We feel confident saying that there is absolutely nothing like San Jose, California-based stoner metal band Sleep’s landmark record “Dopesmoker,” a sprawling 63-minute ode to the sweet leaf that stretches across three LP sides, with doomy riffs of biblical proportions. Fittingly, the track, which was almost never released, has its own mythic backstory, and for a time was circulated among bootleggers. As The New York Times Magazine noted, “Religions have been founded on less.” You truly have to hear it to believe it, preferably while under the influence of a big bong rip.
Such an out-there track deserves an out-there release, and Detroit’s Third Man Records is delivering as much with what it’s calling a limited-edition “Weedian High-Fi” version. This version, only available to purchase from the label’s Detroit storefront on Friday, is made from “pure, unadulterated, authentic cannabis leaves” encapsulated in PVC, what the label describes as akin to a mosquito trapped in amber.
“Recorded in 1996 and not released (in slightly different edit/mix) until 1999 under the title ‘Jerusalem,’ the legend and lore behind ‘Dopesmoker’ would overshadow an LP of any lesser significance,” Third Man says in a release. “But the 63-minute magnum opus dedicated exclusively to the sacrament of marijuana is not just the pinnacle of the stoner metal genre… it’s inarguably one of the most important and influential albums of all time.”
Doors open at 11 a.m. at Third Man Records, and sales are limited to one per person while supplies last. Third Man Records is located at 441 W. Canfield St., Detroit; thirdmanstore.com.
The track is set to be released to digital streaming platforms on Friday, and will also be available to pre-order on traditional black vinyl from Third Man Records. All versions are mastered from the original tapes for the first time ever.
The releases also include the deep cut “Hot Lava Man,” available for the first time digitally.
The limited-edition record was made in partnership with Doghouse Farms Premium Cannabis. Due to the federal prohibition against cannabis, the records cannot be shipped or brought across the border, so this is a Michigan exclusive.