Vintage LP jacket goodness
The first 7" 45rpm single was released in 1949 by RCA and was called 'Pee Wee The Piccolo'' - a children's story about a cheeky little flute and his orchestra friends. Although this was quickly forgotten, the format of the 7" single went on to be arguably the most classic single format.
As the format rapidly soared in popularity, the paper sleeves that housed the tunes quickly became more inventive and creative, with each one shoulder barging the next for the attention of the crowds in the record shops of the 50s + 60s.
When 12" singles, CDs, tapes etc arrived on the scene, the 7" single started losing the attention of record labels and buyers alike. As this happened, the $$$ going into the sleeves started to dive and the artwork became less interesting, colourful and creative.
Fortunately for us there has been a resurgence in interest for the 7" single, with labels being more willing to do something interesting and artistic on their little square canvases. Just take a look at some of stuff labels like Mr Bongo and Soundway are putting out.
Major props to Record Envelope for seeking out and scanning in these amazing sleeves. For more info on any of the above and to see more please visit the site.