Rock musician Jack White has never been the type of guy who follows the crowd. The quick success of his recently released solo record Lazaretto suggests that when your name is Jack White and you make a living playing music around the world, there’s no problem with marching to the beat of your own drum.
Jack is known for his work with groups like The Dead Weather, The Raconteurs, and The White Stripes. However, unlike many artists before him who tried to release solo records with limited success, Jack White struck gold with his 2012 debut, Blunderbuss, an album that was nominated for awards and also inspired a tour that took the eclectic musician to notable destinations where he played for eager audiences.
Lazaretto seems destined for a similarly bright future. It sold 138,000 copies in just its first week after being released, earning White his second chart-topping debut. To compare, the next highest album debut for the charted week landed at number 12, and it was Passenger’s Whispers.
Many musicians would be happy enough with that accomplishment alone. That’s especially true since it’s so much harder to achieve great album sales today than in past decades, due in large part to streaming music services. However, Jack White has something else to be excited about, because the vinyl version of Lazaretto also set a record of its own.
Music lovers purchased 40,000 copies of a very special vinyl version. That beat the previous record of 34,000 made by Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy, released 20 years ago. Sales of vinyl records began being tracked in 1991. Jack White not only set a new sales record, but he also topped the Billboard vinyl records chart.
As you might expect from a musician who is as unusual and innovative as Jack White, the vinyl version has several quirky features that set it apart. For example, the record plays at three different speeds, and the A side plays from the inside out. Furthermore, there are playable hidden tracks underneath the label of the Jack White release, and the artwork features a specially designed hologram of a twirling angel.
Speaking to Conan O’Brien about his new record during a media appearance last week, Jack White said, “This is my proudest moment with Third Man Records, this object.” Even though it was too early then to predict how sales would go, it’s clear Jack White felt confident in his work, and now sales numbers prove its worth, too.
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