The White Stripes’ new 7-inch single free in NME this week!

How we brought you Jack and Meg's new song for free

Vinyl pressers overseas worked round the clock to bring you the most historic covermount in over a decade – our seven-inch vinyl copy of the new White Stripes single.

Pressed onto red vinyl with a special etching designed exclusively by Jack White, this unique record release of ‘Rag & Bone’, the band’s first from forthcoming album ‘Icky Thump’, forced French based manufacturers Moulages Plastiques de l’Ouest to employ extra manpower to cope with capacity demand.

Covermount sales manager Andy Higgins told NME that over 120,000 copies have been pressed for the exclusive release – the biggest vinyl order the company has dealt with in over 15 years.

“When I told our workers how many copies needed pressing, they thought I was talking about a yearly capacity because normally, the vinyl industry isn’t geared up for this kind of order,” he explained. “CDs are geared up for high volumes but the vinyl industry is only geared for up to 4,000 copies in any one order. So they couldn’t believe their ears when they realised it was for one order alone.”

Production has been based at MPO’s main vinyl pressing plant in France along with an outer branch in the Czech Republic.

Formed out a family business by Monique et Pierre de Poix in 1957, the company has previously pressed vinyl over the years for the likes of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Of the pressing process, Higgins said: “(Legendary indie label and home to The White Stripes) Beggars Banquet handed us the artwork for the cover and the special etching on the 7” and we produced a stamper for both of them. In this case we had to produce quite a lot of stampers because they normally wear out after two or three thousand pressings every time. We’ve gone through a lot of them I can tell you that.

“In terms of the vinyl itself we were given a colour match which we tried to get as close to the colour the record company requested as we could. Basically the process starts off with the vinyl looking clear and then we just put a red pigment in to cover the vinyl itself.”

The exclusive seven-inch comes in special gatefold packaging, which not only features more exclusive artwork from the band, but also contains space for The White Stripes’ official seven-inch comeback single ‘Icky Thump’, out on June 11.

That track will also feature a special etching, so that when the two are combined they will become an essential part of The White Stripes‘ history.

“It’s been a very tough challenge but it’s been great fun to get involved with something like this because we normally only ever do CD cover mounts. To work on a seven-inch cover mount is fantastic and just goes to show that vinyl is still very much alive and kicking,” Higgins concluded.

Grab your copy of NME at all good newsstands from today (June 6) to get your hands on Jack and Meg’s first release of 2007 absolutely free.

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