You know what joke got real old back in the ’80s? The one about how you can’t roll a joint on a CD cover. That doesn’t mean that people didn’t have a point, though. There’s a meaningful connection between rolling joints and listening to music–and the guys who used to work in used record stores always knew which old albums were likely to have some vital seeds ‘n stems hidden away in the packaging.
And now we celebrate Vinyl Record Day on August 12th with plenty of old and new albums available in the classic format. We’re also celebrating Vinyl Record Day for the first time where a lot of people can legally roll a joint on their favorite LP covers. But which ones offer the most meaningful connection? Check out our picks for the top 10 LP covers on which to roll your way to happiness…
The Beatles — The Beatles (1968)
“The White Album”, as this two-record landmark is popularly known, provides a luminously blank doobie-crafting surface perfect for sussing out seeds and stems, and then making sure every morsel of that good stuff makes it inside your paper. The music itself is a psychedelic bouillabasse of free-wheeling highs (“Back in the U.S.S.R.”, “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”), cannabis-scented cartoonishness (“The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill”, “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey”), heavy trips (“Happiness Is a Warm Gun”, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”) and soul-frying freak-outs (“Helter Skelter”, “Revolution 9”). Listen to The Beatles end to end and you’ll feel like you’ve smoked the universe.
4×4=12 — Deadmau5 (2011)
The wavy, propulsive, head-swirling EDM mastery of this masked mouse enhances any intoxicant, and the cover imagery of his 2011 long-player proves especially potent as a work table for packing marijuana. Against a deep black background Deadmau5’s familiar Mickey-as-space-disco-menace face topped by smoothly looping ears glows flourescent green… just like you will after you lean back and light up.
Once More ‘Round the Sun — Mastodon (2014)
Atlanta’s sludge-prog metal beasts Mastodon essentially build bong-fumes into their every riff, drum-slam, solo shred, and roaring vocal, beginning with the ferocious Remission in 2002 and culminating most recently with the trippy, intricate, experimental Once More ‘Round the Sun. The bracing, brain-popping cover image of a multicolored space monster that resembles a Chinese dragon crossed with a Starship Troopers bug and a Hindu destroyer god will get your fingers whipping up a fatty fast, as that thing looks like it might actually be able to start chomping and devour your supply.
Paul’s Boutique — Beastie Boys (1989)
Hailed among the smokeratti as the Beasties’ most Mary Jane-inflamed masterwork, the fold-out cover of Paul’s Boutique depicts a panoramic shot of Ludlow Street on New York City’s Lower East Side in the scary, scummy, creatively glorious late ’80s. Scatter your goods atop this window into the birthplace of hip-hop, punk, and the other stoner movements from which the Beasties emerged, and smoke up knowing that they must have scored entire bales of weed on those very sidewalks.
Fleet Foxes — Fleet Foxes (2008)
Thick-bearded Seattle squad Fleet Foxes blew into the cannaboid consciousness on the dreamy winds of their spry combo of American country twang and harmonious British folk. The Fleet Foxes’ sounds will please the hydroponically enhanced ear, while the cover image of their long-playing Sub Pop debut supplies a mind-popping puzzle to ponder once you’ve used it to render your reefer. Comprised of an image from a 1559 painting by Pieter Bruegel, the cover depicts a busy medieval village scene loaded with weirdness on the order of donkey wrestling, a walking egg, and men crapping coins into a river.
At Fillmore East — Allman Brothers Band (1971)
The live jam band album that begat ongoing generations of open-ended, improvisational, THC-pumped
artists and fans alike provides a double-edged opportunity to roll one up for everybody involved. First, you can spread your stash on the black-and-white front cover image of the Allman Brothers Band itself, sprawled out light-heated and laughing atop their equipment against a brick wall. Then, for roll-up round two, flip the package over and share your sweet leaves with the road crew, pictured lean and mean on the same pile of instruments and amps.
Dark Side of the Moon — Pink Floyd (1973)
The sonic apex of both psychedelia and progressive rock has become popularly known as “the Sgt. Pepper of the Seventies” but, fortunately for blunt-construction purposes, Dark Side of the Moon‘s stark and simple iconic album cover is the aesthetic opposite of the Beatles’ famous-people-packed collage. Here, you can concentrate on the power of the prism while compacting and twisting, thinking perhaps about how, like, maybe you are the straight line, and the smokable at hand is the triangle, and what comes out the other side is a rainbow of infinitely colorful time-space possibilities. See you on the dark side of you-know-where.
Rolling Papers — Wiz Khalifa (2011)
Talk about being (s)pot on. Wiz Khalifa’s pop-friendly, guest-heavy smash hit is adorned first by a very specific weed-friendly title, and then by a clean, dark cover that’s ideal for bud sorting atop an image of the artist made out of marijuana smoke.
The Chronic — Dr. Dre (1992)
The deep green ties between hip hop and hop heads may have been a long time smoking, but Dr. Dre permanently blazed the trail forward on The Chronic, a masterpiece of beats and boasts that is itself named for a strain of weed that was a masterpiece of high horticultural engineering. Overwhelmingly purchased on CD throughout its first decade, The Chronic is now available in a deluxe vinyl edition, complete with a great cardboard cover consisting of ample blank space for spotting spillage and Dr. Dre’s confident visage smack in the middle, issuing his approval and encouragement of your dopest endeavors.
Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls — Coven (1969)
The first major label album by a blatantly satanic rock band begins with a song titled “Black Sabbath” and features the scary work of a musician named Oz Osbourne. No, that album is not the self-titled debut from Black Sabbath. It’s Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls by Coven, a Chicago-based occult cabal who beat England’s most demonic to vinyl by a full year. Put this folky psych record on and ponder those eerie coincidences as you work up your “weed with roots in hell” (as a 1936 anti-pot scare film put it) on Witchcraft’s open gatefold, wherein the band and its minions pose in full black mass regalia over splayed-out Nordic ice witch frontwoman Jinx Dawson, whose nude body functions sumptuously as a sacrificial altar.