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Digital Subscriptions > Long Live Vinyl > August 2019 > LINER NOTES

LINER NOTES

The 7” boxset has been through many incarnations and eras. But when was its heyday, and why was it even dreamed up in the first place?

If you’ve bought a 7” boxset since the birth of Long Live Vinyl back in 2016, it will likely have been what I’d call a compendium release. A Best Of or a compilation across multiple singles. Some make for a far more pleasurable experience than the traditional 2CD anthology, like the Undertones’ 13-disc Singles. I struggle to see the point of many others – I’m looking at you, Ash’s 10-disc 94-04.

Back in the 70s, the 7” boxset had a similar raison d’être: to explore and expand upon a career and give it added depth and curiosity. Discogs lists 170 such sets as being released in the 70s. In the 80s, it more than doubles to 415. By the 80s, it dips slightly to 412. Which leads me to the conclusion that the 1980s was the format’s heyday.

Why was that exactly? Firstly, labels started to afford the 7” boxset treatment to its big guns and A-listers. It must have seemed like the best way to make a big statement with a new single. Apply a format that had previously only been for deep-end album releases to something as here-today-gone-tomorrow as the 7”.

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About Long Live Vinyl

Issue 29 of Long Live Vinyl is now on sale! Unknown Treasures! This issue's bumper cover story is a definitive list of 150 albums you need to discover. We've recruited 30 of the most well-known, passionate record collectors in the country to bring you their list of the hidden gems missing from your collection. From record shop owners to label bosses, bands and festival organisers, your collection needs their recommendations. Elsewhere, we speak to Ride about the second album of their incredible comeback, This Is Not A Safe Place, find out why Hot Chip's A Bath Full Of Ecstasy is already one of the most positive records of 2019 and meet a true modern folk hero, Jake Xerxes Fussell. If that's not enough to whet your appetite, we speak to some of the key figures behind Prince's new Originals collection, salute a pair of female punk pioneers, celebrate the 30th anniversary of New Order's Technique and tell the story of Fierce Panda, the indie label that discovered Coldplay. With the most comprehensive range of new album, reissue, turntable and hi-fi reviews anywhere on the newsstand, Long Live Vinyl is THE magazine for vinyl lovers.