I often sit alone in the attic and reminisce as I peruse old album covers. Surrounded by other boxes of mundane tat, including 20-year-old bank statements ‘just in case’, and my Star Wars toy collection (which drives my wife mad and is worth considerably less than I paid), I fawn over the vinyl from Eddy Grant to MC Hammer as I prove I can touch this.

There is something calming and aesthetically pleasing about gently handling the covers and slowly sliding out a memory jolter. I pity kids who, in years to come, will miss this simple pleasure when they only have some outdated technology with no feeling or memory associated to the device.

I first realised the significance of the album cover as a kid. One summer I made pilgrimage to Abbey Road and witnessed the hordes of tourists badly re-enacting the pelican crossing walk. There was even a national news story about the man who owned the black van in the background. I then had the privilege of sipping a cup of tea and sharing a slice of Battenberg with Ian Beck, who designed the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road cover. Amazingly he said the character with the bomber jacket emblazoned with ‘Elton John’ on the back was based on himself and a friend and not of the he-diva. It is the stories that make a cover as well as bans, suffered at various times by cultural mainstays including the Beatles, Bowie, the Manics and Hendrix.

The most iconic cover of all was designed by the man synonymous with the Beatles, Peter Blake, designer of the Sgt Pepper sleeve. The album remains the perfect snapshot of the 1960s and the most instantly recognisable cover of all time. Blake claims the cover's meaning was to show fans after a gig in a park surrounding the band. The characters were given by Paul and John, with George producing a list of six Indian gurus as Ringo went with the flow. It is an eclectic mix, with Fred Astaire, Edgar Allen Poe, Dylan and Monroe, joined by Karl Marx, Laurel and Hardy and, peculiarly, Stuart Sutcliffe, who was kicked out of the band prior to hitting the big time. Ghandi was due to be number 68 but was ‘deleted’ as the Indians wouldn’t agree to print the record if he remained. Others were excluded from the cover or pretty much obscured completely including Sophia Loren, Jesus and Hitler. Actor Leo Gorcey (no, me neither), who starred in the Bowery Boys films, demanded $400 for his inclusion and was omitted.

Other greats that stand the test of longevity are, on the face of it, unremarkable, but tell a story of that era. Never mind the Bollocks by the Sex Pistols being a case in point, which was based on a shoplifting poster at the time, along with the Velvet Underground and Nico cover during a period when the world went truly bananas. The Joshua Tree and War still stand the test of time, created back when U2 made great music before flying on private jets to preach about saving the environment to us uneducated minions. 1991’s Nevermind by Nirvana is another classic with the naked baby, Spencer Eldon, recently recreating the image in a New York pool. The family were originally paid £154 for the rights to the image and paid the same again for the recreation.

Sadly, there have been few covers of recent decades to crow about. Blur produced a few, as did Oasis. Sheeran and Adele covers, despite being unremarkable, will be remembered in years to come due to their instant recognisability.

I plan more trips up to the loft, despite it being the one area of a house that is synonymous with hidden away secrets. It is an area for me time, where you can inspect the calligraphy of the 10-year-old you who hurriedly labelled the Duran Duran album cover, and think about that girl; that place; that time. Yes, we are ripe for a full-on vinyl renaissance, so ditch the new Apple whatsithingimajig, go and buy the turntable and hunt down that classic from your youth in a backstreet LP vendor. It’s either that or fruitlessly search eBay for a power cord that will fit an antiquated iPod or MP3 player in years to come as you wish you hadn’t been so much of a cutting-edge Techno Terry as a nipper.