Ongoing History of New Music Daily: The picture disc

One of the things that’s been resurrected with the vinyl revival is the picture disc. If you’ve never seen one, it’s a record with a picture carefully painted over the grooves. The paint can mess up the sound quality a bit and I’m not sure they’re really meant to be played because the stylus will scrape the picture away over time, but they are still cool to collect.

The heyday of picture discs was the 80s when all sorts of acts and labels tried to take this art to the extreme. For example, in 1983, the Swiss group Yello released a song called “I Love You” on a the world’s first 3-D picture disc. Each copy came with a pair of those special glasses and you were supposed to stare at the record before you actually played it.

The effect worked pretty well except if if you tried to get the 3-D image while the record was playing.  Then you just got dizzy.

Check out Monday’s post on rock stars who got fired.  And don’t forget to check out my podcast The Ongoing History of New Music where you listen on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogleStitcher, or wherever you get your on-demand audio.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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