May 8, 2014

Jack White’s Vinyl Record Demonstrates the Need to Innovate

Chris Harris
May 8th, 2014 - 2 mins read

Yesterday I was made aware of an upcoming record ‘Lazaretto’ by Jack White (of White Stripes / Raconteurs fame) by a good friend Andy. Not that amazing so far, musicians release records all the time right? Well, the interesting bit was the format of the record, a vinyl release.

It features 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 outside in
– 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


So not your standard LP then…!


White and Ben Blackwell of Third Man Records explain the futuristic touches pressed into the 12-inch surface of what they call the “ultra LP.” in the video below.


I find it both amazing and inspiring to hear you can look 1000 times at a 100-year-old product like vinyl and then see new potential in it. Through innovating a traditional media format, Jack White and his record label have generated a desirable and unique product, that creates a market for itself. Combine this with declining physical sales of music and a rise in interest in retro formats like vinyl, they’re onto a winner.

It takes effort and creativity, but by breaking the mould through innovation you can create markets where markets never existed. I don’t own a record player but I want to own this record! It’s a talking point. I found out about it on Facebook through a friend, and then read about it on one of many news sites which covered the story.


Brands across the world take note, we could all use a bit of Jack White thinking from time to time.


Chris Harris
May 8th, 2014 - 2 mins read