In the age of the digital download CD and LP packaging has been forced to step up its game in order to attract sales. Sometimes a great looking record is just too hard to pass up. We'd like to honor those that are still keeping the tradition of music and art alive with our picks of the best over the last ten years. We're certain we missed a few great ones, especially local releases, what were some of yours?
10. Boards of Canada - Geogaddi
This is one of the LP sets that must cost a fortune to mail but its well worth it. Huge and sprawling each record comes in a gorgeous slipcase.
9. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Yanqui U.X.O.
This isn't the greatest of the Godspeed records but it's pretty difficult to top their inaugural release that featured a crushed penny, silkscreen print and other various goodies. For this decade, Godspeed gives us a couple posters and a silkscreen, coupled with a lovingly designed back cover.
8. Wolf Eyes - Fuck the Old Miami
Say what you will about noise music, those bastards know how to package a record. The B-Side to "Fuck the Old Miami" is the killer track here, literally - they "etched" the record so it can't be played without destroying your needle.
7. Ultra Boys - Get Ultra
Sometimes simplicity is best. Printed on crappy paper with awkward silver ink, this hand silkscreened cover features a fucking eagle. You don't get any more punk than silver eagles.
6. Black Dice - Peace in the Valley 7"
The boys in Black Dice don't shy away from design any more than they shy away from shattering your eardrums; the 7" is thicker than most books, filled with absurd art and pictures. The record's a pretty yellow to boot.
5. Fonetone Records Box Set
Box sets by their very nature are well-loved affairs. This one is no exception, and it steps it up a notch to really shine: Encapsulated inside this cigar box is five discs of Appalachian country music, a beer bottle opener (mysteriously missing from the picture), a collection of photos, postcards and a massive book. Lovingly made from a label well-known for its excellent packaging.
4. Sunn0))) - Black One
We're not entirely sure what the sleeve of this record is made of, but the bumpy texture adds to the creepiness of the cover art. The damn thing weighs a ton, as well -- you know, cause the music is, like, heavy. Bonus points for grey vinyl on a record titled Black One.
3. Albert Ayler - Holy Ghost
Reissues and collections are usually garnered with some fancy liner notes or photos, but Holy Ghost steps it up to a level impossible to compete with. The record comes with a poster, notes and other extras on clear vinyl, but the killer collection comes in the CD format, which boasts nine discs, a beautiful box, a 208 page book and a flower. Yeah, a flower.
2. Green Fuse - DEF 7"
Picking just one Ash From Sweat Records release for this list wasn't easy, but the DEF seven inch encapsulates everything about the label we've come to love. It's hand silkscreened on homemade paper and features a strange warm yellow record. Bonus CD for all you jerks that buy 7-inches for the music.
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1. Sigur Rós - Takk...
Few releases are capable of tackling this many record catch phrases, but Sigur Rós manages to give us a two LP, one 10-inch set with an etching on a B-Side, a diecut center page and embossing, all on 180 gram vinyl. If they'd thrown down some colored vinyl we'd likely have the best packaging of all time.