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'Ultra LP' Version Of Jack White's New Album Has Some Crazy Surprises

Jack White has announced plans to release a version of his upcoming Lazaretto album on vinyl, with a whole bunch of special features that'll make you rethink the possibilities of the enduring format.

As White and Ben Blackwell of Third Man Records explain in this short video, the LazarettoUltra LP will run at three speeds. There's the standard 33 1/3 bulk of the album. But there's also a track hidden under the center label that plays at 78 RPM, and another that plays at 45 RPM. Yeah, there are bonus tracks hidden under both labels.

The album includes "dual-groove technology" which means you hear alternate versions of the album depending on where you drop the needle. The intro for the song "Just One Drink," for example, plays either an acoustic or an electric guitar --- they eventually merge into a single track. Side A plays from the inside out. In other words, you put the needle down near the center label and it moves out toward the record's outer edge and ends with a locked groove that loops over and over. The dead wax area of side A also includes a hand-etched floating hologram of a spinning angel.

Here's the complete list of features on the Ultra LP, which the Third Man website says will be "the standard version of the vinyl format of Lazaretto:

- 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

It's anyone's guess how much it cost to add all these glorious bells and whistles, but the Ultra LP, which comes out June 10, won't cost too much more than a regular record.

The LazarettoUltra LP will be released Jun. 10.

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Robin Hilton is a producer and co-host of the popular NPR Music show All Songs Considered.
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