The craziest substances musicians have pressed into vinyls

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The craziest substances musicians have pressed into vinyls

Words by Christie Eliezer

From blood, to tears, to ashes of the Holy Bible - we take a look at some of the most bizarre phenomena that has made it into vinyl pressing.

We all know that musicians put their blood, sweat and tears into their music, but there’s no better way to tell fans “we love you” than by literally sharing these, and other bodily fluids, with them in the purchasable form of a vinyl pressing.

Read up on all the latest features and columns here.

KISS invented blood-splattered merch in 1977, printing their Marvel Comic with ink mixed with their own blood.

As a comment on the spiteful barbs levvied at his sexuality, Lil Nas X played the  satanic card by dropping 666 pairs of black and red “Satan Shoes” which contained human blood in an air bubble in the sole. It also came with a pentagram charm, an inverted cross, and a price tag of $1,018 derived from the Biblical verse of Luke 10:18: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven”.

The shoes sold out in minutes, with televangelist Mark Burns tweeting: “This is evil & heresy and I pray that Christians rise up against this.”

Social media influencer Belle Delphine and J-Pop girl act The Banana Monkeys, have sold bottles of their own used bathwater, with Delphine selling 500 jars at $30 each – the J-Poppers marking theirs at $900.

‘70s Aussie hard rock band Buffalo’s original plan was to package a vibrator with their album Mother’s Choice.

Now, the vinyl renaissance has allowed acts to devise new and creative ways to push the novelty button by adding things into the grooves of their records, or on the covers. Let’s take a look and some of the most bizarre phenomena that has made it into vinyl pressing.



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Earlier this year, Melbourne band Private Function worked with Salty Dog Records to press 50 urine-filled “gold” records and urged fans not to use the their DNA to commit crimes.

Flaming Lips, who were famously big on blood vinyl pressing, went one step further: they tried to coax Miley Cyrus to contribute her urine to one of their releases.

US psychedelic band Eohippus’ “song convicted of love and trust” ended up with the title “Getting Your Hair Wet With Pee”.

This led to a 100-copy single-sided vinyl 7” run of hair soaked in piss (“the world’s first”) in 2014.

They warned buyers: “This unique item lends itself to surface noise and no two singles look alike.” 

Number Two

Toilet Chant Black Sun Productions

Each cover of the 99 copies of the CD-R version of Toilet Chant by Swiss performance duo Black Sun Productions had faeces thumb prints.

The 330 copies of Opium Den (Parts I-IV) (2004) by Dutch artist RA-X (Vincent Koreman) had a brownish, purplish shade.

It was from being pressed with haemorrhoid-infected diarrhoea, and had a “subtle, but detectable odour of human faeces when played”.

Ashes of the Holy Bible

In 2015, to raise money for Ensign member Nate Gluck who was diagnosed with stomach cancer, Detroit hardcore-ists Hellmouth printed 66 copies of the bible ash version of Gravestone Skylines.

According to guitarist Alex Awn, they got a heavy leather-bound German Bible from the late 1800s with the type in a gothic script.

He told Decibel, “I wouldn’t get too misty-eyed on the fine craftsmanship of the book b/c it was the content we were focusing on and the rivers of blood left in its wake.”

They surrounded the Bible with four candles, doused it in petrol and set it ablaze.

“The fire looked beautiful as it licked the pages, causing them to curl, wither and give off copious clouds of jesus-smoke. 

“It took a couple hours to get through the huge tome, but eventually it smouldered.”

The viny sales made $425 for Gluck.


In March this year, Fall Out Boy released 50 copies of their eighth album So Much (For) Stardust with real life tears from the members (Crynyl) so “you’re not just listening to what the artist played, you’re feeling what they felt.”

Asteroid Dust

UK psychedelic band Emperor Yes began writing songs when one member lived in London and the other in Tokyo – and they met half way in Bali to cut demos.

They created exhibitions inspired by their songs.

In 2014 when they re-released their debut album An Island Called Earth, they used dust from an actual meteorite from the 16th century.

As you can imagine, the dust is rare and expensive, and so are the 100 copies made.

Autumn Leaves

Barren Harvest are a sad melancholic duo who write sad melancholic songs, some inspired by poets as Alfred Lord Tennyson and Rumi.

Everything about Subtles Cruelties murmurs AUTUMN in caps, hence the brown russet leaves embossed in clear vinyl.


With members of Liars having ties with the California Institute of the Arts, and Museum of Contemporary Art in their hometown Los Angeles, it was inevitable their visual sensibilities would be reflected in their album covers.

A figure made of string on the cover of Mess On A Mission depicted their idea of its concept.

The string connection was extended to a Record Store Day 12 vinyl and a limited edition run of 500 double-albums, hand-made by the band and vacuum-sealed with pieces of string.

The band’s Angus Andrew called the string connection “a unique and interesting way to extend the visual language of Mess right inside the music…

“We talked about the idea for days but weren’t at all sure it could physically be done. 

“After all, pressing bits of coloured string into the actual vinyl was nothing we’d heard of before.”

Scents and Smells

In the mid-1980s, in lieu of scent tester blotters, Japanese fragrance house Shiseido commissioned electronic / ambient musician Hiroshi Noshimura to create a vinyl album A.I.R (Air In Resort) as a gift-with-purchase giveaway.

Released in a green plastic bag, the clear transparent vinyl was seeped in the scent, with the pine, earth and wood notes complemented by birdsong, sea and nature sounds, and with drop of the perfume inside the poly inner sleeve.

For the 30th anniversary of the Ghostbusters soundtrack, a sniff of marshmallow was used – a play on the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man reference.

The deluxe version of Madonna’s Like A Prayer reinforced the religious imagery in the lyrics with a heavy dose of frankincense and patchouli.


“Blood is such an amazing liquid,” drooled Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips.

“It’s at once runny and then, immediately gets thick and sticky.. To stand over a painting with this much fresh, human blood on it…it’s kind of intoxicating…”

The Flaming Lips first used Coyne’s blood in 2010 on an Austin City Limits concert poster, later auctioned for $10,000.

 Two years later, the band issued a limited ‘blood’ version (10 copies) of their Record Store Day album The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends with collaborators as Tame Impala, Nick Cave, Erykah Badu, Chris Martin, Neon Indian and Ke$ha.

Some “fwends” gave their blood to the release. Each record cost $2,500 and were hand-delivered to buyers.

New York punk posse Perfect Pussy singer Meredith Graves’ pressed her blood (some reportedly menstrual blood) directly into 300 “special blood” editions of debut album Say Yes To Love on Captured Tracks in 2014.

Enjoyed reading about wacky vinyl pressing? Check out this list of the weirdest shaped vinyls here.