Jack White has already given us two good reasons to believe his upcoming sophomore solo effort Lazaretto will be a powerhouse. But it wouldn’t be a proper Jack White release if it wasn’t also rife with gimmickry. And what do you know, hot on the heels of attempting the world’s fastest record release on Record Store Day, White has announced a bunch of goofy details about the “Ultra LP” version of Lazaretto. As posted on White’s site, it will feature the following:
-180 gram vinyl
-2 vinyl-only hidden tracks hidden beneath the center labels
-1 hidden track plays at 78 RPM, one plays at 45 RPM, making this a 3-speed record
-Side A plays from the inside out
-Dual-groove technology: plays an electric or acoustic intro for “Just One Drink” depending on where needle is dropped. The grooves meet for the body of the song.
-Matte finish on Side B, giving the appearance of an un-played 78 RPM record
-Both sides end with locked grooves
-Vinyl pressed in seldom-used flat-edged format
-Dead wax area on Side A contains a hand-etched hologram by Tristan Duke of Infinity Light Science, the first of its kind on a vinyl record
-Absolutely zero compression used during recording, mixing and mastering
-Different running order from the CD/digital version
-LP utilizes some mixes different from those used on CD and digital version
Three speeds! Backwards grooves! Alternate intros merging into a single song! Need more info on such wondrous innovations as these? Here’s a video with White and Third Man’s Ben Blackwell explaining “all the kinds of tricks and chicanery we have hidden inside” the Ultra LP.
I can’t help but laugh at White and Blackwell explicitly pointing out the stuff that seems explicitly designed to spring analog boners. (Hand-drawn holograms! Take that, lasers!) That said, I appreciate White going out of his way to make his record release fun, and I’m pleasantly surprised that Third Man can manufacture an LP with all these unusual features and still charge a relatively standard $20 for it. What do you guys think? Is this stuff ridiculously fun or just ridiculous?