Don't Peel Off the Hype

As somebody who has amassed a large number of CDs and records over the years, one of the minor problems I've come across is what to do about Hype Stickers.

false record cover with a picture of chris on it and the vinyl half out of the sleeve

No, I didn't know that was what they were called until now. These are little – often very nicely printed and designed – sticky labels attached to the exterior of the CD or record. Sometimes (more often in the old days) they'd read something like: "Contains the hit single : Hitty McHitface!" but more often these days they give the name of the album and artist (and sometimes catalogue number) as the album cover design is a work of art in itself which doesn't want to be sullied by text.

All well and good. However, the problem arises when said record or CD is sealed in cellophane and then the sticker is put over the top of that. You need to remove the cellophane to get at the album but that means disposing of the sticker. Which some people are fine with and all power to them. However as a collector there is definitely an urge to keep all the bits...

What you really want to be able to do is peel the sticker off verrrrry slowly and then reattach it to the now naked sleeve. However that's far easier said than done. True, sometimes you get lucky and it'll come off neatly in one uncreased piece with all of the adhesive intact. However, more often no matter how carefully you attempt this there'll be a moment when a minute tear appears and you see part of the sticker has hung back on the cellophane.

STOP. If you go any further you'll rip it irreparably.

Some people advocate warming the cellophane with a hairdryer before sticker removal but I've never quite been able to manage that successfully. 

Others say that you should just slit the cellophane at the vinyl sleeve's opening and leave both it and the intact sticker in place as an outer skin for the record. However cellophane has a tendency to shrink and wrinkle over time and damage what's inside it which is the last thing you want.

These days I most often seem to resort to removing the cellophane and then cutting the cellophane backed sticker out with a scalpel and  dropping it inside the sleeve. It's not very satisfactory but is often the only option available to me these days should the slow peel (hairdryer assisted or not) start heading for catastrophic failure.

I wonder if we could train the record industry out of using cellophane? When I used to work in a record shop back in the day (my first job) most of the records came as they were rather than wrapped in plastic...

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