Third Man Records
Released: August 26 2009
Matrix side A: Giant eagles... tiny elephants
Matrix side B: Walking all over creation
Coming out of hibernation (again) with one of the newer (and weirder) additions to my collection. Lots of things has happened in the past year since I last posted. Main attraction has been the fact that we bought a house (with more room for vinyl!) and I got involved in two climate startups that have taken (and still are taking) quite a lot of time. Still I love to do this so I'm going to try and make this a weekly thing at least.
The subject of this post is the amazing Bizarro version of the very first Third Man Records and very first Dead Weather 7": Hang you from the heavens / Are friends electric? Starting from what's technically the B side (although on this record I'm not sure), the "Are friends electric?" is a Gary Numan cover where they stuck quite close to the original.
For the "A-side" I still remember hearing the first drumbeat of "Hang you from the heavens" (Dumsch Dumsch Du Da, doesn't really do it justice but if you're reading this I take it that you know it) in my tiny but overpriced apartment in Østerbro, Copenhagen back in 2009. Still one of my favorite drum intros. Back in those days though I bought the single on iTunes and listened to it incessantly. This was just a year shy of when my love for vinyl started.
This 7" version is the so called Bizarro version and it is really a quite funny. First of all it features no center hole so you can't play it,
And everything about the record is mirrored: The label, the cover even the sides are mirrored so the one that according to the label is A is really B and so on (according to the matrices).
So you can't play it, eh? We'll see about that
I had this odd suspicion that this being Jack White and all that there must be something more to this record than "just" the mirrored nature of it. I mean for instance the famous tripledecker record, which had a secret 7" hidden inside it so you have to destroy the 12" to get to it. I figured something that officially "can't be played" had to have some additional tricks to it. That thought just gnawed at me and one day I decided to try and play it. It was a bit difficult but with some *ahem* ingenuity I managed to actually play it:
If I had a hole punch that would have seemed like the obvious solution, but it would ruin the minty nature of the record. So instead I balanced a stack of 45 adapters on the center-peg of the record player and very carefully placed the record exactly at the center of it and lo and behold it plays.
But I must disappoint you dear reader that the tracks are indeed "Hang you from the heavens" and "Are friends electric?" although the tracks are on the wrong side, i.e. A is B and B is A (obviously). Also I think it would have been a nice touch to also had the tracks pressed backwards. Still a fun weird and rare specimen of my collection.