Ten years ago, in December 2000, Jack and Meg White were still supposedly "married," Jack's Third Man Records didn't yet exist, and the Detroit duo were just starting to ride the cult success of De Stijl. The Whites made the unconventional move of following the full-length De Stijl with a 7-inch single of three Captain Beefheart covers.
Party of Special Things to Do was released by Sub Pop Records as part of the label's Singles Club--it was a limited-edition record, with only 1300 copies pressed, half red and half white in the band's signature colors. The single--which also contained the Beefheart songs "China Pig" and "Ashtray Heart"--is now a ultra-rarity (right now there's one copy on eBay starting at $193), especially in light of the White Stripes' concurrent success.
But instead of shelling out $200 for the original, Jack White's Third Man Records announced yesterday that they will be reissuing the single in honor of two men close to the original project.
Third Man released the following statement via their website yesterday:
As a tribute to two folks near and dear to our hearts who passed away this past year, Don Van Vliet and Sub Pop vice president of sales and marketing Andy Kotowicz . . . We are ecstatic to announce the reissue of the White Stripes 7" covering Captain Beefheart, originally released as part of the Sub Pop Singles Club in 2001. Finally available again, these three songs ("Party of Special Things to Do," "China Pig," and "Ashtray Heart") are slickly paired with new artwork. If that's not enough (and really, for you, it should be), we are also making this the first (and quite possibly last?) Tri-Color component of a Vault package. There will be no black vinyl pressing of this single, and it will not be made available outside of the package. This will also be the first White Stripes Tri-Color, substituting the standard yellow silver of our Third Man releases with the inimitable red that we've all known and loved for years. Many thanks to the kind folks at Sub Pop for helping make such a cool thing happen, and if all goes right, be sure to buy the downloads of these songs from them when they make them available.
Want to get your hands on this new collectors' item? You've got to sign up for a Third Man subscription by the end of the month. Do it now, or regret it 10 years later.
As further incentive, here's the wicked sick "Ashtray Heart" track: