Once upon a time in 2001 from a time machine experience, Albert7 decided to return back from his older self into the younger self metamorphosis. The place is at Cutler's Record Shop in New Haven where Albert7 was attending Yale during his graduate school days. He is the epitome of the typical jock hipster who just bought a TEAC turntable for his dorm room and after entering the music shop, he encounters a young lovely lady at the information desk.
Albert7: Hello, I'm Albert. How are you doing today?
Girl: Welcome to Cutler's. Do you need any help here?
Albert7: Yes, I'm a 24 year old guy and trying to get into vinyl collecting. I listen to some classical music so I'm just wondering what you have in stock here.
Girl: Well, we just got in the latest Hilary Hahn Mozart album. Here you go. (pulls out)
Albert7: Are you serious? That record cover just looks hideous seriously. It wouldn't look good on my shelf. Sorry. Do you have any classical music albums with actually good looking stuff on the cover? The music may be good but it isn't to help my dating chances if I stick that up to court any of the fine Yale ladies here.
Girl: (apologizing profusely) I'm so so sorry. I thought that you were one of those classical music nerds who actually wanted to hear just the music.
Albert7: I'm a record collector first. I only buy albums which have great looking covers.
Girl: But you know that Hilary Hahn does look adorable.
Albert7: There isn't creative about that cover honestly. All DG did was to pose Hahn with a violin and snapped a picture.
Girl: Well, but that's the way the classical music label does it. They are pretty conservative.
Albert7: (seeing a promotional poster over on the wall) Is that Boulez on the poster over there?
Girl: Yes, it is. But it isn't an album however. It's a poster autographed by the maestro himself.
Albert7: You see, I want that on my album cover. A genius surrounded by a bunch of fine fly ladies. Or something like Mozart with the likes of dancers and pirate booty.
Girl: Sorry but I don't think that the classical music record label would go for that type of photo on their album. Pli Selon Pli wouldn't sell any records.
Albert7: On second thought, I don't think that I want to buy any classical music then. I am a graduate student and barely clock in about $10/hour with my library campus job. I have limited funds.
Girl: Well, good luck, go find something else sexier then. I can't help you.
Albert7: (after skimming and filing through various LPs) Okay, I'm ready to check out. I found a bunch of creative looking albums just now.
Girl: (checking me out) You sure about getting all of this? None of these are classical albums.
Albert7: I know but at least I can stick any of these albums and get more dates honestly. At least, the record label put in more effort to do abstract art or take photos of ladies in more creative poses than throwing a person with a violin. At least the women will think that I have tastes which are more hip to the game.
Girl: Oh okay, that will be $41.56.
(fast forward to 2015 to the current habitat of Albert7 in SLC)...
Albert7 in 2015: Based on seeing Albert7 in his younger years, his musical tastes were based on purchasing based on looks before the contents get played. So tips to the classical music label folks to push out records like Taylor Swift or Lindsey Stirling.
1) If you have an abstract piece like Boulez's Pli Selon Pli, use an album cover with abstract artwork of Gerhard Richter or that wall poster of Boulez with the bikini tiki ladies. If Eazy-E was able to court the ladies with refinement and make bank, then there is no reason that Boulez couldn't show that he could do the same.
2) If you have a warhorse that Hilary Hahn is playing, try to switch up the game. For example, stick Hahn in a snow globe with psychedelic colors like this:
3) Selling records is all about looks, if the album cover looks good on a shelf then it's more likely to push weight out onto the streets. Having Carlos Kleiber conducting with crazy arms in black and white is just not going to move more units in the industry than Dudamel rocking his punk rock dreads with a flailing baton brushing a rainbow against a pink background. Young kids buy generally records on impulse so to get hook line and sinker into the young folks with Beethoven String Quartets, the labels need to have the performers do something unexpected and crazy on the album cover.
4) The contents don't matter inside honestly. Even a bad performance sells a lot. Use colored vinyl if possible with a crazy color pattern on the label. Kids just don't really go for black vinyl anymore. Think how many colors the iPhone come in and reflect on why Mozart's Jupiter Symphony pressed on tie dye colored wax is going to be like... totally fresh.