This year, as record store day celebrates its seventh year running the news is out. Vinyl is not dead and record enthusiasts are everywhere. But in the midst of frantic shoppers, there was one enthusiast with a different plan in mind to celebrate the day. Former White Stripes frontman Jack White decided to get himself into the history books by breaking the record for world’s fastest recording.
White is known for his love of vinyl. His record company Third Man Records (which boasts the slogan “Your turntable is not dead) has come up with a number of vinyl innovations over the years. These include glow-in-the-dark 45s, 13 inch “Texas sized” LPs, a triple-decker record and a peach scented LP for Karen Elson.
Jack White began his record store day by taking to the stage at 10am in the Blue Room at his record company headquarters in Nashville. He recorded two tracks from his upcoming album, the title song “Lazaretto” and a cover of the Elvis Presley hit “Power of My Love.” White was accompanied by Fats Kaplin, Daru Jones amongst others. The songs went directly to acetate and then were taken to United Record Pressing along with photos taken during the performance that would form the sleeve. Pressings would continue throughout the remainder of the day. White hopes to be successful in breaking the record. The whole process took just under four hours.
White told the assembled crowd at The Blue Room that they initially had thought to record the two tracks and then “go back to sleep.” Instead he treated fans to an hour-long set including old White Stripes classics and new hits.
Previous contenders for breaking the Guinness Record for shortest recording time include Vollgas Kompanie a Swiss polka trio who released their album “Live” the day after it was recorded. Another contender is the album made for Warchild charity entitled “Help.” The album boasts Irish and British artists such as Blur, Manic Street Preachers, Radiohead, Sinéad O’Connor and Portishead. It was recorded under the premise behind John Lennon’s “Instant Karma!” single that records should be like newspapers, recorded and released in the shortest time possible. The album was in shops a week after all the artists cut their tracks.
Other albums out in time for record store day include the previously unreleased single “Penny Royal Tea” by Nirvana. The original release was cancelled due to Kurt Cobain’s death in 1994. Just 6,000 copies were pressed and it marks the band’s first release in 20 years. Also out is a new album from 90s indie band The Pixies, who have recently reformed. The album available 10 days ahead of its general release in time for record store day. Another one-day-only special is Ray Parker Jr’s “Ghostbusters” 10″ in “ecto-green” vinyl. It boasts the original Ghostbusters theme with a B side of dance versions of the hit.
A spokesperson for the Guinness World Records apparently said that whilst Jack White had not been in touch, they were looking into the matter as to whether his recording on record store day had broken the previous one. They said they would confirm next week to see if White had earned a spot in the history books.
By Sara Watson