Inner Sleeve Bingo

Bingo albums

What do Led Zeppelin, George Carlin, the J Geils Band, and Yes have in common? Let’s dig into your vinyl collection and find out in this bingo-inspired game for music enthusiasts.

So what do those bands have in common apart from sharing the same label (Atlantic) at one point and being in my vynil collection? They all appeared on the same inner sleeve. Remember those printed ads for Decca and RCA and ATCO on the inner sleeves of album jackets?

First off, do you remember vynil albums? Ok good.

Some of us may remember that back before the 80s the inner sleeves didn’t have lyrics. They didn’t even have weird unrelated art that the amateur photographer sister-in-law of the bass player somehow managed to get the band to use even though it barely relates to the album’s theme. Nope, they either had crappy plastic inner sleeves that scrunched up when you slid them back in, or else they had a paper ad like this one here…

Man of La Mancha sleeve
Hawaii Tattoo… perhaps it’s bagpipers wearing leis.

I used to be annoyed by them. I mean, who is Robertino? And is there really enough of him to warrant a ‘Best Of’? Does Roger Williams really remember me? You don’t have to be Jewish? (to what?) Shani Wallis is a Girl? Bobby Helms is the Man? Burt Bacharach is the Man?

Actually, Burt Bacharach IS the Man!

Mystery photo
Can you guess the mystery photo?

One thing I did love was the smell of those thin, aging paper sleeves. Nothing like it! If I worked at a winery I would probably design an oaked chardonnay just so that I could give it tasting notes like: “The nose opens with notes of cardamom, currants, barn loft hay, and 60s record sleeves.

Sleeves are a lost art. I remember one of my favorite albums of childhood was Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly” simply because it had a piano-shaped gatefold outer jacket. A piano-shaped jacket!

Roberta Flack
Atlantic, softly killing it with this packaging

And while we are on the topic of sleeves (and before I make them into a game… like I do), does anyone know how many of my records are missing inner sleeves! Half of them! It’s a travesty! Who’s collection did these come from? Oh, right: my parents. That explains all the first edition Beatles and Nazz. But if it weren’t for their Nazzes (Nazzi?) I would have never discovered Todd Rundgren! But hello, it’s me the Gamurgist, so let’s…


Bingo sleeve 2
Yes! Songs!

Grab one of those old inner sleeves with the advertisements, like the one pictured here. Pick one with sixteen albums on it, if possible. If you don’t have one, feel free to use any of the examples at the end of this article. Then grab a handful of marbles or pennies or, better yet, those plastic, yellow 45 adapters and let’s play some bingo!

Now, go look through your collection and put a marker down for any of them you own. If noone playing wins, feel free to widen the rules to include ANY album by the band pictured. If that fails, move on to solo albums. But if you try using cassettes or CDs I will come over there and slap the Divine Miss M right out of your Sticky Fingers!

Bingo sleeve 2 played
Sorry, I only own one adapter. You’d be surprised have few singles require them!

So, where was I? Well, I own Yes, the Bee Gees, Zep, J Geils, ELP, CSNY (and CSN, SNY, CS, Y, CSI:NY) and of course the Rolling Stones. But none of them give me a bloody bingo!

You get the idea.

If you win a bingo on any horizontal, vertical or diagonal line, send me a photo of your winning sleeve. The sample bingo boards below should give you hours of playtime, depending on how large your collection (or memory) is. In the collection of bingo cards below I’ve included some large boards, several small boards, and maybe one fake board if you can figure out which one that is. Also, let me know if you figure out what the Mystery Photo is.