listings across the Spotify platform, and over the coming months we will be working closely together to create new merch discovery experiences for fans and new features for artists and merch companies of all sizes.

We’re also thrilled to welcome 10 new artists and their merchandise to Merchbar – Eagles of Death Metal merchAlanis Morissette merchSt. Vincent merchBlack Veil Brides merchJoan Jett merchThe Shins merchCheap Trick merchAsking Alexandria merchBush merch and Ingrid Michaelson merch all have new stores of authentic and official merchandise opening on Merchbar today.

This is a big step in our goal to create the ultimate platform to connect fans with merch from the artists they love, and we’re just getting started.

If you are an artist or merch company looking for more information on partnering with Merchbar, click here.
Are you a fan looking for merch from your favorite artists? Click here.

June 14th, 2016

DJ Snake is everywhere. In the club with “Turn Down for What”. On the charts with “Lean On”. In the bedroom with “You Know You Like It”.

Today he’s all up on that Hacking Mix grind with a set from waaayyy back in the day two years ago from Radio One on the BBC.

DJ Snake goes all over the place in this mix, from soulful to sexy to banging to breakbeat.

Its a great grind mix, but proceed with caution: it may be a bit too intense for that late night zone and grind.

Tracklisting:

Gangsta Paradise (Tchami Bootleg)
Foamo – Running [Rinse]
Victor Ruiz – Work Caller [Tchami Edit]
Diddy vs French Fries – Jack Yo Vogue (Dirty Bird)
Scotty Boy Lorenzo – Coke Diet (White Label)
Legitimate Scandal – Fu Gee La (Guesthouse Music)
Rob Base & DJ Easy Rock vs Tchami – It Takes Two
Baskerville – Britefoot (Boysnoize Records)
Dog Blood – Middle finger part 2 Alesia Remix (Owsla)
Diddy & Felix Da Housecat – I’ll Jack U (Rude Photo)
Omar Souleyman – Shift Al Mani CrackBoy Remix (White Label)
Drake – Worst Behavior (Young Money)
AlunaGeorge – You Know You Like It Dj Snake Remix (Island Records)
Aaliyah – Rock The Boat (Virgin Records)
Mapei – Don’t Wait  (Downtown Records)
Daft Punk – Something About Us (Virgin Records)
Janet Jackson – Go Deep (Tchami Remix)
Mercer & Dj Snake – Lunatic (Spinnin Records)
Snails & Black Tiger Sex Machine – Shockwave (White Label)
The Reef – Camel (Ciao Recs)
Alvaro – Ready For Action (Spinnin Records)
Dj Snake – Birthday Song (White Label)
Armand Van Helden x Dj Snake x Duck Sauce – You Don’t Know Me vs It’s You
Tony Romera – Damn Cold (Unsigned)
Mercer – Russian Roulette (Unsigned)
Sebastien Benett – ID
Nom De Strip – Techno Saturday (Mau5Trap)
Gta – Bola Gypsy ‘Bare Edit” (Fly Eye Records)
Nicky Romero vs GTA – Pide Flash (GTA Mashup)
Dj Snake x Mickael Jackson – Thriller Parisian Vision (White Label)
NYMZ – Bingbong (Free Download)
Hoodie – Bunyi (Moombahton VIP Transition Swek)
Cesqeaux x Adindino – Riovolution (Free Download)
Dillon Francis – I Can’t Take It (Mad Decent)
Dj Snake & Diplo – ID (Mad Decent)
Tropkillaz & Leo Justi – Deixa Eu Dizer (Free Download)
Dillon Francis & Dj Snake – Get Low (Mad Decent)
Hoodie – El Mecanico Corrupted Data Remix (Free Download)
Milo & Otis – Pigeons (Free Download)
Party Favor & Meaux Green – G String
DJ Snake x General Degree – Traffic blocking (Dj Snake Re-Twerk)
Dj Snake & Yellow Claw & Spanker – Slow Down (Mad Decent)
Kid Kamillion ft Mannie Fresh – Twerk Team (Mad Decent)
Dj Snake Feat Lil’Jon – Turn Down For What (Columbia)
Dj Snake & Alesia – Bird Machine (Mad Decent)
Dj Snake & Flosstradamus – Pop That (Ultra)
DJ Fresh vs Diplo feat Dominique Young Unique – Earthquake Buzz Trillington x Shooter McNappin Remix (Mad Decent)

June 7th, 2016

Special edition Father’s Day bundles: When one gift isn’t enough. Share a love for Black Sabbath? Enjoy beer, obscene gestures and 5FPD? Were you raised by a Deadhead? Does Dad actually have some Night Moves? We’ve got the assortment for you!

Keep Pops Truckin

Widely regarded as one of the top 10 uses of plastic mesh, trucker hats are a Dad stand-by. Why not refresh the lid he won at the ‘82 fresh water fishing classic with one from his favorite band?

We’ve got over 100 trucker hats in stock from bands like Drive By Truckers,JourneyCraig CampbellGuns N RosesUmphrey’s McGeeAlabama Shakes and Band of Horses.

Play and Display Your Favorite Album

Perfect for the man cave, the office, the den or any wall-space he can negotiate with Mom our Gallery Framed Vinyl records are the ultimate presentation of the world’s greatest albums. Museum quality framing gives Dad a beautiful way to show off his tastes.

Here’s all the albums we have including John Coltrane’s Blue TrainIron Maiden’s Number of The Beast and The Eagles’ Hotel California.

Don’t see Dad’s favorite? Every album we sell is available for framing. Just hit us with an email and we’ll help you make it happen.

Suns Out, Guns Out

Pops has been hitting the gym and has the pipes to prove it. Summer’s coming so why not give him two tickets to the gun show?

Tap here to see all Tank Tops or see our favorites from Pink FloydAC/DC,Bob MarleyOdd FutureDisturbed and Of Mice and Men.

Cold Beer, Warm Hand

You say Tomato. I say Tomato. You type coozy. I type koozie. One thing we can all agree on it cold beer.

Give Dad the gift of a consistently frosty Britney with a sweet coozy koozie from Merchbar. Check out our malt, barley and hops insulation devices from bands including Peter FramptonDef LeppardVan HalenChris Stapleton,GNR and Ray Lamontagne.

Or if Dad’s a “Bigger is Better” kind of guy – we’ve got a special DMB Koozie made for a tall boy!

The Wallet

How many times has he reached into his pocket to give you cash for the concert or that hot new album?

Maybe its time you leave his pocket better than you found it with a new wallet. We’ve got em from Ghostly InternationalNirvanaWoodstockDMB,John Mayer and many more. Or if he’s more of a money clip guy check out styles from BeckThe Who and The Beatles.

The Goods If He Was Good

Was he *really* good this year? Did you make a mint off bitcoin? Did that email from Nigeria actually pan out?

Regardless of the reason, if this is the year you’re reaching to the top shelf for the old guy why not snag Dad a pair of skis, a leather jacket from his favorite band or maybe some autographed gear?

If You are Going to Get Him a Tie…

There’s really only one option – Our 100% authentic AC/DC “For Those About To Tie One On” Necktie.

Still haven’t found the perfect gift?!

Wow. Your Dad is tough. Here’s our last ditch effort to help you out…

Band Lighters and Ashtrays Slipmats for his Record Player BBQ Aprons Frisbees Blankets Mugs Socks

 

Hurry and shop now – Father’s Day is coming fast!
October 13th, 2015

Without Metallica, there would be no modern metal — at least as we know it. From day one, Metallica was faster, louder, and heavier than anything else that had been heard at the time. Formed in 1981, the band has sold over 50 million Metallica albums since 1991, they have had five consecutive albums debut at number one on the Billboard 200, and they were the first band ever to play all seven continents.

Unlike a lot of bands who may change their logo numerous times over the years, Metallica has kept the same signature logo their entire career, with only slight iterations. Originally designed by singer James Hetfield, and first seen on the cover of 1982’s “Power Metal,” Metallica’s first released demo, the logo that displays the band’s name is nearly as iconic as many of the group’s biggest hits. The rigid edges, the way the “M” and “A” hook around, almost as if they are framing the album’s cover art, and bold edges of the logo’s font all protrude the same amount of attitude as Kill Em All.

Except for St. Anger, which featured no text on its cover, all mainline album releases by Metallica have featured the band’s logo in one way or another. Often very large and very prominent, every single piece of Metallica merchandise sold on Merchbar.com also proudly displays the band’s logo. From the vintage Metallica Damage Inc. Tour ‘86 shirt to the fan-favorite Four Horsemen tee it is easily recognizable, and both the band and fans alike proudly display the logo across their chest, stage, and shelves.

Metallica’s logo saw a more conservative redesign for sister albums Load and Reload, with edges being softened and points being shortened. But other than that — and the aforementioned St. Anger— Metallica’s logo has stayed true to form, and for good reason.

Buy Master of Puppets on vinyl now!

In 2008, when visual artist Turner Duckworth was hired to design album art for the band’s latest release, Death Magnetic, he wanted to revive the original logo: modernizing it, yet holding true to the original. Because “great brands are unmistakable,” his website reads.

With rumors of a new Metallica album in the works, time will tell if the band once again employs their iconic logo, but chances are that after 34 years, the band is firm believers in “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Make sure to check out all of Merchbar’s Metallica merchandise here.

September 14th, 2015

Background

When people think of 90’s rock, they think of the grunge. Arena’s once glutted with hairspray, leather pants, and indulgency were suddenly turned on their heads head with flannel shirts draped over dirty jeans and Pearl Jam shirtsAlice In Chains tees and Soundgarden t shirts. This organic brand of American punk from Seattle gave rock n’ roll a shot in the arm that some retrospectively say was overdue.

At the forefront of this transition was Nirvana, the iconic band of Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic, and Dave Grohl. These three created a legacy of music, culture and, what would have likely been surprising to their fans at the time, fashion.

The History of the Nirvana Logo

But the history behind the Nirvana logo still emblazoned on the front of millions of shirts is still unclear. In it’s official version it includes the band name “Nirvana” printed in yellow against a black background and above a yellow smiley face. The face has a tongue playfully sticking out and the letter “x” for each eye. In 1991, the logo made its debut on a poster that promoted the band’s release party for its commercial breakthrough album Nevermind. It has since been printed on Nirvana shirts and other Nirvana merchandise worn by fans worldwide.

Inspiration for the Nirvana Logo

Yet, the inspiration for the design is still a mystery, suggesting Cobain might have been the only person who knew its true origins. There have been several theories about this, but none have been confirmed. The one with the greatest possibility is that the logo was derived from the emblem of a former strip club in Seattle, Washington called The Lusty Lady. The club’s logo bore a strong resemblance to Nirvana’s “smiley face.” In addition, the band originated in Cobain’s hometown of Aberdeen, Washington, which is just over 100 miles from Seattle.

The Nirvana Logo Font

The font style for the band’s name is Onyx. This style was picked at random when Lisa Orth paid Grant Alden to use whatever font was programmed into his typesetter at that very moment. Orth is a former Art Director of Sub Pop Records, the label that released Bleach, Nirvana’s debut album, in 1989. The Onyx type has stuck ever since.

The Nirvana Logo’s Enduring Legacy

Like the band’s legacy, the popularity and mystery of its logo endures to this day. What’s amazing is that a group whose songs captured life’s complexities and contradictions had a surprisingly simple emblem. The sound that epitomized angst and foreboding was emblemized by a mere “smiley face.”

Merch featuring the Nirvana Logo

Official Nirvana Logo Smile T Shirt – $20 On sale, click for price!

Nirvana Logo Hoodie – On Sale, Just $39.99

Nirvana Logo Poster – Fabric

Or click here to see all of our official Nirvana merchandise in our Official Nirvana Store.