1990 FLASHBACK: MTV News Takes on CD Long Boxes

Kurt Loder on MTV News
Photo Credit

MTV News: you hear it first. Back in the 1990s, Kurt Loder and MTV News were the go-to authority on what was happening in the world of popular music. In this 1990 news segment that just hit YouTube, Loder takes a deep dive into the world of CD long boxes. For those scratching their heads at the term "CD long box": back in the late 20th century, extraneous cardboard "long boxes" were created to help music retailers merchandise and sell the hot new compact disc format, much smaller than the traditional 12"-inch vinyl album format.

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In the video, none less than David Bowie offers his opinion on the CD long box. Being among the most prescient artists in the history of music, he was not impressed: "The amount of cardboard that's used is ridiculous," he scoffed. "I always feel like dung when I get mine and open up one end, and you just look down one end and there's nothing in there. And I always pick the wrong end."

UK artist Billy Bragg is also seen in the video, demanding that artists confront retailers over how they sell CDs, and to simply buy new "browsers" for shoppers instead of using long boxes to fill the space previously used for albums. Don Henley calls them "kind of a waste," and Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers agrees: "It just creates more garbage and pollution than there needs to be." Watch the entertaining clip below.

Two year later, and MTV News was still on the case. Here's a segment on the state of long boxes in 1992. 

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