William Morris famously said “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”. Given that the music I acquire is beautiful of itself surely a dozen downloaded files is just as good as a physical CD, particularly when you take into account the fact that they’re cheaper and don’t take up storage space?
Well no actually. I don’t discount those arguments but they carry no weight with me. Partly it’s because I’m a music nerd. I want to know who played bass on track 3, I want to read the lyrics. Hell, I even want to read the thank yous.Some of that stuff is sometimes available with downloads but not often, and even if it is a file on a screen or a printout is no substitute for a nice liner booklet.
But mostly it’s because there are an increasing numbers of artists who are putting real thought and effort into their packaging, making their albums an object of desire with great design, gatefold sleeves, high quality card or paper and beautiful illustrations. Beautiful music or beautiful music in a beautiful package. it’s no contest.