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Ray Charles, Pure Genius - The Complete Atlantic Recordings (1952 - 1959)A box containing eight CDs, but made to look like an old record player, complete with a molded-plastic turntable under the lid. (NPR)

10 Great Album Art Fake-Outs

by Jacob Ganz
Mar 28, 2013

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Jacob Ganz

This week, the Strokes put out the new album Comedown Machine, the band's fifth collection of wiry, tightly-produced throwback rock. The Strokes have always derived as many influences from visual media as they have from music, and the cover of the new album nods to both: the image resembles a box of magnetic tape produced by the Radio Corporation of America, the defunct electronics company that shares a name with the band's record label.

The intentional mismatch of packaging an album of MP3s behind a tape-reel box made more than 30 years earlier is a perfect joke for a band like The Strokes. And it's not the only one of its kind. Many others turn an album into a curious conversation piece, something like a nesting doll with music as the prize inside. Here are nine more great example of albums, EPs and box sets packaged inside another — entirely different — musical instrument or format.

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