Valentine Hellman checked in today with easily the best email I’ve received in a long time. Valentine, you see, OWNS a platinum record. He’s taken it upon himself to play it and determine what exactly the grooves of a default platinum record contain.
Clearly, this is awesome. Here’s his email:
“I have a story I thought you might be interested in. Long story short is that I used to be in a cheesy Christian band, and we had a single that was on a double-CD compilation. This comp sold 250,000 copies and since it contained two CDs the RIAA certified it platinum. I have possessed a platinum record for the past six or seven years. I had it hanging over the toilet in my bathroom. Anyways, last Saturday my friends and I busted it out of the frame and put it on a turntable.
You might be interested to know these facts about the record:
- The hole in the middle was the size of the hole in the middle of a CD.
- There is extra space around the outside of the record that gets covered by the matting which makes it larger than a standard 12″ LP.
- There is only information on one side of the “record.”
- The thing is extremely thin as well. Like tin can thin. Thinner even.
- The strangest thing is that when I played it, everything was backwards. I ended up spinning it backwards to hear the recording.
Anyways, the record always looked like it only had two tracks, and it turns out it did. The tracks were not what the same as the ones that are on the compilation record. After some research I think that the tracks are from a Salsoul Orchestra 12″ single. I don’t know who they are, but I downloaded a snippet of one of their songs from the single and I think it is a match. One of my friends taped the whole experience and hopefully I will post this somewhere if you are ever interested.
Here is my full write up if you are interested, which is also where I will eventually let people know where to find the video footage.”
There’s more backstory at the link. Hooray for Mr. Hellman’s inquisitive nature — we now have EVEN MORE useless vinyl-related knowledge!
Many people have suggested that this item was in fact a factory mold, not a record. This would explain why it played in reverse. Since audio information on vinyl is represented by lateral variation in the groove (Not vertical, as I thought until very recently), it’s entirely possible that playing a factory mold would yield the results described. This, of course, begs the question, are all platinum records made from discarded factory molds? One way to find out would be to play another one…