Lately, I’ve rediscovered my collection of seven-inch singles and EPs. It’s a too-often neglected compact format that is admittedly less conducive to getting a party going than the LP. Playing one song at a time makes it rather a challenge to establish much in the way of flow, doncha know. Yet, thanks to a pair of recent DJ gigs for which I brought only 45s, I’ve gained a new appreciation for platters that would seem to be ideal for today’s short-attention-span music scene. In the era of the download, the 45 could well rule again.
Which is fine by me. For one thing, 45s tend to come with cool picture-sleeves, sometimes boasting outtakes from photo-shoots for the accompanying album cover. I am proud to say I have a number of cool picture sleeves.
So sure, picture-sleeves are cool. But as any true record-collecting obsessive can tell you, company-designed generic sleeves are, uh, also cool. In their way. Books, blogs and exhibitions have been devoted to notable personalized sleeves for LPs and 45s alike. Yet what of the label-specific sleeve that adorns 45s by artists not deemed worthy of the extra expense that is slapping a photo onto that seven-inch sleeve? It’s time, I say, to give props to the non-artist-specific seven-inch sleeve. Therefore, friends, I present to you the first art show devoted exclusively to the generic 45 sleeve. Works displayed here span more than half a century and are but a small portion of my collection. I’m happy to make this the first of many such online exhibitions. You’ve only to ask.