Vinyl Record Day August 12th
One of the huge reasons I loved albums is because of the cover art. There is something to be said for holding a sizeable chunk of cardboard (or other material) in your hands while listening to the music held within. In many cases the cover art was as astounding as the record itself – the most famous example being Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
The cover not only came in cardboard, but I have a few collector albums (such as a PIL album) that came housed in a round film canister. I also remember box sets, which coincidentally, came out in a box.
To be able to buy your album, and then while listening to it be able to read extensive liner notes was indeed a treat. Not only cover liner notes, but many would come as a fold out, or have inserts packaged along with them. I twas comforting to spend hours getting lost simply reading about the record you bought and in the process begin foraging through the tons of vinyl to read others.
There are also other varieties of the way albums used to come out in. I’ve collected probably over 150+ albums that are called picture disks – albums that are playable that have laser imprinted cover art emblazoned on the vinyl itself. I have everything from Lennon’s “Two Virgins” to Boston, to Frank Sinatra on picture disk. I also have many, many singles - playable on a 45RPM format - that are irregularly shaped. Such as a Tina Turner single (Better Be Good To Me) which fills the entire platter on the turntable, but is cut out along her body to emphasis her long legs. I also have a “Fish Head” single by Barnes and Barnes (who is Billy Mummy from the old Lost in Space TV series) that is cut out as a fish head.
I remember when CD’s first came out and the anemic packaging they came with. At first they all came in elongated cardboard packages. A lot used to try to emulate albums by packing them with huge foldout notes. Of course, most of these would immediately become torn of frayed after the first few attempts of dislodging them from the CD cover itself.
Once again, to the covers; one just cannot get the same experience of gazing at the cover on a CD as you can holding an album.
These covers that I'm displaying are a smattering of my personal best of list showing the more memorable covers. This is by no mean comprehensive, and exclusive to my whim. I'm only sorry you can't see the liner notes!
August 12th is vinyl day – make it a treat for you and take an album to a turntable and marvel at the art and liner notes.
For a comprehensive list of who else is participating with a post on Vinyl Appreciation Day, get on over to the Good DJ at The Hits Just Keep On Comin’