A new TV commercial for iTunes and The Beatles features an animation of 12 of the band's album covers. It is drawing some minor criticism from fans of vinyl LPs who believe that digital music has put an end to the kind of cover art that is being used to promote it in this case. The video was uploaded to YouTube a few days ago and has received 3/4 of a million views with about 10 to 1 liking it. The animation is accompanied by The Beatles classic Magical Mystery Tour.
The AAX gallery includes over 800 scans and edited versions of the classic album covers and singles sleeves of The Beatles, including Magical Mystery Tour (right) and many rarities.
Made in Germany, the forthcoming greatest hits album by German rock band Rammstein, features six different album covers, each with a photograph of a plaster life mask of a band member. Many online reviews and articles about the album are calling the artwork "death masks" rather than "life masks" without understanding the obvious difference between the two.
Death masks are, of course, plaster masks that are created shortly after a person dies. Life masks are made while the person is still alive. Plaster masks were once the best way to memorialize a person. They were created in order to have a record of what the person looked like, both in life and in death. Painters and sculptures often made them in order to have a model to use and avoid having to make the subject pose for many hours. The most common use for them today is the creation of special effects make up.
Although death masks are quite rare in modern times, many famous people have had life masks created. This includes pop stars such as David Bowie (above left) and Michael Jackson (above right). Fans can purchase life masks from businesses such as The Haunted Studios.
This is not the first time that a life mask has been used as album cover art. The 1973 album Lifemask by English folk singer-songwriter and guitarist Roy Harper features a life mask of Harper.
Made in Germany is scheduled to be released on December 13, 2011. It includes one new track, Mein Land.
The Rolling Stones will issue the previously unreleased track No Spare Parts on exclusive limited edition 7" vinyl to mark Record Store Day's Black Friday, Friday, November 25, 2011. A digital download version of the single will be available on November 14.
No Spare Parts is one of twelve bonus tracks that have been incuded on the forthcoming deluxe and super deluxe reissue of The Rolling Stones' Some Girls, which will be released on November 21. The limited edition 7" version of the single will also include the Some Girls album track Before They Make Me Run as the B-side.
R.E.M. is promoting their forthcoming compilation album Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage: 1982-2011 with an animated version of the album cover. The album is scheduled to be released on November 15, 2011.
Last month, the band announced on their official website that they have split up after 31 years of performing together. The forthcoming album features three new songs that they finished prior to going their separate ways.
The album cover is very simple. It seems to be yet another cover inspired by the Grammy-winning design for The Black Keys 2010 album Brother. The animation has been generating a surprising amount of attention on blogs and websites.
Including a board game in the packaging of an album is not a new idea. However, the forthcoming album by Kentucky music collective Big Fresh features what is perhaps the best application of the concept that I have come across. The album is scheduled to be released on October 11, 2011.
In 1979, the Canadian rock band Triumph included a board game with their album Just a Game. The game was really more of a joke and designed so that it could not be completed. Another notable example is the 2009 album Peace Boat by Snake & Jet's Amazing Bullit Band. The CD included a folded poster than resembled a board game.
The Big Fresh album is perhaps the first album to include a fully playable board game (above right) with rules included. The art director for the project was Chad Stockfleth and the graphic design was done by Wes Keeton. Not only did they capture the look of a vintage Milton Bradly board game, they have also created a work of biting satire.
This album cover reminds me of some of the 1970s era designs by the British design group Hipgnosis, such as 10cc's How Dare You! It presents a nostalgic image and provides social commentary about materialism and greed.
Everything about this album cover design is perfect. The photograph is priceless. The fonts looks like the ones used for the typical classic 1970s board game. You can actually imagine this being a dusty box on a closet shelf.
I have to admit that when I first saw the cover art for Shangri-La, the fifth studio album by Portland, Oregon electronic band YACHT, it was a serious WTF?! moment. The cover is more than just simple. It appears to have been created using word processing software and a black and white printer.
Watching the unboxing video for the deluxe vinyl version of the album, it is clear that one shouldn't judge an LP by the CD cover. The band claims that the video is the first unpacking video to be shot in the woods. Ignoring that incidental bit of trivia, the artwork and design for the LP package is amazing. The two color photographs are stunning. I don't understand why they weren't used for the album cover. They could have easily been used as two alternating covers.
I can understand trying to be minimalist with an album cover design. It worked for huge groups like The Beatles. The Black Keys won awards for the cover of Brother. However, I hate seeing really cool artwork hiding under a plain white wrapper.
In a video uploaded to YouTube today, Meat & Potatoes creative director Todd Gallopo does a walk-through of the visual features of the packaging for the forthcoming Chickenfoot III album. The album is scheduled to be released on September 27, 2011.
The Rolling Stones have announced the release of re-mastered, expanded, Super Deluxe, Deluxe and Digital editions of their 1978 album Some Girls. The various packages are scheduled to be released November 21 through 29, 2011 and are currently available for pre-order from Amazon.com.
The Super Deluxe version is a box set (below) that includes two CDs, a DVD, a 7" vinyl single, a hardback book, a set of postcards, Helmut Newton prints, and a poster. It is priced at around $170.
An impressive limited edition box set of the albums and singles by The Smiths is currently available for pre-order from Rhino Entertainment. Packaged in an individually numbered, trunk-style box, the deluxe edition is limited
to 4,000 pieces worldwide. It is scheduled to be released on October 25, 2011.
It contains all eight The Smiths albums on both CD and vinyl,
accompanied by all 25 of the band's singles on 7" vinyl (including rare and
deleted artwork). The set also includes: 12" art prints of all eight album
sleeves; a poster featuring the artwork for the albums and singles; expanded
liner notes by renowned author Lois Wilson; and The Complete Picture, a DVD of
the band's music videos.
The forthcoming box set Phil Spector Presents The Philles Album Collection will include six mini-replica LP sleeves for the first six original Philles albums released from 1962-1964. The CDs included in the set are:
The Crystals Twist Uptown (1962, with Uptown, There's No Other Like My Baby, and more);
He's a Rebel by The Crystals (1963, with He's A Rebel, He's Sure the Boy I Love, He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss), and more);
Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Day by Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans (1963, with Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, Why Do Lovers Break Each Others Heart? and more);
The Crystals Sing The Greatest Hits, Volume 1 (1963, with Da Doo Ron Ron and more - plus 4 songs with the Ronettes' vocals);
Philles Records Presents Today's Hits (1963, by the Crystals, Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans, the Ronettes, Darlene Love, the Alley Cats); and
Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes featuring Veronica (1964, with Walking In The Rain, Do I Love You?, (The Best Part Of) Breakin' Up, Be My Baby, Baby, I Love You, and more)
Also included is a brand-new CD of Spector's never-before-compiled instrumental B-sides.
The set is scheduled to be released by Sony Legacy on October 18, 2011 and is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.com and at www.philspector.com.
Here is video that demonstrates the unpackaging of Young Man with the Big Beat: The Complete '56 Elvis Presley Masters, the forthcoming 55th anniversary Elvis box set from Sony Legacy. The 5-CD set is scheduled to be released on September 27, 2011. It is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.com.
The album cover received immediate negative reactions from the public due to a highly altered photograph of the second jet heading into the World Trade Center during the September 11 terror attacks.
In fact, during the years I have been the editor of this album art blog, I have never received so many email messages from people outraged over an album cover. Two weeks ago, I predicted that the album cover would go down in history as one of the worst of all time. I can only imagine the kind of feedback that Nonesuch Records received.
While he did not apologize for the cover, Reich he stated that the cover had become a distraction.
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.
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?
I think the answer to Hurwitz' question is not as difficult as he would like us to think. You simply draw the line at where an album cover is offensive to large numbers of people. Imagine the album cover that I created below being released only a decade after John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Like the WTC 9/11 cover, I used an image of the actual event an applied a gloomy sepia tint. There can be no doubt that the public would have been outraged by such an album cover just 10 years after the killing.
In 1973, Kennedy's widow was still alive. The wound was still fresh. Even though the images of the event had appeared in magazines, newspapers, and on TV, it was clear that they were being used as information and not to sell a commercial product.
Certainly, a photograph taken during the Civil War would not be controversial. Everyone who was personally impacted has been dead for many decades. Even the Kennedy cover I created would not get much of a reaction these days. It has been almost 50 years since Kennedy was shot. Perhaps his daughter and other family members would be offended. However, the wound has healed for most Americans.
I am happy that Reich has decided to change the cover. I predicted that would be a likely outcome. Hopefully, the new cover will serve to honor the victims and their families.
Today, Island Def Jam Music Group released a package shot of the deluxe edition of Watch the Throne, the forthcoming album by Jay-Z and Kanye West. The deluxe version will be available exclusively through Best Buy stores from August 12 to 22, 2011.
The DELUXE packaging for "WATCH THE THRONE" is high-end art created by acclaimed designer Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy. The softpack, when opened up, turns into a cross-like shape printed on gold mylar with Tisci's patterns embossed throughout. The package also includes an 18-panel poster that features Tisci's artwork as well as lyrics to the entire album. The CD is a special edition black colored disc which is not standard with normal packaging. In tune with his codes for Givenchy, Riccardo Tisci created an artwork that channels most of his aesthetics: symmetry, lightness, darkness, sharpness and 3D.
On November 1, 2011, U2 will release five physical editions of the anniversary edition of Achtung Baby in addition to digital download versions. The most impressive of the five will be a limited, numbered "Uber Deluxe Edition" that will include CDs, vinyl and DVDs.
A limited, numbered Uber Deluxe Edition is a magnetic puzzle tiled box which will contain: 6 CDs including the original Achtung Baby album, the follow-up album, Zooropa, B-sides, remixes and re-workings of previously unheard material recorded during the Achtung Baby sessions. 4 DVDs including 'From The Sky Down', 'Zoo TV:Live From Sydney', all the videos from Achtung Baby plus bonus material. There will also be the Achtung Baby double vinyl album plus 5 clear 7" vinyl singles in their original sleeves, 16 art prints taken from the original album sleeve, an 84-page hardback book, a copy of Propaganda magazine, 4 badges, a sticker sheet, and a pair of Bono's trademark 'The Fly' sunglasses.
Currently, the 20th anniversary edition box sets are only available for pre-order in the U.K. The 2 CD deluxe edition is available on Amazon.com. However, I am certain a few die-hard U2 fans in the U.S. will want those Bono sunglasses.
Earlier today, music industry publicity and management agency Big Hassle Media tweeted an animated album cover for From Africa With Fury: Rise by Seun Anikulapo Kuti and Egypt 80. The album was produced by Brian Eno, John Reynolds, and Kuti and was released in the U.S. yesterday.
The cover was created by Lemi Ghariokwu, the Nigerian artist and illustrator who is known for designing the original cover images for the albums by Seun's father, afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti. Lemi has designed over 2,000 album covers for artists such as Bob Marley, E. T. Mensah and Gilles Peterson.
Recently, we have seen similar animated album covers from Coldplay and Bootsie Collins. It is an interesting trend that could lead to more sophisticated animated album cover art.
Vinyl 180 is set to release a second Dead Can Dance limited edition box set containing Within The Realm Of A Dying Sun, The Serpent's Egg, a new release of Aion and the band's second John Peel Session recorded at the BBC's Maida Vale studios in June 1984.
The albums include collectible sleeves and are pressed on high quality 180gsm vinyl. As with the first Dead Can Dance box set, the collection comes in a textured box with matt foil-blocked graphics.
There are several new Pink Floyd CD packages being released in 2011. One of the most impressive is the Discovery Studio Album Box Set. It includes all 14 of the band's original studio albums, digitally remastered by James Guthrie (co-producer of The Wall), and reissued with newly crafted packaging and booklets created by long-time artwork collaborator Storm Thorgerson. The set will be available on September 27, 2011 and is currently available for preorder on Amazon.com. Click the image below for a larger view.
The Discovery Edition albums are designed as an introduction to the artist, with all booklets including full album lyrics. Each album will also be sold separately.
Box set including all 14 Discovery Edition studio albums on CD (16 CDs total)
English indie rock band Kaiser Chiefs have launched a special website for their new album The Future is Medieval. The website allows those purchasing the album to select the tracks and create custom artwork.
How do I create my own album? There are 20 tracks to choose from. Each track is represented by an object. Click on an object to preview the track. Then connect the cables to your favourite tracks to add them to your playlist.
When you have selected 10 tracks you can move on to create your own custom album artwork. Just drag the objects onto the artwork area. Change the size, rotate and mess about with them until you have a design you like.
Technically, those purchasing the album are not creating their own artwork.They are using custom clip art created for the album to make their own album cover. However, there seems to be a limitless number of design combinations. The final product can be viewed and purchased by others who visit the gallery on the website.
The website gives a tally of the number of times your creation has been purchased. The albums can also be shared on Facebook and Twitter.
In addition, fans are encourage to sell their album online for a share in the profits! When a copy of an album is sold, £1 is automatically credited to the PayPal account that was used to create and purchase the original. Brilliant!
This is a very interesting marketing concept. I could see Lady GaGa fans going crazy over something like this. She could create a "Haus of GaGa" album creation factory and let her fans paste her head on all kinds of transporation devices.
Alice Cooper is releasing what appears to be one of the most elaborate box sets of the year. Old School 1964-1974 is scheduled to be released on June 20, 2011. The set is packaged in a 12" square box that is designed to look like a school desk.
The package is based on the cover for the 1972 album School's Out, which opened up like a desk to reveal the contents. The original album cover was designed by Craig Braun. Braun is also responsible for designing the famous Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers album cover with Andy Warhol.
The set is currently available for presale on Amazon.com and Alice Cooper's official website. It follows the growing trend of combining both CDs and vinyl in one package. The Limited Edition is individually numbered and includes many extras that will appeal to fans.
Four CDs that include exclusive demos, rehearsals, rarities, live performances, interviews and more
DVD with over two hours of footage, including new and candid conversations with the band and never-before-seen archival clips
12" LP bootleg of the 1971 Killer tour live in St. Louis
Replica of a rare 7" single by The Nazz
A deluxe 60-page book written by Lonn Friend, featuring previously unreleased photos
Special extras including reproductions of original ticket stubs, tour program, set list and five art prints of rare poster designs and illustrations
Five Golden Tickets have been hidden in Old School box sets worldwide for a very special VIP concert and meet-and-greet with Alice
Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, has released the first four box sets of their The Complete Albums Collection. The new product line for serious music fans and enthusiasts is available exclusively through PopMarket.com beginning this week.
Launching with comprehensive boxed sets of original album catalogs by The Byrds (above), Sam Cooke, Stan Getz and Return To Forever, The Complete Albums Collection series will showcase new releases throughout the year, offering music fans and collectors the chance to own classic discographies on CD (with many out of print and rare titles) in 5x5 minijacket reproductions of the original album cover art, a stand-alone booklet with discographical information and photos, all housed in a beautifully packaged clamshell box.
For a limited time, The Complete Album Collection line will also be available at the PopMarket Pop-Up retail store, located in Manhattan on the former site of mythic rock club CBGB's at 313 Bowery.
Amazon.com is selling the standard edition of Lady GaGa's new album for only 99¢ today. This will probably ensure that Born This Way is the top-selling album of 2011. The discount is a promotion designed to get users to use Amazon's Cloud Player. Those who buy the album will also receive 20 GB of free storage for one year with Amazon's Cloud Drive service.
Lady GaGa is offering a limited collector's edition of her forthcoming album Born This Way that will include some unique extras. Along with a nine piece 12" vinyl picture disc set, with a hand-etched message from Lady GaGa etched into the vinyl, download of the digital version of the album and custom packaging, the package includes a special "fanwall" mosaic poster and photo ID card.
Those who purchase the set will receive a code that allows them to upload a photograph that will be used to create the poster and the ID card. Both items will then be shipped with the purchase. The set is being offered for pre-order both with and without a t-shirt exclusively on Lady GaGa's official website.
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)
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 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, 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 Islandwas 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!
According to a news release, a digitally remastered and expanded 25th Anniversary edition of Megadeth's 1986 album Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? is scheduled to be released in multiple configurations on July 12, 2011 by Capitol/EMI. All of the versions, including a 2 CD lift-top box, digital album, and a deluxe 5 Disc and 3 LP box set, include a previously unreleased 1987 concert from the band's first world tour. New liner notes written by Megadeth's Dave Mustaine and Metallica's Lars Ulrich are also included.
The deluxe box set also includes previously unreleased and rare mixes of the album's tracks, hi res audio for the remastered album and concert, an expanded 20-page book, and 8"x10" photos and reproductions of vintage Megadeth memorabilia.
The cover of the box set uses a new, unique process of lenticular 3D imaging which reinterprets the original cover, creating the illusion of Megadeth's Vic Rattlehead character "jumping" out of the image.
Box Of Vision® is a company that specializes in unique archive volumes for CD collections. So far, they have created archives for the works of The Beatles, John Lennon and Bob Dylan. I recently discovered a video that demonstrates the features of the Bob Dylan archive on YouTube.
It really looks like an impressive way to store CDs and have LP-sized reproductions of the original album art. I would love to have the archive for my CDs by The Beatles.
Super is a new dark comedy directed and written by James Gunn and starring Rainn Wilson, Liv Tyler and Ellen Page. It opened in U.S. theaters on April 1, 2011. This comedy was a hit at the Toronto International Film Festival and is being compared to Kick-Ass.
When Lakeshore Records art director John Bergin recently designed the cover for the Super soundtrack, he was inspired by the sleeveface meme that is often featured on this blog. For those of you who are not familiar with them, sleevefaces are photographs of people holding LP sleeves that feature the faces of famous recording artists in front of their own faces, creating an photographic illusion.
Bergin designed his cover so that it can be used to create a "Super Face" (right). It certainly is a creative alternative to the typical cover of a film soundtrack. It also creates a unique opportunity for fan participation.
The Super soundtrack album is currently available on Amazon.com and iTunes. It features the score by Tyler Bates and songs by Cheap Trick, Moneybrother and others.
Last month, I wrote about the forthcoming 45 CD box set from The Rolling Stones. The set is scheduled for release on April 11, 2011.
A video preview of this amazing package was recently posted on the band's official YouTube channel and I can't quit watching it. Priced at just under $200, this set is still a bargain (it is about $4.45 per disc).
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.
Check this out. The Rolling Stones are set to release a massive box set of singles on April 11, 2011. It looks like an amazing collection. It comes with 45 mini sleeves. Click the image below for a larger view.
45 singles packed with rarities, re-mixes and live versions across 173 tracks!
Comes in a striking pink box featuring the band's trademark tongue design.
Overflowing with all-time classic hits, collectable B-sides and hidden gems.
Over 80 tracks not currently available on official releases!
Taken from the original British, US and European singles.
Lovingly replicating the original 7", 12" and CD singles in miniature picture sleeves and labels.
Also houses a 32-page hardback book packed with memorabilia, period photos, essay by renowned journalist, broadcaster and Stones expert Paul Sexton.
The album art and details for the forthcoming album by alternative rock band Radiohead have been posted on thekingoflimbs.com a website that will serve as the online store for the release. The album will go on sale February 19, 2011, with digital downloads available immediately and the physical release shipped on May 9th.
The album will be available as a digital download and as a "newpaper album" that includes many extras. The physical album is in the $50 range, but the features are impressive:
Two clear 10" vinyl records in a purpose-built record sleeve.
A compact disc.
Many large sheets of artwork, 625 tiny pieces of artwork and a full-colour piece of oxo-degradeable plastic to hold it all together.
The Newspaper Album comes with a digital download that is compatible with all good digital media players.
Shipping is included in the prices shown.
One lucky owner of the digital version of The King Of Limbs, purchased from this website, will receive a signed 2 track 12" vinyl.
I am very interested in seeing the entire package. It sounds as if it the artwork will be quite elaborate. The album art features what appears to be a pair of amorphous creatures emerging from a leafless forest.
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 Nonesuch
Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package
The White Stripes - Under Great White Northern Lights (Limited Edition Box Set) Rob Jones & Jack White III, art directors Third Man/Warner Bros.
Electronic music band DATAROCK has announced that their forthcoming single Catcher in the Rye will be the most extravagant single in history. It is scheduled to be released on March 21, 2011.
The single will be packaged as a designer toy with a USB stick that features 110 tracks, 1500 photos taken at the group's shows in 33 countries, 20 music videos, and Never Say Die, a brand new hour-long concert film. The single will also be released as a digital 5 track EP. The USB features the EP, the new album Music For Synchronization, both of their previous albums with bonus tracks, the new Lost and Found b-sides and rarities compilation, 15 new instrumentals, and the 40 track remix album Mixed Up.
The toy was created by Brian Flynn at Hybrid Design and San Francisco based pioneer company SUPER7. The band is offering the song Catcher in the Rye as a free MP3. You can download the MP3 here and it the band encourages reposting of the link.
While searching for something to write about on a very slow album art news day, I found an article on a blog called Super Punch about a forthcoming CD package that has been designed to look like a Little Golden Book. A Cautionary Tale is the debut album by the electronic/indie band The Pauses. It is scheduled to be released on March 8, 2011 by New Granada Records.
According to the article, the cover and package design was created by graphic artist and illustrator Travis Lampe. The concept reminds me of the cover for Daisies of the Galaxy, the 2000 album by Eels, which features a similar illustration. The Eels album did not include the entire Little Golden Book concept, just the illustration that resembled those used on these types of books.
The entire package is delightful and very interesting. It is great to see a concept taken to the extreme. Lampe is a very talented illustrator. I am certain that I have seen his work before. The band's official website is a must see.
Currently, a track from the album called Go North is available as a free download from the New Granada website. The MP3 does not include album art, so you will need to snag it from the AAX gallery.
In doing a Google search, I discovered that this CD package is getting quite a bit of coverage from blogs and news websites. That should serve as an example of what an innovative and creative design can do for a new artist. As far as I'm concerned, this design is far superior to the recent Kanye West album art that was created by artist George Condo. In additon, the band did not have to create a fake censorship controversy in order to get noticed.
I hope that any singles that may be released from this album continue the "Little Golden Book" theme. I doubt that the artist would have any difficulty coming up with additonal illustrations that are equal to the album cover.
As a follow-up to last year's Letters to Santa (right), the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and Concord Music Group has released a second holiday-themed collection called Let It Snow.
The compilation album will be displayed at select USPS outlets throughout the season. The 11-track CD includes holiday favorites by Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles with Betty Carter, Jason Mraz, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Chris Isaak, Mel Tormé, Rosemary Clooney, Vince Guaraldi, Paul McCartney, and the Jackson 5.
The point-of-purchase CD comes pre-packaged in a gift box for easy shipping. It is also available thought the USPS online store at a discounted price.
Letters to Santa climbed to the top of the Billboard Seasonal Holiday Chart last November and stayed there for more than six weeks. To date, the release has sold more than 130,000 copies.
Part of the success of the 2009 CD had to be the illustration of a vintage Santa Claus that appeared on the cover. It will be interesting to see if the new CD does as well with a more modern graphic that features snowflakes. I wonder why they didn't go with a "Letters to Santa" series (Letters to Santa 2, etc.) The image of Santa reading his mail seems to be such a great fit for the Post Office. The new album art leave me kind of cold.
With Christmas less than three weeks away, I thought it would be a good idea to give everyone a look at some of the most notable holiday albums of 2010. There doesn't seem to be a specific theme that dominates this year. The album covers range from cute to sentimental.
Annie Lennox - A Christmas Cornucopia
Pink Martini - Joy to the World
Celtic Thunder - Christmas
Dave Barnes - Very Merry Christmas
Glee The Music The Christmas Album
Jessica Simpson - Happy Christmas...
Mariah Carey - Merry Christmas II You
Olivia Newton-John - Christmas Collection
The Brian Setzer Orchestra - Christmas Comes Alive!
The Puppini Sisters - Christmas with The Puppini Sisters
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 Nonesuch
Oh No Ono - Eggs Malene Mathiasson, Malthe Fischer, Kristoffer Rom, Nis Svoldgård & Aske Zidore, art directors Friendly Fire Recordings
Anaïs Mitchell - Hadestown Brian Grunert, art director Righteous Babe Records
Devendra Banhart - What Will We Be Devendra Banhart & Jon Beasley, art directors Warner Bros.
Chip Taylor - Yonkers NY Andrew Taray, art director Train Wreck Records
Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package
Various Artists - Light: On The South Side Tom Lunt, Rob Sevier & Ken Shipley, art directors The Numero Group
Pixies - Minotaur (Deluxe Edition) Jeff Anderson & Vaughan Oliver, art directors Artist in Residence
Voormann & Friends - A Sideman's Journey (Limited Collector's Super Deluxe Box Set) Daniel Reiss & Klaus Voormann, art directors UMe/USM/Mercury
Cincin Lee - Story Island Qing-Yang Xiao, art director Wind Music
The White Stripes - Under Great White Northern Lights (Limited Edition Box Set) Rob Jones & Jack White III, art directors Third Man/Warner Bros.
Founded in 1990, Red Hot Organization (RHO) is a not-for-profit, 501(c) 3, international organization dedicated to AIDS/HIV and related health and social issues through pop culture.
The charity has produced 20 albums and dedicated more than 10 million dollars to worthy
organizations, causes and pro-social projects around the world.
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.
Studio Parris Wakefield is a graphic design studio that has produced creative work in the areas of music, fashion and interiors. Creative director Howard Wakefield has worked with legendary graphic designer Peter Saville for many years. Clients have included New Order and EMI.
Recently, Sarah Parris contacted the AlbumArtExchange Blog to let us know about the work the the studio has done for an impressive new Joy Division box set called "+ -" and the story behind the project's unique cover image. The design for the cover of the set and the various singles included in it can be viewed on the Studio Parris Wakefield website.
We have been working on the design of the new Joy Division box set '+-'. Now we are able to share with you the story behind the imagery.
In Peter Saville's book 'Estate 1-27' Michael Bracewell describes Saville's work with Factory Records and in particular Joy Division as the '...muniments of a crematorium in deep space.' Thus inspiring Saville to look towards the infinite qualities of the universe to capture the essence of a collection of Joy Division singles.
Tasked with the brief of 'deep space and nebulae', Howard Wakefield researched through the collection of Nasa imagery at SpaceImages. While tempted with a nebula called Factory, its name was too good to be true, for it didn't compare with the more expansive deep blue nebula of Hubble NGC 346 SMC. Peter Saville was keen to see how it could be transformed from being purely documentary, so suggested an inverted, monochrome version.
According to another recent article on the SPW blog, the title "+ -" was inspired by a detail of the neon sculpture Plus en Min by Jan van Munster. The image was featured on the sleeve of the single Atmosphere, which was part of the 1988 Joy Division compilation Substance. Titling the 2010 box set of remastered singles "+ -" is an acknowledgement of the popular 1988 release, which includes the same track list.
Check this out! Tim Burton and Danny Elfman are releasing a limited edition box set of 16 albums. The set will include 13 original scores composed by Elfman for Burton's films, three additional CDs of demos, work tapes and other previously unreleased material, a hardcover book with over 250 pages of illustrated notes, a DVD, and a custom-designed working zoetrope box.
The set will be available on December 28, 2010 in a limited edition of 1,000. Each will include a certificate of authenticity. The retail price for the set is around $500. It can be preordered through Amazon.com or a special website.
The artwork for the set is comprised of original drawings by Burton. Watch the promotional video below to get a better look at the artwork and the scale of the box. It really is big enough to fit a human head into!
Frank Sinatra's 1957 holiday classic, A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra, will be reissued on November 26, 2010 as a limited edition, 180-gram vinyl LP with faithfully replicated original album art. Newly remastered at Capitol Mastering from the original analogue master tapes, the deluxe vinyl reissue will be available exclusively at Record Store Day-participating independent music retailers across the U.S.
The deluxe edition of Taylor Swift's album Speak Now is being sold exclusively at Target stores. The cover for the album has been changed, making Swift's dress the corporate colors of the retail chain.
I don't know why, but there are not very many new Halloween music releases this year. Last year, artists such as Alice Cooper released Halloween singles. Disney reissued their classic Haunted Mansion album. This year is coming up short when it comes to spooky sounds for a Halloween party.
There is a new continuous party mix from the Kidz Bop series (right). It includes covers of classic Halloween tunes such as Thriller and Monster Mash performed by children.
One of the most interesting new releases is an album that has a unique marketing gimmick. Going Gaga for the Lady Zombie by Halloween Music Freaks manages to work the words "Lady" and "Gaga" into the title of the album. It also has cover art that is much better than what is typically used for Halloween albums.
The album comes with eight tracks and two ringtones. The tracks are themed by horror genres, werewolves, zombies, aliens, etc. They are surprisingly good and definitely worth downloading if you need some spooky, industrial-sounding music for the holiday.
A remastered version of Nine Inch Nails' 1989 album Pretty Hate Machine is scheduled to be released on November 22, 2010 by by UMe and Bicycle Music Group. The album will have a "reimagined" version of the original album cover (right) by art director and photographer Gary Talpas.
The new version of the cover was created by NIN's current art director Rob Sheridan. It is a darker version of the original artwork, in muted steel gray tones rather than neon colors. It has also been rotated to eliminate the confusion about how the album cover should be displayed.
The original sleeve is a gatefold that includes the NIN logo that was designed by Talpas and an expanded view of the polarized photograph. I do not think the new cover can be considered to be improvement of the original. However, it will help consumers differentiate between the 2010 remaster and previous versions of the album.
Andy Partridge's Ape House record label has announced the reissue of XTC's 1986 album Skylarking as a vinyl double LP. The album is scheduled to be released on November 23, 2010.
The album will also include the original cover art that was banned by Virgin Records. Here is the story from the Ape House website:
The fantastic sounding forthcoming double vinyl release of XTC's SKYLARKING album is being pressed up right now and will soon be in your hands. You know of course that it's cover will be the original one? No, not the last minute drawing of the elysian type couple tooting on their flutes, nice as it was, I mean the ORIGINAL cover, the one that Virgin banned. Quick version goes like this. XTC had sleeve shoot with naked male and female models. Took mock up of sleeve to big store chains in London. They went all coy and said they would refuse to stock it, Virgin said that can't be sleeve. XTC had to find a last minute replacement. IE: the one you're familiar with. Till now.
I guess there's no point in speculating as to why the original cover was banned. From an artistic viewpoint, it is interesting. However, I can't imagine why anyone would expect a retail store to display it on their shelves. A retail store is not an art gallery.
George Harrison's 1970 solo debut, All Things Must Pass, will soon be released in a limited edition, numbered 180-gram vinyl set in its original three-LP configuration. The album is scheduled to be released on November 26, 2010.
Newly remastered at Abbey Road Studios, the deluxe vinyl reissue commemorates the album's 40th anniversary and will be available exclusively at Record Store Day-participating independent music retailers and at www.georgeharrison.com. The album will feature faithfully replicated original album art, a poster, and lift-top box packaging. It will also be available as a high-quality digital download.
My friend Jerry Hopkins recently sent me a copy of the album that he recently released on Korean music label Big Pink Music. The album, Songs from the Heart, features songs that Jerry recorded in the late 1960s with his late twin brother Jay when they performed as the singing duo Twinn Connexion.
When Jerry let me know that he was sending me a CD, I had no idea that I would receive a collectible mini LP or paper sleeve CD. The packaging was designed to simulate a 12" LP and includes a booklet with lyrics and liner notes, a color photo insert, and an inner sleeve. This type of packaging is very hot in Japan right now. It also came with what is known an "obi strip" (not pictured) that is intended to display the Korean, Japanese, or other language text for the country where the CD is distributed.
What impressed me most about this CD package is the quality of the components. The print quality is excellent. There were no annoying defects or printing errors.
Most mini LPs that are in distribution are miniature recreations of vintage LPs. They have become a popular item for collectors and many examples can be found in the AAX gallery. Songs from the Heart is different because it is a new release comprised of songs that were recorded during the era of the LP. I think that packaging it as a mini LP is a perfect concept.
The album is already being sold as a collectible on eBay. I hope that this is the first of many miniature CDs that are aimed at collectors of rare recordings.
I wonder how the folks at Arm & Hammer feel about the cover rapper Z-Ro's forthcoming album Cocaine Chopped & Screwed. This is not the first time that I have seen a real product on the cover of an album. However, this is probably the most negative representation I've ever seen.
The album is scheduled to be released on December 31, 2010. I wonder if this will end up being the final cover.
Here is a nice product demo from an artist called Lazerbeak. His solo debut album was released this week and the video shows the features of packaging for the CD and DVD combo.
I wish that record labels would create more videos like this one. Believe it or not, many people like to see the entire package before they purchase an item. The album is also available as a digital download from iTunes and Amazon.com.
Nettwork Records has posted a video of the "unboxing" of the new vinyl album by indie pop-folk band The Weepies. Be My Thrill was released today and the vinyl version features a digital download card that can be used to download the digital version of the album.
I wish that more record labels would create these kinds of videos. They couldn't be too expensive to produce. They are a great way to demonstrate special packaging, box sets, and vinyl records like this one.
Last week, I wrote about the eight album cover designs that have been created for Arcade Fire's forthcoming album The Suburbs. The album is scheduled to be released on August 3, 2010 and the various covers will be shipped to customers at random.
I have since learned that the art direction was done by Vincent Morisset, the design by Caroline Robert and the photography by Gabriel Jones. I also found a cool Flash animation that shows the various designs on the Arcade Fire website. Just move your mouse over the image below and enjoy the show.
The forthcoming album by Canadian rock band Arcade Fire is going to be released with eight versions of the album cover (right). The Suburbs is scheduled to be released on August 3, 2010. It is currently being sold as a preorder at various online retailers, including Amazon.com.
Those purchasing the album online will not be able to choose which version of the cover will come with their CD or LP. They will be shipped at random. Of course, those who choose to make their purchase at a brick and mortar outlet will be able to select the cover they prefer.
The covers are all a variation of an image that features a car parked in front of a suburban home. It is too bad they didn't have a contest for fans to submit photos of their own homes for use on the cover. That certainly would have increased interest.
Last year, 30 Seconds to Mars released their album This is War using 2,000 photos submitted by fans online. That makes eight seem like nothing in comparison. Imagine if they had used 2,500 photos of houses submitted online by fans. Perhaps it would seem like too much of a copycat promotion.
The album cover that is being distributed for sales and promotion is the one with the palm tree and the drak red and green colors. I think it is the stringest of the eight images. The other seven seem kind of dreary.
While it is an interesting CD package design concept, I am not very impressed with the resulting ink blot. It looks more like a random spill. It would be nice to see someone come up with a more advanced version of this, perhaps using multiple colors.
In 1962, legendary pop artist Andy Warhol caused quite a stir in the art world with Campbell's Soup Cans, thirty-two canvases each featuring a painting of a Campbell's Soup can (right). Each painting represents a diffferent variety of Campbell's Soup.
I saw Campbell's Soup Cans in the 1980s at an Andy Warhol exhibit in Los Angeles. Like most of Warhol's work, the scale was surprising. The canvases take up a huge amount of wall space. It can be seen on permanent exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The paintings at MoMa are arranged in the order they were introduced to the public by Campbell's.
Campbell's Soup Cans was one of the first major pieces that uses a branded product label as fine art. It led to an entire series of Campbell's Soup can paintings by Warhol. There have been dozens of parodies and tributes of the work over the past 48 years.
I do not know how many album covers have been based on Campbell's Soup Cans. Two recent exampes is Soup by The Beautiful South and The Housemartins and Dog Food by Mondo Generator.
A version of the collaboration by The Beautiful South and The Housemartins actually came in a soup can. I have seen an alternate cover that looked more like a copy of the Warhol painting. I assume it was changed due to copyright issues.
The Mondo Generator cover more closely resembles the Warhol original. I think it stands up better as a parody of Warhol rather than an imitation.
The Beautiful South and The Housemartins - Soup (2008)
Over the last couple of years, collectable vinyl records have experienced a new popularity. In response, many record labels are producing vinyl albums and singles that include colored vinyl, custom packaging, and other features that appeal to collectors.
Big Dada Recordings recently released a unique limited edition LP that has several features designed to appeal to collectors. The Bedford Park LP by the Infesticons includes a screen printed outer sleeve that has been hand signed by the record's producer Mike Ladd. Some copies feature extra scibbles and lines written by Ladd during the signing. The inner sleeve features a model battle scene designed by Ladd.
The LP package was designed Oscar & Ewan, the East London creative design firm of Oscar Bauer and Ewan Robinson. They have created some amazing music packages for Roots Manuva, Offshore and an unpcoming release by Jammer that features a live elephant (definitely worth checking out).
The Bedford Park LP is on heavyweight 180 gram vinyl and the package includes download codes for digital tracks. A YouTube video demonstrates how the limited editon packaging was produced. Those of you who are interested in package design will certainly want to watch it.
I just found this video that demostrates the unboxing of electronic muscian BT's latest CD. The 2 CD album comes in a super jewel case, with special black CDs and a 12 panel foldout booklet created from original art by Aaron Jasinkski.
The album cover (below) was recently voted the Best Album Cover for the Week in our AlbumArtExchange poll.
American Favorite Ballads Vols. 1-5 by Pete Seeger (right) won the award for Best Album Packaging at the Independent Music Awards held in January 2010. The winners were selected from 50 album, song, music video, and design categories that included thousands of submissions. The judging panel comprised 80 influential artists and music industry professionals, including Tom Waits, The Black Keys, Ricky Skaggs, Pete Wentz, Mark Hoppus, Aimee Mann, Suzanne Vega, Judy Collins, and Zooey Deschanel.
The packaging was created by Tri-Plex Packaging Corporation for Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.
Universal Music Group announced today that they will be releasing a special reissue of The Rolling Stones' classic album Exile on Main St. in three editions. It will be sold as a single CD featuring the original 18 tracks, a deluxe edition with 10 bonus tracks, and a limited edition package that will include vinyl LPs, a 30-minute documentary DVD and a 50-page photo book (example right).
The Universal press release claims that the bonus CD contains "never-before-heard tracks" and is slated to be released in conjunction with the documentary film. According to Rolling Stone magazine, the tracks include Plundered My Soul, Dancing in the Light, Following the River and Pass the Wine, produced by Jimmy Miller, the Glimmer Twins and Don Was and alternate versions of Soul Survivor and Loving Cup. The reissue is scheduled for release on May 18, 2010.
Exile on Main St. is considered to be one of the best rock albums of all time by many critics, including Rolling Stone. What the album doesn't have is particularly memorable cover art. The original LP gatefold cover featured a series of 12 perforated postcards and images by photographer Norman Seeff. It is a good example of having too much of a good thing. There are just too many interesting images crowded into a single project.
I came across this cover for a Lady Gaga remix album that is being released in Japan on Amazon.com today. The album is priced at $37.98 in the U.S. store and there is no track listing in the item description. It is scheduled for release on March 3, 2010.
The cover reminds me of the one used for Rihanna's Wait Your Turn single. The covers features somewhat similar poses and background color. However, it is clear which artist was able to pull it off.
While Rihanna appears to be humiliated by the partial nudity, Lady Gaga is facing the camera with pride. The Rihanna cover almost makes me feel guilty for looking at it. That certainly isn't that case with Lady Gaga's The Remix.
On January 25, the United States Postal Service released a special edition of Ella Fitzgerald's classic album, Love Letters From Ella. The album is being released to promote the use of mail during the Valentine's Day season as well as Black History Month and will be available exclusively at a select group of 3,200 Post Offices across the United States and online.
First issued in 2007, Love Letters From Ella is a collection of love songs recorded with some of her favorite collaborators, including Count Basie and his orchestra, Joe Pass and André Previn. The special edition CD includes a full reproduction of Fitzgerald's commemorative USPS postage stamp, available for the first time since its original issue.
The USPS has released other CDs, including a 2009 holiday compilation. CDs are an easy-to-display point of purchase item. I will be interesting to see what kinds of projects they will take on in the future. I can imagine that future CDs will be released at the same time as commemorative postage stamps for recording artists.
Yesterday, Akon released a new single that features something new in cover art. Oh Africa has an advertisement for Pepsi on the cover. In addition to a photograph of Akon, shirtless and wearing body paint, the cover has copy that reads "Refresh Your World" and the Pepsi logo.
Pepsi partnered with Akon, Hilson and award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir to create the single as a benefit for underprivileged African youth. Even though Pepsi sponsored this project, this is the first time that I have seen a corporation place an ad on the cover of a charity single. It seems kind of tacky to me. I just hope that we won't see Akon and Hilson standing on stage with Pepsi executives and delivering a giant check to African children.
Each year, a Grammy awards is given for Best Recording Package. Although it is early in the year, I suspect that the package designed for The Stimulus Package by hip hop artist Freeway and produced by Jake One will earn a nomination.
Check out the creative package design in the YouTube video below. The CD package is designed to look like a wallet, complete with money, credit cards and a download card for the instrumental versions of the songs. The Stimulus Package is scheduled to be released on February 16, 2010.
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.
I don’t know very much about the band Neon Trees. There is a bio on the Mercury Records that is very short on substance. What intrigued me about the band was coming across a limited edition color vinyl version of their forthcoming single Animal on Amazon.com.
I find it surprising that a limited edition single like this would be used to market a new artist. I can imagine people buying something like this for U2 or David Bowie — established artists with fans who are eager to buy collectors items. It would be interesting to find out how many of these get sold. The single is scheduled to be released on February 9, 2010.
Recently, American experimental rock band Dirty Projectors released a special version of their latest album Bitte Orca on cassette tape (below). Coincidentally, this happened at the same time I finally broke down and tossed out all of my old cassettes. I hadn’t played any of them for years and didn’t feel like hauling them all the way from California to Arizona when I moved.
Issuing a cassette as a “special limited edition” is obviously a marketing gimmick. I imagine that releasing an album on CD will soon be just as unusual in the near very near future. In a couple of the articles I read about the Bitte Orca cassette, the writers mentioned that they don’t even own a cassette player. I have to admit that I don’t either.
Before I tossed my old cassettes, I scanned a few of the covers and made digital copies of the tapes that can’t be purchased on CD (Tom Tom Club’s Close To The Bone and a few others). Then, AlbumArtExchange owner Scott posted a request for cassette covers in the AAX forum.
It was then that I realized just how difficult good scans of cassettes are to find. Most people just don’t scans their cassettes and use the art for their music collections. I believe that this is because the art is 1) not square; 2) is often of very poor print quality; and, 3) the covers are often destroyed due to the portable nature of the format.
Cassettes were designed to be as inexpensive as possible. They were an affordable alternative to CDs and meant to be carried around with a portable tape player — often in a backpack or purse. Anyone who ever collected cassettes knows that they had a very limited lifespan. They would get eaten by your Walkman or decompose in the heat of your car.
So far, there are only about 18 cassette covers posted to the AAX gallery. I have about 60 more that I will be posting over the next few days (mostly Morrissey and The Smiths). If you have any interesting cassettes, please scan them and post them to the gallery. Scans of rare cassettes will especially be appreciated.
Here is a small sampling of the cassettes and cassette singles (cassingles) that have already been added to the gallery:
I don’t know how I missed these CD/t-shirt combo packs that went on sale last month. They include a remastered album on CD and a t-shirt with The Beatles album art. It appears that several albums are being sold including Magical Mystery Tour, Help! and A Hard Days Night.
If you received Amazon.com gift certificates for Christmas, this could be a good way to spend them. Personally, I think the Magical Mystery Tour t-shirt is the best of the bunch. I would also like to see Sgt. Pepper’s added to the line up.
One of the best CD packaging concepts of the decade has to be 30 Seconds to Mars’ use of 2,000 fan-submitted photographs for the cover of their new album This Is War. The band simply asked fans to submit their photos online and created 2,000 different covers featuring the faces with a white band containing the title and band name across the eyes.
The results of the “Faces of Mars” marketing campaign is quite remarkable. I don’t know how many of the covers will end up being uploaded to the AlbumArtExchange gallery. The band has set up a Faces of Mars Facebook page where people can upload scans and put a name to faces.