Out of the ashes of The Teen Idles two new outfits emerged. Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson teamed up with bassist Brian Baker and guitarist Lyle Preslar of The Extorts to form Minor Threat in November 1980 and Nathan Strejcek went on to form Youth Brigade.
The first two of the Minor Threat’s EPs are outrageously good. And while The Teen Idles record was responsible for embedding the X’d up fists in the minds and hearts of millions, Minor Threat’s Filler is responsible for two words that changed lives and created an entire new genre of punk: STRAIGHT EDGE!

The Teen Idles gave it an image. Minor Threat gave it a name.

I’m a person just like you
But I’ve got better things to do
Than sit around and fuck my head
Hang out with the living dead
Snort white shit up my nose
Pass out at the shows
I don’t even think about speed
That’s something I just don’t need

I’ve got the straight edge

I’m a person just like you
But I’ve got better things to do
Than sit around and smoke dope
Cause I know I can cope
Laugh at the thought of eating ‘ludes
Laugh at the thought of sniffing glue
Always gonna keep in touch
Never want to use a crutch

I’ve got the straight edge

Minor Threat
S/T aka Filler 7″
Dischord Records #3 1981

Side A:
I Don’t Wanna Hear It
Seeing Red
Straight Edge

Side B:
Small Man, Big Mouth
Screaming At A Wall
Bottled Violence
Minor Threat

Recorded by Don Zientara at Inner Ear Studios in Arlington, Virginia (on 4-track tapedeck, in the basement of his house) in 1981.
Mastered at Nashville Record Productions – NR12811
Pressed by United Record Pressing

A short time before the record came out the band made a pre-lyric sheet which was given away at shows so that friends/fans in DC would know the lyrics to sing along. Here’s a photo of what it looked like.

Test press / Fewer than 50
A: NR-12811-A JE
B: NR-12811-B JE

I don’t know why but number 50 gets thrown around when talking about this test pressing. I heard somewhere that 50 were pressed in order to use them as promotional material for reviews and radio stations. They do pop up every now and then for sale so that number seemed plausible. However, Jeff had this to say:
I’m pretty sure we would have made less than 50 test pressings. Neither band nor Dischord had much money, to be making lots of test pressings.
All of the tests came with the old style, United, yellow and red labels.

1st press, clear acetate cover variant / 5
A: NR-12811-A JE
B: NR-12811-B JE

Prior to printing the regular covers, Jeff Nelson photocopied 5 copies on clear acetates in order to see how the cover art would work with different colour backgrounds. For the first pressing they decided to go with red.

1st press / Around 995 copies
A: NR-12811-A JE
B: NR-12811-B JE

Red cover, yellow labels, introducing Jeff’s slogan “Putting D.C. on the Map”.
I got this particular copy from my mate RJ who along with CIV roadied for Youth of Today on their Break Down the Walls Tour in 1987. He gave me the record along with the story of how he got it, which I will now repeat here:

When we were on tour we stayed at the Dischord house in D.C. Inside the house was a giant bookshelf and in that bookshelf, the Dischord house record collection. Every awesome record made by any band up until that point (1987) was there. I was collecting then and was really lacking on Dischord stuff. I was standing there marvelling at those records and said “Man I’d give my left nut for some of these things.”
Some dude who was there replied: “Not necessary”,
I looked at him and he said, “What do you want?”
I told him what I wanted and he took all of the records I asked for off the shelf, including this 1st pressing of Filler, and said
“Fuck these dudes. They have a whole pile of these things at (don’t remember the name)’s house.”
I told him I would give him some money and he didn’t want any. He said “Just give me a tour shirt.”
I gave him a pile of shirts, some stickers and maybe a BDTW record or two. That trade has got to be right up there with Babe Ruth. HA! Still to this day don’t know who he was. The house was basically a squat and people were in and out constantly. You never knew what the hell was going to walk through the door of that place. Next time you talk to John ask him about “The Naked Man” at Dischord house. He’ll piss himself telling the story. So there, your Minor Threat Filler 1st press is actually from the Dischord house private collection.

After the Rock Against Reagan gig we stayed at the Dischord house, not sure who arranged that. I know when we got there someone told us to watch out for the naked guy. Ian wasn’t there and I don’t remember anyone from Dischord actually being there, but rest assured, we did run into the naked guy. Every once in awhile you’d catch this buck naked dude walking in and out of a room, walking around a corner and even sitting in a lawn chair on the front porch, buck fucking naked. Dude didn’t say a word, just hung out naked all day long. I remember going down to the basement and seeing the drums set up for practice. It was like nothing was ever changed since Minor Threat.

Jeff Nelson:
That would have been Tomas (Red C, Beefeater, Fidelity Jones). There’s a photo of him with stick and rock in, I think, “Banned in DC” book. Streaky blonde hair.
(I have just flipped through the Banned in DC and he’s on page 138. No stick or rock, he’s holding a guitar but yes, he’s naked)

Anyway, here’s the Minor Threat Filler, 1st press:

This one as well as all of the pressings that followed had covers hand folded and hand glued by the band members and friends. Jeff says:
FLEX YOUR HEAD was written on the tab (hidden once glued) of the 7” sleeve, and it appears on the tab of all four pressings of the Minor Threat 7”. I’m sure there were times when someone (could have been a band member, or any friends helping cut, fold, glue the record covers) wrote something else they thought was funny on one of the 2 tabs, just like the silly things written on some of the lyric sheets while folding and inserting them.
(Scroll down to the 3rd pressing for an example of the lyric sheet with a message on the reverse side).
Here would be a good place to mention that my mate from Australia once owned a copy of the 1st press that came with a cover that had no tabs and was never glued on the sides, just folded. So at least one off copy like that exists somewhere out there.
Out of several copies of the Filler I own only the 1st press had come unglued so that the FLEX YOUR HEAD writing became visible

Some of the 1st press copies come with alternative inserts containing a small ad for the S.O.A. 7″ (if you have a copy with this insert and want to sell it please let me know). I talked to Jeff Nelson about these and he thinks this might have been an early version of the insert which was inserted into the earlier copies.
Standard lyric sheet for the reminder of the 1st pressing:

2nd press / 1000
A: NR-12811-A JE
B: NR-12811-B JE

Part of the 2nd pressing came with the 1st press covers. Nico run a quick calculation and found that 1 in 12 copies sold in the past few years was a combination of the 1st press cover and and 2nd press vinyl.
Jeff says:
It was very common for there to be some leftover covers from one pressing. When we had more records pressed, with new color record labels (and got new covers printed in a different color), the leftover covers from the previous pressing would be the first ones we’d use, to get rid of them.

My guess would be that probably around 10% of the 2nd press came with the red covers

Regular 2nd press came with yellow cover and blue labels

Insert for the 2nd pressing

3rd press / 1000
A: NR-12811-A JE
B: NR-12811-B JE

Green cover, silver labels

This is an example of a lyric sheet with a message written by whoever was folding it

4th press / 2000
A: NR-12811-A JE
B: NR-12811-B JE

Blue cover, slightly more matte (when compared with the 3rd press), almost grey, silver labels