For many years, most field units had been simply that: CDs in bins. But now, as streaming continues to take over and regular CD gross sales decline, field units and collectors’ editions account for a rising share of the income from bodily music, and labels are tapping into the artistic potential of tactile accoutrements. Of the 5 nominated for greatest boxed or particular restricted version package deal at this yr’s Grammys, two stand out for his or her elaborate presentation: Squeeze Box: The Complete Works of “Weird Al” Yankovic (Annie Stoll, Meghan Foley and Yankovic are up for the award) and the 19-CD Grateful Dead set Pacific Northwest ’73-’74: The Complete Recordings (Lisa Glines, Doran Tyson and Roy Henry Vickers).
1. Though unplayable, the instrument’s particulars are lifelike. Even the typography for “Yankovic” pays “homage to accordion model names,” says Foley.
2. The thought of accumulating Yankovic’s work in a field designed like an accordion got here from Legacy head of A&R John Jackson. Says artwork director/designer Foley: “It’s the embodiment of him as an artist.”
three. The straps that preserve the accordion closed are as ornamental as they’re sensible: They maintain the ebook of liner notes and assist steadiness the field.
four. The set was designed to hold vinyl albums or CDs, for which Foley and Sony artwork director Stoll designed album-size cardboard sleeves. “The design problem was to make it work for both one,” says Foley. “It needed to maintain a certain quantity of weight.”
5. Just just like the accordion Yankovic performs himself, the “bass” button seems upside-down. $450-$650, weirdal.com
1. A ebook with liner notes is wrapped in a folding cardboard fish, “so you possibly can take the ebook out of the field with out damaging it,” says Tyson. “This manner, we didn’t should put a notch within the field.”
2. The First Nations tradition of the Pacific Northwest has 4 crests — whale, eagle, wolf and raven — and Vickers put one on either side of the field. The eagle represents “the imaginative and prescient of the skies.”
three. The cranium is Grateful Dead iconography, however “it additionally represents the tales and songs and dances that join us to our ancestors, those that are lifeless,” says Vickers.
four. The palette of conventional First Nations colours, made utilizing native supplies, “will get brighter as you open the field and your pleasure and pleasure improve,” says Tyson.
5. Rhino Records designer Glines and Grateful Dead world model supervisor Tyson commissioned First Nations artist Vickers, who modeled the field on the normal cedar bentwood field utilized by the First Nations peoples of the Pacific Northwest to retailer helpful keepsakes. $190, retailer.lifeless.internet
This article initially appeared within the Jan. 26 concern of Billboard.