“While we were mixing the record, I started to get some ideas on the design of the LP and what we can do differently that hadn’t been done before,” Jack White says in the latest promotional video for his upcoming new album Lazaretto.
Judging by what’s included in the album’s “Ultra” LP, White’s ideas were plentiful. To start, vinyl junkies will be treated to two hidden tracks pressed underneath the center label of both sides. The under-label grooves are the first of their kind, and they’ll play at 78 RPM on Side A and 45 RPM on Side B, making the Lazaretto “Ultra” edition possibly the first ever three-speed LP.
As White and his Third Man cohort Ben Blackwell demonstrate in the video, which you can watch below, Side A of the Lazaretto “Ultra” LP will also start on the inside of the record and play until it hits what they believe is the first ever locked groove on the outside edge of the LP (locked grooves themselves are nothing new, as White points out, with the Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s containing one of the more famous ones). Side B also contains its own locked groove on the inside edge.
The opening track of Side B, “Just One Drink,” was cut with two grooves and, depending on where you drop the needle, will play either the song’s electric or acoustic intro before the two ultimately converge to meet the rest of the song.
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Even when the Lazaretto “Ultra” LP isn’t playing music, it’s doing something unique: When you look at the dead wax area of Side A from a certain angle, you’ll be able to see a hologram of a spinning angel. The angel illustration, which fits with those on the Lazaretto cover, was hand-etched into the production masters by Tristan Duke and is the first of its kind on a vinyl record.
To top it all off, audiophiles will be pleased to know that the “Ultra” LP was mastered tape-to-tape without any sort of compression. The special edition vinyl will also feature a completely different track sequence from the digital or CD version, as well as alternate mixes of a handful of cuts.
Lazaretto, and all its trimmings, will see release on June 10th on Third Man Records and Columbia (and for those who pre-ordered the album through the Third Man Vault, don’t worry, your vinyl will contain all the “Ultra” LP features). White is also set to embark on a massive tour this summer, which starts May 29th in Tulsa, Oklahoma and includes stops Governors Ball, Forecastle and Bonnaroo.