View Full Version : Things etched in vinyl

05-12-2004, 08:00 PM
Hve you ever looked closely at your vinyl and found little messages etched in near the label?

You'll usually find catalogue numbers etched in around the lock groove. Often there's some indication of which side is which. Sometimes the pressing plant will mark their work as well, either by pressing or etching their name (EG: Masterdisk).

But once in a while there's more to be found. Messages, tags, jokes. I don't know enough about the pressing process to guess who's doing this or at what stage, but I've long been curious.

Some things I've found:

Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force "Planet Rock" (Tommy Boy, 1983? pressing):
Herbie Jr Hi Angie and Winky It's a "High Powered Disco 12"

Freestyle Fellowship "Bullies of the Block" (4th and B'way, 1993):
C S B followed by musical notes

Funkmaster Flex presents the Flip Squad "Butterfly Style" (Wreck, 1993):
Side A - The British football team is wonkers
Side B - Flex get busy Fri/Sat

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five "Super Rappin' No. 2" (Enjoy, 1980):
Fancy initials followed by a happy face

Spymania Allstars (/Squarepusher) "AVIT" (Spymania, 1995/6?):
Side A - Diesel engine road vehicle
Side B - Ooh baby I like it raw

I've also got a one-sided EP by Jale where the B side is complelely covered in swirly lines and etched stars. Pretty.

I would offer up pics but words on shiny black vinyl are a little difficult to capture.

Can you tell I have work to do? Anyway, who's gonna get nerdy with me?

Nick Gutterbreakz
05-12-2004, 08:49 PM
As any long-term Cabaret Voltaire fan will know, finding and interpreting the run-out groove messages is almost as entertaining as listening to the actual music.

"Stand by the innovators reject the parasites that are inspired"

05-12-2004, 08:54 PM
There's a lot of them around, actually. I think just about all records from the Drop Bass label had messages+release year/month+track titles etched. This is probably the case for other labels as well.

One of my favorites, from Pressure of Speechs Art of the State (on North South):

A: music for a world we wouldn't like to live in...
B: ...but we do

05-12-2004, 09:04 PM
OK, I'm game

1) BARLEYCORN - 'Men Behind the Wire' 7" (CRC, 1971)

Freedom to you all....ZOSO

Yes, the 'ZOSO' like that Led Zep guitarist's symbol. God knows what it was doing on an Irish Republican rebel single, issued by the Anderstown Civil Resistance Committee (and subsequently banned in the UK)

2) WHITEHOUSE - 'Cream of the Second Coming' (1989)

Justine Et Juliette / Let Them Eat Shit / Rape Aktion ...Do You All Agree? / Deathfuck

3) CRASS - Best Before 1984

Baader and Meinhof are dead / Shot in the back of the 'ed

4) SHY FX - Sound of the Beast 12" ('94)

Shy got there first / Ya to late!

5) PRIMAL SCREAM / IRVINE WELSH - Big Man Meets Scream Team etc etc 12" ('96)

If you hate fucking English clap your hands / Who are ya?

OK, I'm bored of it now

05-12-2004, 11:42 PM
Coil used to have all kinds of shit written on their vinyl. Quite amusing little soundbites, really.

grimly fiendish
06-12-2004, 12:21 PM
factory vinyl was packed with 'em: they should all be listed in the discography here:


06-12-2004, 12:56 PM
low's "things we lost in the fire" has the lyrics to the entire album etched into side 4 of the vinyl, running in a continuous circle from the outside in. that's a steady hand and the patience of a saint right thurr - it's very neat.

I guess it's done at the vinyl mastering stage, so it's either the mastering engineer getting frisky or the artists present asking for something specific.

Nick Gutterbreakz
06-12-2004, 01:06 PM
I guess it's done at the vinyl mastering stage, so it's either the mastering engineer getting frisky or the artists present asking for something specific.

Having had the pleasure of observing my own music being mastered onto vinyl at Abbey Road (a long time ago) I can attest to the fact that the engineer has to scratch the message on by hand. We asked the guy (who I think was also called Nick) if he'd put a message on for us, which he duly obliged to do. But putting an entire album's lyrics on?! That must've required some patience...

06-12-2004, 02:51 PM
Aren't the Smiths and Underground Resistance famous for this?

07-12-2004, 03:35 PM
....Underground Resistance famous for this?
...the most expansive ones i ever came across were on the early +8 records. i'll scan some in and pop them up here.

07-12-2004, 10:32 PM
the early +8 records.

How about that...Sppedy J "Something for your Mind"
+8: our music 4 your ears
From the depths of a parallel universe there arose...the pro series

07-12-2004, 10:33 PM
A semi-recent Wire mag had some great pressing plant photos. Unfortunately the article wasn't about something else.