What I loved about albums was the art of the presentation.

Double-album sets were unheard of except for the biggest players, or groups who had just had monster hits.

Fleetwood Mac followed up Rumours with Tusk.

Prince, who was then the artist known as Prince, released 1999 and merely because it was a double album and he wasn't a big artist (yet), it was looked at as a huge ego boost for a tempermental brat.

Some albums had stickers and posters hidden inside.

The covers were gold embossed (Scritti Politti) or had cut-outs that the inner sleeve showed through (New Order's floppy-disk inspired Blue Monday).

Talking Heads released a limited edition clear plastic sleeve for Speaking In Tongues designed by Robert Rauchenberg.

Mine's all yellow now.

{Blue Monday}

Now there's a whole generation for whom vinyl LPs are a curiosity.

They are put out by Pearl Jam as Special Editions.

Matthew Sweet and Lenny Kravitz put the sound of groove-inspired cracks and noise as preludes to the clean, pure, digital sound.

The record companies have discovered that they can resell all the back catalogue music to fogies like me because either we can't find our old albums or we got rid of them too quickly.

They took up space and gathered dust in the face of easy-to-store, convenient, plastic-encased discs.

My own collection was kept in boxes from move to move.

I didn't hook up my turntable.

I forgot my old friends.

{bck} {fwd}