Before music downloads made getting music into your life much easier and even before the advent of the CD there used to be this thing called the LP (QUIZ: Who knows what LP stands for?)

With the reduction in size of the delivery method the need to spend time designing the cover has gone with it. Case in point.

The first example is from U2’s latest collection of tunes. The cover was specifically designed with an iPod-like screen in mind. Given those limited parameters the design works but in the larger picture, is not nearly as expressive as the next example.

Next is Ornette Coleman’s “Free Jazz” record which was a gatefold release. What’s that mean? It means the album folded open like a book to reveal large amounts of supportive text AND this:

A faithful reproduction of Jackson Pollock’s White Light from 1954. You tell me which is more fun to look at.

Or how about “Mingus Ah Um?” Tell me anyone would consider this if their canvas was an iPod.

Part of the experience of buying and listening to music used to be the idea of coming home, putting the record on and then reading the liner notes as well as ingesting the artwork.

Sadly, that information, when it’s available, usually comes in the form of a separate and downloadable pdf. Not the same experience.

I miss those days.

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