Longbox and Loaded: My Beatles CD Longbox Collection

Sometimes collecting looks a lot like hoarding – I’ve said that many times before but it’s true.

The reason I bring that up is that a friend of mine once saw my CD longbox collection and said it was a bit much, more like hoarding than collecting (obviously NOT a collector lol). They may have a case but to me CD longboxes are much more like 45 picture sleeves from the 1960s and well worth collecting.

(Note: All my CD longboxes, with the odd exception here and there, are from the early era of the compact disc and were purchased along with the CD. I haven’t sought out longboxes that I never owned but have been tempted from time to time though they aren’t very east to locate)

Anyway, not familiar with CD longboxes?

I guess it depends on how old you are but I certainly remember them as this post will attest. You see CD longboxes were common at the beginning of the CD era.

When CDs were first being sold in stores, sometime around 1983/84, they were taking over retail space from vinyl records. Vinyl records were much taller and wider than CDs so the retail space designed for browsing vinyl didn’t work that well for browsing CDs.

Not only were CDs hard to browse in the bigger retail spaces but they were easier to steal as well.

So the record industry came up with a solution to that problem – the CD longbox. The CD longbox made compact discs fit easier in the old retail space made for vinyl while making it harder to walk out the door with a CD in your purse or coat as the packing was a bit bulkier.

Today I am posting an overview of all of my Beatles CD longboxes that have survived the ravages of time. The oldest ones are now some thirty-five years old – ouch. Hard to believe but it’s true.

I’ve posted photos of several of my CD longboxes previously but someone recently said to me they had never seen all The Beatles CD longboxes so I thought I’d share a post with all my entire Beatles (not solo Beatles, that’s coming up – like a flower) longbox collection.

As you can tell the CD longbox usually contained the same graphics as the CD that came inside but as they became more common they also became more elaborate. The “Sgt. Pepper” CD longbox in the photo above added the artwork of the insert that came with the vinyl album from 1967 which was a bit unusual but nice to see.

Too bad the US didn’t get the groovy small box with the expanded booklet and size of “Sgt. Pepper” CD that the UK got – that was really nice.

I think the rarest CD longbox I own is the box that came with K-Tel’s CD of The Beatles Hamburg live recordings. The CD itself is pretty hard to locate and I’ve never seen the longbox except for the one that I own.

The other fairly rare box is the limited edition longbox for Sam’s Club exclusive CD of “Let it Be … Naked”. I believe that longbox was a Sam’s Club exclusive, though I’m not one hundred percent sure. That box came out in 2003 well after the demise of the CD longbox which happened in the early 1990s so seeing one at that time was not common.

The “Let it Be … Naked” is very cool and I’m glad that I managed to snag a couple of them.

The “Anthology” longboxes above which came out in 1995/96, in two different sizes, also came out after the longbox form had died but were fairly easy to find as stores like Target and Kmart, etc. used these packages to display the then-hot “Anthology” releases.

Well that’s pretty much it for now. Feast your eyes above at the photos of these relics from a different era.

I’m not sure that many people seek these longboxes out but I still think they’re a fun product of a now bygone era. They are physical media remnants that I still enjoy and take out time to time just for the nostalgia factor.

As usual I hope you are well and healthy and see you soon … Same longbox time, same longbox channel!