The basic idea of the Box of Vision is to create an elegant way to store an artist’s body of work in a single table-top “archive.”
The “body of work” being of course the music (in case of the Beatles, Lennon and Dylan– the albums), as well as all of the large size, LP art.
In the album era, that artwork was a significant part of what we connected with and fell in love with. We discovered those LPs with the record sleeves on our laps, reading the liner notes and credits (sometimes lyrics). That visual experience fueled our imaginations and shaped how we thought of the music.
Each Box of Vision so far has four common elements: a striking box, and three books.
- Book One is an LP size book of brand new album art prints– so the art can be enjoyed as a complete collection– as if you had all of the LPs together in your lap.
- Book Two is an organized way to store and display all of the albums (on CD). Built specifically for the artists catalog of albums– organized so you can appreciate the chronology, the history and the body of work as a whole.
- Book Three: a new simple but useful discography (more on this below).
Over the next few weeks I will give specifics on all three books: particularly on the new John Lennon and Bob Dylan collections– but i will also fill in some pieces on the Beatles BOV as well.
I will start with the discography books….
I decided to call the discography books “Catalography” as the word “disc” seems to be less descriptive these days. With the word “catalog” being the broader word to refer to the body of recordings (particularly the albums), it seemed a better fit.
The main idea behind the Catalography books is to be (a handy, and beautiful) context for long time fans to revisit or even fill out their collections, and for newer fans to begin to build theirs. I emphasize the word “context”, as it is not the intent for the discography book to be an exhaustive reference book on everything ever released under the artist’s name, and it is not the intent to provide a summation of the artists career in a retrospective essay or liner notes, the way a good box set might. These are artists for whom that has been done many times before, in many places.
But what I noticed (and was frustrated by) was that with all the new resources and information made available in the internet, discographies and computer generated catalog guides, finding a simple, non-confusing, layout of most artists album catalogs is getting harder and harder.
Of course, creating a new discography is the opportunity to do something new and different… with the Beatles, we created the first (as far as I can tell) side by side UK/US discography comparison. Bruce Spizer, who has written a number of books about the Beatles US recordings, wrote an exclusive essay and textual guide for us on this.
For Lennon and Dylan we had different themes, too, that I think work really well, and will definitely add something special….details coming next.