As a DJ in my spare time (Yeah like i have any!), I'm not precious about the fact that i use almost entirely digital tracks, mixed with the amazing Native Instruments Traktor/ Control X1 / Audio6. Believe me when i say that just a couple of years ago, I was the guy giving digital DJ's a hard time. "Yer not a real DJ unless it's vinyl" kinna chat. Eventually and reluctantly i got over it, mind you i've still got a monolithic wall of 20,000 records at home that will probably stay with me until the day i die, but the days of lugging an eye popping, hernia inducing, thieving gypsy attracting DJ box around the clubs have gone as the level of creativity tools like Traktor offer makes a huge difference and the level of performance now achievable with layering of tracks, effects and loops far surpasses my rose tinted vision of a vinyl etherea.
Anyway the one think that i truly miss about traditional hard formats is the artwork. For some deep rooted reason, when a designer is asked to produce artwork for an album they make a massive concerted effort, i guess partly due to the fact that if the album becomes massive their work gets massive exposure, but it's much, much more than that. It's the fact that it lasts, persists, like a line in the sand and sits in record shops, record fairs, peoples shelves & attics for an age. In many cases they are passed from generation to generation. Hard formats of music are really difficult thinks to throw away as they are emotionally linked to days in your life, relationships past & hedonistic outbursts.
I've always thought that the quality of the artwork more often than not relates to the quality and production ethos of the music. If a musician takes the time to commission an artisan level of design and carefully select a designer or illustrator that gets what they do, then usually the sountrack reflects the care and attention to detail that they achingly poured into selecting just the right designer, expensive materials and unusual finish.
I sign up to the brilliant Boomkat's e-mail campaigns and each week they feature a re-issue or a special edition which makes me yearn for those slabs of plastic once more. Anyway here's a few of those that we at Everyone merit and own!!. :-)