Dock yourself five points if your response was “they were both played out in the ’90s.” Marilyn Manson’s ninth album, The Pale Emperor, has sold over 105, 000 copies since its release back in January. It was his best-received album in years and viewed as a more mature direction for Manson.. If you bought the album on compact disc, you might have noticed somewhat of a similarity to the Sony Playstation. That’s because the album was released on the same black polycarbonate discs that were used to make Sony Playstation games in the first incarnation of the system. Here’s what Kill Screen, who reported it initially, say:
Hassan Rahim and Willo Perron, the art directors of The Pale Emperor’s disc and case, wanted to take the PlayStation disc’s Stygian canvas and spin it to their own ideas. So they had Brian Schuman of Concord Music (their production manager) source the CDs from Sony directly. This means that the discs Rahim and Perron worked with, and that the album was distributed on, came from the exact same plant as the PlayStation’s discs did.
And if you bought the deluxe edition of The Pale Emperor, you got even more of a surprise, according to Rahim:
“When you open the CD it’s pitch black, but we also added a thermal texture on top—after it gets hot during playback, the disc comes out all white, ” Rahim revealed. As the disc cools down the black returns, appearing to consume the hot white layer and turning it into a wisp that fades over time. The PlayStation disc was chosen with this effect in mind as its pitch black sheen enhances the difference between dark and light, hot and cold. Further, the Deluxe Edition came with an 8-panel digipak that has a sandpaper-like grit texture on the outside and high gloss on the inside. “The contrasting textures definitely speak for themselves when you hold the piece, ” Rahim said.
The result, which you can see above, is pretty interesting looking, if not completely dramatic. If it was somehow Manson’s face or something, that would be epic. Still though, it’s a pretty awesome surprise, and with physical product starting to fall by the wayside (except for vinyl a few days a year), seeing artists like Manson and The Atlas Moth taking the time to put care into what their albums look like and putting in easter eggs that even the initial purchasers might not know about at first is what will keep CDs around as an art for, even after many people stop buying them to play.
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