Album: F# A# ∞ (vinyl) by Godspeed You! Black Emperor, 2000.
Art by: Efrim Menuck and Godspeed You! Black Emperor, John Arthur Tinholt, Leila.
F# A# ∞ is the debut studio album by Canadian post-rock band Godspeed You! Black Emperor. It was first released on August 14, 1997 by Constellation Records on vinyl and on June 8, 1998 by Kranky on CD. Recorded at the Hotel2Tango in the Mile End of Montreal, the album is devoid of traditional lyrics and mostly instrumental, featuring lengthy songs segmented into movements and wide dynamics. It was initially released in very limited quantities, and distributed through live performances and advertised by word of mouth.
The original five-hundred records' jackets were handmade by the band, their record label, and local Montreal artists. One of three original photographs—depicting a water tower, train, or road sign—was glued onto the cover. My copy has the water tower on it.
The sleeve and jacket made no mention of the track titles. They were instead scratched into the run-off groove of the record, accompanied by the catalog number and side indication.
Inside of the jacket was an envelope filled with inserts. The contents included an old handbill, the album's credit sheet, a picture drawn by guitarist Efrim Menuck, and a Canadian penny crushed by a train. A silk-screened image dedicated to the blues musician Reverend Gary Davis was also included in the jacket. Mine being a more recent pressing (purchased in 2010) includes a United States penny rather than a Canadian one, as Canadian pennies are no longer minted.
One of the most beautiful vinyl records I own, no doubt.