I like to think I have a pretty good relationship with Repertoire Records. They don’t know it or anything — that is, I don’t talk to or otherwise have contact with anyone over there — but if I pick up a record and it’s a version on Repertoire, I can feel relatively safe that at very least, I’m going to get a quality product. That’s not something you can always say about people selling albums.
And I was taking it as a given about two weeks ago that when I put in my purchase through Amazon for the self-titled Fuzzy Duck album, which Repertoire released on CD in 2007, I’d be getting their usual digipak-type release. I prefer jewel cases to digipaks for the sturdiness, but with the acknowledgment that Fuzzy Duck isn’t exactly selling a million copies and that these things cost money to press, I’ll take what I can get. Certainly Repertoire reissues by Warhorse, Black Widow and others have been gorgeous in digipak form, and with cover art as classic as Fuzzy Duck‘s Fuzzy Duck, I decided I could do worse.
My order placed, I went about my business, and a couple nights ago, when I got in from work and found the package waiting for me, there was Fuzzy Duck — in a sleeve! Seriously? A sleeve? How can you claim to have any reverence for the product you’re selling and put it in a sleeve? I paid $15 bucks for that fucking thing, and looking back at the product page, it’s clearly marked as “Dig,” which I took to mean a legitimate digipak.
It’s not until I opened the package that I read further down the product info, where it says, “Original vinyl artwork in square CD digi-sleeve format (card wallet – no plastic) plus inserted fold-out poster.” Come on, man. “Digi-sleeve format?” “Card wallet?” You know you’re selling a sleeve, why not just come out and say it? If it’s that god damn embarrassing to you, make it a gatefold. I’ll pay for that. But $15 for a sleeve, man. That’s just sad.
These are dark enough times for those of us loyal to the CD format. I was out at that Premonition 13 show last night, and I asked the Mount Olympus drummer if they had any CDs for sale in addition to the vinyl, and he looked at me like I was from another planet. What could I ever want with such a thing? Every time someone tells me how outdated CDs are and how it’s a “dead format,” I want to laugh in their face for the same amount of times I heard people say that shit about LPs. Dead format? People are still making tapes! 78s are a dead format. Edison cylinders. I don’t care how convenient your download card is, I want a physical product I can play in my car, and that’s either a tape (which I buy, gladly, because they’re cheap as hell) or a CD.
I’m getting off track. The point is that with people maligning and proclaiming the death of the CD as a format anyway, it feels that much worse to buy Fuzzy Duck‘s Fuzzy Duck and essentially get screwed out of what I thought I was going to get with it. Of course the record rules — even the bonus tracks; “Double Dealing Woman” is super-Deep Purple — but after a while that’s not even the point. The point is I have a separate space on my shelf for sleeves, because they suck, and now I have to put this album there.
Because even with an eight-panel foldout liner and a sleeve within the sleeve (as you can see in the picture above), a sleeve is still a sleeve, and a sleeve is most definitely NOT a digipak.
Any other suckers out there who still buy physical media want to back me up on this, or should I just give up and go digital?