Saturday, May 15, 2010

Screw you, record sleeves! A not-so-fond farewell to lousy music packaging

Yeah, what Esquivel said. Or whistled.

I've been on a real musical sentimental journey recently; why, just witness my fond recollection of 45 RPM label designs here.

No more! As of today, everything must go, starting with one of the music-related things I'm least sentimental about: the end of wasteful and just plain boneheaded music packaging.

If we can accept that Napster, free downloads, and iTunes killed the album - or at least the concept of paying for it - by turning it into something intangible, we can also accept that they may have saved us from these all-too-tangible - and terrible - "innovations:"

1. Bar codes

Commerce - literally - over art.

2. The unremovable "protective tape" across the top of the CD

Pity he'll never hear it.

3. The superfluous cardboard CD cover that hides the same CD cover beneath it

Surprise! Err, no.

4. The longbox CD package

Best Value = double the cardboard!

5. The everything-but-the-kitchen-sink CD package

I see no CD here.

6. Digipaks and jewel cases

A most classy waste of cardboard and plastic!

7. Endless compilations featuring the same music

Shoplifters of the world: unite and take over!

8. Endless reissues, remasters, and box sets

Stereo or mono? Like anyone can tell the difference.

9. "Special" odd-sized CDs

Tattoo You has more music, vertically speaking.

10. The CD sleeve that not only protects, but traps the CD, so you can't remove it without amputating your hand

Amputated hand not pictured.


  1. My old trick for taking off that stupid protective tape was to actually unclip the cd case cover at the bottom, use the cover to remove the tape from the case, then remove the tape from the cover. Worked like a charm!

    Another pet peeve I had (when I bought cd's) was the double disc case where one of the two cd's would always have a broken centre ring and would fall out and get scratched up all the time. Aargh!

    Remasters are funny. I love how they keep suckering people into buying the latest cd or dvd remasters under the guise that new technology has somehow drastically improved the quality of something created by old fashioned methods. Speaking of, today is the release date for the remastered Stones' album Exile On Main Street. Better rush down to your local music store to be first in line!

  2. 7/8/12 wrote:
    The Beatles in stereo or mono...what's the difference? Oh, don't kid yourself with that theory. True Beatle fans who have been around since the 1960's can assure themselves they have patiently waited over 40 years for the mono mixes of "The White Album", "Sgt. Pepper", and "Magical Mystery Tour" to be issued in any form since they have all been out of print since 1969. (In "The Whie Album's" case, there wasn't even a monoural pressing issued in the States. They had to rely on expensive European pressings.)For these hard-core Beatle fanatics, wanting to hear The Beatles in mono during their post-"Revolver" period was well worth the wait.


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