I apologize if this topic has been covered before.
I had a humbling experience last night. Over the last year or two I've invested an increasing about of money in digital downloads as opposed to CDs. My rationale was straight forward: It is typically cheaper to buy digital releases than physical ones. Moreover, there is something appealing about instantly being able to hear what you've purchased.
Last night my 7-year old daughter was perusing my CD collection and she was utterly absorbed in studying both the cover art and some of the creative ways in which artists assemble their products. We spent an hour together simply looking at the CDs, discussing the art, and what some of the common themes and points of divergence were among them. Like her cursed father, she has a bit of a collector spirit in her. I suspect this might be a turning point in her life that leads her to think about music in different ways--more than just sound that comes out of the speakers, but as pieces of history, artifacts, points of intersection between subcultures, and art. I hope she'll become a music collector too. ;-)
She was fascinated by some of the creative ways in which independent artists/labels assemble their products. She was intrigued by Steve Roach's Early Man--the edition that has what became ultimately became "Disc 1" was bound between two sheets of slate. And, although I've always found the size/dimensions of Faria Records releases (e.g., one manifestation of Oophoi's Dreams, some Aglaia) to be awkward, she loved them and enjoyed pulling out the cards and studying them. She was a bit puzzled over the use of seeds and leaves in some of the CD trays by Alio Die and Oophoi, but she seemed to warm to the idea quickly.
Anyhow, I think I'm back to focusing on physical products. Tomorrow she and I are pulling the vinyl out of storage. ;-)
Mike Griffin: If you're reading this, you should know that she was particularly fascinated by the Hypnos collection. She liked the way all the releases adhered to a common aesthetic theme. (She even liked the font change that took place, I don't know, maybe around 2001?) Her favorite Hypnos cover art is James Johnson's Entering Twilight. But she might be biased towards that piece because she has been listening to that album on repeat as bedtime music for years. I also told her Daddy designed the art on two of Numina's Hypnos CDs and I think I scored some Cool Daddy Points with her.
For anyone interested in a potentially fun discussion:
1. With respect to cover art: What three CDs are among your favorites?
2. What three CDs strike you as having some of the more unusual and/or creative formatting?