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🖼 Gallery Carpenters Longboxes

Threads with gallery-like content.

Harry

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Here's what I have in my box of longboxes for Carpenters. I probably had a few more initially, but over time and before scanners and color printers, those extra images came in handy for one reason or another. The MFSL only has a rear insert, and a couple of these have a price sticker or hype sticker.

Hush-Front.jpg
HushRear.jpg

Lovelines-Front.jpg
Lovelines-Rear.jpg
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
The 1980s "Passage" and "Ticket to Ride" CDs are what I'm still hoping to buy.

These longboxes are a treat, especially "Time." Yours in particular are in impeccable condition. Thanks for sharing! (I am ashamed to admit, I still don't know how a longbox works.)
 

Harry

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A longbox was 12" high and only wide enough to hold a CD jewel case inside. The CD was either housed in the top of the bottom of the longbox, usually the bottom. The purpose of putting the jewel case inside a box was two-fold. One was to make a Compact Disc big enough that it wasn't easily stolen from a store. The second was to allow two rows of Compact Discs to be browsable in a standard record browsing case.

Environmentalists eventually won their battle to rid the world of longboxes claiming them to be harmful to the planet. Then they eventually won another battle to disuade many CD manufacturers to stop using plastic jewel cases, so ironically, the paper once used for longboxes is now back to being used to house the CDs, but not as much.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
A longbox was 12" high and only wide enough to hold a CD jewel case inside. The CD was either housed in the top of the bottom of the longbox, usually the bottom. The purpose of putting the jewel case inside a box was two-fold. One was to make a Compact Disc big enough that it wasn't easily stolen from a store. The second was to allow two rows of Compact Discs to be browsable in a standard record browsing case.

Environmentalists eventually won their battle to rid the world of longboxes claiming them to be harmful to the planet. Then they eventually won another battle to disuade many CD manufacturers to stop using plastic jewel cases, so ironically, the paper once used for longboxes is now back to being used to house the CDs, but not as much.
I do find it interesting that the environmental movement has swung from anti-paper (“you’re killing trees!”) to critiquing plastics/non-biodegradables, and now paper is “in” again since it’s biodegradable. In Hawaiʻi (Honolulu County specifically), a plastic bag ban is slowly coming into effect, so now you really only see reusable bags, paper bags, and plastic bags at only some restaurants (with the handles cut, as the handles have choked marine life, including turtles and seabirds).

In my personal opinion, understanding that hindsight is 20/20, longboxes were not an egregious crime against the environment. They weren’t necessarily single-use, and they are biodegradable since they’re paper-based.
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
A longbox was 12" high and only wide enough to hold a CD jewel case inside. The CD was either housed in the top of the bottom of the longbox, usually the bottom. The purpose of putting the jewel case inside a box was two-fold. One was to make a Compact Disc big enough that it wasn't easily stolen from a store. The second was to allow two rows of Compact Discs to be browsable in a standard record browsing case.

Environmentalists eventually won their battle to rid the world of longboxes claiming them to be harmful to the planet. Then they eventually won another battle to disuade many CD manufacturers to stop using plastic jewel cases, so ironically, the paper once used for longboxes is now back to being used to house the CDs, but not as much.

Interesting to hear some of the reasons behind why CD longboxes were used in the US, given that other markets didn't use them. I can sort of understand the making them 'too big to steal easily' argument (although of course cassettes were even smaller than CDs and they were stocked as they came), but the other rationale - so that record racks could be used for CDs - is a more strange one.

In Europe, CDs were generally laid out in racks on their side, so that the artist/title info was visible without taking them out - later on, CDs would be racked face-on, without the extra artist/title info sticker on the top that was used on US CDs , just separated out with artist/alphabetical dividers, which always seemed to work fine for consumers. The US approach always seemed like no one had realised that CDs could be stored in a different way from LPs, with the longbox becoming a solution to a problem that other markets didn't seem to encounter.

Longboxes were phased out in 1992/1993 for the environmental reasons Harry mentions (Billboard magazine ran articles on this subject for quite a few months). I'm sure the vast majority of them did end up in the trash (recycling facilities being much less available or used in the 1980s/early 1990s).

Aesthetically, they are an interesting novelty, particularly on those boxes like the for Richard's solo Time CD that used the extra dimensions of the box to extend the artwork, on some releases resulting in more of the cover photo being visible than on the LP/cassette/regular CD formats, which has made such releases particularly sought-after by collectors. Longboxes like the ones for the other Carpenters albums that merely reproduced the CD sleeve on the box tend not to be so desirable as they're less 'special' in this respect.
 

cam89

Well-Known Member
I saw Longboxes at Costco, a bulk buying store....in Regina, SK in the 2000's when I lived there....
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
I still remember stores using the plastic long boxes for CD’s. Of course you never took those ones home as the store had a special key to open the plastic sleeve to get the CD out and then you took the CD out.
 

Harry

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There was also the blister pack longbox that would put the booklet with the cover art in the top section and the jewel case showing the disc itself in the lower section.

When purchased, you had to go home and slice the blister pack open, take out the components and put them together. The only advantage here was that you could see the actual disc itself with possibly more information.

For example, the BRASIL 86 CD disc itself listed the vocalists under each title, so I was happy to see Lani Hall's name under one of the song titles. But the environmental waste of all that blister pack plastic, plus the danger of slicing your fingerd while trying to open them made them a real pain.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
I guess in a way Japan also replicated the long box for the CD single. Most Japanese 3-inch CD’s I’ve seen are in those long box type cases where it’s cardboard over a plastic CD holder, with the CD usually at the top, and then nothing at the bottom. Otherwise other CD singles (including a few late-90’s early-2000’s Japanese 3-inch Cd Singles) from other countries just used the standard CD case in the slim variety to indicate a single (and 3-inch CD’s look ridiculous in), but the CD holding area was meant for a 12-inch disc, and they usually used a regular CD.
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
Having worked in retail music for 30 years, the cd presented a new problem for display purposes. The first releases came in just the jewel box. There were so few, we just put them in a glass case with shelves. The average player was about $700 at the time, so a little slow to roll out. As the price of CDs and players dropped, more titles were released. Most record stores had bins designed for vinyl. The cd long box was a no brainer. You could put them in the bins for easy browsing, side by side, about 10 deep. It was great for a mom & pop style store, but the chains did the same thing through 1993-94. Then the big environmental movement complained about the waste of paper etc. Moving on a few years later, I worked at Blockbuster Music, in a 15,000 sq. foot store. The new bins were multitiered, and only a couple of inches deep for displaying hundreds of discs. This lead to the theft problem at old an newer stores. That lead to the development of keepers. The vinyl bin style were long box equivalent, and the modern style jewel box size we used at Blockbuster. We put a rubberized tag inside each one. They had a fake UPC code on them. They would trigger the stores alarm system, if not deactivated with a magnetic pad, or if still in the keeper by shoplifters. I think it’s another reason stores quit selling CDs. The theft is huge. We lost $1,000’s of dollars to theft each quarter. The thieves found newer and cleaver ways to steal. The biggest problem when most stores closed down were wire cutters. They worked very well on cutting the plastic keeper boxes. I confiscated a half dozen myself over the years. I miss the stores more than anything, but not the shoplifters. Especially now. In California it’s only a misdemeanor if the value is under $950.00. Not worth a phone call to police, and the thieves all know it. You just get a ticket to appear in court. Ya right…..
 

Harry

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On the LOVELINES longbox above, you can see a thin strip on the rear. That was the anti-theft device placed inside the shrink wrap.
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
That was the early type we used at the local store. The thicker rubber self adhesive style came a couple of years later. Other stores used price tags with the strip built in. Many retailers and vendors hide them in pockets or sleeves of purses, wallets, and cases.
 

Murray

Well-Known Member
The worst thing about those anti-theft strips, is when the cashier forgets to deactivate them at the till. There's nothing quite as embarrassing as leaving the store with your paid for items, setting off the alarm, and then having to stand there while the staff sorts it out, while the other customers give you dirty looks, and assume you're a criminal.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
Even some "box sets" fell victim to the environmentalists as well as the longbox. Carole King's Natural Woman and Barbra Streisand's Just For The Record were released in a box for King and a book type set for Streisand. One day at a record store I saw both in very small jewel cases which means the printed booklet was also shrunk or eliminated. I did find a copy of Natural Woman in its full size box and bought it.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Even some "box sets" fell victim to the environmentalists as well as the longbox. Carole King's Natural Woman and Barbra Streisand's Just For The Record were released in a box for King and a book type set for Streisand. One day at a record store I saw both in very small jewel cases which means the printed booklet was also shrunk or eliminated. I did find a copy of Natural Woman in its full size box and bought it.
Around 2006 The Essential Collection also lost its cardboard slipcase and I assume liner note book!
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
Around 2006 The Essential Collection also lost its cardboard slipcase and I assume liner note book!
That was when the set was reissued by Readers Digest, which had no card slip case and a slimmed-down book. I imagine this was done as a cost-saving move rather than a purely environmental one.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
I imagine this was done as a cost-saving move rather than a purely environmental one.
I highly suspect this is the motive, and not "the environmentalists." Tbh, environmentalists don't have much sway at the corporate level today, much less in the 1990s. When planning for the general audience (and not for fans who would shell out hundreds of dollars), it almost always comes down to what the cheapest options are.
 

Harry

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I don't know how much "sway" the environmentalists had back then, but they sure made a lot of noise about it in the media of the day.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
I don't own any longboxes now but I remember both the paper and plastic ones at the record stores. I'm sure I bought some but probably just got rid of the paper ones. I can still remember the clerks behind the cash register at Peaches Records and Tapes taking off those plastic longboxes and throwing them down on the counter and then in large bins...the plastic ones made so much noise!!

The mention of environmentalists made me think of Olivia's album from 1989, Warm And Tender. It was issued on a CD longbox (with cool artwork), cassette and LP. I have the CD and the LP. The CD insert as well as the LP both indicate that they are printed on 100% recycled paper, made from reclaimed waste paper and that no trees were destroyed to make this product. Olivia also included a list inside of 10 things to help make the world green and clean.

The entire packaging is all done very nicely. The CD and LP really gave me the feeling that I helped in some small way in saving the environment by purchasing her album...especially the LP when you feel it's large jacket and hold the textured insert in your hands.
 

Vinylalbumcovers

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
I had so many of these longboxes but had to get rid of them all after my mother died and I moved out of the house. There simply wasn't any room to keep them in the new place. Oh well. These are amazing and I'm so glad to see them again!

Ed
 

TimeWarp

Active Member
A longbox was 12" high and only wide enough to hold a CD jewel case inside. The CD was either housed in the top of the bottom of the longbox, usually the bottom. The purpose of putting the jewel case inside a box was two-fold. One was to make a Compact Disc big enough that it wasn't easily stolen from a store. The second was to allow two rows of Compact Discs to be browsable in a standard record browsing case.

Environmentalists eventually won their battle to rid the world of longboxes claiming them to be harmful to the planet. Then they eventually won another battle to disuade many CD manufacturers to stop using plastic jewel cases, so ironically, the paper once used for longboxes is now back to being used to house the CDs, but not as much.
Cool info!
 

goodjeans

Well-Known Member
The worst thing about those anti-theft strips, is when the cashier forgets to deactivate them at the till. There's nothing quite as embarrassing as leaving the store with your paid for items, setting off the alarm, and then having to stand there while the staff sorts it out, while the other customers give you dirty looks, and assume you're a criminal.
That used to happen to me. Once I dropped to the floor. I thought that I was hilarious.
 
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