They said vinyl was dead and that iTunes will eventually kill off CDs. But it seems that musicians are still able to captivate fans with the release of CD Vinyl box sets.
Box sets offer fans what MP3 and digital downloads cannot: physical and collectible memorabilia. So are creatively packaged box sets the best way to fight file sharing and illegal downloads? Perhaps – but it certainly seems that the more imaginative a box set’s packaging is, the more desirable it becomes.
Here at Project Packaging, we've helped many artists to produce mad and inspiring specialist packaging for their box set releases. So we decided to bring you our pick of the eight most creative and maddest CD Vinyl box sets ever released!
AC/DC: Back tracks Collector’s Amplifier Box Set
Famed for having some of the best box sets in music history, AC/DC did not disappoint with the Backtracks release in 2009.
Limited to 50,000 pieces, what better way could you package AC/DCs head-banging career than in a fully-functioning guitar amp!?
The box set is overflowing with musical rarities across three CDs, two DVDs, one LP and a 164-page hardcover book as well as memorabilia from the band’s early touring days.
Jane’s Addiction: Cabinet of Curiosities
Jane’s Addiction’s Cabinet of Curiosities box set suitably encapsulates the band’s bizarre style and eccentricity.
The box set resembles an old-timey wooden cabinet of curiosities. The cover is made of two paper overboard doors that can be unlocked and opened to reveal replicas of flyers, pictures and band imagery.
The collection includes three discs of demos, rehearsals, remixes, covers, and lives recordings from the group's initial lifespan of 1986–1991, and one DVD featuring the movie Soul Kiss, the band's music videos, and concert footage.
The Misfits Box Set
This rare 4-disc mini-coffin shaped box set has to be the most appropriate design for a release that contains almost every single output by the vanguards of Horror Punk.
Created using wood effect paper over board, the box itself is lined with contrasting red velvet and contains a special edition “Fiend Club” enamel badge, a 28-page booklet with lyrics to all the tracks, rare artwork and memorabilia, unpublished photos and a complete discography. The first issue of this box set is now very hard to come by.
Spinal Tap: Back From The Dead
The third “genuine” release from the heroes of comedy rock was the Back From the Dead box set, which encourages serious interaction from fans. The internal packaging can be unfolded to form a diorama of Spinal Tap performing on stage to hordes of adoring fans flashing the devil horns.
The box set includes a CD with re-recorded versions of songs featured in the film “This is Spinal Tap” and its soundtrack album, as well as a DVD featuring commentary for each of the tracks.
The Complete Motown #1’s Box Set
Image source: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Complete-Motown-No-1s/dp/B001H5HWSK
This collection of 192 number one songs across 5 digipacks slots perfectly inside a replica of Motown’s Detroit headquarters.
The building style covering lid complete with roof slides off to reveal the 5 CDs. What better way to evoke the roots of Motown than to recreate where it all began in packaging form.
This collection was released in 2008 as part of the group’s 50th anniversary. It’s extremely rare and includes a 100 page collectible full colour booklet listing every single song, including unreleased material.
The Clash: Sound System
image source: http://www.clearsoundandvision.com/projects/the-clash-sound-system-box-set
The ghetto blaster style of this cardboard box set for The Clash’s Sound System release is just as iconic as the band themselves.
The lid utilises a folded hinge with the internal elements fitting together neatly like a jigsaw puzzle.
The box set contained a mammoth 11 CDs in case bound books, 1 DVD in a case bound book, service manula book, badges, dog tags, sticker sets, paperback notebook, Armagideon Times x 3 and a poster in a cigarette style tube. There’s enough there to send any die-hard Clash fan into a frenzy!
Grateful Dead: ’72 The Complete Recordings Box Set
This collection, released in 2011 consisted of 73 CDs encased in a replica steam trunk box, beautifully illustrated with world maps. The initial release of 3000 copies of the full 7200 limited edition set could be personalised with the name of the buyer.
All 7200 sets were sold out within several hours so the band had to release additional copies but these were not be encased in the steam trunk packaging. The original releases included an illustrated hardcover book and bonus materials – a fitting collectible for any true dead head.
The Pixies: Minotaur Box Set
Image source: http://pitchfork.com/news/35613-pixies-minotaur-box-set-revealed/
The Pixies hefty sized Minotaur box set earned them a Grammy nomination for best box set design in 2011.
The limited edition version stands at 2 feet tall and weighs 25 pounds, complete with limited edition (somewhat controversial) artwork from Vaughan Oliver (the man behind all of the pixies artwork). The box itself looks like a piece of original art that should stand in a gallery.
Only 3000 copies were released and these were available as either a deluxe edition or a deluxe edition plus. The Deluxe Edition Plus contained:
- Come on Pilgrim (1987), Surfer Rosa (1988), Doolittle (1989), Bossanova (1990), and Trompe le Monde (1991) on 24k gold-plated CDs
- Come on Pilgrim (1987), Surfer Rosa (1988), Doolittle (1989), Bossanova (1990), and Trompe le Monde (1991) on DVD/Blu-Ray discs, mastered for 5.1 surround sound
- DVD/Blu-Ray of a previously unreleased 1991 performance at Brixton Academy in London
- DVD/Blu-Ray of every Pixies video
- 54-page art book
All copies were signed by the band and both editions were housed in a “custom clamshell” container that some said resembled the Monolith from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
If you’re looking to produce a creative packaging design for your next CD, DVD box set release, feel free to get in touch to discuss your ideas.