The Trivial Eye: CD Covers of the '90s

by Jason Toon

If the '70s was the last great age of vinyl (and record covers) and the '80s squirmed beneath the cruel plastic jackboot of the cassette, the '90s unquestionably belonged to the compact disc. The major labels thought they'd found the goose that laid the shiny silver egg. By the end of the decade, they were selling over 900 million CDs a year in the U.S. alone.

But like a disillusioned sophomore who has just blown five hours of her Hardee's wages on a disc with one-and-a-half good songs, music consumers soon found the "skip" button. CD sales are now a quarter what they were at the end of Clinton administration. This year, revenue from digital music sales will probably surpass physical sales for the first time. And it seems that every few months, there's another report about the major labels perhaps killing CDs altogether. After all the claims that CDs attained eternal perfection in music formats, it didn't take long for them to become as dated as 8-tracks or 78s.

Let us remember the CD era by remembering the 90s albums represented in the cover snippets below...

Answers are here. Please post your guesses, speculations, or arguments below! But know this: the Trivial Eye is presented for public amusement and no prizes are offered other than that familiar feeling of aggravation that so much of your mind is occupied by useless trivia.