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CD Presentation

By Mike Singleton - MikeydredPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
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When CD came along we were persuaded by the pristine sound and their supposed longevity, but this was what I called the MCDonaldisation of music (Check my posts on Vocal for more of my opinions on this subject). You could skip tracks , skim through an album , play it in a different order using remotes and programming. The jewel case was homogenous and meant that if it got damaged then it was easily replaceable. So CDs have become generally homogenised and don't really stand out.

Vinyl, by its very nature, is bigger than CD, and of course digital takes up no space at all apart from disc space. This means that artists such as Barney Bubbles could produce interesting packaging (see his Hawkwind work and “Armed Forces by Elvis Costello and my YouTube post here.

However there are wonderful CD exceptions such as the reissue of Lift To Experience's "Texas Jerusalem Crossroads" and Edward II's "Manchester's Improving Daily" both wonderfully packaged, the latter containing a book about the Broadside Songs featured in the body of the album.

"Texas Jerusalem Crossroads" is one of those albums that is like nothing you have ever heard before or since.

Rhino Records have done an original album series which features five albums in cardboard replica album sleeves often for under a tenner, but these are a joy to look at as well as play.

Retrospective compilations are often superbly put together, possibly my ultimate possession being the Elektra "Forever Changing" box which , as well as five CDs contains a book and album covers, photos and memorabilia some bits of which you can see here. This was originally priced at £150 but I picked it up for £40 from RPM in Newcastle.

I have boxes for Electric Light Orchestra , Blue Oyster Cult (which also includes a lot of links for live bootleg downloads) , Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell. I often play through these while I am working from home and the size of CDs means that they do not take up a great deal of space until you take them out of their boxes to play.

A vinyl equivalent would not really be practical, and while they do exist, are very expensive.

Two more great presentations are the Brian Eno “Vocal” and “Instrumental” boxes , which are impressive but bulky and now can be very expensive, although you may find them on Discogs. I have the “Vocal” box but not the “Instrumental” version. You may be able to find reasonably priced items on Discogs.

Other great presentations are the Genesis CD / DVD boxes. I got the earlier one for a birthday and it can now go for up to a thousand pounds , although that would assume that someone wants to buy it and I would want to sell it.

CD doesn't mean you just just have to stick something in a jewel case with a booklet slip.

Sometimes the problem with CD boxes is that they do not fit in a rack with your other CDs. I have a Gothic box which comes in a faux leather corset slip case. It may be worth something and the book and case look great , but it does not really fit with anything. I remember some DVDs did the same thing (I think there was an “Alien” one).

CD packaging does not have to be boring and it is good to have something to look at while you listen to the music.

The digital direction is reducing packaging options, but I suppose this makes the good one actually stand out more.

So I am going to share "A Humorous And Interesting Dialogue" by Edward II for the "Manchester's Improving Daily" album used to support the NHS video under maltreatment by the Tories in the UK.

vinyl
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Mike Singleton - Mikeydred

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