Three-sided vinyl editions and vinyl oddities

Not talking about those ones they did with two spirals on one side and you’d pick up one depending on how you dropped the needle.

I mean double records but only three sides with music on.

We’ve picked up two in the last month: Pavement’s Wowee Zowee and Warpaint’s eponymous album.

Seems an odd choice. Wouldn’t the sound be better split over 4 sides running at 45 or something like In Rainbows or whatever I’m thinking of?

Also Warpaint’s has an etching on the blank side but Pavement’s is just pure smooth vinyl.

Not just three sided - NIN’s Broken EP was single sided all the way back in 1992. other side was blank I think.


I think the Mad Season album Above was 3 sides vinyl (last side etched). Great album too.

I have The Paisley Reich like that but the other side is a great etching and the album is only about 15 mins long.

Sure was, and sounded like balls too although that might have been the general state of vinyl pressing in the 90s and /or production choices from a young Mr Reznor I suppose.

I don’t mind it. I’m not a big fan of stretching albums across 4 sides, as that means more getting up from the sofa and walking across the room to turn them over. The more songs you can fit on each side, the better, quite frankly.


Definitely appreciate that aspect yeah

Death Cab’s Kintsugi does this, which places everyone’s least favourite twmpo killing song on the middle of side 2, when ideally it would be the end of side 1. It’s a 45 minute album, but I haven’t checked how the songs split out in terns of timings per sides. I know anything about 22 mins on one side of an LP risks pressing issues, so I guess it’s to do with that, for albums that haven’t got distinct A / B gaps.


Fair few National albums have etchings, Frank Ocean’s endless is 2 sides & 2 with etchings, TV On The Radio last album had an etching I think. The real answer to 3 sided records is this record that I have at home



I had it in my head 25 mins was the danger zone but thinking through I’m not sure I can think if any pre CD albums over about 41m, yeah.

Holy wow.

I once read that odd shaped vinyl could unblalance a turntable but I take it with a pinch of salt alongside claims coloured vinyl sound quality is worse

I think some coloured vinyl is definitely worse. I’m pretty sure that have been scientifically proven, might have been glow in the dark versions in particular.

I think if the weight if evenly distributed I wouldn’t have thought balance was an issue. There was that Jack White 12” that was filled with liquid for RSD one year that had a balance problem with it constantly skipping due to the movement of liquid inside.

Just listen to it on Spotify, then you don’t have to get up at all. You can even have the next album you want to listen to play afterwards as well!

Lambchop What Another Man Spills is the first one that comes to mind.

I guess when cds came out and albums became 60+ mins it became a bit awkward. I think often they get stretched over 4 sides at 33 so you just get acres of blank disc.

The odd albums at 45 I have all sound great so I’m actually quite pro that but I’m not knowledgeable enough to know if that is related to it being 45 or maybe the happen to have done a good job on mastering or maybe it’s just perceived.

I’d always assumed coloured vinyl was a relatively new thing but I’ve seen some 60s colour releases,
I’ve got one glow in the dark record and it definitely isn’t great, kind of regret getting that. Other than that my personal experience is no noticeable difference.

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Prefer 3 sides to stretching something to 4 sides that doesn’t need it.

Hate special editions that you have to flip every three songs.

Preference would be to load side 4 with some b-sides, demos or whatever though. Think the only 3 side albums I’ve got are the new bright eyes and The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place


Takk has four and a half sides. Two normal 12" and a 10" with an etching on one side.

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Some Thee Oh Sees albums are doubles but only play 3 sides with an etching or screen print on the 4th side - Castlemania, A Weird Exits, Memory Of A Cut Off Head, plus Damaged Bug “Bunker Funk” - all play at 45rpm, better for sound apparently but a pain in the arse flipping the sides so often. Press them at 33rpm, sorted, plus cheaper to buy.

The Anna Von Hausswolff “The Miraculous” album is another I have with a side 4 etching.

My biggest pain in the derrière vinyl is Bitchin Bajas and Bonnie Prince Billy “Epic Jammers and Fortunate Little Ditties”, a double vinyl affair, one record plays 33rpm and the other plays 45rpm, tracklisting shows that you have to play one side of the 33 then the 45 then the 33. Annoying as heck if you have a turntable where you have to lift the platter up to change the belt each time you flip between 33/45.

Sometimes CD’s are so much easier.


What’s weird is I have that copy of Wowee Zowee - 3 sides, 56 mins

Got Field of Reeds by TNP too and that’s 3 sides, 53 mins

But my copy of Disintegration by The Cure - single disc, 2 sides, 1hr 16mins