There’s many reasons why this generation of music-lovers are coming back to physical records instead of digital downloads – but these hidden ‘easter eggs’ may just be the best.
Sometimes an album will having something more than the tracklist hidden within its packaging, as one fan has divulged about the late David Bowie’s final album Blackstar.
Reddit user ‘BoldlyGettingThere’ explained that a friend had recently discovered that the Thin White Duke’s last record featured an entire constellation in the artwork – if you exposed the ‘black star’ in the centre to sunlight.
According to the artwork designer Jonathan Barnbook, this Easter Egg was an intentional feature,
But Bowie is not the first to use his vinyl to hide dark and interesting secrets. Here are just a few of our all time favourite hidden record features:
Led Zeppelin – In Through the Out Door (1979)
The eighth studio album by the iconic British rockers was considered pretty safe for a group who have spawned plenty of psychedelic album covers, with its brown paper bag exterior and the grey-scale photos on the inner sleeve surprisingly dull.
However, once those photos were washed over with water, they would become permanently coloured. It was also revealed that the album had been printed with six different covers, all taken of the same subject but from six varying angles.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor – F♯ A♯ ∞ (1997)
The post-rock group are pretty damn good when it comes to treating their fans well. The first five hundred pressings of their 1997 epic F Sharp A Sharp Infinity were a treasure trove of Easter Eggs, including an original photograph, a crushed Canadian penny and other bits of artwork.
The record also includes a groove at the very end, which mean it keeps repeating on the last two notes of the final track ‘String Loop Manufactured During Downpour…’ – an f sharp and an sharp, that go on infinitely…
Radiohead – Kid A (2000)
The ‘Head boys love to give their fans something to ponder over and use as fuel for the ongoing conspiracy theories. Kid A was something of a pinacle for this, with one theory suggesting that the album was actually ‘incomplete’ unless two copies were playing seventeen seconds apart.
As for the physical release, early CD versions of Kid A featured a hidden booklet, which was placed inside the casing. The booklet featured more artwork from Thom Yorke and longtime collaborator Stanley Donwood, as well as lyrics from the album’s B-sides.
Nirvana – With The Lights Out (2004)
The four-disc box set was considered to be the quintessential Nirvana bootlegs when it was released back in 2004. The album featured a number of rare recordings, radio show performances and Kurt’s personal tapes from a seven-year period.
The plain back inner sleeve of the CD casing was heat sensitive material too, meaning that if it was exposed to a hair-dryer it would reveal photographs of the demo tapes themselves.
The Flaming Lips – and Heady Fwends (2012)
The Flaming Lips collaborative album release featured some surprises from the track list alone, including artists from Kesha to Nick Cave to Yoko Ono.
However, the real shock came for fans when a deluxe edition of this vinyl with released – which had been pressed with the blood samples of some of the album contributors. These blood-stained records didn’t come cheap however, with Wayne Coyne selling them at $2,500 plus a $200 hand-delivery fee. We doubt you’ll pick this one up at the local charity shop.
Jack White – Lazaretto (2012)
Jack White is a total madman when it comes to these sort of things. For the release of his 2012 album Lazaretto, White released an ‘Ultra LP’ with more Easter Egg features than Batman’s utility belt.
The special edition vinyl featured two hidden tracks hidden beneath the center labels, two tracks only accesible at different speeds and an angel hologram which appears if you look at a certain angle. That’s some bang for your entertainment buck.
Ghostbusters: Stay Puft Edition (2014)
How best to honour one of the Eighties most iconic soundtracks on its 30th birthday? It’s simple really: you release a vinyl which features a cushioned outer cover that feel likes ‘Mr. Stay Puft’ as well as being marshmallow-scented.
Not enough for you Ray Parker Jr. fans? How about a vinyl that glows a ghostly Slimer green when in the dark? Now we’ve got your attention.