You might be cool, but you’ve never been “released an album with weed leaves pressed into it” cool. A new edition of Sleep’s third album Dopesmoker will do just that, featuring fan leaves pressed into the vinyl, and metalheads everywhere are rejoicing.
New Musical Express magazine reports that with the help of Jack White’s Third Man Records, Sleep re-released a new mix of the classic album with a deluxe vinyl pressing that has actual cannabis fan leaves pressed into the vinyl.
The pressing was manufactured in partnership with Doghouse Farms, producer of award-winning cannabis. (On a side note, Doghouse’s founder and Director of Cultivation, Jon Hudnall, is an advocate for living soil and good genetics.)
The new vinyl edition of Dopesmoker will be issued in two pressings: a standard black vinyl version will be available in-store and online, available for pre-order here. But if you want the deluxe limited edition version with weed leaves, called the “Weedian High-Fi” edition, it will only be available to order from Third Man Records’ brick-and-mortar store in Cass Corridor, Detroit.
“When we first got a tour at Third Man, I saw they’d released a limited Jack White 45 that had liquid in the vinyl,” Sleep lead singer and bassist Al Cisneros tells High Times. “From there, it was a goal to make a ‘high’ fi version of one of our releases. Thanks to the team at Third Man Pressing in Detroit for making this happen.”
A new version of the album will be released digitally August 26, the first time it’s been available on any streaming platform. The vinyl release is yet to be dated, however pre-orders will launch on the same day.
“Announcing Sleep’s landmark album Dopesmoker will be available remastered from original tapes on streaming services this Friday, August 26,” Third Man Records wrote on an Instagram post. “There will be two new vinyl variants of the album. Alongside a black vinyl LP, which will be available for pre-order on Friday, pure, unadulterated, authentic cannabis leaves are encapsulated in PVC for the first time ever to create a deluxe ‘Weedian High-Fi’ pressing of the album, exclusively available at Third Man Records in Cass Corridor.” The post received nearly 250 comments so far.
Third Man Records continued, “Also included for the first time digitally is the deep cut ‘Hot Lava Man,’ which will also be available on these vinyl pressings.” During the announcement, Third Man Records also released “Hot Lava Man” on SoundCloud.
According to NME, the idea was ultimately inspired by the mosquito encapsulated in amber from Jurassic Park. Sleep’s release has fan leaves embedded in green wax, with streaks of gold and other shades of green marbled together to give the effect of the trichomes and calyxes on a bud.
Dopesmoker was originally recorded for London Records in 1996, but sat on a shelf until a version was released by The Music Cartel, retitled Jerusalem. (Back then, it may have been harder to release an album into the mainstream with weed references in the title.) Subsequent versions were released in 2003 and 2012.
Third Man Records released a remastered version of the album last April.
San Jose-based Sleep formed in 1990 and are considered by some critics to be the “ultimate stoner rock band.” When Sleep released Dopesmoker in earlier releases, it was hailed by critics, such as one from Spin calling the album “brilliant.” A hiatus at the end of the 1990s ended when the band reformed in 2009.
The cannabis fan leaf pressing of Dopesmoker, however, is one of the band’s boldest moves to date. If you’re lucky enough to score a copy, it should definitely serve as a collector’s item.