Sleep have announced the fourth iteration of their legendary third album, ‘Dopesmoker’, teaming up with Jack White’s Third Man Records for a new mix and vinyl release that features actual cannabis pressed into it.
Third Man’s new version of ‘Dopesmoker’ – the first to be mastered from Sleep’s original studio tapes – will feature a new mix of the long-lost deep cut ‘Hot Lava Man’. This version of the album will be released digitally this Friday (August 26), making it available to fans on streaming platforms for the first time ever. The vinyl release is yet to be dated, however pre-orders for that will start on Friday.
In announcing the release, Third Man dropped ‘Hot Lava Man’ on SoundCloud. Check it out below:
The new vinyl edition of ‘Dopesmoker’ will be issued in two pressings. A standard black version will be available in-store and online (pre-order it here), while the “Weedian High-Fi” edition – for which Third Man says “pure, unadulterated, authentic cannabis leaves are encapsulated in PVC” – will only be available to order from Third Man’s brick-and-mortar store in Cass Corridor, Detroit.
The “Weedian High-Fi” edition of ‘Dopesmoker’ was created in partnership with Michigan-based cannabis company Doghouse Farms. It’s inspired by the mosquito in amber from Jurassic Park, with pot leaves embedded in translucent green wax, marbled with streaks of gold and other shades of green to give the effect of the trichomes and calyxes on a bud.
Have a look at the special pressing below:
‘Dopesmoker’ has a famously turbulent backstory, and as a result, a famously convoluted release history. It was tracked for London Records in 1996, but due to the label’s dissatisfaction with the original mix (the A&R rep that the seminal stoner-metal band worked with left the label before it was finished), it sat dormant until 1999, when a heavily edited version was released by The Music Cartel under the title ‘Jerusalem’.
The first proper version of ‘Dopesmoker’ was later issued by Tee Pee Records in 2003. While ‘Jerusalem’ was split into six untitled tracks and had a runtime of 52 minutes, the 2003 release presented ‘Dopesmoker’ in its original form as one continuous, 63-minute track.
A third version of the album – described as “a true representation” of the band’s “Weedian chronicle”, sporting a newly reassembled mix – was then released in 2012 via Southern Lord Records.
Both the Tee Pee and Southern Lord releases came with a live track on the B-side: ‘Sonic Titan’ (which was unreleased in its studio-recorded form until 2018 album ‘The Sciences’) on the former, and ‘Holy Mountain’ (from the eponymous 1992 album) on the latter.