Picture Discs

This will be just a "getting the frustration out" ramble, but i bought my first picture disc at Record Store Day Saturday.  One on my favorite childhood albums, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, "Pictures At An Exhibition".

The surface noise on this "thing" basically makes it unlistenable. Though it's a live album, it's relatively quiet in many places and just dreadful to listen to. It sounded like there was a big sticker covering the grooves.

Is this normal for picture discs? I've seen a lot of them on the shelves over the years, but never tempted to buy one until this weekend. I didn't clean it before play but i can't imagine that would make any difference.

Oh well....guess I now own a novelty item.


First you ask:


Is this normal for picture discs?

Then you state:

I have many colored discs that sound perfectly fine.

So you already have your answer.

IME, picture discs and colored discs are novelties. The few I've tried sounded awful.

Colored vinyl is not just a 'novelty' like picture discs are. Vinyl is clear to begin with, so black vinyl is colored vinyl, too, and colored vinyl does not sound inferior to clear just because it's colored. I don't like non-black colored vinyl, but that's another issue. Picture discs are a completely different process; some sound OK, some do not; apparently the ones today are a lot better than the ones from the 70's. Especially for RSD releases, I don't think they're intended to be somebody's only copy of a title that they own unless they just want to display it. 

Cleeds knows there's a huge difference in picture discs and colored vinyl.  Thanks, Larsman, for pointing this out. There just can't be a thread on here without some knowitallphile chiming in with "you've answered your own question".