The list of special releases for the fifth annual Record Store Day has been growing, with new exclusive and limited LPs and singles being added even as the event approaches. Below is a look at some of the items that grabbed my attention.
For the location of a participating store near you, please visit the official Record Store Day website.
In the News Category
The list of special releases for the fifth annual Record Store Day has been growing, with new exclusive and limited LPs and singles being added even as the event approaches. Below is a look at some of the items that grabbed my attention.
Here are the winners of the 54th Annual GRAMMY Award for the Best Recording Package and Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package categories. Both packages designs are definitely worthy of their wins. The Springsteen package is very innovative. The Arcade Fire packaging included distribution of several versions of the cover.
According to the Associated Press, legendary pop singer Whitney Houston has died. The details are sketchy.
Whitney Houston, who ruled as pop music's queen until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown, has died. She was 48.
Houston's publicist, Kristen Foster, said Saturday that the singer had died, but the cause and the location of her death were unknown.
Source: Associated Press
The cover art below is for Houston's 1987 hit album Whitney. The photograph was taken by the late Richard Avedon. It is perhaps one of the most iconic album cover photographs of the era.
The album was nominated for three Grammy awards, including Album of the Year. Houston won her second Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for the album's first single I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me).
After negative reactions from fans and a former member of the band, Disney has discontinued selling a t-shirt inspired by Peter Saville's design for Joy Division's 1979 album Unknown Pleasures. In spite of the seemingly "joyful" name of the band, the album has been viewed by many as a source of sorrow since the 1980 suicide death of lead singer Ian Curtis. Seeing the iconic album cover turned into a logo for the Happiest Place on Earth was seen as disrespectful.
According to Rolling Stone, Disney discontinued the t-shirt yesterday. However, they also report that at least one is being auctioned on eBay for over $200 at the time the article was written.
While chatting online with Facebook friends, we wondered if Disney would have modified the album covers of other recording artists who met a tragic end. I don't think so.
On Friday, November 25, the folks who bring us Record Store Day will be having a Black Friday event at approximately 900 independent record stores in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Holland and the United Kingdom. Black Friday has long been an American event celebrated on the Friday after Thanksgiving by large retailers as a shopping day with special sales and marking the beginning of the holiday season.
RSD's Black Friday is different from the big events at large corporate chains in that it encourages shoppers to shop at smaller, independent record stores and features limited special editions, often numbered, from some popular recording artists. Unlike the special releases for Record Store Day that are made to be sold on the day that Record Store Day takes place (the third Saturday of every April), Black Friday releases are made for the holiday season. This means stores will launch the special releases on Black Friday but may choose to carry them beyond Black Friday (as supplies last). Black Friday releases may also be sold on the store's websites.
Below is a sample of some of the special editions that are being made available for the Black Friday event. To find a participating store, please visit the official Record Store Day website.
According to a recent news article, the dress worn by Amy Winehouse on the cover of the UK version of her album Back to Black (below) will be auctioned to raise money for the Amy Winehouse Foundation.
The printed chiffon dress is expected to fetch up to £20,000 for the Amy Winehouse Foundation, a charitable trust set up by the late singer's family.
After her death, Thailand-based designer Disaya decided to auction the dress, which was returned after the album cover shoot in 2006.
It will go under the hammer at La Galleria, London, on November 29 and all the proceeds will go to the foundation, which supports charitable activities for vulnerable young people.
The U.S. release of Back to Black has a different cover, which shows Winehouse in a bubble bath.
Photographer Barry Feinstein died earlier today in upstate New York. He was 80. Feinstein was responsible for taking photographs that appeared on some of rock music's most iconic albums, including Bob Dylan's The Times They Are-A Changin and Janis Joplin's Pearl.
...He also took the photo on the cover of George Harrison's 'All Things Must Pass' and photographed a host of other icons, including Frank Sinatra, Hollywood actor Steve McQueen, Judy Garland and politcians such as John Kennedy and Richard Nixon, reports Rolling Stone.
Feinstein was behind the original image of a dirty toilet and a graffiti covered bathroom stall in a Porsche repair shop in Los Angeles that was intended for the cover of The Rolling Stones' 'Beggars Banquet'. However the imaged was too explicit and was replaced with a white cover, but later editions of the album featured the original photo.
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According to Billboard.com, pop artist Richard Hamilton, who is best known for coining the name of the pop culture-heavy art movement and for designing the cover for The Beatles' "White Album," has died in Britain of undetermined causes. Hamilton was 89.
Often called the "Father of Pop Art" for his groundbreaking use of commercial and pop culture imagery in his artwork, Hamilton's seminal work in the 1950s was "Just What Is It That Makes Today's Homes So Different," a collage showing a naked couple in a cluttered-with-products home. In the piece, the man is holding a lollipop marked "Pop."
His design for "The White Album," released in 1968, was as uncluttered as you can get. A white square with the band's name displayed slightly off center. He designed the collage inside as well, which included random shots of the band. Among them, a naked John Lennon in bed next to Yoko Ono and Paul McCartney submerged in a bathtub.
According to The Associated Press, Nick Ashford, who along with his wife Valerie Simpson wrote some of Motown's biggest hits, died yesterday in a New York City hospital. Ashford had been suffering from throat cancer and was receiving radiation treatment. He was 70.
Ashford and Simpson wrote Motown classics such as Ain't No Mountain High Enough , Reach Out And Touch Somebody's Hand, You're All I Need To Get By, I'm Every Woman, their 1980s hit Solid As a Rock. Many young people who weren't even born when Solid As a Rock was a hit became familiar with Ashford & Simpson during the 2008 U.S. Presidential Campaign, when the duo rewrote the anthem as a tribute to Barack Obama and retitled it Solid (As Barack).
In the video posted below, the couple explain how the new version of their song came about spontaneously during a concert. Many people have commented that Ashford looked much younger than his years. He and his wife were performing until early this year. We will undoubtedly hear Solid (As Barack) many times during the upcoming 2012 election.
As a composer I want people to listen to my music without something distracting them. The present cover of WTC 9/11 will, for many, act as a distraction from listening and so, with the gracious agreement of Nonesuch, the cover is being changed.In a previous statement, Nonesuch Records president Robert Hurwitz defended the album cover and compared it to a 1989 album that featured a Civil War Era photograph by Matthew Brady.
When the cover was being designed, I believed, as did all the staff at Nonesuch and the art director, that a piece of music with documentary material from an event would best be matched with a documentary photograph of that event. I felt that the photo suggested by our art director was very powerful, and Nonesuch backed me up. All of us felt that anyone seeing the cover would feel the same way.
In 1989, Nonesuch released a record called The Wound-Dresser, with a photograph by Matthew Brady of one of the hospitals that is described in John Adams' composition of that name, a piece that depicted another period of profound suffering during another terrible moment of our history, the Civil War. Should we not have used that image? Where do we draw the line?
Other than collectors of vintage 78 RPM records, most people alive today do not know that albums used to come in plain, box-style containers without any artwork. Some were designed to look like hardcover book bindings. The man who changed that by designing original artwork for album packages died on Sunday at the age of 94.
Here is Alex Steinweiss' obituary from the New York Times:
Alex Steinweiss, Originator of Artistic Album Covers, Dies at 94
By STEVEN HELLER
Published: July 19, 2011
Alex Steinweiss, an art director and graphic designer who brought custom artwork to record album covers and invented the first packaging for long-playing records, died on Sunday in Sarasota, Fla. He was 94.
His death was confirmed by his son, Leslie.
The record cover was a blank slate in 1939, when Mr. Steinweiss was hired to design advertisements for Columbia Records. Most albums were unadorned, and on those occasions when art was used, it was not original. (Albums then were booklike packages containing multiple 78 r.p.m. discs.)
"The way records were sold was ridiculous," Mr. Steinweiss said in a 1990 interview. "The covers were brown, tan or green paper. They were not attractive, and lacked sales appeal." Despite concern about the added costs, he was given the approval to come up with original cover designs.
Sadly, while many of the albums that Steinweiss designed and art directed covers for are still in distribution, almost all of them were given new cover art decades ago. There are a few scans of original Steinweiss covers in the AAX gallery. However, quite a lot of his work is no longer available for today's consumers.
In 2009, a book featuring Steinweiss' work was published by
Well, we've had virtual bands before. Come on, how many of you knew Gorillaz is comprised of only two people, not four? Alvin and the Chipmunks did the same thing back in 1959 when Ross Bagdasarian used accelerated recordings of his own voice to provide the 'chipmunk voices'. But there was no trickery involved here. You were not deliberately deceived.
So how you would feel, if you discovered that one of your music idols didn't exist, and that's after she had appeared in TV commercials, and you were "told" she was real by her music label and sponsors, and that she had an official profile with a history, birthplace, age and so on. Well, meet Aimi Eguchi...
She's the newest member of a band called AKB48, an all-female Japanese theater/idol group comprised of some 58 members, split into four teams. Aimi Eguchi is actually a CGI (computer-generated imagery) composite of six other band members. She's not real.
Now, I don't profess to understand Japanese culture, or their fixation of anime (let alone manga) and big-eyed baby-faced girls. And while I can "understand" their obsession with nubile-bordering-on-underage school girls with flawless looks, it's all a bit gross, especially when fans have to know their blood type, bust sizes and other creepy stuff. However, the fact remains that, in this case, AKB48 has a large, dedicated fan base (it is not uncommon for new releases to sell over a million copies), and that these fans were deceived and lied to.
The deception and lying aside, I can see this becoming more common in the future, especially as the techonolgy required advances. Imagine the "perfect" idol (targeted at a specific demographic) who doesn't eat up all your profits, throw tantrums, say silly things to the media, flash their knickers, shave their heads, commit suicide via drug overdose, or perform drunk (you heard me Amy Winehouse). The insurance savings alone must be staggering. So get used to it people.
The original article I came across here goes into more detail, and provides a few clips.
The cover was created by the legendary graphic designer Storm Thorgerson. It features the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from the Book of Revelation sitting at a table at the Grand Canyon. You can see their tiny horses on the top of the table.
In case you haven't heard, many Christians around the world have predicted that The Rapture will take place tomorrow! Here is a countdown to the event in cover art.
The new collections will feature the remastered original album and exclusive, previously unreleased concert audio recordings from 1981. The remastered original album will also be reissued on pink vinyl with a recreation of the original LP artwork.
The art direction for the original cover is credited to Ginger Canzoneri, Mike Doud, Mick Haggerty, and Vartan. The design is by Mike Fink and Mick Haggerty. Thirty years later, I think that the ironic nature of this cover may be overlooked by many. The band's lead singer, Belinda Carlisle, is shrinking into the background and all of the ladies have their faces covered. When the album was released, the cover was not at all what fans were expecting. It is a retro design that looks like something that would be used for a girl group of the early 1960s.
Royal Weddings are not everyday occurrences (unless everyone considers their partner Prince Charming and he's always referring to you as Princess). Prince Charles (The Prince of Wales) married Lady Diana Francis Spencer at St. Paul's Cathedral on July 29, 1981 in what was widely billed as a "fairytale wedding" and the "wedding of the century". It was watched by a global television audience of 750 million.
The Royal Wedding H.R.H. The Prince of Wales and The Lady Diana Spencer (1981)
Posted by: zeefritzPrincess Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth II) tied the knot with Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark (Philip Montbatten, Duke of Edinburgh) on November 20th 1947, also at Westminster Abbey. I am unsure of the exact release year from Griffin & Co Limited, who elaborate: "A celebration in music of the Golden Wedding of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. London Brass, oboist Nicholas Daniel, treble Timothy Dickinson join Martin Baker, organist, to supply the musical accompaniment to this grand celebration. The service included music used in the original wedding, and from the Silver Anniversary in 1972."
Westminster Abbey Choir - The Royal Golden Wedding (2002)
Posted by: zeefritz
Featuring every aspect of the occasion, the album will include the music--old and new--the readings and blessings, and of course the exchange of vows between Prince William and Catherine Middleton in the historic Abbey on the day itself. The music is provided by The Choir of Westminster Abbey, the London Chamber Orchestra, the State Trumpeters and the Trumpeters of the Central Band of the RAF.
The Royal Wedding - The Official Album (2011)
Posted by: zeefritzRecent media reports suggest that interest within the UK is fairly subdued at the moment (compared to Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles' wedding, I assume), and that world-wide media attention (especially from America) is more predominant.
America loves a princess. Remember Grace Kelly? She married Rainier III, Prince of Monaco on April 18, 1956. When she set sail on April 4th from Pier 84 New York Harbor on the liner SS Constitution, some 400 reporters applied to sail, though most were turned away. Sorry America.... but you started a little thing called the American Revolution... you don't get to have royalty any more :)
First up, for all you "BOSSes" out there, here is a free download of a song called Happy Secretary's Day by Baby Teeth from their 2011 concept album BOSS, including a cover of Bruce Springsteen's Factory. So get busy, grab the track, buy some flowers or chocolates, and appreciate your Administrative Professionals!
|Chromeo - Business Casual (2010)||Robert Palmer - Pressure Drop (1975)|
Office Space (1999)
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And far be it from being sexist, here's a guy plastered in post-it notes, from the soundtrack for the 1999 comedy Office Space. The film centers around ordinary disgruntled office workers at an IT firm and the soundtrack includes such tracks as Get Off My Elevator (Kool Keith), Big Boss Man (Junior Reid) and All that Meat and No Potatoes (Louis Armstrong).
Mister Rabbit was also recorded by Seeger's half-sister Peggy Seeger for her 1957 album Animal Folk Songs for Children (right). Many people may be more familiar with her version of the song. Mister Rabbit was also included in the 1994 Pete Seeger compilation album Stories and Songs for Little Children.
In 1998, the two original Pete Seeger LPs were combined on a single album by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. It is currently available on CD, cassette and as a digital download.
If you and your family is not familiar with the song, listen to the track posted below. It was recorded from the original LP and for me has many pops that brings back memories of playing the record on a portable player back in the 1960s.
Daria Sings for Earth Day is a 6-track EP with classics and well known songs such as We've Got the Whole World in Our Hands (written by Obie Phillis, a Cherokee Indian, while serving in WWII) and A Whole New World (composed by Alan Menkin with lyrics by Tim Rice for the 1992 Disney film Aladdin).
This 2011 Earth Day offering can be bought from Amazon.com. and iTunes, or you could downloaded it for free from Daria's website. You just need to email Daria with news of something green you have done for the planet. The artwork for the EP was created by Farah Aria, a children's storybook illustrator. The materials to create the cover were all recycled. Nice!
Daria - Daria Sings for Earth Day (2011)
Posted by: Aequi
"Multicultural children's performer DARIA has spent the last two decades performing in the US and around the world, creating music to inspire all the world's children. Along with five national awards for her culturally diverse music, Daria's website (www.dariamusic.com) was given a 2009 Parent's Choice Award and offers many great resources for teachers, parents and kids of all abilities."
Aladdin Special Edition Soundtrack (1992)
Posted by: zeefritz
The original version in Aladdin of A Whole New World was sung by Brad Kane and Lea Salonga. They also performed the song in their characters at the 65th Academy Awards, where it won Best Song.
A single version was later released that year and was performed by Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle. As the biggest pop hit for each artist, this version peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on March 6, 1993, ending Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You and it's 14 week stranglehold on the position. Both versions of A Whole New World can be found on the Aladdin Special Edition Soundtrack.
Earth Day, first held in the United States of America back on April 22, 1970, went international in 1990 and is now celebrated in more than 175 countries by some 500 million people. Whether you're a fan, or detest the political ideologies and hypocrisy that have crept in, the fact is that Earth Day is here to stay.
Increasingly more and more artists and record labels are reflecting the ideals of Earth Day, especially since 2008, with bio-degradable or recycled material, in eco-friendly packaging or with carbon-neutral manufacturing. Here are three recent examples from high profile artists.
Joan Jett and The Blackhearts - Greatest Hits (2010)
(Please note the flaws are part of the design.)
Posted by: zeefritz
Joan Jett is a rock goddess, legend and one of the original guitar chicks! And she has integrity. She is a dedicated vegetarian, a staunch advocate of social policies and green practices, and she puts her own money where her mouth is.
The double disc 2010 release of Joan Jett and The Blackhearts - Greatest Hits was produced under the label she co-founded with Kenny Laguna, Blackheart Records. The packaging is made from 100% recycled paper and biodegradable trays. Nice!
"I've always appreciated nature, trees, grass, birds, sun, and even insects. I obsessively recycle. I almost never turn on lights; I pretty much live in the dark. I don't use a lot of water. I am a vegetarian, so I avoid contributing to the major environmental damage that the meat industry creates. I hope that soon we can make sure that everything we do is earth-friendly."
Neil Young - Fork in the Road (2009)
Posted by: Aequi
Neil Young went a step further. He not only sank his own money into a green project, he created a concept album with Fork in the Road. Young's 1959 Lincoln Continental had been retooled to run entirely on alternative energy, and Young had been working on the Lincvolt project alongside mechanic Jonathan Goodwin. He was inspired. All the tracks are about cars, fuel lines, the cost of gasoline and driving.
Unfortunately, in November 2010, Young's prototype hybrid Lincoln started a fire (whilst charging) and caused over a million dollars damage to a warehouse and Young's possessions stored there. On a bright note, while the car was damaged, it is in the process of being restored. And on another bright note, Young's vocal performance on the single Fork in the Road was nominated for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance at the 52nd Grammy Awards in 2010. Nice!
David Gilmour - On an Island (2006)
Posted by: Aequi
David Gilmour, of Pink Floyd fame, released his third solo studio album in 2006. In fact, it was released on his 60th birthday and was his first solo album in 22 years! The label for the U.S. release of On an Island was Columbia Records (U.S.) and with this album, they were the first to use eco-friendly CarbonNuetral technology, which attempts to restore the natural carbon-dioxide balance in the atmosphere by using environmentally friendly manufacturing. I am assuming this means for record labels in the US only. Nice!
On an Island peaked the UK charts by reaching number one. On April 10, 2006, the album was certified platinum in Canada, with sales of over 100,000 copies. The album also gave Gilmour his first U.S. Top 10 album as a solo artist. Double nice!
During the 1960s, there was an explosion of songs that referenced the use of marijuana. However, the use of drug-related symbols on mainstream album covers was rarely permitted. So, albums with marijuana leaves and cigarettes are much more rare than most people would probably imagine.
Here is a selection of album covers from the AAX gallery with a 420 theme. They are not presented in a particular order. They are simply interesting uses of marijuana to market an album.
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According to a story in the Los Angeles Times, the entertainment industry publication Variety has lost an attempt in Delaware to sue punk band the Vandals for trademark infringement. The lawsuit will now move to a California court.
The case involves the cover for the band's 2004 album Hollywood Potato Chip (below) that includes lettering on the cover that parodies the trademarked Daily Variety masthead (right).
The band is being represented by their bassist Joe Escalante, who is also a lawyer.
A statement on the band's official website reads:
"The Daily Variety has been suing the Vandals since 2004 over the artwork you see to the left. It is a clear parody of the the magazine that calls itself 'The Bible Of The Entertainment Industry.' They parody the Bible, we parody them, people parody us. What's the problem? Their addiction to abusive lawsuits as a way to create revenue for a dying business is a huge problem if you become the victim of their greed and disregard for protected 1st Amendment speech."
We're going to have to keep an eye on this case. It could set a precedent for similar disputes involving album cover art.
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The song was a #1 hit for Cole way back in 1948. A version by an uncredited chorus was featured in the anti-war film The Boy with Green Hair that same year.
My least favorite performance was Haley Reinhart's version of Blondie's Call Me. It is one of those signature songs that no one should ever try to cover.
As usual, all of the songs are available on a compilation album and as individual singles on iTunes. At $5.99, the album is a bargain. The individual tracks are $1.29 each.
The cover art for all of this week's singles and the album can be found in the AAX gallery.
Saturday, April 16, 2011 is Record Store Day. The event was created in 2007 as a celebration of the unique culture surrounding over 700 independently owned record stores in the USA, and hundreds of similar stores around the world.
Record Store Day is an annual event during which independently owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day and hundreds of artists in the United States and in various countries across the globe make special appearances and performances.
Festivities include performances, cook-outs, body painting, meet & greets with artists, parades, DJs spinning records and more. Metallica officially kicked off Record Store Day at Rasputin Music in San Francisco on April 19, 2008 and Record Store Day is now celebrated the third Saturday every April.
Here are just a few of the Record Store Day Exclusives that will be available at many participating stores.
All of the studio versions of the songs performed this evening can be purchased on the weekly iTunes compilation album for a bargain price. The songs can also be purchased as individual singles.
As usual, the cover art for this week's album and the singles can be viewed in the AAX gallery.
As Japan recovers from the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck on March 11, many of the world's top recording artists have responded with a benefit album. The 38 tracks include some of today's biggest hits, featuring an exclusive remix of Lady GaGa's Born This Way, original versions of katy Perry's Firework, Bruno Mars' Talking to the Moon, Adele's Make You Feel My Love and much more (see complete track listing below). All proceeds from the album will go to the Japanese Red Cross.
Tonight the American Idol contestants sang Motown hits. The performances were much better than what we heard last week. The compilation album and individual singles are available now on iTunes.
The artwork for this week's album and the singles have been uploaded to the AAX gallery.
According to a NY Daily News artcle, a New York City teen claims that he was the baby who appeared on the late rapper the Notorious B.I.G.'s 1994 debut album Ready to Die.
One of hip hop's longest running mysteries may be solved - and it's a pretty B.I.G. deal.
A high school senior who grew up in the Bronx says he's that chubby-cheeked kid on the cover of "Ready to Die" - the acclaimed debut album by slain rapper, Notorious B.I.G.
"Every time people find out they ask me if I got a lot of money out of it," Keithroy Yearwood, 18, told the Daily News.
Going Out in Style is the seventh studio album by the Irish-American punk band Dropkick Murphys. It was relased on the band's Born & Bred Records label on March 1, 2011, just in time for St. Patrick's Day.
To promote the new album and celebrate the holiday, the band has posted a playlist of YouTube videos. The playlist includes videos from The Pogues, The Chieftains, The Mahones and several surprises.
The cover art for the album is worth a look. It was made to look like a green leather cover with a crest that features symbols for music, sex, religion and alcohol. Of course, there is a shamrock in the center.
The band will be playing at the House of Blues in Boston tonight.
There were some great performances on American Idol tonight, Unfortunately, there were some clunkers as well. It is a good thing that iTunes is offering both a compilation album featuring the studio version of tonight's performances and individual singles.
As I predicted last week, the album cover for the Top 12 compilation is the same as last week, with the eliminated contestant removed. What I did not expect is the addition of red outlines on the text and the photographs. Perhaps there will be a new color each week.
You can check out the artwork for the singles in the AAX gallery.
It was recently announced that Capitol/EMI is set to release The SMiLE Sessions by The Beach Boys sometime later this year. The material included in the collection was recorded in 1966 and 1967 for the album SMiLE, which was supposed to follow the band's 1966 release, Pet Sounds (right).
The sessions were ultimately shelved and The Beach Boys' SMiLE was not released. After speculation about the release of the album for several years, original Beach Boys Al Jardine, Mike Love, and Brian Wilson have worked with Capitol/EMI to compile a new collection, The SMiLE Sessions. It is scheduled for worldwide release this year in multiple physical and digital configurations.
The promotional artwork that has been distributed for the collection via news release is a simple typographic image, using a early 1960s-style retro font. I hope that the final artwork for the collection is more sophisticated. The promotional image looks like something from a Frankie and Annette movie.
"I'm tired of pretending like I'm not bitching, a total fricking rock star from Mars, and people can't figure me out; they can't process me. I don't expect them to. You can't process me with a normal brain."
— Charlie Sheen, TODAY, 2/28/2011
Dear Mr. Sheen,
This is what a bitchin' total frickin' rock star from Mars looks like. You are NOT a bitchin' total frickin' rock star. Not even close.
David Bowie - ChangesThreeBowie (1990)
According to American Songwriter, Suze Rotolo, Bob Dylan's girlfriend in the early 1960s died on February 24 at the age of 67 from lung cancer. Rotolo appeared on the cover for Dylan's 1963 album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan.
Rotolo, an artist and social activist, dated Dylan for four years. Dylan wrote some of his most enduring songs, including "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right," "Boots of Spanish Leather," "Ballad In Plain D" and "Tomorrow Is a Long Time" about their relationship.
Source: American Songwriter
At last night's Academy Awards ceremony, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross won the Oscar Best Original Score for The Social Network. Reznor accepted the award at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood after beating such notable nominees as Hans Zimmer (Inception), A R Rahman (127 Hours), John Powell (How To Train Your Dragon) and Alexandre Desplat (The King's Speech).
Let's see if the artwork for the album will be revised to include the copy "2011 Academy Award for Best Original Score" similar to the mock up below.
In celebration of Queen's 40th anniversary, the band's entire 15-album studio catalog is being reissued in a series of deluxe editions. The albums are being remastered by Bob Ludwig, working from the original source material. The albums will be released in three waves, staggered over the next year, with the first wave-comprising the first five LPs-coming this spring.
Each studio album will be released in a new two-CD edition, the first containing the updated, remastered original LP, the second disc packed with rarities-and we don't use the term lightly. Some of the tracks have never before been released. To cite a particularly fascinating example, five first-album demos recorded at London's De Lane Lea Studios in December 1971 were pulled from the only existing copy on the planet-an acetate from Brain May's personal archives. Not even his bandmates had a copy.
"A huge amount of work has already been put in behind the scenes to unleash a completely newly mastered set of the original Queen LPs and CDs," May noted. "I know our fans will appreciate the attention to detail, bringing the early albums closer than ever to the magic of the vinyl originals, but with the benefit of up-to-the-minute quality technology."
Posted by: zeefritz
Queen II (1974)
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Sheer Hear Attack (1974)
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A Night at the Opera (1975)
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A Day at the Races (1976)
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Starting March 12, 2011, Obey Giant Art, Subliminal Projects and Robert Berman Gallery C2 will present Revolutions, an exhibit featuring the album cover art of American contemporary artist, graphic designer and illustrator Shepard Fairey. The exhibit will take place March 12th thru April 23rd at Robert Berman's C2 Gallery in Santa Monica, California and feature over 80 pieces of punk, rock, new wave, jazz, and hip-hop inspired artwork based on the 12″ record cover format.
To mark the occasion, two special limited edition album cover print box sets will be released for the exhibition. The opening celebration is scheduled for Saturday, March 12th from 8 to 11PM.
AlbumArtExchange Blog reader Lindy recently wrote to let me know that several albums that have won the Academy Award for Best Original Score are missing from the AAX gallery. With the 83rd Academy Awards airing on Sunday, I thought I should get busy and make sure that at least the winners from the 2000s are all represented.
Here are the ten albums that won the Oscar from 2000 to 2009. How many do you remember? How many do you own?
The new bassist for Smashing Pumpkins, Nicole Fiorentino, has revealed that she was one of two young girls who appeared on the cover of the band's 1993 album Siamese Dream (below).
According to an article on Exclaim.ca, the band members were not aware that Fiorentino was one of the album cover models when she was hired to play with them.
Band leader Billy Corgan has revealed that one of the cover stars is now playing bass in his band.
It seems Corgan is just as shocked as any of us that his current bassist, Nicole Fiorentino, appeared in the iconic artwork. While the musician has been jamming with Corgan and company since last year, she only just revealed that she was Siamese Dream's cover star.
"Just found out the weirdest news: our bass player Nicole just admitted she is one of the girls on the cover of 'Siamese Dream,'" Corgan posted on his Twitter account.
A poster promoting Lady Gaga's forthcoming album has created a buzz about whether or not the photograph of the pop star will be used as the cover. The black and white photo shows Lady Gaga looking more like Madonna than perhaps any other image I have seen so far. In fact, at first glance and from a distance, I would assume that the poster is Madonna (right) rather than Lady Gaga.
Of course, Lady Gaga has been compared to Madonna from the beginning of her career. The new poster has to be more of a parody of the ongoing claims that she is an imitation of Madonna's style and not a unique artist.
The photograph used on the poster has obviously been altered quite a bit. The shape of Lady Gaga's face has been changed and her features distorted. The makeup and hairstyle is classic Madonna. I can't wait to see what the album cover will look like!
At last night's 53rd Annual Grammy Awards, The Beatles' stereo box set won the award for Best Historical Album (Jeff Jones and Allan Rouse, compilation producers; Guy Massey, Steve Rooke, Sam Okell, Paul Hicks, and Sean Magee, remastering engineers). The September 2009 CD release of The Beatles' remastered original albums and new boxed collections in stereo and mono was one of the year's top entertainment events, breaking chart records around the world.
Thanks to AAX website owner Scott, I am the owner of this box set. It is definitely a prized addition to my CD collection and one of the nicest birthday presents I've received in years. The artwork for the entire set can be found in the AAX gallery.
The 53rd Annual Grammy winners were announced today. The winner for Best Recording Package is Brothers by The Black Keys. The winner for Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package is Under Great White Northern Lights by The White Stripes.
Best Recording Package
The Black Keys - Brothers
Michael Carney, art director
The White Stripes - Under Great White Northern Lights
(Limited Edition Box Set)
Rob Jones & Jack White III, art directors
Third Man/Warner Bros.
Released in 1970, Bridge Over Troubled Water was the fifth and final studio album by folk rock duo Simon & Garfunkel. The album reached No. 1 on Billboard's pop albums chart and won Grammy Awards for Album of the Year and Best Engineered Recording. The album's title track won the Grammy for Song of the Year. All togehter, the album received six Grammy Awards.
On March 8, 2011, a special 40th anniversary edition of the album (right) will be reelased with a DVD featuring Songs Of America, a TV special comprised of footage of the 1969 tour that was originally broadcast on CBS.
The album cover for Bridge Over Troubled Water features a photograph credited to Abbott Mills and Peter Powell. It shows Art Garfunkel standing behind Paul Simon, with the top of Simon's head blocking Garfunkel's mouth and chin.
It didn't take long for people to realize that by holding up a thumb to block out Simon's face while looking at the sleeve, it looks as if Garfunkel is sporting a large, handle bar moustache (below). Some people believe that this was intentional. In any case, it is something that has been amusing both children and adults for four decades.
Today would have been Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday. Regardless of politics, it is safe to assume that Reagan is one of the most noteworthy U.S. presidents of the 20th century. Because of his fame and millions of admirers, it is surprising that there have not been many record albums of Reagan's speeches.
Ironically, Reagan rose to political power on the heels of a record released in 1961 called Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine (right). In the ten-minute plus recording, Reagan was critical of Social Security and warned that Medicare programs would result in a loss of freedom. He explained that socilaized medicne would result in Americans losing their rights to decide where to go to school and what job to do for a living.
The album cover for Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine features a black and white photograph of Reagan leaning on surface of some sort. During the speech, Reagan issues over-the-top paranoid predictions such as, "We are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children, what it once was like in America when men were free."
Another notable album recorded by Reagan is Freedom's Finest Hour. Released by Decca Records in 1967, the album is an adaptation of a documentary film of the same name, On the record, Reagan plays the role of a Boston colonist during the American Revolution. The original Decca release featured an image of George Washington with a photograph of Reagan as an inset.
In 1983, the album was reissued with a large photograph of Reagan on the cover. A CD version was released in the early 1990s. There are usually many copies of the CD available on eBay.
One of my favorite albums in my parents' LP collection was the soundtrack for the James Bond film Goldfinger. My twin brother and I used to put the record on the turntable and run around the house playing 007.
Sadly, the composer and conductor of that classic soundtrack, John Barry, passed away yesterday. Barry was a five-time Oscar winning composer who wrote the scores for dozens of major motion pictures, including 12 James Bond films. Barry was 77.
There are 80 images of John Barry albums in the AAX gallery, including the one for Goldfinger (below). Barry's work ranged from the score for Born Free, for which he won two Academy Awards, to what is considered by many to be one of the worst films of all time, Howard the Duck.
The 2011 Academy Awards nominations were announced this morning. Here are the nominations that will be of interest to AlbumArtExchange Blog readers.
Music (Original Score)
How to Train Your Dragon
Posted by: zeefritz
Posted by: zeefritz The King's Speech
Posted by: zeefritz
Posted by: zeefritz
The Social Network
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Posted by: silentgear
Music (Original Song)
Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
Posted by: zeefritz
"I See the Light"
Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Glenn Slater
Posted by: zeefritz
"If I Rise"
Music by A.R. Rahman; Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
Posted by: zeefritz
Toy Story 3
"We Belong Together"
Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
Posted by: zeefritz
According to an article on Gothamist, the storefront location featured on the cover of the 1989 album Paul's Boutique by Beastie Boys burned two nights ago.
Even though the Beastie Boys album will tell you Paul's Boutique is in Brooklyn, the cover image is all Lower East Side. As we noted in our NYC Album Art series, the shot was taken at 99 Rivington Street, where Rivington and Ludlow intersect. The storefront has had many incarnations, including a restaurant a few years ago called Paul's Boutique--an homage to the album. Well, currently it's a joint called Three Monkeys, and according to EV Grieve, last night eyewitness reports came in declaring, "it just burned down."
The photograph was taken by New York City photographer Ricky Powell, who is known for his photographs of Beastie Boys and accompanied the group on tour in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
On New Years Eve, Lady Gaga posted a promotional photograph (right) for her forthcoming album and single to her Twitter account. Since then, several blogs and pop culture websites have claimed that the image will be the cover for either the album or the single.
However, the tweet does not state that the image is cover art. Along with the photo, the only thing else provided is the text, "THE SONG 2 13 11 THE RECORD 5 23 11". This appears to be the release dates for the album and the album's first single, both titled Born This Way.
So far, I have received a half dozen email messages from readers wanting to know what I think about "Lady Gaga's new album cover" and whether or not I think it will be banned.
First, the photograph is certainly not final artwork for the cover of a single or an album. It is more likely a promotional photograph that was taken during the shoot for the album cover. Album covers are almost always square. The image released by Lady Gaga is in portrait format, which is typical for promotional photos.
Second, the photograph is not likely to be used for cover art. A bare bottom isn't anything new for album covers. When the bottom belongs to the recording artist and not an anonymous model, it becomes a problem. Retailers don't like to put photos of naked celebrities on their shelves. If this image is used for the album cover, it is likely to be censored for sale at stores like Walmart and Target.
This was a great PR stunt. It got tongues wagging and created an interest in Lady Gaga's new project. I don't think we'll see this image on an album cover in the near future.
Like Ronstadt, Teena Marie had a long career in the music business. She recorded 13 studio albums, the most recent 2009's Congo Square (above right). However, she never achieved the status deserved by an artist of her considerable talents.
Born Mary Christine Brockert, Teena Marie began her career as a protégée of the late Rick James. She is one of only a few white performers to achieve success in the R&B genre and the first white performer to be signed to Motown. She wrote, produced, sang and arranged her own music.
My favorite Teena Marie album cover is for her 1983 album, Robbery. The cover has a classic early '80s look. I was not able to find credits for the cover design and photography. The album was reissued with three additional tracks in 2005. The cover below is for the reissued version.
According to the New York Times, photographer George Pickow died on December 10 in Roslyn, New York. He was 88. The cause of death was respiratory failure.
Pickow took album cover photographs of folk, jazz and pop artists for Elektra Records and other labels during the 1950s and '60s. His subjects included Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne, Judy Collins, Pete Seger, Tony Bennett and his wife, folk musician Jean Ritchie (right).
During the years Pickow was working for the major labels, album cover photography was rarely credited on the sleeves or liner notes. Therefore, that history has been all but lost during the Internet age. Sadly, it is not possible to provide a list of specific of Pickow's album covers without doing a great deal of offline research.
The article in the NY Times describes a long marriage and an interesting life in the world of music, which included a family business that crafted authentic Appalachian dulcimers.
In 1948 in New York, Mr. Pickow met Ms. Ritchie, who was not yet widely known, at a square dance at the Henry Street Settlement, where she was a social worker. The next day, for their first date, he took her along on a photo shoot at the Fulton Fish Market. The result -- Ms. Ritchie perched on the hood of a truck, holding a rather large lobster -- was published in a trucking-industry magazine.
Perhaps more impressive to Ms. Ritchie was the Appalachian dulcimer Mr. Pickow made for her, a copy of the traditional one she had brought from Kentucky. It proved so successful that for about a decade, starting in the early 1960s, he ran a small family dulcimer-making business, located on the Brooklyn side of the Williamsburg Bridge and presided over by his uncle, a millwright and cabinetmaker.
Watch this USA Today video of Jackie Jackson and illustrator Kadir Nelson discussing the painting King of Pop, in order to appreciate the scale and detail of the original image. The painting was used as the cover art for Michael Jackson's posthumous release, Michael (right).
The cover art has been getting lots of media attention. I think I have seen more in the new about the painting than the music on the album. There have been couple of stories about celebrities asking to have references to them removed from the cover. Some fans feel the need to "decode" the symbols used in the painting.
I was not surprised to see it being displayed in a rather garish gold frame. It would have looked right at home hanging in Jackson's Neverland Ranch home.
According to the auction house's website, Lennon had the suit especially designed for the Abbey Road photoshoot by Ted Lapidus Haute Couture Division in Paris. It has been authenticated by several sources, including Yoko Ono.
Braswell Galleries Antiques and Estate Center is located in Norwalk, Connecticut.
The 53rd Annual Grammy nominees were announced today. The nominees for Best Recording Package and Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package were a bit surprising. Two of the nominated recording packages are clever typography designs. Two are retro looks. I must admit that I am a bit underwhelmed by the selections.
Best Recording Package
The Black Keys - Brothers
Michael Carney, art director
Various Artists - Light: On The South Side
Tom Lunt, Rob Sevier & Ken Shipley, art directors
The Numero Group
Voormann & Friends - A Sideman's Journey
(Limited Collector's Super Deluxe Box Set)
Daniel Reiss & Klaus Voormann, art directors
Red Hot + Blue was the first in a series of compilation albums in the Red Hot Benefit Series. It featured popular pop artists reinterpreting songs that were composed by Cole Porter. The title of the album comes from Cole Porter's musical, Red, Hot and Blue. Released in 1990, it sold over a million copies worldwide and is considered one of the first major AIDS benefits in the music business.
Below is an astonishing gallery of album covers produced by RHO over the last 20 years. If you do not have these albums in your collection, please check them out online. There are several covers that have not yet been added to the AAX gallery.
Observed on December 1 each year, World AIDS Day is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the global spread of HIV. The day is observed by holding memorials to honor persons who have died from HIV/AIDS. Government officials and many celebrities also observe the event, often with speeches or forums on the AIDS topics. The red ribbon (right) has become the international symbol for HIV/AIDS awareness.
Over the years, numerous recording artists have dedicted songs to raising funds for the treatment of HIV/AIDS and for research that may lead to a cure. Tomorrow, the AlbumArtExchange Blog will wear a red ribbon and all of the articles will focus on the topic of AIDS.
Tonight, I will begin with something from one of the recording industry's most dedicated HIV/AIDS activists, Annie Lennox.
Sing is the second single from Lennox's 2007 album, Songs of Mass Destruction. The single was released as a charity record to raise money and awareness for the HIV/AIDS organization Treatment Action Campaign. The song was recorded as a collaboration between Lennox and twenty-three prominent female acts and artists.
The participants included Madonna, Anastacia, Isobel Campbell, Dido, Céline Dion, Melissa Etheridge, Fergie, Beth Gibbons, Faith Hill, Angélique Kidjo, Beverley Knight, Gladys Knight, k.d. lang, Sarah McLachlan, Beth Orton, Pink, Bonnie Raitt, Shakira, Shingai Shoniwa, Joss Stone, Sugababes, KT Tunstall, and Martha Wainwright.
For more information or to make a donation, please visit Annie Lennox's Official Website.
The cover art for Sing features a photograph of Lennox wearing a red ribbon and a brief statement explaining why she got involved in AIDS activism.
Apple's "exciting announcement" this morning about finally obtaining The Beatles catalog was spoiled by the Wall Street Journal yesterday. Today, the Apple homepage features a large portrait of the band.
The question that Album Art Exchange users will be asking is, "What does the album art look like?" Below is the artwork that came with the iTunes version of A Hard Day's Night that I purchased this morning.
Compared to most iTunes artwork, this cover is very good quality. The typography has been sharpened to make it look good in the 600 x 600 size. It appears to be the same artwork that was distributed with the most recent remasters.
I am anxious to see what the iTunes LP versions look like. However, I already own everything by The Beatles that iTunes has to offer on CD. If anyone buys one of the iTunes LPs and would like to share an opinion with the AAX blog, it would be appreciated.
Today, Apple posted a teaser for an "exciting announcement" about iTunes on their homepage. This has caused a flurry of speculation about what could be in store for iTunes users.
Could it be that iTunes will be launching a streaming music or TV rental service? Perhaps they have expanded their stores to include international music releases. I think it could be telling that the announcement comes on New Music Tuesday, the day when new releases are made available in the United States.
I guess we will all have to wait until tomorrow to find out.
When I wrote about the cover art for the recently released Weezer album Death to False Metal a few weeks ago, I did not speculate about the meaning behind its idyllic farm scene. Since then, I have received several messages from readers informing me that the illustration is a parody of those that appear in the Jehovah's Witness publication Watchtower (right).
I have yet to find a statement from the band that confirms this. However, all one has to do is compare the cover to several Watchtower illustrations and it is obvious that this is the case.
The album is a compilation of rare and unreleased tracks recorded by the band over the years. The problem with this kind of album cover is that it can result in rumors that the band is secretly promoting a religion. A couple of the people who contacted me wrote that they would no longer support the band. One person went so far as to claim that both the Watchtower illustrations and the album cover contain subliminal images designed to "brainwash" those who study them.
Those who are familiar with Weezer know that there is little chance that this album cover is some kind of secret religious conspiracy. It seems likely to me that the cover is a parody aimed at the promise of Heaven in general rather than the Jehovah's Witnesses in particular. And fans thought that the Hurley cover was controversial!
I remember going to the import bin of my local record store in 1979 to buy the album Cut by British punk band the Slits. I was very disappointed to discover that the cover had been censored with stickers covering the breasts of the trio. Three black strips had been placed strategically in order to hide both nipples and cleavage. I no longer have the LP, but I have created a reasonable facsimile (right) of what it looked like.
Sadly, the Slits founding member and singer Ari Up (born Arianna Forster) passed away on Wednesday. Her death was announced on the website of her stepfather John Lydon (a.k.a. Johnny Rotten). Lydon wrote that her death was the result of a long illness. News reports have since stated that the illness was cancer. She was only 48.
Ari Up was 17 when the album Cut was released. I am surprised that a cover showing the bare breasts of an underage girl was not more controversial. I have seen it appear in several "sexiest album covers" lists along with Roxy Music's Country Life and others that feature unclothed ladies.
Today would have been John Lennon's 70th birthday. The rock legend and political activist was assassinated on December 8, 1980.
Lennon was one of the founding members of The Beatles. He and Paul McCartney are perhaps the most successful songwriting team of the 20th century. In addition to his work with The Beatles, Lennon recorded 13 albums and 31 singles.
To commemorate Lennon's birthday, all of today's blog articles will be about Lennon and his albums.
Tomorrow would be the 70th birthday of the late John Lennon. There are many celebrations planned to remember the legendary musician. For example, all of the posts on this blog will be dedicated to Lennon's work, including the release of his remastered albums.
Google got the jump on everyone today by replacing their Google logo with a John Lennon Google doodle. A YouTube video featuring an animated version of the doodle was posted earlier this week.
Two alien visitors from the planet Erotulak have filed a lawsuit in a California Superior Court against pop music superstar Madonna over a photograph that was used for her 2003 EP Remixed & Revisted (below). This is the third case involving a dispute over permission to use the likeness of a private individual on an album cover this year.
The aliens, Glorp and Gleep, are shown strolling in the background of the photograph in question as Madonna glances over her shoulder. Apparently, the visitors from the largely unknown planet in a neighboring gallaxy were not aware that they had been photographed. They discovered the album cover when a copy of the album was delivered to Erotulak in an Amazon.com order that took seven years to travel to the distant world.
The case is being handled by popular entertainment and civil rights attorney Gloria Allred.
"My clients may be aliens who arrived on this planet illegally," said Allred at a press conference in Century City, California. "But they have rights just like everyone else. They were exploited by Madonna and the music industry. We will see justice for Glorp and Gleep and all aliens currently being exploited in the United States."
Madonna and her attorneys refused to comment on the pending lawsuit.
According to Bloomberg.com, pop singer Dido is being sued by former NASA astronaut Bruce McCandless for using his 1984 space flight picture for the cover of her album Safe Trip Home.
McCandless said in a complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Los Angeles that he never gave permission for Dido to use the photograph that shows him "free flying" about 320 feet away from the space shuttle Challenger...The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, also names Sony Corp.'s Sony Music Entertainment and Getty Images Inc. McCandless said in the complaint that Sony was informed as early as June of last year that the use his image was unauthorized.
Being a person who is more interested in music than stand-up comedy, the first time that I heard the late Greg Giraldo was on the spoken word track from the 2004 album Lazyboy TV by Lazyboy (right). Underwear Goes Inside the Pants was getting a lot drive time airplay and everyone I knew was asking, "Who is that guy?"
Sadly, Giraldo passed away today after being hospitalized for an overdose of prescription drugs. He was admitted to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Jersey after a friend found him collapsed in his New Jersey hotel room. He was 44 years old.
It had been at least a couple of years since I had listened to Underwear Goes Inside the Pants and I found the commentary about illegal and prescription drugs it contains to be very ironic. You can listen to the song by watching the music video below.
A photograph of pop singer and songwriter Lady Gaga that appears on the cover of Vogue Hommes Japan (right) is being compared to the cover of an album by The Beatles that was banned after retailers complained that it was too bloody to be displayed on store shelves.
Like The Beatles on the original cover of Yesterday and Today (often called "the butcher cover"), Lady Gaga posed for the magazine cover draped in raw meat. The only things missing from the Lady Gaga image are naked baby dolls and her clothes. The Beatles posed with decapitated dolls and in white lab coats.
The Beatles album cover is very rare. One goes up for auction every now and then, making headlines and sending avid collectors into a frenzy.
Posted by: savoirfaire
Various Artists - Classic Labor Songs from Smithsonian Folkways (2006)
Johnny Paycheck - Take This Job and Shove It & Other Favorites (2009)
Posted by: zeefritz
Donna Summer - She Works Hard for the Money (1983)
Dolly Parton - 9 to 5 and Odd Jobs (1980)
Various Artists - Office Space Soundtrack (1999)
Posted by: Rat
Various Artists - Beverly Hills 90210: The Soundtrack (1992)
Posted by: hollywooddreams
On Wednesday, pop singer David Archuleta announced a contest involving the cover for his forthcoming album The Other Side of Down. The album is scheduled to be released on October 5, 2010.
Alright David fans, now that you've seen the official cover for The Other Side of Down, we want you to create your OWN version of the cover. Grab some friends, re create the cover in a creative way (be very careful that you don't fall off the chair), take a picture and upload it using the link below.
The best photo will win a signed copy of The Other Side of Down, so make sure to really go for it. We want to see how creative you all can be!
Rules for this contest are right here, this contest starts right now and ends on September 9th.
A new release from Interscope Records announced today that the music video for Eminem's single Love The Way You Lie, Featuring Rihanna, will premiere on MTV and VEVO this Thursday, August 5, at 9 pm EDT.
The publicity still certainly is interesting. Perhaps Rihanna and Eminem are making a little visit to Chris Brown's house. I wonder what the cover art for the single is going to look like. The cover for the promo single (right) features Eminem having an Excedrin moment.
Perhaps we'll see the final cover art when the music video premieres on Thursday. In any case, I am intrigued. Check back on Friday and I'll let you know what I think.
The game can be played at thefinalfrontiergame.com. It is loaded with elaborate animated storyboards and the album serves as the soundtrack.
The game has multiple levels and can be played online. I was actually surprised that it is an actual game that requires some skill to play. It isn't simply a publicity gimmick.
The Final Frontier is scheduled to be released on August 17, 2010. It will be available as a standard or deluxe CD album. A double vinyl picture disc will also be released.
Joe McElderry, the 2009 winner of the British talent competition The X-Factor, confirmed rumors that he is gay in an announcement on his official website today.
Tomorrow there will be some articles about me in the newspapers because I have been doing some important interviews today. I wanted you to know that the articles are true. I also wanted you to know that I really respect your loyal support and all the kind messages I have had from you up to this date.
I have always been a very honest person and so it is important for me to continue to be honest. It has been the most amazing year so far and I feel so privileged. It's also been a time of real self realisation and I feel as if I have grown up so much in these few months.
There has been speculation about my sexuality in the past and I have always been honest at the time I have been asked. Over the past few weeks I have really had time to reflect and to realise who I am. I spoke to my friends and family about this in the last few days and it was important to do the same for you all as you have been so supportive.
I have had nothing but support from you and many of you have been very open in saying that you will continue to support me whatever my sexuality. It is important to me to let you know first, so that you know the stories in the papers are true. I made the choice to speak openly about this.
Again, I can't thank you enough for all your support.
Everything is going well and I'm really happy to be able to move forward from here
McElderry's debut album is scheduled to be released on October 25, 2010. The album is still untitled, but is available for presale in the U.K. The album art below is the promotional image.
The new season of Mad Men premieres tomorrow. Many people are having Mad Men viewing parties with 1960s themes. If you're thinking about doing something like this, you'll need to have the right music (and plenty of booze).
Last year, The Verve Music Group released an entire series of EPs through iTunes that would be perfect for a Mad Men viewing party. Each EP features music based on the fictional tastes of a character from the series.
If you're looking for some costume ideas, I suggest that you check out MadMenYourself.com. There you will find a Flash game that you can use to create a cartoon version of yourself in Mad Men attire. I selected a slinky black number and a rifle. I'll teach that Don Draper a lesson for firing Sal Romano!
Charlie Brand, frontman of the indie rock band Miniature Tigers just sent out the following tweet. It is a clever joke about the news that Vampire Weekend is being sued by the woman whose photograph was used on the cover of their most recent album, Contra.
I have been putting off writing about the Vampire Weekend album cover suit. One of the reasons is that I really don't like the trend of using old snapshots as album cover art. Several bands have already copied the Vampire Weekend cover (right), digging through old family albums to find a faded Polaroid to scan and label with a title that is supposed to be ironic.
Unfortunately, it looks like the Vampire Weekend cover is going end up being rather expensive. Two million dollars will buy one heck of a masterpiece. The band would have been better off hiring a model and doing a professional photo shoot.
You can bet that the cover for Miniature Tigers' forthcoming album, Fortress, cost quite a bit less than two million. Yet, it is obvious that their album cover is real art and not just something that was kept in a shoe box for 25 years. Fortress is scheduled to be released on July 27, 2010.
Obviously, Brand was making a joke about his band being sued by the girl on their album cover. However, the painting used for the cover of Fortress has to be taken seriously. It caught my eye immediately when I was browsing through upcoming releases a couple weeks ago. I just hope that the parrot signed a release!
Last week, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert was publicly ridiculed for using the Comic Sans font in an angry letter to player LeBron James. The letter was posted on the team's website after James announced that he is leaving the team. Gilbert's ridiculous font choice was instantly a trending topic on Twitter and become a hot topic on blogs across the Internet.
It has been quite a long time since I have seen Comic Sans used on an album cover. However, I often see other fonts that have become cliche from overuse or have been reviled by graphic designers for their lack of artistic merit. There are just some fonts that should not be used unless it is intended to be ironic. The recent cover for the album Brothers by The Black Keys (above right) is an excellent example of an ironic cover. It uses a version of the overly common font Cooper Black for a generic look.
Recently, I saw that the font Copperplate Gothic was used for the cover of David Archuleta's forthcoming single, Something 'Bout Love (below). Copperplate Gothic is certainly not as despised as Comic Sans. However, it is a font that has been used for countless rock and heavy metal album covers. It has a kind of horror movie look to it, especially when modified to include crosses and other symbols. It definitely doesn't work on a David Archuleta cover.
Perhaps the art director who approved Copperplate Gothic for Archuleta's cover should have gone the ironic route instead and used Comic Sans and Cooper Black. At least that would have been cute and creative.
This week, the 2000 album by Finnish metal band Stratovarius was released as a special edition. The cover by British artist Derek Riggs features golden dolphins jumping though the symbol for infinity. One side of the album displays a pristine, crystal blue ocean. The other shows an ocean spoiled by polution, with what appears to be an oil-soaked sea bird gasping for life and dead fish floating on the surface.
It is impossible not to draw a connection to what is currently happening in the Gulf of Mexico. However, the cover was created a decade ago. The release of the 2010 special edition of the acclaimed album was in the works long before oil began spilling into the Gulf. Riggs' album cover simply makes a stronger impression now that we've seen his illustration come to life.
Derek Riggs is best known for creating Iron Maiden's mascot Eddie the Head. His personal website and online portfolio, including the full poster for Infinite (above), can be seen at derekriggs.com.
Sometimes life does imitate art. Sadly, that often is not a good thing.
According to a news release from EMI Music, eight of John Lennon's classic solo albums and other recordings have been digitally remastered from his original mixes to commemorate the late musician's 70th birthday on October 9, 2010.
The project is being managed by Lennon's widow Yoko Ono and will launch on October 4 in the U.K. and October 5 in the U.S., with the worldwide release of the eight remastered studio albums and several new compilations.
The campaign's new collections include:
- A hits compilation in two editions titled Power To The People: The Hits
- A 4CD set of themed discs titled Gimme Some Truth
- A deluxe 11CD collectors box with the remastered albums, rarities, and non-album singles, titled the John Lennon Signature Box
All of the remastered albums and collections will be available on CD and for download purchase from all major digital service providers.
According to the release, the albums have been digitally remastered from Lennon's original mixes by Yoko Ono and a team of engineers led by Allan Rouse at EMI Music's Abbey Road Studios in London and by George Marino at Avatar Studios in New York. All of the remastered titles will be packaged in digisleeves with replicated original album art and booklets with photos and new liner notes by noted British music journalist Paul Du Noyer.
The albums to be reissued are:
- John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (1970)
- Imagine (1971)
- Some Time In New York City (1972)
- Mind Games (1973)
- Walls and Bridges (1974)
- Rock 'n' Roll (1975)
- Double Fantasy (1980)
- Milk and Honey (1984)
The John Lennon Signature Box is a deluxe 11 CD and digital collection of the eight remastered albums, a disc of rare and previously unreleased recordings, and an EP of Lennon's non-album singles. The CDs will be housed in digisleeves within a deluxe box including a collectible limited edition John Lennon art print and a hardbound book featuring rare photos, artwork, collages, poetry, and new liner notes by DeCurtis.
According to CNBC, sales of Michael Jackson records, publishing rights, and related merchandise have generated between $250 million and $275 million for the singer's estate in the year following his death.
CNBC has learned that debts which once totaled $500 million have been reduced to approximately $400 million, and that figure will soon be lowered to $350 million. The mortgage on the Jackson family home has been paid off.
The beneficiaries of Jackson's estate are his three children, his mother, Katherine, and charitable causes he cared about. The task of managing through the millions of dollars coming in, and the millions yet to be paid out, is being administered by co-executors John Branca, his longtime attorney, and music industry veteran John McClain, who grew up with Jackson and his brothers. Both not only had worked with the King of Pop, but had been close to him for decades.
Personally, I have purchased several Michael Jackson albums over the past 12 months. One of my favorite purchases is The Remix Suite, a 2009 collection of new remixes of Jackson 5 and Michael Jackson hits. The cover art for the album features a teenage Jackson sitting on a golden throne.
The cover art for the Grinderman album (right) was a monkey. I'm betting that this time it will be a wolf.
Grinderman 2 to scheduled to be released in Europe by Mute on September 13, 2010 and by ANTI- on September 14. Grinderman will begin a 20-date European tour on September 25.
One of the questions that may never be answered as the TV series Lost comes to an end tonight is whether or not the band Geronimo Jackson is real. The album cover has been featured on the show several times over the years that it has been on the air.
The producers of Lost once stated that the band was an obscure 1970s rock band. Since then, it has been reported that the band was the fictional creation of writer Eddy Kitsis. It is rumored that Geronimo Jackson will be featured in tonight's series finale.
Today, millions of people across the United States will be celebrating Harvey Milk Day. The day marks what would have been the politician and gay rights activist's 80th birthday.
Events are taking place in many U.S. cities and even in Sydney, Australia. Having been a fallen hero to the world's LGBT communities for decades, many were introduced to Harvey Milk for the first time though the motion picture Milk in 2008.
The soundtrack for the film includes a brilliant score by Danny Elfman and addtional tracks by David Bowie, Sly & The Family Stone, Sylvester and others. The cover art features actor Sean Penn, who won an Oscar for his performance.
In 2009 and early 2010, Erasure's Andy Bell released two singles under the pseudonym MiMó. Bell was reported to have slected the name as a tribute to his friend Tomeau Mimó.
Unfortunately, the name was already being used by another artist and Bell was forced to use his own name for the singles and a forthcoming album, Non-Stop.
The cover art for the singles Running Out and Will You Be There? were redone, with the name MiMó replaced with Andy Bell in much the same style. The album is Scheduled for release on June 8, 2010.
|Posted by: zeefritz||Posted by: zeefritz|
|Posted by: zeefritz||Posted by: zeefritz|
According to the New York Times, fantasy illustrator Frank Frazetta died on today in Fort Myers, Florida. He was 82. The artist's business managers confirmed that death was due to a stroke that occurred yesterday.
In addition to illustrations for book covers, comic books, and magazines, Frazetta illustrated numerous album covers for heavy metal bands such as Molly Hatchet and Nazareth. His contemporaries include Boris Vallejo and George Grie.
Frazetta's painting Death Dealer was used as the cover art for Molly Hatchet's 1978 self-titled album. It is often included in lists of best album covers.
Legendary singer and actress Lena Horne died tonight at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York. She was 92.
In the 1940s, Horne became the first African-American performer to be signed to a major contract by a Hollywood movie studio. She went on to achieve international fame as a singer, recording dozens of albums and blazing the trail for black performers in the United States. Horne is best remembered for Stormy Weather, the title song of the 20th Century Fox musical she performed in 1943.
Mouse Rat is the fictional rock band featured on NBC's sitcom Parks and Recreation. After last night's episode, it was announced that the network is holding an album cover contest. The winning cover will be featured on an upcoming episode of the show.
Parks and Recreation fans, it's your turn to design Mouse Rat's next album cover and have a chance for your work to be shown in an upcoming episode! We're asking you to choose the name of the album, and design the cover art. You may either upload your finished design directly using our form below, or use our Simple Design Tool to create your cover art if you don't have an image editing program like Photoshop.
Image via Wikipedia
The cover art appears to depict the rapper as slain civil rights activist Malcolm X (right) and some people are concerned that the references to illegal drug use on the mixtape are disrespectful to Malcolm X's memory.
There are just some things that aren't appropriate for use as cover art without care being taken to keep it in good taste. I think that Malcolm X could be one them. If the mixtape had some kind of connection to Malcolm X or history, it would be different.
Once again, Crystal Bowersox gave the best performance on American Idol. Bowersox broke into tears at the end of her version of People Get Ready.
I have uploaded all seven of the single covers for the Top 7 to the AAX gallery. (I also got caught up and uploaded the covers for last weeks Top 9 redux.)
The cover art has been updated for the Top 7. This time, Tim Urban's cover is the same as the other contestants.
Don't forget that tomorrow, Saturday, April 17, 2010, is Record Store Day. I have already posted some of the great exclusive LPs, singles and other items that are available exclusively through participating independent record stores. Here are a few more.
Wilco - Kicking Television: Live in Chicago (4 LP Box Set, 8 Extra Tracks)
The Rolling Stones - Plundered My Soul (Hand Numbered 7" Single)
Gogol Bordello - We Comin' Rougher/Trans-Continental Hustle (7" Single)
John Lennon - Singles Bag (7" Box Set, Individually Numbered)
Here are a few more special releases that will be sold at independent record stores on Record Store Day, Saturday, April 17, 2010.
Hole - Skinny Little Bitch (Record Store Day Vinyl Single)
Infected Mushroom feat. Perry Farrell - Killing Time (Remixes)
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - Wrecking Ball (Live) [10" Single]
Saturday, April 17 is Record Store Day, an event organized to support and encourage the use of independent record stores. It is one day out of the year for independently owned record stores and recording artists to work together help ensure that the unique experience of browsing through stacks of real records is preserved.
To mark the event, special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day. Hundreds of artists in the United States and in various other countries across the globe make special appearances and performances. Events include live performances, cook-outs, body painting, appearances by recording artists, parades, DJ performances and many others. Rock band Metallica officially kicked off Record Store Day at Rasputin Music in San Francisco on April 19, 2008 and Record Store Day is now celebrated the third Saturday every April.
Over the next few days leading up to Record Store Day, I will be posting some of the cool records that are being sold at independent record stores. They include LPs and singles on colored vinyl, picture discs, special artwork and more.
MGMT - Siberian Breaks (Limited Edition 12" Single)
Coheed and Cambria - Guns of Summer (Limited Editon Picture Disc)
The London-born music producer is best known for promoting British punk and alternative music bands during of the late 1970s and early '80s. He was the manager of the British punk band the Sex Pistols and several other notable bands including Bow Bow Wow and New York Dolls, and gave singer Boy George his first big break in the music business.
In 1983, McLaren released his first solo album, Duck Rock (right). The album included influences from Africa music and American hip-hop. It produced two hit singles, Buffalo Gals and Double Dutch. The cover art for Duck Rock is notable because it is one of only a few that was designed by the late pop artist Keith Haring.
It was Lennon and McCartney week on American Idol and the top nine contestants each took turns butchering my favorite songs. The only one that was decent was Crystal Bowersox' version of Come Together (in spite of the bizarre accompaniment of a digeridoo). My least favorite was Lee DeWyze (right) who had a bagpipe player march down the stairs and torture the audience with that cat-trapped-in-a-stormdrain sound that bagpipes make during Hey Jude. I guess Bowersox and DeWyze are trying to start a trend involving unusual musical instruments. What's next? A harpsichord?
The judges did apologize to Tim Urban for picking on him over the last few weeks. Now, someone needs to explain why the cover art for his singles is different from that of the other contestants.
As usual, I have uploaded all of the single covers to the AAX gallery.
According to a press release, the cover of country singer Jason Aldean's platinum album Wide Open (below) will appear on the hood of Scott Lagasse Jr.'s race car in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in Nashville this weekend and again next weekend in Phoenix. Aldean's record label, Broken Bow Records, will be an associate sponsor of the No. 43 Ford Fusion Lagasse will be driving at both events.
I am not a NASCAR fan, so I don't know whether or not it is common to place album art on the hood of race cars. I have not been able to find another example. Typically, the hood is adorned with a corporate logo.
Two weeks ago, I wrote about the difference between the cover art for American Idol contestant Tim Urban's single and that of the other contestants. The quality of Urban's cover was inferior to the others and included an open window with a van and a traffic light. This week, Urban's cover art is once again different from the others.
All nine of the other contestants are shown with a bright teal background (see example, right). Instead of teal, Tim Urban's cover (below) has a dreary gray background instead.
I have uploaded all ten of the covers to the AAX gallery. Check them out and you will see that they all have a warm light effect except for Urban's. His is very cold and not as professional-looking as the others.
As I wrote last week, Urban was a last minute replacement for another contestant and the judges seem annoyed that he made it into the top ten. But, would they really give this young man substandard photo shoots? Perhaps Urban is making these choices himself. Either way, this has me quite puzzled.
Jim Marshall, the legendary rock photographer credited for over 500 album covers, died in is sleep in a New York City hotel room last night. According to the Associated Press, the cause of death was not immediately known. He was 74.
During his career, Marshall photographed The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and almost every great rock artist of the past several decades. Marshall is the photographer who took the iconic photos of Jimi Hendrix setting his guitar on fire and Johnny Cash "flipping the bird" at San Quentin (right).
One of Marshall's more notable album covers is At Fillmore East by The Allman Brothers Band (below). Marshall published three books chronicling his work, Proof, Jim Marshall: Jazz and most recently Trust: Photographs of Jim Marshall.
I just finished posting the cover art for the singles from tonight's American Idol Top 11 performance. You can find them in the AlbumArtExchange.com gallery.
I think the clear winner tonight was Crystal Bowersox who sang Roger Miller's Me and Bobby McGee. I know that practically everyone thinks that Janis Joplin originally recorded the song. However, it was written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster and originally recorded by Miller in 1969 for his self-titled album (right).
Tonight's show was "Billboard Night" and the contestants were allowed to pick any song that was a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100. I think there were only two songs performed that were under 20 years old. Just imagine all of the great hit songs that have hit number one over the last 50 years. They've got to do something to make the songs more current or I'm going to lose interest this year.
I was just checking out the new artwork for the American Idol Top 12 and I saw that they have given the contestants the usual makeover and updated photographs. They all look great, except for the one for Tim Urban. All of the other photos look as if they were taken in a photography studio, with lights and industial-looking walls in the background (example at right). They are all lit well and in focus.
The photo of Tim Urban used for his cover looks as if it were taken at a different location. There is a actually a window and van speeding by in the background. A street light appears to be growing out of his head.
At the very least, couldn't they have Photoshopped that stuff out of the background? I know that Urban was a last-minute replacement for another contestant and he's been treated a bit like an outsider on previous shows. But, what's up with the bad snapshot being used for his single?
The American Idon Top 12 performs tonight at 8/7c on FOX.
A couple of days ago, I wrote about my disappointment with the artwork for the cover for the new single by Lady Gaga and Beyoncé (right). The cover is poorly executed and not of the same quality that we've been used to seeing from both artists.
Now that I have seen the music video for telephone, I am very puzzled about why the cover for the single is such a mess. The quality of the art direction for the video is very good. The opening credits include custom typography and a logo. There is frame after frame of great visuals with more than enough style and impact to create amazing cover art.
I can't imagine why the same designs seen in the music video were not used for the cover of the single. The opening title sequence includes a very nice image of the word "telephone" with the "o" done up to look like a rotary phone dial and a cord dangling off the the end (below). Compare this to the cliché bellbottom font used for the cover of the Telephone single.
The music video is over nine minutes long. It is almost a mini movie, with characters and somewhat of a plot. It is definitely not a cheap production. The graphic design of the music video is credited to Anna Lindqvist. She did a great job. I wish that the work she did for the video appeared on the cover for the single.
I think that a clever concept for the Telephone single would have been to make it look like an old 1970s movie soundtrack. Something based on the movie poster for the 1974 camp classic Caged Heat! (right) would have been perfect. Imagine a cover featuring a cast photo from the music video, the "Telephone" graphic from the opening credits and some outrageous lines about "desires melting prison steel"!
I don't know why the art direction for the Telephone single is so unimaginative and amateurish. The designer certainly had a lot to work with from the project. Lady Gaga and Beyoncé deserve better.
The most contestant getting the most tweets for American Idol's Top 16 guys' perfomance is Lee Dewyze for his version of Owl City's Fireflies (right). The original performed by Adam Young is a soft, melodic song that is one of my favorites of 2009. The American Idol version had me rushing for the remote to fast forward through the raspy out-of-tune version coming out of my TV.
However, most of the tweets are praising Dewyze's performance. Go figure.
The stand out performance for me was Michael Lynche's version of This Woman's Work. It brought judge Kara DioGuardi to tears. Even so, I don't think the guys came close to delivering performances equal to what the girls did last night.
I have uploaded the single covers for this evening's performances to the AlbumArtExchange gallery.
Crystal Bowersox was the obvious winner of the evening following American Idol's Top 16 girls' perfomance show tonight. Bowersox did an amazing version of Tracy Chapman's Give Me One Reason. She is by far the most authentic performer on the show this year.
Chapman released the song in 1995 on her album New Beginning (right). I've included the music video of her performance for those who may not be familiar with it.
Judging by the tweets being generated by Bowersox's performance, she is the one to beat this year. MTV has already released a story stating that she is "dominating" American Idol.
I have uploaded the cover for Bowersox's single as well as those for the other seven performers to the AlbumArtExchange gallery.
Crystal Bowersox - Give Me One Reason (Single)
I've seen several news releases today promoting the debut of Lady Gaga's new music video for Telephone featuring Beyoncé. The video is slated to make an exclusive debut on E! News on Thursday, March 11 at 11:30 PM (which I assume is Eastern Time).
The screenshot accompanying one of the news releases shows Beyoncé looking like a cross between Betty Page and a majorette who was attacked by a maniac whielding a Bedazzler. Even her shoes are covered in plastic gems.
I really lost interest in this Lady Gaga and Beyoncé collaboration when I saw the cover art for the single. It looks like something Beyoncé did a few years ago for that Austin Powers movie she was in. Rather than being camp, the graphics are tacky and poorly executed. The drop shadows on the images and the typography go in every direction. It looks like a high school Photoshop project. It is really a mess and far below the standards of Lady Gaga's previous projects.
One of the things I miss about living in Hollywood is having friends who are members of the Motion Picture Academy. The voting members get CDs and DVDs of the nominated scores and movies. Often, they would share them or give them away. I still have have a few around the house from years ago.
The "For Your Consideration" discs typically are marked as such and sometimes have special artwork (right). A few of these have made their way into the AlbumArtExchange gallery. They are perhaps as collectible as promo copies. I suppose that eventually they will be replaced by digital downloads.
This year, I didn't get to attend a Hollywood Oscar party. However, I was correct on most of my picks this year. This includes the winners for Best Original Score and Best Song. I knew that Michael Giacchino had to win for the score of Up. It is simply one of the best scores I've heard in ages. And, Crazy Heart was on just about everyone's list of favorites.
If you don't already own these two albums, I strongly recommend purchasing them. The Up score is available as a digital download. The Crazy Heart soundtrack is available as in standard and deluxe CD format and digital download.
The 82nd Academy Awards presentation will air tomorrow. As usual, the program will feature music from the Best Original Score and Best Song categories. I have ensured that the album art for all of the nominees have been uploaded to the gallery. Thanks to the AlbumArtExchange users who have contributed their scans and edited images.
Best Original Score
Avatar - James Horner
Posted by: Foundation
Fantastic Mr. Fox - Alexandre Desplat
Posted by: Foundation
The Hurt Locker - Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
Posted by: zeefritz
Up - Michael Giacchino
Posted by: coolbud1
Sherlock Holmes - Hans Zimmer
Posted by: Music Hog
The Princess Frog
Almost There - Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
Posted by: *Mark*
Loin de Paname - Music by Reinhardt Wagner, Lyric by Frank Thomas
Posted by: zeefritz
Take It All - Music and Lyric by Maury Teston
Posted by: *Mark*
The Weary Kind - Music by Ryan Bingham, Lyric by T Bone Burnett
Posted by: zeefritz
As I predicted yesterday, the girls put on a much better show tonight on American Idol than the guys did yesterday. My favorite performance this evening was by Lilly Scott, who sang A Change Is Gonna Come. I've finished uploading the cover art for all of the singles for this week's performance.
Posted by: zeefritz
I just finished uploading the cover art for the 10 guys who performed on American Idol tonight. My favorite performance was by Michael Lynch who sand James Brown's This Is A Man's World. Most of the other guys didn't impress me veru much. I'm beginning to think that one of the girls will win this year.
With her 1972 hit You're So Vain (right), Carly Simon launched decades of speculation about who was the inspiration for the lyrics. There have been numerous rumors over the years. Was it Warren Beatty? Mick Jagger?
In recent a magazine interview, Simon may have finally spilled the beans and revealed that the song was written about record label owner David Geffen. She stated that there is a clue to the identity of the vain one hidden in a new version of You're So Vain on her forthcoming album Never Been Gone.
It was reported by the UK newspaper The Sun that Simon says Geffen's name backwards in the track. I guess that means they used backmasking. How '70s can she get?
I have to admit that it is a clever publicity stunt. I'm almost tempted to check out the album. Almost.
You're So Vain appeared on Simon's album No Secrets. How's that for irony? It seems as though Simon may have planned this stunt 38 years ago.
Tonight, four contestants were voted off American Idol and viewers got to hear Have contestant elimination anthem for this season for the first time. Just prior to the live show, it was announced that Leave Right Now by Will Young will be played each time a contestant leaves the show.
Young was the winner of the first season of Britain's Pop Idol. Leave Right Now is a UK hit single off of Young's sophomore album, Friday's Child (right). The single went to number one on the British chart, selling 117,700 copies in its first week of release.
Each year, the American Idol exit song jumps to the top of online sales lists. So, it is a big deal when the a song is chosen for the show. I had a great deal of difficultly locating the cover art for the single. There are actually two covers and neither one can be easily found online.
The first two elimination rounds for American Idol season nine took place this week. The results show will be this evening. So far, my favorite contestants are Crystal Bowersox and Casey James. I have uploaded the artwork for all 24 singles for this week's performance to the gallery. The singles are available for preorder on iTunes.
The artwork for the season nine singles is exactly like that for last year. I was kind of hoping they would do something a little bit different. I suppose it is a template that worked well last time around.
You can check out the other 22 single covers here: American Idol on AAX
Crystal Bowersox - Hand In My Pocket (Single)
Casey James - Heaven (Single)
This may be a first in the world of album covers. The man who slammed his Piper PA-28 into an IRS building in Austin, Texas last week, killing himself and one IRS worker and injuring another 13 people, appears on an album cover.
Joseph Andrew Stack (right) played in the Billy Eli Band and is featured on the cover of their 2006 album Amped Out. The album is currently being given away as a free download on the Amie Street website.
What some may find very creepy are the titles of some of the songs on the album:
- High Flyer
- Burnin' Me Down
- Tore Down In Texas
- Ghost Of A Memory
Stack is the last man on the right on the album cover shown below. I guess this is one to add to the lists of infamous album covers. It has to be right up there with Family Jams by the Manson Family.
Recently, London resident Lorraine Sands and her friends and family were given a private performance by Pet Shop Boys. The appearance was a prize awarded in a "priceless" contest sponsored by Mastercard.
The music video created during the live living room show features the duo singing their 1986 hit Suburbia (an approriate choice given the venue. I have created a composite of the original single cover using several online examples (below).
British electronic band Depeche Mode and watch manufacturer Hublot have launched an auction of collectible timepieces with all proceeds being donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust. Bidding in the Big Bang Depeche Mode In Aid Of Teenage Cancer Trust began on February 8 and ends February 24.
Twelve unique timepieces featuring the album art of Depeche Mode's studio albums open for bid via an online auction through Patrizzi & Co. Auctioneers.
Doug Fieger, lead singer of American rock band The Knack, died of cancer yesterday in Los Angeles. Fieger was 57. In 1979, The Knack's My Sharona was number one on the Billboard chart for six weeks. The Knack is often classified as a "New Wave" band, even though they were a traditional guitar, bass and drums rock band. The band's drummer Bruce Gary also died from cancer in 2006 at the age of 55.
I have created a composite of the cover art for The Knack's second 1979 single Good Girls Don't using several images found online. Good Girls Don't reached #11 on Billboard. It is my favorite song by the band.
Yesterday, I ran across this Columbia Records publicity photo of Susan Boyle with a framed Platinum record plaque for her album I Dreamed A Dream. The album is quadruple platinum in the United States. I hope she has the wall space for it.
I like the image that they used for the award. I almost think it would have made a better album cover than the black and white portrait that was used.
The Grammy for Best Recording Package was won by art director Stefan Sagmeister for the David Byrne and Brian Eno collaboration Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. The deluxe version of the CD comes in a tin with a model house on the lid.
The standard album art for the CD is an illustration of the house that resembles those used in computer simulation games. It certainly is an innovative concept.
The forthcoming Valleys of Neptune single and album by the late Jimi Hendrix features an original watercolor painted by the rock guitar legend in 1957. According to an article on musicradar.com, the single (right) uses the actual watercolor and album art combines the watercolor with a photograph by the late Linda McCartney.
The single will be released as a vinyl 45 on February 9. The album will be released as both a vinyl LP and CD on March 9.
According to the article, the watercolor is one of over 100 that Hendrix did while he was in high school. It is an impressive work of art from a young student. It is interesting to know that Hendrix was multi-talented.
Valleys of Neptune is a collection of unreleased tracks, most of which were recorded between February and May 1969.
American rock band Linkin Park and several other recording artists including Alanis Morissette, All-American Rejects, Dave Matthews Band, Enrique Iglesias, Hoobastank and Peter Gabriel have formed an organization called Music for Relief to provide aid to Haiti.
Those who visit the website can enter an email address and receive a free album. The link to the download also includes a Paypal donation form. The concept is somewhat unique in that a donation is not required to download the album. However, it is difficult to imagine that most people will not donate to this cause.
The organization put together the album and the arttwork for the cover and website in what has to be record time. And, the design quality is really quite good. The graphic artist deserves major kudos.
Noted composer Michael Giacchino won the Golden Globe award in the Best Original Score yesterday for his score for the Disney and Pixar animated film Up. Giacchino has scored many films including 2009’s Star Trek, and the animated features Ratatouille, Speed Racer, and The Incredibles.
The cover art for the Up score features a brilliantly colored display of balloons against a blue sky. It is an original variation of the movie poster, rather than a cropped or squared version of the identical artwork.
Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. For those of you who want to remember King on this national holiday, a good way to do it is to listen to some downloads of his speeches. The album featured below offers three speeches, including the famous “I Have a Dream” speech when it was first heard in Detroit in 1963 and at the March to Washington later that year. The third speech is “I Have Been to the Mountaintop” delivered in Memphis in 1968.
The entire album is priced at less than four bucks on Amazon.com. It also includes King’s eulogy given by Robert Kennedy (mistakenly labeled as the eulogy for Kennedy).
I have cleaned up the cover art for this album. The image that comes with the MP3 downloads is very poor quality.
According to a recent news release, a custom Ford Mustang has been created for rapper Nelly and will featured on the cover of his forthcoming album. Let’s Get It is currently slated for released in February or March.
I can’t give an unbiased opinion regarding this particular concept. I drive a Mustang GT (right) and I would love to see that stunning car appear on an album cover.
I was browsing through my album cover-related news stories this evening and saw an item from Malaysia about an album cover that has a government official in that country steamed. It seems that the cover features the image of Hindu deity Lord Murugan and it may be considered offensive.
“The cover with the picture of Lord Murugan is not only offensive to the Hindu religion but is also a cheap and degrading sales gimmick,” said the state association social and welfare sub-committee chairman P. Murugiah.
He said album producers and marketing agents were using pictures of Hindu deities for commercial gains; and this humiliated the community especially with the Thaipusam festival just around the corner.
Source: thestar online
The album is Eternity by a band called Datura. I had never heard of them, so I did a quick Google search and discovered that the album in question was released in 1994. Normally, I am very sympathetic to these kinds of things. But, this album is creeping up on its second decade.
A recent story on CNN.com (linked below) reports that churches in Malaysia are being firebombed. Apparently, Musilms are offended that other religions in the country use the same word they do for God. Maybe it is just me, but that should probably be of more concern than an album cover from the ’90s.
Like tens of thousands of others, I have suffered the tragedy of losing a loved one to an accident caused by a drunk driver. For those of us who have experienced such a loss, the holidays can be a time of both joy and sorrow. So, when I recently read about about a unique holiday CD series created to benefit Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) I was anxious to check it out.
When musician Tracy Kimbrell lost his father to a DUI accident, he decided to use his musical talents to create a the Winter Dream holiday music series as a way to help others. The first album was released in 2007. It is a collection of classic holiday carols and the first of a series of seven CDs that will be produced over the next few years. Part of the procedes for each album sold will be donated to MADD.
This year, Kimbrell released the second CD, Winter Dreams II. Both albums are currently available through CD Baby.
One of the things that I think is unique about the series is that the album covers have been designed to form pieces of a larger work of art. The covers for Winter Dream, Winter Dream II, and the subsequent CDs that will be released are details of a painting by artist Suzy Williams-Bradley. The artwork is gorgeous and I must admit that I am more than curious to see what the entire painting looks like. I believe this is the first time that I have seen this concept used for an album cover. It is certain to entice people to purchase the entire series.
As a special bonus, those who purchase the Winter Dreams II CD will also receive a month of free guitar lessons from Tracy Kimbrell’s online music school, Musia Institute.
When I visited the U.K. iTunes store on Tuesday, I was surprised to see the 1992 self-titled album by Southern California alternative rock band Rage Against the Machine in the number one spot. It has taken me a few days to get around to finding out why this is the case. I’ve found that it is all due to a Facebook group that is promoting sales of the track Killing In The Name in order to make it the number one Christmas tune in the U.K.
The group’s goal is to steal the top spot from Simon Cowell and X Factor winner Geordie Joe. The Facebook group has over 900,000 members. So, apparently Cowell has a large number of detractors in his native country. You can visit the Facebook group using the link provided below.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Rage Against the Machine album, the cover was and still is quite controversial. It features a photograph by Associated Press correspondent Malcolm Browne of Thích Quảng Đức, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, who set himself on fire and burned to death in Saigon in 1963. Thích Quảng Đức was protesting the oppression the Buddhist religion by the Vietnamese.
In 1992, many critics felt that the use of the photograph on an album cover trivialized the monk’s death. Sadly, it appears that the song chosen to upset Cowell and Joe was picked because the album cover and the song itself are so morbid. Thích Quảng Đức’s death is has now become part of a joke, thanks in part to Rage Against the Machine featuring the photograph on their album cover 17 years ago.
A Christmas album being sold exlusively by the USPS has sold over 700,000 since it went on sale in November. Letters to Santa (right) is available as a point of purchase item at select Post Office counters across the country and online at the USPS website.
The album features songs by Michael Buble, Nat King Cole, Diana Krall, The Muppets, and many other popular artists. It also has two previously unreleased tracks, Merry Christmas Darling by Natalie Cole and I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Monica Mancini and Dave Koz.
The album was produced by Concord Records. It is priced at a very reasonable $9.99. The cover art featuires a traditional illustration of Santa checking his list ( and checking it twice).
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has released the list of recording artists who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at next year’s ceremony in New York City. The list includes Genesis, ABBA, Jimmy Cliff, The Stooges and The Hollies.
Here is a short clip of street artist Mr. Brainwash discussing the album covers that he created for Madonna’s recent retrospective collection Celebration. I wrote previously that the cover for the standard version of the album fails due to the cliché Andy Warhol-style blue eyeshadow and red lipstick that the artist applied to her face.
Mr. Brainwash also says that he feels his album cover is better than the 1962 Andy Warhol portrait (right) that inspired it. Obviously, Mr. Brainwash doesn’t understand that Warhol applied the garrish makeup and yellow color to Marilyn’s face as a form of social commentary. It was an insult to her beautiful face to cover it with harsh colors, masking the real person beneath the artificial image.
After Monroe’s suicide in August 1962, Warhol used a 1953 publicity shot of the actress by photographer Gene Korman to create his silkscreen portrait of her. It was a shocking image at the time. No one had ever seen the face of Marilyn Monroe reduced to pop art in this way. Warhol’s portrait was timely and extremely morbid.
For Mr. Brainwash to copy this important work of art and claim that his imitation is better than the original is ridiculous. It shows a lack of understandering of the artist he is imitating. Perhaps if he’d created his album cover shortly after Madonna’s death it would have a similar impact and an irony worth consideration. However, it would still be an imitation of Andy Warhol.
Today is Pearl Harbor Day, which commemorates the surprise attack on the United States by Japan on December 7, 1941. I recently discovered a collection of sound bites from radio broadcasts of the era on eMusic. It is one of many radio broadcasts released for digital download by the Stardust / The Orchard label.
The cover art for these recordings is not quite first rate. Most of them look as if an amateur patched them together in Photoshop from old photographs and inexpensive fonts. However, it is nice that they weren’t released without any art at all.
The nominees for the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards were announced yesterday. The three categories that are of most interest to album art aficionados are those for Best Recording Package, Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package, and Album of the Year.
Here are the nominees for Best Recording Package and Album of the Year for recordings released during the eligibility year October 1, 2008 through August 31, 2009:
Best Recording Package
Spinal Tap - Back From The Dead
Brian Porizek, Art Director
David Byrne & Brian Eno - Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
Stefan Sagmeister, Art Director
Neko Case - Middle Cyclone
Neko Case & Judge, Art Directors
Splitting Adam - Splitting Adam
Jeff Harrison, Art Director
Various Artists - Tathagata
Szu Wei Cheng & Hui Chen Huang, Art Directors
The Spinal Tap CD packaging features an “action figure stage show” that can be assembled from an insert in the jewel case. I wrote about it a few months ago. I am not surprised it was nominated. The David Byrne and Brian Eno CD also has a very cool design. From photos that I have seen, the Tathagata CD features what appears to be handmade paper.
My favorite for the win in this category is Splitting Adam’s self titled album. It features an amazing 3D hologram as demonstrated in the video below.
Album of the Year
Beyoncé - I Am… Sasha Fierce
The Black Eyed Peas - The E.N.D.
Lady Gaga - The Fame
Dave Matthews Band - Big Whiskey And The Groogrux King
Taylor Swift - Fearless
Of course, album art won’t be a consideration in selection of the Album of the Year. However, the winner and the nominees will influence the design of album covers for years to come. Art directors tend to look at successful and critically acclaimed albums for inspiration. I really do not have a favorite among the nominated albums as far as album art goes. They are all fairly average.
Winemaker Mark Beaman has created three wines that have rather unique labels and marketing concept that I have not seen before. Beaman’s Wines That Rock features wines that are named after classic rock albums: Forty Licks Merlot, Dark Side of the Moon Cabernet Sauvignon, and Woodstock Chardonnay.
Each wine bears the album art as the label (right) and according to Beaman “truly captures the essence” of the album. I’m not quite sure how one captures sound in a bottle, but that sales pitch alone makes me want to sample all three vintages.
The vision statement on the Wines That Rock website reads:
“The music and artwork associated with these classic albums and events all have their own stories. The bands created some of most important music in history and the graphic artists who created the album art were very important to the overall experience and the long lasting visual memories of the classic music that was produced.”
A winemaker who appreciates album art, it sounds like Mark Beaman is a guy who would be very popular at a gathering of AlbumArtExchange users.
The new remastered Beatles albums that were recently released will soon be available on a USB device in a unique apple-shaped container. The 16 GB device will be sold in limited qualities through the Official Beatles Store beginning December 8.
According to the product description, the music files will be provided in both FLAC and 320 Kbps MP3 formats. Also included will be “replicated original UK art, rare photos and expanded liner notes” in digital format.
Hopefully, the album art will be high resolution files rather than the typical images that are embedded in music files.
Yesterday, Google launched Google Discover Music. The new music search service provides links to Google partners such as Imeem.com, Lala and Rhapsody where music by the artist can be purchased. If a search is made for a specific track, it can be listened to on a player embedded in the search results.
To promote the launch, Lala is offering several free tracks and exclusives from artists like Tim McGraw and Phoenix. Most of the exclusives are live versions and similar tracks that are given away as promotions by record labels. When the link to Lala is followed, a pop up box appears with a “Free MP3 button (right).
I found the music search results to be very hit and miss. I entered in some popular artist and did not get a music search result at all. Searching for specific remixes and tracks of the same name from different albums was almost impossible. Below are the screens for the Google Music Discovery landing page and the search result for Tim McGraw.
I downloaded the free Tim McGraw song and added it to iTunes. I was disappointed to discover that the album art is inferior. It is a 550 x 550 image rather than the standard 600 x 600. Click the thumbnail (right) to see the actual image file included with the Lala track.
It is clear that Google needs to do a lot of work to improve their music search. The search results should anticipate how people search for music based on artist, album, song title, lyrics and fragments of this information.
Otherwise, it is still easier to find the music on Amazon.com and iTunes. Unless Google can help consumers find music that is difficult to locate and popular rare tracks, they are not going to be serious competition to the two major online music retailers. Offering music files of superior quality would also be a good idea. I will avoid Lala simply for the inferior album cover art attached to their product.
A special 40th anniversary digital single of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Give Peace A Chance was released on iTunes today. The song was embraced as the theme for the anti-war moement in 1969 and has remained one of the classic songs of hope and peace known throughout the world.
Yoko Ono (shown at right with the late John Lennon in a photo by Ivor Sharp), EMI Music and Sony/ATV Music Publishing have released a special 40th anniversary version of the song on iTunes. The proceeds of sales through the end of 2009 will be donated to the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (PBC).
Formed in 2005, the PBC is an intergovernmental advisory commission that will support peace efforts in countries emerging from conflict. The PBC includes an Organizational Committee that is made up of 31 member countries. It also includes a Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) to address immediate peacebuilding needs in countries emerging from conflict at a time when other funding mechanisms are not available.
The cover art for the single features a peace symbol and parting clouds. It is a fitting image for a song about giving world peace a chance.
It is hard for me to believe that is has been 40 years since I first set foot in the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. My twin brother and I were nine years old and one of the things we brought home from Disneyland that day became one of our most prized possessions — especially at Halloween.
After exiting the mansion, we spotted a booth that was selling souvenirs. The first thing that caught my I was an LP called The Story and Song of The Haunted Mansion. The record included a story about two boys caught in the Haunted Mansion during a thunderstorm (I did not know that one of the boys is played by Ron Howard). It also included the main theme song heard during the ride through the attraction.
To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Haunted Mansion’s opening in 1969, Disney has released this album on an enhanced CD that includes high resolution images of the paintings used for the cover of the 1969 LP.
If you’re looking for a great way to entertain kids this Halloween, this CD would certainly do the trick. If you’re a grown up, it is a wonderful piece of nostalgia.
Twitter user RichardBiedul sent out a tweet tonight with an amazing photograph of a light show recreation of the album cover for Pink Floyd’s classic The Dark Side of the Moon. Sky Arts created the display on London’s Primrose Hill to promote a screening of Pulse: Dark Side Of The Moon Live.
I think they did a great job of matching the album cover. I wonder how they did it. There are several news stories about this, but none give technical details.
The Royal Mail has announced the 2010 release of special collector edition postage stamps that will feature 10 notable album covers by British artists. The stamps will include artists such as New Order (right), Coldplay, Blur, David Bowie, and Pink Floyd.
Special stamps such as this are quite popular in many countries, including the United States. In an article about the British stamp on pop culture blog Idolator, the question was asked which album covers are likely to be chosen for a series of U.S. stamps featuring American artists. Elvis? Madonna? Britney Spears?
There is one British band that is conspicuously absent from this collection. Check out the 10 stamps and I’m sure you’ll be able to spot it (they are the number one rock band of all time).
Vocalist Aaron Gillespie appears in a YouTube video that explains the concept (posted below). Those who purchase the physical EP will receive a blank CD that will allow them to download the album tracks. Liner notes and five versions of the EP cover are included with the purchase.
Not only is this a unique marketing concept, the album art is really quite special. I love the look of the album cover and the five covers for the EP. One thing I noticed is that the name of Virgin Records is misspelled on the album cover. It reads “Vigin Records” — oops! In spite of the typo, this is a very special album cover. The monster heads immediately caught my attention.
According to a press release, a costume worn by Michael Jackson and featured on the Jackson 5 album Get It Together is up for bids on eBay. At the time of this writing, the high bid was $3,050! Bidding ends October 14 at 13:05:29 PDT.
The costume bears a tag showing it was made by Cotreneo Costumes of Hollywood for ” Mr. Mike”. The King Of Pop also signed the multi-colored costume. “Get It Together” was produced during the Jackson Five’s Motown “middle period” as they moved towards funky dance music, and showed how much 15-year-old Michael had grown and changed.
Condition of this item is good for its age. This shows some minor “ring around the collar” age, looks as if it wasn’t drycleaned after performance. There are at least four small holes on the upper back, one under the collar on the back, and two small ones on the pants. Pictures should show close-ups of stains and the holes.
The story on this item is: seller received this in the 1980’s as a gift from her son’s fiancee. The fiancee lived in Los Angeles at the time and worked in show business. We are also including the album cover, Sorry there is NO LP in the album, and the cover is in rough shape.
John Lennon would have been 69 years old today. Let’s look back at the covers of a three of his notable solo albums. There are currently 35 John Lennon covers in the AAX gallery.
Mind Games (1973)
Walls and Bridges (1974)
As the singer/guitarist for the infamous rock band Baroness, John Baizley has toured the world over. Baroness has also released several critically acclaimed albums on the iconic Relapse label, home to Mastodon, Dillinger Escape Plan, Neurosis and countless others. As an artist, John has created the cover art for all the Baroness releases as well as many other classic albums, including “Flight Of The Chonchords,” Pig Destroyer’s “Phantom Limb” and “In Return” by Torche. John’s lush artwork shows the influence of two major artists - Pushead, through his morbid subject matter and fine-line penwork, and Alphonse Mucha, with the graceful manner in which his subjects are posed, and the Art Deco scenes in which they are set. The few available prints John has made, most culled from album art, or specially made tour-only posters have all been hopelessly sold out, resulting in a fanatic fanbase competing for the precious available works on sites such as Gigposters.com and ExpressoBeans.com - putting John in the same rabid collector conversation as Shepard Fairey, Emek, Aaron Horkey, and others.
November 2009 at the Metropolis Gallery will be John Baizley’s landmark debut solo show, and will for the first time contain original works. His solo show will be comprised of all-new pieces, unrelated to any band or album release. To be added to the preview list for this show, please contact Metropolis.
154 N. Prince Street
Lancaster, PA 17603
Mary Travers of the 1960s folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary has passed away at the age of 72 at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut today. She had battled leukemia for several years. Peter, Paul and Mary, which was comprised of Travers, Peter Yarrow, are Noel “Paul” Stookey are probably best known for their 1963 hit Puff (The Magic Dragon). The song charted #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has long been rumored to be about smoking marijuana — something the trio repeated denied.
Travers also recorded five solo albums between 1971 and 1978. She is survived by her fourth husband, Ethan Robbins, two daughters, a sister, and two grandchildren.
Author, poet and punk musician Jim Carroll passed away on Friday in New York City at the age of 60. In addition to recording several albums with The Jim Carroll band, Carroll’s autobiography, The Basketball Diaries, was made into a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Carroll.
The Jim Carroll Band’s first album Catholic Boy is one of my personal favorites of the era. I have heard that the couple shown with Carroll on the album cover are his parents. I do not know if that is true.
Months before the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, an Oakland, California hip hop group called The Coup had settled on the cover for their fourth studio album Party Music. The cover featured group members Boots Riley and Pam the Funkstress using a bomb detonation device to blow up the World Trade Center.
Little did they know that shortly before the album was to be released, the iconic Twin Towers would be destroyed in a similar manner. The release of Party Music was delayed until a new cover featuring a martini glass (right) could be designed as a quick replacement.
Today, the original cover for Party Music has become part of an urban legend. Many versions of the legend include the false belief that the original cover shows two planes crashing into the buildings. Other stories claim that the group was somehow in on the conspiracy. None of these rumors are true. You can see the original cover below.
While most of us viewing this album cover today find it shocking, it is important to remember that at the time of its creation this kind of horror was unthinkable. Rather than being a prediction of 9/11, the cover of The Coup’s Party Music was considered to be a ridiculous image of something that could never really happen. Boots Riley, the group’s founder, considered it to be a metaphor for the destruction of corporate greed and initially resisted changing it.
I suppose this could serve as a lesson to those who design album covers that are meant to be shocking and sensational. Whether the cover depicts and woman being slaughtered for food or someone blowing up the Twin Towers, our wildest nightmares can come true.
I debated whether or not it would seem inappropriate to write about this album cover today. I get questions about it fairly often — especially before 9/11. I think those who have heard some of the rumors about it will benefit from knowing that the cover was really nothing more than a horrible coincidence.
I featured British pop singer and actress Paloma Faith in a New and Notable article a few weeks ago. Since that time, I have fallen head over heals for this talented young artist. I’m not the only one. Many news articles are saying that Paloma Faith is the next big thing. I have to agree.
I predict that Faith is going to be a huge star in the U.S. Not only is she an amazing singer, the campaign for her forthcoming album Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful is spectacular. The videos and the covers for the album and both of the singles released so far are stunning.
Here is a short film about Paloma Faith that is posted on her YouTube channel. In addition to this film, you can view her music videos and a video diary. Check it out. I promise you’re going to love this woman. Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful is scheduled for release in the U.S. on September 29. Both singles are available now.
A rare album by The Beatles known as the “butcher cover” is on sale at U.K. gallery for $11 million. The album was once owned by John Lennon and comes with a note signed by the late musician that reads, “Here’s the famous banned butcher cover. You can sell it for $11 million dollars.”
The butcher cover is the original cover of The Beatles’ 1965 album Yesterday And Today. The cover was banned by retailers who refused to sell it due to a photograph of the band draped in cuts of meat and headless dolls. The albums were returned to the distributor after being in stores for one day and a new cover was pasted over the objectionable image.
St. Giles St. Gallery in Norwich is displaying the album along with other memorabilia of The Beatles. If the album sells for the asking price, it will likely be the highest price ever paid for a record album.
The AAX gallery has a 1500 x 1500 high quality image of this cover thanks to AAX user savoirfaire. The rough canvas-like texture is how the original cover was designed. It is not due to a poor scan or age (check out the poster for the exhibit).
If my blog stats are any indication, Susan Boyle fans are searching the Internet for a sneak preview of the cover art for her forthcoming album I Dreamed A Dream. The album is not scheduled to be released until November 24 and it is already the top selling presale album on Amazon.com — outselling Whitney Houston and The Beatles combined.
Boyle was reported to have done a photo shoot for the album cover in Scotland several weeks ago. The image below is currently being used on the artist’s official website and as a press release photo. So, it is a good bet that the album cover will be similar.
I would be quite surprised to see a close up portrait of Boyle used on the cover. The outdoor photo shoot indicates that a landscape will be featured instead.
Guy Webster has taken album cover photographs for some of the greatest artists of the rock era. His work includes photographs of The Doors (right), The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, The Mamas and The Papas, Sonny and Cher, Simon and Garfunkel, The Who and dozens of others.
Browsing though Webster’s online portfolio at http://guywebster.com, it is amazing to see how many iconic rock images have come from his lens.
I grew up in Ventura and I highly recommend it as a pleasant place to visit for those of you who are within driving distance (Ventura is a short drive north from Los Angeles). At $10 admission, those interested in album cover photography and rock history in general really can’t go wrong.
What: Focus on the Masters presents “An Evening With Guy Webster.”
When: 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 1
Where: The Technology Development Center, 5200 Valentine Drive, Ventura, CA
Details: Webster plans to show more than 50 shots from his long photography career, as well as offer insights from it.
Cost: $10 general admission; $5 for students and seniors; and free for Focus on the Masters members, the recently unemployed and children under 18.
Information: Call (805) 653-2501 or visit http://www.focusonthemasters.com.
Adam Goldstein, who performed as DJ AM, was found dead today in his Manhattan apartment. Goldstein was popular at clubs frequented by trendy celebrities and had many close friends in the music and entertainment industries.
Prior to his success as a DJ, Goldstein was a member of the alternative rock band Crazy Town, who are known for their 2001 hit Butterfly. Butterfly was number one on the Billboard chart for two weeks.
It was reported that Goldstein had just finished taping a reality TV show about drug interventions for MTV. He was a popular user of Twitter and many celebrities have been posting tweets about his passing. He was only 36.
In celebration of the 60th anniversary of Prestige Records, Concord Music Group has partnered with Rare Cool Stuff to create Prestige Records: The Album Cover Collection. The deluxe, limited-edition hardbound volume is the companion piece to a new 2-CD anthology, The Very Best of Prestige Records.
Containing rare LP covers produced over the long history of the record label, the collection also features an introduction by famed jazz documentarian Ira Gitler, who wrote liner notes for many of Prestige’s earliest and most well-known records. In addition, the book also contains an exclusive bonus CD featuring music from the Prestige vault.
The book will be released on October 20 and can be preordered through Amazon.com.
The latest album cover news bite is that the cover for Arctic Monkey’s latest album Humbug only cost one dollar. However, the story can best be described using the album title — humbug.
The story indicates that the camera used to take the photograph used on the cover was purchased for one dollar. However, that doesn’t mean that the cover only cost a buck. It still had to be turned into an album cover by a graphic designer. The last time I checked, design professionals don’t work for free. The work was probably done under the supervision of an art director and went through the typical production queue. This is how urban legends about album covers get started.
Published Friday, 21st August, 2009 at 12:35 PM
There was no expense spared when Arctic Monkeys shot the cover for their new album ‘Humbug’ - it cost the band just $1 to make.
“It’s a photo I took with a dollar camera. I bought a camera for a dollar while we were in Joshua Tree in the Californian desert.
As for the album cover, it looks like it was taken with a $1 camera. It is an interesting image. But, I think it would be more appropriate for a single rather than an album.
The article states that the photograph used as the cover of Humbug was taken at Joshua Tree, California. I would just like to point out another album cover that was taken at the same general location.
The cover photo for U2’s The Joshua Tree was taken by Dutch photographer Anton Corbijn. Corbijn has been quoted as saying, “This is the most serious set of shots I have taken of U2 and they became my most well-known photographs at the time. It was taken with a panoramic camera to take more of the landscapes in which was the main idea of the shoot: man and environment, the Irish in America.”
I’m just saying that you get what you pay for. If you take an amateur photograph with a $1 camera, you end up with the cover of Humbug. If you hire a professional photographer, you get the cover of The Joshua Tree and the entire Joshua Tree motiff that is associated with the album.
Of course, much of the success of U2’s The Joshua Tree has to do with the music. However, it is obvious that U2’s artistic vision extended beyond the music. They produced a quality product that included the album cover and a series of impressive images. Those images have served the band well for over 23 years. Yes, you certainly do get what you pay for.
There have been news stories across the globe featuring the couple who appeared on the cover of the Woodstock soundtrack album. They are still together 40 years after they were photographed at the music festival, cuddling under a muddy duvet.
The couple, both 60, wed in 1971 and are still together 40 years after the iconic picture appeared on the album cover.
It is great to read that true love can survive a hippie music festival. And it is obvious why this story is being repeated all over the Internet.
However, this story isn’t complete. I want to know what happened to the naked toddlers who were photographed playing with the instruments on stage at Woodstock. Their photograph appeared on the second Woodstock soundtrack, Woodstock Two.
Did they grow up and finally put on some clothes? Do they regret being photographed naked and placed on an album cover? Are they still together after all these years?
There are so many unanswered questions!
What was the last album that you purchased that you listened to from beginning to end over and over again? When I was a teenager, there were many albums like Pink Floyd’s The Wall that you just couldn’t pick and choose individual tracks to play. We put the LP on the turntable, donned our headphones, and listened to both sides. It was an experience.
An article posted at Wired magazine’s Epicenter blog details the upcoming “battle” between Apple and major recording labels over the development of new digital music formats. Both Apple’s Project Cocktail and CMX, which is being developed by Sony, Warner, Universal and EMI, are supposed to add cover art, liner notes, and interactive features to digital albums.
By Eliot Van Buskirk August 11, 2009 | 6:18 pm | Categories: Media
Apple and the major labels are squaring off for a major battle this fall with competing formats for delivering the latest innovation in digitial music. Full albums will come with a cornucopia of digital extras — at least that’s the way much of the tech press is setting the scene for a clash between Apple’s Project Cocktail and the major labels’ CMX format.
Both wrap songs, videos, images, lyrics, ringtones and other digital doodads into a comprehensive package that the industry hopes will bring back the long lost, profitable days of full album sales, which gave way to listeners buying single songs.
The common goal is supposed to be the resurrection of the album, which has long been the staple of the recording industry. With online customers choosing to download individual tracks rather than entire albums, it is believed that special features that come only with an album will help boost sales.
One thing that most of the news articles about these new formats seem to overlook is how they will impact recording artists. The digital music format was not developed by the record industry. The MP3 was something that was forced upon them. In addition, the technology that is used to produce an MP3 is not proprietary to the recording industry.
This means that independent recording artists and small record labels can easily produce their own product and distribute it for sale through online stores. This will not be the case with Apple’s Cocktail and CMX. These formats will be owned by the record industry and artists who wish to use them to promote their albums will undoubtedly have to make deals with the major labels.
If these formats end up being something that consumers like (and that’s probably not likely), it will be a step back for independent recording artists and small labels. They will almost certainly be locked out of the game by the big boys.
As I’ve written before, the only thing that will bring back the album is for record labels to produce albums that people want to buy — those with 8 to 12 good tracks and very little filler. People don’t really buy albums for the cover art and liner notes.
In the early days of the LP, albums were just that — collections of singles that the artist had previously released. Then, recording artists began to utilize the expanded recording time to create longer works. The albums were often recorded to be listened to all at once, like an opera or similar composition.
A return to creating long-playing performances rather than a collection of individual tracks is the best way to get consumers interested in purchasing albums. That interest is something that “digital doodads” such as ringtones and computer wallpapers won’t accomplish.
Heddon Street, the seedy-looking location seen on cover of the 1972 David Bowie album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, has recently undergone a major renovation. According to an article in the London Daily Standard, it is now the home of nine restaurants with sidewalk dining.
Heddon Street, which featured on the cover of Bowie’s landmark 1972 album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, is barely recognisable after a multi-million-pound revamp to improve the Regent Street area.
Director John Hughes died of a heart attack in New York today. In addition to creating dozens of memorable films, Hughes is also responsible for several notable soundtrack albums, such as Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink, and Weird Science.
Just about everyone my age owned The Breakfast Club soundtrack, which included Don't You Forget About Me by Simple Minds. The Weird Science soundtrack was the first to be produced by Danny Elfman, who of course has gone on to make music for dozens of hit films.
Posted by: savedbythebell
Along with the 40th anniversary of The Beatles Abbey Road and the release of the remastered album next month, has come a new mythology. Many journalists are writing articles claiming that Abbey Road is “the most imitated album cover of all time” and a few report that there are 40 covers that pay tribute to Abbey Road. Sadly, there is no evidence to support these claims.
I’ve tried to count the number of album covers that imitate Abbey Road and there are quite a few. However, I don’t think there are enough of them to make the claim that Abbey Road is the most imitated album cover. Other famous covers have been imitated repeatedly. For example, there have been numerous imitations of Elvis Presley’s 1956 album Elvis Presley, the most notable of which is London Calling by The Clash.
Another famous album cover that has been imitated time and time again is The Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers. I can’t begin to guess how many album covers have featured a close up of a crotch covered in denim since the Andy Warhol concept was released in 1971. There are too many to count — especially if you look at albums by little known artists. The most notable imitation is probably 1974’s Tom Scott And The L.A. Express (shown right).
I have even seen Bruce Springsteen’s 1984 Born In The U.S.A. described as the “flip side” of Sticky Fingers because it shows the artist’s backside clad in blue jeans. A connection is not that unlikely. Art directors and graphic designers build on what has been successful in the past. If the crotch of a pair of jeans sells albums, it isn’t that much of a stretch to assume the rear would get attention as well.
The fact is, famous album covers are imitated quite frequently. If you browse through the AlbumArtExchange gallery, you will see countless examples of covers that were inspired by previous works.
Abbey Road is a classic album. People like to visit the location and take photographs that pay tribute to The Beatles. However, there are not 40 album covers that imitate Abbey Road. That is simply an urban legend in the making. I think it is safe to say that Abbey Road is one of the most imitated albums. But, it is impossible to say that it is the most imitated.
According to news reports, Pope Benedict XVI has made a deal with Geffen Records to record an album of Catholic chants and prayers. This will not be the first time a pontiff has recorded an album. In 1979, the inaugural blessing of Pope John Paul II was recorded by the Vatican and distributed as an LP. In 1995, the recording was released on CD along with the hymns Ave Maria and Mozart’s Magnificat.
Amazon.com lists 16 albums by Pope John Paul II and one by Pope Paul VI. I am certain that there are many other recording of popes throughout recording history. This may, however, be the first time that a pope has sung on an album.
There is no information on whether or not Pope Benedict will appear on the album cover. However, it is very likely that will be the case.
Pope’s voice to be heard on album
By Colin Paterson
Entertainment reporter, BBC News
Pope Benedict XVI will be heard singing and speaking on an album to be released on the record label that was home to Nirvana and Guns N’ Roses.
The pontiff is to release Alma Mater, an album of Lauretan litanies and prayers with musical accompaniment, through Geffen Records.
The label said listeners would be “shocked” by his “incredible voice”.
Check back for an update on November 30, when the album is scheduled to be released.
I just read an L.A. Times article about an exhibit at the Fullerton Museum Center in Orange County, California that claims to display the “The 100 Worst Album Covers” —and includes Captain Beefheart’s classic Trout Mask Replica. I don’t undertand how this album cover can be considered the “worst” in any category. It has been recognized as a groundbreaking album since its release in 1969.
If the inclusion of this classic album cover is any indication, this museum exhibit has to be a very sketchy. Trout Mask Replica was chosen by Rolling Stone magazine as number 58 of their 500 greatest albums of all time.
Certainly, the cover art for Trout Mask Replica is avant garde. It is, however, quite fitting for the music on the album and its time. The album cover was designed by noted artist and album cover designer Cal Schenkel. Schenkel designed most of Frank Zappa’s album covers and also did work for Tom Waits and the late Tim Buckley.
O.C. museum believes it has found the worst album covers ever
02:17 PM PT, Jul 30 2009
Who doesn’t love a little bad art from time to time?
The pop-music-attuned Fullerton Museum Center has a fresh take on that notion in a new exhibition opening Saturday, “The 100 Worst Album Covers,” which revels in the gloriously wretched imagery and graphics of the LP era.
It’s been assembled by longtime Orange County music journalist, musician and kitsch collector Jim Washburn, who is quick to point out that there were so many worthy contenders that this collection extends well beyond the number in the show’s title.
For every visual classic like the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” or Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon,” there were dozens, maybe hundreds, that have earned their place in the album cover hall of shame.
I am afraid to find out what other classic album covers have been included in Jim Washburn’s collection. There are so many really bad album covers, it is a shame that one of the truly innovative ones has been labeled as an example of the worst the music industry has produced over the last few decades.
An excellent example of one of the worst covers would be Sex & Violins by Rednex. It features a stream of urine coming down on the faces of the band. Yuck. I bet this gross out cover isn’t in Washburn’s collection. It is in my top ten of the worst of all time.
The advent off the online digital music store is quickly approaching its 10th anniversary. Yet, we have seen very little innovation in the graphics that are used to market digital music. Small versions of the cover art are used to illustrate the product in the online stores, such as iTunes and Amazon.com. It is now standard for these graphics files to be embedded in the digital music file and displayed for browsing and play on our computers.
According to an article in today’s Financial Times, Apple is working with major record labels to bring back the album as a viable digital sales format. The project is codenamed “Project Cocktail” and it appears to be a combination between a digital booklet and a digital music player. I’m not sure that I would find such a product useful. Like most people, I don’t tend to listen to an entire album from beginning to end unless it is exceptional. I prefer to listen to my own playlists of various artist.
Apple joins forces with record labels
By Matthew Garrahan in Los Angeles, Kenneth Li in New York and Joseph Menn in San Francisco
Published: July 27 2009 01:01 | Last updated: July 27 2009 01:01
Apple is working with the four largest record labels to stimulate digital sales of albums by bundling a new interactive booklet, sleeve notes and other interactive features with music downloads, in a move it hopes will change buying trends on its online iTunes store.
Physical album sales have fallen sharply as music retailing has evolved from CD album purchases in retail outlets to digital downloads of songs from online stores.
Apple is working with EMI, Sony Music, Warner Music and Universal Music Group, on a project the company has codenamed “Cocktail”, according to four people familiar with the situation.
This comes at a time when many people are lamenting the demise of the traditional album cover. It remains to be seen whether or not Apple can come up with a quality product that will include quality graphics. Their most recent digital sales format, the Digital 45, was a huge disappointment. The digital booklets contained poor-quality scans that added very little value or incentive to purchase.
Here’s what Eliot Van Buskirk of Wired magazine blog Epicenter had to say about Project Cocktail:
Take today’s widely-echoed Financial Times report about “Project Cocktail” — an attempt by Apple and the four major labels to re-imagine the digital album with soft (as in onscreen) album art. They hope album art that embraces digital technology, rather than merely providing a miniaturized version of the original album cover, will entice music fans to start buying digital albums again. Apple and the labels envision fans gathering ‘round the glow of their laptops — or tablet PCs — to listen to music together, the way they used to before they retreated into their own digital pods.
There is no doubt that cover art will continue to be a part of the way music is packaged and marketed. How that art will be formatted for digital sales in the future is anyone’s guess. Personally, I don’t have much faith in the innovative talents of Apple. It will take a visionary artist to take album art to the next level and Apple just doesn’t seem to have that kind of talent on board.
My birthday is in September — just in time for the release of the remastered Beatles box sets on the 9th of the month (hint, hint, hint). There are two box sets, one mono and one stereo. I’m interested in the stereo version (I’m not enough of a fanatic to want the original mono recordings).
Both sets look fantastic. Here are the publicity shots. The first is the stereo set and the second the mono version.
YouTube and British TV singing sensation Susan Boyle will soon grace the cover of her debut album. But, will she be wearing plaid?
Susan Boyle has insisted that the cover photo for her debut album is taken in Scotland, claims a report.
15 July 2009 08:38 AM
Insiders told The Sun that the “patriotic” 48-year-old from Blackburn, West Lothian, has flown back to Scotland to pose for the photoshoot.
They claimed that Susan is keen to show her “Scottishness” on the cover of her debut album for Simon Cowell.
“I can’t remember the last time that people have cared about an album cover enough to hate it, so I think I’ve done something right.”
— Rob Thomas, addressing criticism of the cover of his album Cradlesong
On July 14, a new digital sales format called Digital 45 (D45) will bring the sleeve art of dozens of classic 45s back to the marketplace. A “D45s” section has been added to iTunes and stocked with an initial inventory of 60 45 singles that include the original single and the B-side. Many D45s include a PDF containing high resolution scans of the original sleeve.
When I read about the D45 format this evening, I immediately logged onto iTunes and browsed through the selection. I spotted several D45s that I would like to own — mostly for the rare B-sides.
However, I was disappointed that many of the D45s that I want to purchase do not include the PDF. Also, many do not include any sleeve art at all — quite a few 45s were released in plain sleeves.
Eventually, I selected two D45s to download, Talking Heads’ Take Me To The River and INXS’s What You Need. When I opened the Digital Booklet for Take Me To The River, I was very disappointed. The scans are sloppy and unrestored. These are the kind of scans with bad edges and dirt spots that make those of us at AlbumArtExchange cringe.
I opened the PDF in Photoshop and restored the front cover for this 45. It took all of about 15 minutes. Sadly, the scans contained in the Digital Booklet for the INXS D45 were even worse, with banged up corners and bad cropping. It is too bad that Rhino and iTunes could not have released a better quality product. Sloppy work like this will not appeal to collectors.
I’m sure that many people will want to purchase the D45s for the music alone. Those who do will have to settle for ugly, poor quality cover art unless someone does a little Photoshop magic and uploads restored versions to the AAX gallery. You can see the restored covers for Take Me To The River and What You Need below.
In general, it is not a good idea to base an album cover on current political events. Most CDs tend to have a longer shelf life than the average political campaign or controversy. Rapper Eminem ignored all that and placed a parody of Sarah Palin on the cover of his single We Made You.
All of the recent media coverage of Sarah Palin’s resignation is certain to renew interest in We Made You. The single was released back in April, when media interest in Palin had started to die down. Following the dust up she had with David Letterman and her rambling resignation speech, she is once again the favorite of late night comedy. This could be a lucky turn of events for Eminem.
Just over 40 years later, Nova Scotia, Canada premier, Darrell Dexter (second from right) and Halifax mayor Peter Kelly (second from left) have re-created the album cover in order to help promote this weekend’s Paul McCartney concert on the Halifax Common.
By Elizabeth Mcmillan , The Canadian Press
HALIFAX, N.S. - The premier of Nova Scotia busted out a ’70s-style wig and did his best Beatles saunter across a Halifax street on Wednesday to drum up enthusiasm for a concert on Saturday by pop icon Paul McCartney.
Premier Darrell Dexter and Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly re-created the iconic Abbey Road album cover in anticipation of the concert on the Halifax Common - McCartney’s only Canadian performance this year.
So, how do you think it compares to the original?
Personally, my favorite Abbey Road re-creation is the one by Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Tom Wilkes and his Grammy Award, taken a few weeks before his death in Pioneertown, CA. Photo by Fritz Drumm
Thomas E. Wilkes was born July 30, 1939 in Long Beach, California and was raised in Southern California. He attended Long Beach City College, UCLA and the Art Center College of Design in the 1950s and 1960s.
In 1967, Wilkes was the art director of the Monterey International Pop Festival. He created all graphics and printed materials for Monterey Pop, including the program book and the festival’s psychedelic and iconic foil poster.
From 1967 through 1969, Wilkes was the art director of A&M Records. He was partner with Barry Feinstein from 1970 through 1973 in Camouflage Productions, which became record label Blue Thumb’s house art department.
He was partner in Wilkes & Braun, Inc. from 1973 through 1974, and art director of ABC Records from 1975 through 1977. In 1978, he started Tom Wilkes Productions and became President of Project Interspeak, a not-for-profit environmental and human rights organization devoted to planetary enhancement programs.
Wilkes designed and directed such hit record covers as The Rolling Stones’ Flowers and Beggars Banquet, Neil Young’s Harvest, George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh and All Things Must Pass, and Janis Joplin’s Pearl.
Wilkes received a Grammy Award in 1974 for Best Recording Package for The Who’s rock opera Tommy, as performed by the London Symphony Orchestra & Choir.
Among his many album cover credits:
- Ike & Tina Turner - Outta Season
- Eric Clapton - Eric Clapton
- Dave Mason - Alone Together
- Joe Cocker - Mad Dogs & Englishmen
- Flying Burrito Brothers - Gilded Palace of Sin
- John Prine - John Prine
- Emmylou Harris - Blue Kentucky Girl and Elite Hotel
- Leon Russell - Stop All That Jazz
- REO Speedwagon - You Can Tune a Piano, But You Can’t Tuna Fish
In addition to creating hundreds of posters, logos, books, trade ads and illustrations, Wilkes produced and directed TV and radio spots, music videos, films, mixed media presentations and special events.
He recently completed a book of his artwork and memoirs, called “Tommy Geeked a Chicken,” and was negotiating publishing arrangements. At this time, plans are being made to proceed with publication of the book.
A memorial service will be held for Wilkes on Saturday, July 11, in Orange, California.
The AlbumArtExchange blog isn’t political. So, don’t assume that this entry is a commentary about Sarah Palin or politics in general. However, the recent Vanity Fair article in which it was revealed that McCain campaign staffers had nicknamed Palin “Little Shop of Horrors” made me realize that I actually mark time using album covers!
When I read about the Palin nickname, I immediately recalled my disappointment with the album cover for the Little Shop of Horrors soundtrack. The star of Little Shop of Horrors was Audrey II, an monsterous man-eating plant. Audrey II was a special effects masterpiece and I assumed that the monster would appear on the cover of the soundtrack.
Sadly, the album cover consisted of a brick wall and simple typography. Audrey II was not on it. Of course, I bought the album anyway. The soundtrack is one of my favorites.
While browsing through the AAX gallery, I found an album cover for an expanded Little Shop of Horrors soundtrack the features Audrey II. As you can see, the cover is much more compelling.
Another thing that I found amazing was how many young bloggers have never heard of Little Shop of Horrors. The movie came out 23 years ago and quite a few of them weren’t even born yet. So, I had to explain the significance of Sarah Palin’s nickname.
Audrey II, the monster from Little Shop of Horrors:
- Started out cute and interesting
- Brought in new customers
- Turned into a monster when fed
- Wanted to take over the world
- Turned on her creator in the end
Yep, sounds like Sarah Palin to me (sorry I’m getting political). Anyway, for those of you who have never seen Little Shop of Horrors, here’s a clip featuring one of my favorite numbers, Mean Green Mother From Outer Space.
A photographer who worked on the 1978 The Jacksons album Destiny shares memories and several photos in an article on The New York Times website:
Behind the Scenes: Photographing Michael
By David W. Dunlap
Much has been said since Thursday afternoon about Michael Jackson’s vulnerability, about that ineffable sense of loneliness and isolation that masked him even more than his many costumes. But few photographs reflect that side of Mr. Jackson. As a rule, they seem to divide into Exuberant Cherub, Full-on Performer or — frankly — Carnival Side Show.
Then there are these pictures, taken by Jeffrey Henson Scales in 1978 for the Epic Records album “Destiny” by the Jacksons, as the group was then known. His individual portraits of Michael Jackson seem to show — at least with the benefit of hindsight and inference — an adolescent at a crossroads in his life; with a powerful presence and sense of self, yet also still tender, still tentative.
The photos taken by Scales were not used for the album cover of Destiny, which features a painting of the brothers and a stormy sea. His photo was used for the gatefold sleeve and on the cover of a limited edition 12” single of Destiny, which also included the tracks Blame It On The Boogie and That’s What You Get (For Being Polite) (see slide #2 of the NY Times slideshow).
The photos of Michael Jackson wearing a pith helmet are touching. He must have been about 20 at the time. The Times article describes him as an adolescent. However, Jackson was a young adult and no longer a teenager. I guess that was one of Jackson’s traits — being viewed as a child rather than a grown up for most of his life.
Just a few seconds after I posted the album art for the Michael Jackson 5-CD box set on Twitpic, I saw numerous tweets that the King of Pop has died of a heart attack! How is that for a freakish coincidence? I don’t know what to write, so I’ll just post the album art here on the AAX blog. The set includes the albums Off The Wall, Thriller, Bad, Dangerous, and Invincible.