The Art of CD Single Packaging – Pt II

Jellyfish / I Wanna Stay Home CD Single

Electronic / Getting Away With It CD SingleCD singles, remember them? Introduced to the public in 1986, they soon superseded the humble cassette single as the format of choice during the 1990s.

This is part two of our look back at the wonderful world of CD single packaging in the 1980s and 1990s. If you haven’t read it yet, you might want to first check out part one here.

So, once again, we dig into the SuperDeluxeEdition archive and take a look at some wonderful formats and packaging, utilised for the CD single. All CDs are UK releases, unless otherwise specified (click on photos to enlarge).

Peter Gabriel / Big Time CD single
The CD single featured more tracks than any other format
Peter Gabriel / Big Time CD single
Full lyrics within the gatefold

Peter Gabriel / Big Time / 1987

The third single from Peter Gabriel‘s massive So album, came in a very glossy gatefold card sleeve, with a generous five tracks, including an extended version of the title track. The lyric is printed inside the gatefold and the whole design is consistent with the So branding.

Duran Duran / None Of The Above
The Japan-only 'snap pack' of None Of The Above

Duran Duran / None Of The Above / 1994

A Japan-only CD single from Duran Duran‘s ‘Wedding Album’. This style of release is known as ‘Tanzaku’ in Japan and is sometimes referred to as a ‘snap pack’ because you can literally snap it in half and discard the bottom section. It features the three-inch format that the Japanese had pioneered in the late eighties, complete with advertisement for Honda Integra!! The extended mix of None Of The Above was exclusive to this release until the White Lines single in 1995 (where it appeared as a bonus track) and the single edit remains unique.

Stephen Duffy / Sugar High CD Single

Stephen Duffy / Sugar High CD Single
Excellent artwork and design made these singles very desirable

Duffy / Sugar High / 1995

Stephen – once “Tin Tin” – Duffy was always messing around with his name, and after his amazing Music In Colours album in 1993, he dropped the “Stephen” to become just “Duffy” and released an album of the same name in 1995. Funnily enough, Neil and Tim Finn did exactly the same thing in the same year, when they teamed up for an album together as “Finn”. But I digress. On Indolent records at the time, ‘Duffy’ released three singles in these very attractive card sleeves, with some great art direction. Sugar High was single number two, with London Girls preceding it and Needle Mythology as the follow-up. The CDs sat on a centre spindle embedded in the right hand gatefold panel.

An expensive looking CD single

Eurythmics / You Have Place A Chill In My Heart / 1988

The last single from the Savage album, You Have Placed A Chill In My Heart came in a black circular tin box, with the title embossed on the lid. Must have been pricey to produce, but then again record companies had money to burn in those days. The previous single I Need A Man also came in a very similar tin, but it was normal tin ‘colour’ and hasn’t stood the test of time as well as the one above (ours is rusty).

Paul McCartney / C'mon People CD Single

Paul McCartney / C'mon People CD Single
The single before "Hope Of Deliverance" was released in the same design

Paul McCartney  / C’Mon People / 1993

The second (and final) single from McCartney’s Off The Ground album came in a plastic framed cardboard sleeve-pack. If you look closely at the pictures you will see a plastic tab on the right that ‘secures’ the lid in place. There were a few variations of this kind of sleeve in the early to mid-nineties. The disc itself also has the artwork on display.

Terence Trent D'Arby / This Side Of Love CD Single
The grown up album-sized jewel case

Terence Trent D’Arby  / This Side Of Love / 1989

There was always something quite luxurious about single releases ‘borrowing’ the album jewel case for their packaging needs. So much nicer than the slimline jewel cases, which were, of course, the norm for singles. Terence Trent D’Arby actually released two This Side Of Love CD singles. TRENT C5 (above) was the standard release with an ‘extended version’ of the single and TRENT P5 a picture disc CD which had a different “12-inch Remix” version. Both came in the album-style jewel cases.

Electronic / Getting Away With It CD Single

Electronic / Getting Away With It / 1989

This is actually the US ‘maxi-single’ from the Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr outfit. It has a white sleeve (different from the UK dark brown) and the CD is held within a plastic slip-case which slides into the card sleeve. Not an altogether successful design. It’s hard getting used to up-and-down when you are used to left-and-right!

Crowded House / Locked Out CD Single

Crowded House / Locked Out CD Single

Crowded House / Locked Out / 1993

A massive five singles were taken from the sublime Together Alone album in the UK and all went top 30. Locked Out was single number three, and like all the others (except final single Pineapple Head)  it came in double digi-pak where you could hold ‘disc two’, should you decide to purchase.  Normally lots of live versions of tracks would tempt the loyal fans.

Jellyfish / I Wanna Stay Home CD Single

Jellyfish / I Wanna Stay Home CD Single
3D glasses!

Jellyfish / I Wanna Stay Home / 1990

The Baby’s Coming Back single from Jellyfish’s Bellybutton album came in a limted edition ‘nappy’ (i.e. diaper) sleeve, and this final single was proudly called a ‘3D CD Pack’ and came with the old-style 3D glasses. Put them to your eyes and simply look at the pictures on the left and right panels and enjoy the ‘power’ of 3D! Having tested this recently I can confirm it doesn’t rival Avatar as a 3D experience.

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