Lazaretto Ultra LP

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?

Lazaretto is out 6/10 on Third Man. Pre-order the Ultra version here.

Comments (36)
  1. awesome that it’s only $20; immediately ordered it.

    but don’t all records play from the outside in?
    who has a record player that plays at 78?
    is it hidden if you advertise it?
    so does locked groove mean the record keeps playing forever?

    • I should note despite the whining/complaining, it’s all awesome and i can’t wait!! :)

      • I say you’re being inquisitive, and not whining at all!

        Has EDM ‘finally’ arrived?
        Is this the moment where it crosses over beyond the mainstream?
        Can Deadmau5 outsell Adele now that he has been on the cover of RS?
        [via the Hipster Runoffs]

        Also I think this gimmickry is really fun.

    • Yes
      If it’s like his previous “beneath the label” hidden tracks, then I’d still call it hidden (beneath the label).

    • I think Chris meant to write “from the inside out,” as the video makes clear (to the great excitement of our hosts).

      And hellz yeah I’m buying one too – and of course I don’t plan on actually PLAYING it. Because that’s really not what it’s FOR, eh?

  2. I am a sucker for gimmicks.

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  4. Uh, Side A plays from the inside out (not outside in)… That’s why it’s fascinating.

    • please explain

      • You drop the needle in the middle. The groove is cut to play to the outer edge. This has been done before (I think Third Man might have even already done one like this). Technically speaking all records have locked roves at the end (or else he needle would jump out at the end and slide across the record, or in the case of an inside out record fall off the edge). What they’re calling a locked groove is placing a snippet of audio in that final locked groove to play “infinitely” (this may not work on an automatic return turntable but would on a manual return table where the record continues to spin until you lift the needle). They say this possibly might be the first time an inside-out record has audio in the locked groove. This may not be entirely accurate but they note in the video that they aren’t entirely sure. The press release is simply misprinted in saying “outside in”. The video explains it as “inside out”.

    • Orchid and Jeromes Dream released a split skull-shaped 10″ that was one-sided with the JD songs going from inside-out and the Orchid songs going from outside-in FOURTEEN YEARS AGO and they didnt have all the money in the world. this isnt super new state of the art technology.

      • It’s not new technology, in fact they even point out that many of these gimmicks have been done before (for example, they say they’re doing interlocking grooves in a new way, but note that Tool, among others, have done interlocking grooves…in fact, Third Man has already done this as well with their “The Auctioneer” spoken word 7″). I think what’s neat is simply cramming all of these gimmicks onto one normally-priced (20.00) LP.

        However, I will now be seeking out a copy of that Orchid record, because that’s badass.

  5. Drink every time it’s “The First Time Ever!”

    That look Jack gives the camera after saying angels are a great way to end… amazing.

  6. Other gimmicks left out of the article:
    - record can be used as Frisbee
    - if placed on a table, record can be cool decorative place mat
    - when played backwards, this album will reveal satanic messages as well as the whereabouts of Meg White
    - hidden tracks are actually just Jack White farting whilst talking about vintage guitars

  7. Yep… I’m a sucker, I ordered it. Gimmicky or not, if you’re someone who loves vinyl, you just can’t pass up all these features – especially at only $20. The curiosity behind the whole “dual-groove” technology thing alone got me, hook, line, and sinker.

  8. I’m a sucker, I ordered the In Rainbows Discbox. This is your warning, 4 minute warning.

  9. Deluxe vinyl editions of “Turn Blue” are being modified at this very moment

  10. Is this limited? I don’t wanna miss out, but can’t pre-order until my paycheck clears..

  11. I didn’t even know I wanted all of those things out of a record until today

  12. I think its great for the price. The more fun the better, so long as it doesn’t push up the price into the stratosphere.

    This though…

    “Absolutely zero compression used during recording, mixing and mastering”

    …. has me genuinely excited.

    • Yeah, that’s the first time I’ve seen that advertised. Drooling to hear it. Not that compression is necessarily bad. But it shouldn’t be required!

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  14. No use for vinyl, but look forward to the album. Jack White is looking like a young Ozzy!

  15. These aren’t “innovations”, just fyi – Monty Python’s “Matching Tie and Handkerchief” album did this back in the ’70′s – alternate tracks, depending on where needle is dropped, etc., etc.

  16. dafuq? I’ve been listening to vinyl my whole life, I with this idea until “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”

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