Okay you’ve just blown your budget acquiring the stereo or mono (or both!!) box sets of the new Beatles Remasters. That’s a big bundle of discs that you’ve just added to your collection. Sure they sound fabulous but the slipcase packaging is a bit awkward and less than deluxe. And where are you going to put it? It won’t fit on a typical CD rack and it would look goofy next to your prize Parlophones LPs. What now? After finishing my review of the new Beatles Remasters (to be published in Issue 198) this is exactly the situation I was facing. So when I was asked whether I’d like to check out The Beatles Box of Vision, I figured why not? From its appearance I immediately fell for it’s hybrid personality–the fact that it celebrates the analog LP even as it provides a very cool, storage and preservation solution for all the digi-pack Beatles remasters discs. Conceived by Jonathan Polk, a music industry veteran it could also easily be used for an existing collection as well. Although in the latter instance you’ll have to store or toss (er, recycle) those yucky plastic “jewel” boxes. The glamorous large format linen covered storage box with silver embossed Beatles logos opens like a clam shell to reveal double-sided pockets where you insert the disc on one side and the digi-pack on the other. This was you can easily slide out the disc without rummaging through the digi-pack cover. Beautfully executed the 13” x 13” box features the iconic image of The Beatles photographed by Robert Freeman for the cover of With The Beatles. It’s exterior is cleverly edged with the faux spines of the Beatles vintage vinyl LPs.
It also includes a stunning 200-page LP-size linen-bound book containing all of The Beatles’ LP artwork, restored in pristine new art prints. This is the first time that all of The Beatles UK and US album artwork has been collected together in a single LP sized book. And man, it’s also a sad reminder about how album art fell off the map of our collective consciousness when we transitioned from the LP to the teeny, tiny CD format. Does anyone really think the existing Sgt Pepper “museum” cover would have even happened had the large format LP “canvas” not been around to inspire the artists? I digress. From Please Please Me and With The Beatles through Love, this nostalgic book includes front covers, back covers, gatefolds, inserts, and the complete LP booklets. It really gives you the flavor of owning the LPs even if you’ve never spun a single record in your life. Additionally there’s the “Catalography,” (see image below) a new, full color discography guide with photos, text and track-listings, providing the first-ever side-by-side presentation of the UK albums and their US counterparts, with an exclusive essay by Beatles author and historian Bruce Spizer. The only drawback? When the Box Of Vision is fully laden, it weighs in at around thirteen pounds. A small sacrifice to preserve some of my very favorite music. Worth checking out. For a “virtual tour” and more information visit: www.BoxOfVision.com Price: $89.99