11:55

Disraeli Gears

In a today’s clear-out of a storage room I came across my collection of vinyl records – the primary recipient of, initially, my pocket money and then my grant (remember that quaint idea?) during the seventies. I found myself fondly holding Cream’s Disraeli Gears – a psychedelic masterpiece of the art of the cover sleeve – an art form that, like the typewriter, has suffered death by technology. Don’t get me wrong; this is no paean to the ‘warmth’ of vinyl sound. The only warmth I recall is the heat rising under my collar as a scratch, inflicted by one of my brothers, ruined a superb guitar solo. Nor is it nostalgia for the seventies where I keenly felt my loss at being too young to be a (credible) hippy and too posh to be a (credible) punk. I was neither a Led Zep nor a Sex Pistol fan and found the pretentiousness of the overblown likes of Rick Wakemen, well, pretentious. But David Bowie and Pink Floyd – bring ‘em on.

No, what I loved, and still love were the cover sleeves: tangible value rather than a shower of digital bits that may play anywhere you want, perfectly, but are missing that extra something – like naked girls, pace Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland or the frisson of a one removed acid trip. Thank you Disraeli Gears.
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