just got a sudden urge to post up this first list of my 15 favorite album covers.
There are some criteria for me to be putting them on this list, namely the cover has to “fit” with the tunes that are on the disk, and at least to me be images that sear themselves into my mind.
I do wish i could put some Daft Punk album covers but most of them are just LAME! As a side note I do realise that a lot of these come from the same bands, but meh. I guess that just means they have the same taste as me. In no particular order onto the list:
RHYTHM AND STEALTH
This album is awesome. You know what else is awesome?
This album is hard. You know what else is hard?
- Samurai Armour.
This album is so smooth its sharp. You know what else is sharp?
- A Fucking Samurai Sword (not pictured… BUT IMPLIED BY ASSOCIATION DAMMIT)
Everything I look for in an album cover.
Now you can cry foul here (why wouldn’t he like imagine’s cover instead?) and truth be told it is a toss-up between this one and that one. I’ll pick this one because it’s probably a less well-known release from Mr. Lennon, and it’s just a damn good photo of him. Just listen to the versions of “Look At Me”, “Cold Turkey”, “Love”, or the best version of “Watching The Wheels” he did and not picture him in this exact pose singing and plucking away.
By the way if you do check those songs out on youtube or something be aware the recording quality is pretty uneven…
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS
SHANGRI LA DEE DA
I hold this one pretty close as it was one of the first albums that I bought, the colours are vivid and full of life. The focus is on the surface and hints and some beautiful things if you just step in, and take a peek.
But that black flower there shows that there are some hard things to be heard here, and although i don’t really like the last half of this album the first half delivers on the promise of its cover. You have the majesty of “Wonderful” and the harshness of “Dumb Love”, there is also the underlying reality that Weiland was doing this album as a way to get over his crippling heroin addiction…
You can go ahead and say this is a pretty wimpy cover for a metal album, I mean a “fucking barn owl?” But you’ll miss how massively appropriate a cover this is given some context. The band scrapped an almost completed album when their bassist unfortunately was caught up in a terrible car crash that has essentially left him a vegetable. So they took a break and did an album with a more optimistic outlook. How do you show that visually for an album cover? A white bird coming out of the darkness is a pretty good visual metaphor.
Also just give a listen to the title track of the album; the harshness of the music surrounds chino’s soaring vocals and positive lyrics. AND despite the lyric’s being fairly positive they come from a place of awful pain for the whole group, kind of like how the owl despite its elegant curves and graceful form, IS A FUCKING PREDATOR THAT EATS ITS PREY ALIVE… I could go on but i think you can figure the rest out by yourself.
TURN ON THE BRIGHT LIGHTS
The art is pretty indicative of the album as a whole here. You get a blank screen, lit by red lights surrounded by darkness.
Hmmmm, well the album is pretty depressing so check the blackness off right there as applying. The lyrics deal with the most part about love and its pains, so i guess the colour red is pretty spot on… Then the whole album has a “sit down and listen” vibe to it, as the songs as a whole are most appreciated when you can stop and listen to what the band is trying to express, so check the movie screen off as well!
This is a bit of a cheat on my part (honestly what “best album covers of all time” lists doesn’t have this thing on it.) but quite honestly the simple but simultaneously striking image of four guys crossing a road is a perfect visual metaphor for the fab four.
Listening to the beatles at first i always wondered what the big deal was with them, it was only after a bit of reading that i found out how much they shaped modern music. Much like this image, i mean look at it and ask what makes it sear itself into your brain? Is it the simple fact of these super celebrities doing something so mundane? Its more than likely the pictures perfect symmetry but god damn there is a reason why so many people imitate this one cover in particular (much to the annoyance of london drivers i’m sure…)
Thats about it for now, I’m gonna try and get the rest of this list up soon!