Friday, May 14, 2010

NEW INFO: Flaming Lips & Record Store Day's Dark Side of the Moon clear vs. seafoam green vinyl mystery

I've been somewhat passively keeping tabs on this mystery over clear vinyl vs. seafoam green when it comes to the Flaming Lips' Dark Side of the Moon Record Store Day release. For the uninitiated, it was originally supposed to be on a seafoam green record but ended up as completely clear for some.

I documented it on my end here, here, and here. My friend Joe Stark wrote about his copy of the release (which is indeed seafoam green) at his blog here. Meanwhile, some of the people on the Flaming Lips message board here have discussed the issue, but seem to be experiencing the same dearth of good information the rest of the Internet is as well.

Then I came across this, which is perhaps the closest thing to a clear(ing) read of the tea leaves I've found since Record Store Day nearly a month ago. On the Lips' site there's a listing for the vinyl release here. The description of the product is as follows: "One 140g regular weight, clear vinyl disc with bonus CD in babypak. A limited quantity of clear were pressed! Seafoam green will return once we run out of clear."

Now, this isn't exactly clear, either, on just what the hell is going on here. There are a number of comments on the listing that feature some of the typical back and forth and hypothesizing that has come to really capture the whole sense of confusion hanging over this release. But, for now, here's my take:

This listing was posted in mid-March, and it clearly advertises this as "clear vinyl." But one commenter says they've changed it, implying that it once said "seafoam green." And indeed, this entire release was billed as featuring a seafoam green vinyl, not clear. Only once Record Store Day came around and people were opening their records (as I did) to find completely clear wax did confusion ensue.

But the fact that they're shipping clear, claiming there's a limited quantity, and then saying they'll go back to seafoam green after those are all gone, says to me that there's indeed fewer clear copies out there than seafoam green copies. Or, perhaps, this means that it may be somewhat equal now, but once it's all said and done, and they continue to produce seafoam green copies, there will be more of the clear out there. Also, certainly Ebay appears to be biting on the whole "clear-is-rarer" theme, as I've seen countless examples of sellers claiming their clear copies are, for lack of a better term, super-duper rare (and thus more valuable).

So, add this onto the mounting pile of evidence as we try to parse what's going on here. Right now, if I had to guess, I'd say that there were probably similar amounts of clear and green floating around on RSD, but the continuation of green pressings will ultimately mean there will be fewer clear.

But, who knows really. That's what it seems like now. Still, as I've said before, it sure would be nice if Warner Bros. or the Flaming Lips would explain to fans, who lined up and dropped $30 each for this release, just what the hell is going on here.

Also, I've contacted Warner Bros. in an attempt to figure this out. We'll see if they get back to me.

1 comment:

  1. This is why I love vinyl. There is never any mystery to a mp3.

    Fantastic album, especially of such important source material. Though i do wish I would have gotten the clear vinyl!

    Someone knows what happened, I wish they would just come out and say we messed up and some are clear. That seems like the most likely explanation since vinyl is an imperfect science like that.