Three weeks prior to the April 24 release of his debut album Blunderbuss (Third Man Records/Columbia), Third Man Records has premiered the as yet unreleased Jack White album track “Freedom at 21” exclusively via 1000 flexi-disc records attached to helium balloons launched from the label headquarters in Nashville on April 1st, 2012: http://youtu.be/szoIcNykCc0
Envisioned as an experiment exploring non-traditional forms of record distribution and a way to get records in the hands of people who don’t visit record shops, the label was sure to use biodegradable latex balloons and all-natural twine in the process.
Accompanying the balloons were custom postcards with instructions for the finders to submit photos, discovery location and the date on which the record was found, all of which will be incorporated into a website where fans can access the information at http://thirdmanrecords.com/balloon
Statistics for similar balloon launches show a recovery rate of approximately 10% so it’s quite possible that less than 100 of the 1000 records launched will ever be discovered. Whatever the numbers, the “Freedom at 21” flexi-disc will surely be a highly sought-after collectible for years to come.