Dear Record Labels

Purchasing a new vinyl record in 2024 is not inexpensive, you can certainly pay out a good few £’s on a single LP, considerably more for double LP’s and maybe a fair bit more still for a double LP from a well know artist.

Why is it that the Record Label, despite making a good chunk of money from each sale, finds it so difficult to include a poly lined inner record sleeve, from my purchases today only two of six LP’s had a poly lined inner sleeve all the rest were cheap card or paper that left a trail of muck on the LP.

Why is it that the Record Label deems it acceptable to release an artist’s music on a double LP but then skimp on costs by squeezing both LP’s into an outer sleeve that is designed for a single LP plus album notes, and why do both LP’s have to be held in stiff paper inner sleeves that have got caught together, ripped and covered the LP’s in a layer of paper dust. What happened to a good old fashioned gatefold sleeve?

I love vinyl but today’s purchases have left a bitter taste in my mouth.

And I haven’t even mentioned the double LP which has an outer sleeve damaged and bubbles and cracks on side one of the album, this has to be returned it is in such a bad state.

No wonder so many people are streaming music.

Apologies for rant.


Yes you have!

FWIW my preference for streaming music files is primarily on sound quality grounds, though with other supplementary benefits, and your complaints, quite reasonable as they seem, have no bearing on it.

So the question essentially “why does vinyl have exactly the same issues that led in large part to its original demise?”


I’m afraid is well meaning as your thread is you’re just going to attract the same old individuals who like to bash vinyl but have no real interest in your questions as they don’t buy records and never intend to do so.


It seems like a rhetorical question on here as the record labels can answer.

These issues regarding packaging of LPs is no different to how it’s been for decades. When I was in my peak record buying phase in the 70s, 80s and 90s the vast majority of records came with grotty paper sleeves or very stiff cardboard that made the LP difficult to extract. Back then, WH Smith sold poly-lined inner sleeves, which I always used to keep my records spick and span. Smiths no longer sell them but there are plenty of others available. It’s a fight that can’t be won, so it’s best just to buy new sleeves and get on with enjoying the music.


You’re right and I’m sure that they will, and probably have a good gloat at the same time.

I just needed too vent.

I have good quality anti static sleeves, I am well used to getting grotty paper or card sleeves, but from my purchases yesterday there were two LP’s that I had to do nothing to other than a brief clean, the outer sleeve was perfect and the LP was in a very good poly lined sleeve, both LP’s were the cheapest of my purchases so it can be done where the label wants to do it.

Sadly nothing will change.

Pretty much my point. If you want to buy vinyl then do so. It’s lack of environmental friendliness mean it will meander at the current level for years to come with people making claims for it that don’t really stack up and never did. When it sold the most it mostly came recycled, with mostly poor sound quality, no lyric sheets, white paper inserts and so on in the overwhelming majority of cases.

The massive irony here is asking why record companies continue to do this. The better question is surely to ask why on earth they would not? In the 1970s they were happy to sell you 4th generation recycled vinyl for the same cost as brand new. They were happy to delete albums after a year or more so the only way to get a new copy was to tape it off someone or buy it second hand. They were happy to then sell you their entire catalogues on first cassette and then CD and, as vinyl has re-emerged to a degree, they’re happy to do the same all over again. Their entire modus operandi for decades has been to sell something with a finite life so they can sell it to you all over again.

In those circumstances, it’s a bit of a struggle to see why they would reverse decades of a specific way of working and suddenly go “Oh, we really ought to give people something to make the vinyl we sell last longer so we can sell less of it.”


You called?

How may I be of assistance?


Just clean, dry and slip the records into a nice antistatic sleeve before playing. And enjoy the superior sound quality. :slightly_smiling_face:

Exactly what I do :slightly_smiling_face:

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Let me repeat Mike’s comment "So the question essentially “why does vinyl have exactly the same issues that led in large part to its original demise?”.
The answer is many record labels are not good people.

Most on this forum grew up (with vinyl) and loved vinyl.
My TT has been in the loft for 35 years for the reason that Mike highlights and we have moved on.

And now you can add “rip-off” prices to the issues.

Yes, I imagine most people here did grow up! Many of us also grew up with and loved vinyl…

grew up (with vinyl) and loved vinyl.

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Just wondering why, if you have moved on, is your TT still in the loft, why not sell it or give it away, if you’re done with vinyl.

Or maybe there’s a hankering to get back into vinyl :wink: :wink:


A lot more to it than “rip off” prices to be fair. There is of course a massive irony in the very people who proclaimed that they were “sticking with vinyl” about 34 years ago because the £15 price of CDs was outrageous, now complaining about the cost of vinyl or, better still, not complaining and just accepting that it’s the state of things.

Putting that aside one has the shocking state of vinto itself. £35 albums arriving warped and worse from allegedly reputable sources. Then you can add in the magical thinking. The quality and range of that is beyond parody. People paying ludicrous prices for coloured vinyl when 34 years ago they were berating the shockingly inferior sound quality of… coloured vinyl.

Happily 180g vinyl has largely ceased to be a thing but one can only feel a degree of pity for the people who fell for it. That meta study which showed that there was not even a smidgeon of a difference on any front with any vinyl over 110g was obviously a small nail in that particular coffin but I suspect it was more that the quality of 180g was often so objectively awful that there’s only so long you can deny it for.

At this point you should like the format you like and get on with it. Every format has sewn the seeds of its own destruction and that applies to all without exception. Complaining about a flaw which has always existed and always will exist does seem a tad pointless at this stage though.

Guys. What planet are you living on.

Oh. I know. A planet where the seas are awash with non degradable plastics.

Most sensible people, (the non princess types :innocent:), will obviously prefer their records supplied with recyclable paper inner sleeves and non laminated, lightly coated outer sleeves.

Anybody who can’t bare their vinyl to be placed in anything but highest quality plastic, for whatever reason, has the choice to purchase plastic sleeves. It’s very simple and nothing to get all upset about.


Shocking. That’s a bit of an over reaction.

All such terms are relative.