The Vinyl Issue: Coloured Vinyl

Who says records have to be plain old black? Not any of these colourful artists.


Faust (POLYDOR, 1971)

The transparent vinyl of Faust’s debut made it almost impossible to go straight to side one’s second track Meadow Meal instead of starting with opener Why Don’t You Eat Carrots. The sleeve was transparent too. All in all, not very helpful, but still great./o:p


Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (DJM, 1973)

Bringing Elton’s double vinyl classic to yellow plastic wasn’t perhaps the most imaginative marketing ploy of all time, but when a record features songs like Bennie And The Jets and Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting, we’re not going to quibble./o:p


Rock & Roll Machine (ATTIC, 1977)

This mirrored vinyl had the band members’ signatures etched into the run-out groove. It looks so spectacular that a die-cut hole was added to the sleeve to reveal the splendour inside./o:p


Stranger In Town (CAPITOL, 1978)

Officially released on silver vinyl, this could much more accurately be described as a rather grubby industrial Detroit grey. Stranger In Town features a trio of Seger classics: Hollywood Nights, Old Time Rock & Roll and epic weepie We’ve Got Tonight./o:p


Black & White (UNITED ARTISTS, 1978)

What do you get if you gently stir black and white vinyl? Marbled grey, hence the devastatingly imaginative colour given to this limited American release of The Stranglers’ third album. Clever, see? Features the ever-tawdry Nice ’N’ Sleazy./o:p



Original copies with the red, white and plum Atlantic labels are where the serious money’s at, but 1978’s limited-edition reissue on unlikely lilac vinyl offers the biggest opportunity to impress the layman. Look to pay around £40./o:p


Machine Head (EMI FRANCE, 1978)

It took six years for this Purple classic to be released on purple plastic, but it finally saw the light of day as part of EMI France’s ‘Disque En Couleur’ series, which also saw Queen’s News Of The World arrive on green vinyl./o:p


Cheap Trick At Budokan (EPIC, 1978)

Does the yellow vinyl version of this extraordinary live album mimic the rising sun? We hope so, for the alternative – that it represents the yellow man – is simply too awful to contemplate. Original copies of the record come with a booklet written in both English and Japanese./o:p


No Sleep ’Til Hammersmith (BRONZE, 1981)

From the days when a live Motörhead album could reach Number One in the chart, this claims to be gold vinyl but is in fact more of a creamy mustard shade. Whatever colour the grooves, though, there’s no denying the ferocity or volume of their contents, captured on the band’s Short, Sharp Pain In The Neck tour./o:p


Let It Be (TWIN/TONE 1984)

A limited run of 1,000 clear-blue vinyl copies were pressed after label TwinTone printed too many sleeves and needed to fill them. From such mistakes magic is made: Unsatisfied and Androgynous are two of frontman Paul Westerberg’s saddest songs, and blue suits the mood./o:p

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