Album cover display products, while very inexpensive, are vital to a task many vinyl aficionados feel strongly about: Displaying covers with which they have an emotional attachment.
Think about it for a moment: Today, a person’s entire music universe can fit in his or her pocket. The ability to squeeze transistors so closely together that functionality fits into devices that can fit in your ear. Delivery networks use the same advances to send music wirelessly in more or less real time. It’s almost as if Prokofiev, Getz and Zydeco (that would be Buckwheat) are materializing out of thin air.
In my opinion, one of the reasons that vinyl has made a comeback is that people want to recapture these things. Of course, there also are younger people discovering the beauty of vinyl for the first time.
And then there are the album covers.
Album covers – especially in the rock era – are a world onto themselves. There was an explosion of graphic creativity in the 1960s and 1970s that paralleled the explosion of musical creativity. Some of the work still is striking. These albums–music and art–were the last gasp before the marketing departments won the war.
Album art clearly came into its own during the rock era. The lack of truly iconic jazz album covers – ones that are instantly recognizable – probably says more about jazz and rock fans and the times in general than about the records. The importance of liner notes, however, is true across both genres. If anything, liner notes are of greater importance in the more intellectual world of jazz.
HiFi and Vinyl Now is based on the interrelated premises. One is that vinyl includes everything: Equipment, the furniture to put it on, records and artists and their music. It’s all part of the same world. The other is that people who love vinyl are not all audiophiles who obsess over impedance and total harmonic distortion like baseball fans obsess over slugging percentage and wins over replacement. This broad view includes album covers. They are art, after all.
Below are five options for album cover display. Prices are pretty negligible. The key is focusing on keeping these valued keepsakes safe and using a display that more broadly fits in with the room’s decor.
Album Cover Display Tools from Album Mount, Femeli, MCS, Smashed Banana and KAIU
Note: All images are courtesy of the manufacturer. Hover over images for a closer view (in most cases). Vendors have unique short hands for specifications. I’ve more or less left these unchanged, so the capsules are a bit inconsistent. The paraphrased comments are subjective (and, indeed, sometimes contradictory). Folks sometimes use equipment incorrectly and then complain. Problems mentioned may have been addressed by the manufacturer. Amazon has a tremendous amount of information and feedback on the what it sells and is a recommended element of your shopping research. If you do shop and potentially buy from Amazon, please link to there from HiFi and Vinyl Now. If you are kind enough to do so we’ll get a small commission. The price you pay will remain the same. (Thanks!)
Album Mount Record Album Frame Display
The product, from CollectorMount, works in two ways. It can hang records on the wall or display them on a shelf.
The Femeli Vinyl Record Shelf Wall Mount
The goal is to make it seem that the albums are hovering on the wall. The company says that the wall mounts also have been used for matchbox cars or other packaged toys, children’s artwork, books, vinyl records, album covers, graphic novels, magazines, playbills, award certificates, home decor items, and framed products.
MCS Record Album Display Frame
MCS’s Record Album Display Frame comes in a six pack. It is anodized black and measures 12.5″ x 12.5″. square. The item weighs 11.2 ounces and features a transparent back to enable viewing of the back side of the album.
The MCS Industries product comes with two sheets of styrene to protect the album that is on display.
Smashed Banana’s Black Music Album Frame
Smashed Banana’s Black Music Album Frame measures 12.5″ x 12.5″. It is easy to hang and supports any 12″ record. It has a brushed aluminum finish. Front protection is provided by plexiglass.
The product, which is from Smashed Banana, includes hanging hardware. The units can support double and, depending on thickness, triple albums. The dimensions are 13.1″ x 13.1″ x 1.1″. The frames weigh in at 1.25 lbs.
KAIU Vinyl Record Frame
KAIU Vinyl Record Frame is made of FSC certified New Zealand pine wood. The album is covered by a clear acrylic that the company says is shatterproof.
The frame is black and weighs 1.68 lbs. It measures 13.8″ x 13.6″ x 2 “.