vintage media grading, VMG, vinyl record grading company

VMG 100 – Jack White, Lazaretto

The most collectible.

The most necessary.

The most essential records for the perfect vinyl collection.

Trying to build the most epic record collection in the world? Want a little bit of everything? We’ve got you covered.

Each episode of Vintage Media Grading – The Podcast features a discussion about the vinyl discography of a music legend. At the conclusion of each discussion, the guys from VMG choose the single most essential album of that artist – the single 12” vinyl record that is a must-have for any complete vinyl collection.

As albums are chosen, we will add a feature article about the album. These are the albums you need, from the most reliable resource of record collecting, grading, and authentication – Vintage Media Grading.

Episode 3 – 10/31/23

Artist – Jack White

Essential Record – Lazaretto – Ultra LP, US – 2014

Third Man Records – TMR-271

The canvas of Jack White’s legacy is painted with epic riffs and awesome albums. A student of music, White has always shown an appreciation for the uniqueness and collectability of physical music, particularly vinyl. His personal record company, Third Man Records, has been at the forefront of genius marketing and stylish, inventive records. Some of the records produced by White are legendary for their rarity.

Stick a 7” album secretly into recently upholstered furniture? Jack did that. (“Your Furniture Was

Drop an album from a helium balloon? Jack and Third Man Records did that too. (“Freedom At

Create super rare singles that can only be acquired if Jack or Meg White give them to you personally? Did that too. (“Icky Thump” picture disc, “The Denial Twist” 3” single)

However, if you are seeking a complete, epic record collection, then some of these albums are simply too rare to include. We need to keep the list realistic, and I have little hope to run into Meg White for a special edition 3” picture disc.

Luckily, White’s unique and collectable records are not limited to rare arcana. The White Stripes’ most popular album, Elephant, containing their most famous song, “Seven Nation Army”, is a popular collectible album. Its 2003 versions from XL Recordings are sought after, with the Australian pressing, limited to 500 copies, being particularly desirable.

However, when deciding on the most iconic and essential Jack White offering, the 2014 solo album, Lazaretto (Ultra LP), brings so much to the table that it simply cannot be ignored. Released by Third Man Records in 2014, the Ultra LP version of Lazaretto is the fulfillment of a vinyl collector’s fantasy, with myriad touches creating a different experience with seemingly every listen.

The songs A1-A5 and B1-B6 all play at 33 1/3 rpm, continuously. However, “Just One Drink” actually has two separate intros (acoustic and electric) on separate grooves, which connect later in the song. And the entire groove for side A is reversed, so it plays from the inside to the outside, starting at the run out.

Side B is not glossy, as you would typically see for a vinyl record. Instead, it is a matte finish, resembling a 78.

There are hidden tracks as well. A hidden song untitled 6th song on side A, and an untitled hidden 7th song on B are locked grooves, forcing the tracks to repeat. Another hidden track on each side are actually printed on the labels. The A side label song plays at 78 RPM, while the B side plays at 45 RPM.

The unique aspects are not limited to the listening experience however. There is a dead wax hologram on side A, visible when spinning the record under a single spotlight.

Quite frankly, the album is a work of art and a love letter to vinyl collectors, making it a necessary component of any “complete” collection. Thank you Jack White.


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