Part 300: Manic Nirvana

Do you own this?


RECORD STORE TALES Part 300: Manic Nirvana

T-Rev has always been talented at building things. He built for me my first two CD towers, not to mention my cassette storage shelves built into my closet doors. No design was too elaborate. I liked a simple CD tower myself, just some shelves and some stain. T-Rev was always pushing himself to build something cooler. One of the best towers he ever built had side doors for VHS compartments, and a big black light to illuminate the whole thing. Inside the doors were stickers from some of his favourite bands. The whole thing was painted gray, it was a masterpiece.

By coincidence, T-Rev also owned a semi-rare copy of Robert Plant’s 1990 solo album, Manic Nirvana. Both of us liked to collect “rare” versions of albums. T-Rev had a red digipack copy, with symbols embossed on the cover. It’s pretty hard to find, although we did see a couple copies float by in the Record Store. There’s weren’t any bonus tracks, but the rare packaging made it something desirable.

So what’s the connection between the CD tower and Manic Nirvana?

T-Rev was checking out the Plant CD one day, and happened to take a look at it under his black light. Lo and behold, suddenly symbols appeared on the cover, previously hidden! The front cover showed what appeared to be a big “H”. The back and inside covers had their own symbols that showed under black light.

It was a mystery! The symbols didn’t seem to have any meaning that we could discern. Maybe they were intentional, maybe not? Maybe they were just a byproduct of the manufacturing process. Other similar digipacks did not show anything special under a black light.

My questions regarding this CD are as follows:
1) Have you ever owned the red digipack version of Manic Nirvana?*
2) Have you ever looked at it under a black light?

*Aaron discovered via the Discogs listing that this seems to be a promo release.



  1. Wow man never seen this ever!
    Bought it the month it came out and that was the copy that everyone had !
    Fantastic album by the way….


  2. As you know, I had this CD – this particular version too. Never looked at it under black light. And it appears there is no answer on the interwebs (but, your blogpost is first to come up when I google…)


  3. Mudvayne say they were the first to use this technology. Mike, you are the mythbuster. After a little research, I want to get this digipack, and the Chickenfoot limited edition debut cd with black light ink and includes exclusive dvd.

    I haven’t heard this in quite a while. I loved it then. Not near as much now. Sounds way over produced, and while the guitar work is decent, most of the background music is a little too Duran Duran or Platinum Blonde for my taste.


    1. I have that Chickenfoot. It was interesting, that one was heat sensitive. But ultimately it was just a gimmick that could wear out if, for example, you left that CD in your hot car for a few days.


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