Third Man Records is excited to announce Vault Package #52, Sleep: Dopesmoker, featuring remastered audio from the original source tapes of this seminal album. The package includes four "green kush" colored LPs that include the album, a custom etching and alternate takes of "Dopesmoker" and an unearthed studio version of the long-lost track "Hot Lava Man," a 7" featuring "Dopesmoker" (Radio Edit) and "Proceeds The Weedian" (marking the band's first 7" release since 1991), two foldover posters and a woven patch, all inside a custom LP slipcase. A standard 2xLP version will be available from Third Man later this summer. Sign up is open now through April 30 at midnight CST.
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Records that exist as if in a vacuum, seemingly divined from some otherworldly domain, almost unconnected to all life on our earthly realm… those are the records to cherish, to seek out, to explore every last note.
In an attempt to further divine the legend and lore behind its epic nature, Third Man Records is humbled to announce the deluxe and expanded reissue of Sleep’s Dopesmoker as their 52nd Vault package.
The only word that really feels appropriate to describe Sleep’s magnum opus Dopesmoker is… singular. The album stands apart from the myriad of subgenres that try to claim ownership of it and ultimately manages to exist solely by itself. There are imitators and pretenders that fall into the wake…but there can be only one original.
With audio precisely remastered by Carl Saff at Saff Mastering using the original master tapes not used on any previous release of the album, the 60-plus minutes of the definitive, canonical version of Dopesmoker appreciated by fans for years has never sounded so crisp, so clear, so heavy. This improved-upon master is worth the price of admission alone.
Yet there is still more.
Side D of this monster features the previously unknown recording of the long-lost Sleep song “Hot Lava Man.” For years relegated to scratchy live takes from shady, unauthorized recordings known only to the most die hard of die hards, this sublime, proper take was recorded at Razor’s Edge Studio in San Francisco in 1992. “Hot Lava Man” is a riff heavy gem worth the price of admission alone.
There is still yet more.
Side E is of particular excitement as it features two previously unreleased outtakes from the Dopesmoker sessions. The alternate take of “Dopesmoker (Part 1)” and the alternate solo version are both as revelatory as they are mind-blowing. For the previously released version being so ingrained in the fiber of fans, to hear two alternates, recorded at the exact same time, with plenty of variation and differences to draw an “oh shit!” from any and all who hear it…this is the express reason the Vault exists. The archaeological discoveries are worth the price of admission alone.
Yet still, there is more.
Side F is a sharp as hell etching of the iconic Arik Roper Weedian image as famously featured on the cover of all versions of Dopesmoker since 2012 including this one…proceeding to Nazareth.
Disc four showcases an early, embryonic live recording of “Dopesmoker” from the I-Beam club in San Francisco on May 28th, 1994. Raw in all the best senses of the word, this version captured in the wild is a prime first-hand historical document that only adds nuance and depth to the path of “Dopesmoker.”
Each LP is pressed on green kush vinyl, a specialized custom blend of five different colors all mixed together to create the impressive approximation of the choicest indica strains. Additionally, the LPs are all pressed on triple-beam tipping 180-gram vinyl for that hefty, important feel.
Still yet there is more.
To further push this over-the-top we’ve included a 7-inch single showcasing the “Dopesmoker (radio edit)” and “Proceeds the Weedian” (another abridged version culled from the full-length “Dopesmoker” song). Housed in a perfectly green Third Man company sleeve and bedecked with the quintessential Weedian, this is the first Sleep 7-inch release since 1991. Also pressed on choice green kush vinyl.
This behemoth of a collection lives sumptuously in a wraparound slipcase with each individual LP disc housed in a full-color printed sleeve featuring of-the-era pictures.
To fully jam this into unquestionably overloaded territory, the package is rounded out by not one but TWO full-color posters measuring 16.5 x 24 inches and 12 x 24 inches depicting a full-color photo of the band around the time of recording the album and the legendary “riff chart” breaking down all the different rational components of the hour-plus long song, respectively. And let's not forget the 4.5-inch diameter woven patch showing off the inimitable Weedian for a piece that will increase the badass factor by ten of whichever garment is lucky enough to become attached to it.
Sign up before midnight Central Time on April 30th to get your copy of this historic, watershed, life-affirming collection of music.