Vinyl requires more effort than streaming. But some albums take "extra effort" to the extreme. They are intentionally difficult to play, and they're both fascinating and infuriating. Here are a few of our favorites:

Dale Crover (the drummer of the Melvins) released a vinyl record with twelve 30-second tracks. Here's the weird part: the record contains six spindle holes. After playing one track, you must lift the record off the turntable & re-set it on a different hole before cueing up the next track. This effectively makes it a "twelve-sided album". It also makes it a pain in the ass. But it looks cool!

Or consider Third Man Records. They have a penchant for releasing off-beat formats, like their "triple decker record" with a 45 sandwiched in between two 12-inch platters (you can only get to the single by cracking open the surrounding 12-inches). That may seem inconvenient, but it's no match for their "3 RPM" record. That's not a typo. It's not 33's three. They crammed 56 tracks onto one vinyl disc using "minute compression", with grooves so tightly-packed that it requires a playback speed of 3 RPM. 

And then there's notorious weirdos The Flaming Lips. In 2011, they released a batch of songs on a USB drive embedded within a gummy-candy brain, which was itself contained in a life-size gummy candy skull. The whole thing weighed seven pounds and required the use of a surgeon's scalpel to extract. Only the most hard-core Lips fan would go to such effort, but at least they'll have a snack to munch on while they listen. 

Find ten more hard-to-hear albums in this article from The AV Club.

Get personalized recommendations



  • Images with a data-picture-mapping attribute will be responsive, with a file size appropriate for the browser width.

For more vinyl stories & deals, join our newsletter:

Subscribe to Email Updates From:

By submitting this form, you agree to the Universal Music Group Privacy Policy.