Weed, Vinyl, and Weed IN Vinyl. Dopesmoker is Back

This limited edition vinyl pressing vanished like a cloud of smoke

Dopesmoker Vinyl Weedian Hi-Fi
News

By RC Staff

Key Points:

  • Sleep’s hourlong song/album Dopesmoker has achieved cult classic status, and is known for constantly swapping hands between labels

  • Jack White’s Third Man Records is the latest label to acquire the rights, and produced a new run of vinyl in August of 2022

  • A very limited release of vinyl records was pressed with real weed leaves, and sold exclusively through Third Man’s shop in Detroit

Item

Music & Movies
400

Profit

This is the difference between the sale price and resell price. It does not take into account any costs associated with reselling. Things like shipping, storage fees, if applicable.

Third Man Records Sleep Dopesmoker Vinyl

Stoner metal band Sleep released a limited-edition remastered vinyl for their album Dopesmoker. Every copy is unique, as it has a real cannabis leaf pressed into the vinyl.

Legendary stoner metal band Sleep has reissued their song/album Dopesmoker, for the sixth time. Under new label Third Man Records, August 26th marked the return of Dopesmoker to streaming services, as well as two new vinyl pressings. Aside from the standard pressing, there was a limited run of special records with a real cannabis leaf pressed into the vinyl. This limited pressing was offered for sale only through Third Man’s shop in Detroit, and quickly sold out. Following the sale, sealed editions of the THC-infused vinyl have resold for hundreds of dollars.

What the hell is Dopesmoker?

First titled Dopesmoker, then shortly bootlegged as Jerusalem, then back to its original name, Dopesmoker is an album consisting of a single, hourlong song. At least, that’s how it was intended to be released, and is how it’s currently distributed.

Dopesmoker’s unusual format has historically caused significant issues with past labels. While work on the album first started in 1993, recording didn’t begin until 1996. By this point, Sleep’s decision to record the entire album as a single continuous song had drawn them into conflict with their label, London Records.

As the process for recording dragged on, London grew increasingly unhappy with the creative direction of Sleep, and by 1999, insisted the album receive heavy edits. London records wanted to cut the song into pieces, and rearrange it into several distinct songs, akin to a traditional album. Sleep flatly refused, and Dopesmoker was stuck in limbo for several years.

Following the release of several unauthorized bootlegs of the album, Dopesmoker finally saw a proper release in 2003 through Tee Pee Records. By 2012, Southern Lord Records would acquire the rights, and rerelease the album, as well as upload it to streaming services.

Southern Lord Records’ rights would expire in early 2022, and would eventually be acquired by Third Man Records. Third Man Records, partly owned by White Stripes frontman Jack White, had been making overt moves to acquire much of Sleep’s discography, and the acquisition of Dopesmoker would serve as a critical piece of the collection. To celebrate this new era for Dopesmoker, Third Man created the “Weedian Hi-Fi” pressing.

Weedian Hi-Fi?

With one or more genuine cannabis leaves pressed into the transparent, green-tinted vinyl, the “Weedian Hi-Fi” version of Dopesmoker is a trip.

In terms of sound, the vinyl is equivalent to the standard black pressings of the album, featuring an all-new remaster of the album to 2022 standards. Additionally, the track “Hot Lava Man” would be included on the album, which up until that point had never had a digital release.

Dopesmoker Vinyl Pressing

Yes, that is real weed being pressed into the vinyl

The Weedian Hi-Fi album was produced in limited numbers, and was only available for sale for one day only, at one location only. Third Man Records’ shop in Cass Corridor, Detroit, put the records up for sale for $150 on August 26th, 2022. Doors opened at 11, and by 12:30, they were out of vinyl.

While Third Man did not put out specifics on how many records were pressed, it’s likely that less than 500 were produced, and probably closer to 300 in total. With so few made and released through a specific shop, Third Man essentially guaranteed these records would be rare, and consequently resell.

Why did the Dopesmoker vinyl resell?

At a crossroads between the album’s legendary cult status, the outlandish inclusion of a real marijuana leaf in the pressing, and the intense scarcity of the vinyl, the Weedian Hi-Fi vinyl is already reselling for $500+.

Dopesmoker’s gradual transition from a novel stoner album to a genuine landmark for metal in general gives this record long term value. For a collector, the Weedian Hi-Fi version of Dopesmoker is the ultimate celebration of the album, and Sleep’s work in general. Owning one would be attractive to any collector, especially one interested in the stoner metal genre.

The unique construction of the Weedian Hi-Fi vinyl is a vital aspect to its value. For a band and album that revolve so heavily around weed, what better than a literal leaf to embed in the vinyl? Despite the weed being locked away behind layers of PVC, Third Man Records treat it as a controlled substances, and it is cited as the reason behind only offering the vinyl for sale in Michigan, which is a legal state.

Dopesmoker vinyl aftermarket sales

Technically, these sales aren’t exactly legal

While the slightly dubious legal nature of the albums may have been enough to deter Third Man, it’s not been a problem for resellers. Numerous sold listings for the Weedian Hi-Fi records have taken place since the 26th, averaging $400-$500. Since weed is still illegal at the federal level, eBay forbids it from being bought and sold, even between legal states. While the Weedian Hi-Fi isn’t really marijuana, it also kind of technically is, so we’re in an interesting situation.

Following this initial frenzy of sales following the vinyl’s release, it’s likely that the Weedian Hi-Fi pressing is about to get really, really rare. There’s already very few in circulation, and the few bought up by resellers have already changed hands. Considering the ramifications behind its status as a controlled product, record stores will likely not be interested in acquiring them, leaving person to person sales as the only avenue.

Due to the nature of the materials, this version will only be available for purchase in-person at Third Man Records Cass Corridor.

Third Man Records

It wouldn’t be surprising to see prices for this vinyl reach the $1,000 mark in the future. While it would require a dedicated fan and a patient seller, there simply isn’t anything else like this on the market, and it’s unlikely anything more will be produced soon.

What do you think? Would you have waited in line for a shot at one these records? While you may not be entirely allowed to resell it, there’s no denying that they were a good investment. For everything resell related, including more vinyl, check out our other articles!

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