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My Chemical Romance has released #SINGItForJapan, a charity single to benefit the victims of the disasters in Japan. The title of the song is a Twitter hashtag, a word or phrase followed by the # symbol or hashtag that is used to mark keywords or topics in a tweet. I think this may be the first time that a Twitter hashtag has been used at the title of a song.
The band has create a special website for the project. The details are described as follows:
My Chemical Romance has always shared a special connection with Japan. The food, the culture, the energy, the people...Since our first show there, we knew it would be a place we would keep coming back to.
While in the UK, we received news of the events unfolding after the massive earthquake. It affected us in a profound way. Moved by the terrible tragedy in Japan, and inspired by our fans, we set to work on #SINGItForJapan, a re-imagining of SING.
Dozens of musicians donated their time and talent to help bring this song to life. To complete the video, thousands of fans across the world submitted video, artwork, and pictures to show their love and support.
Using classic Japanese themes in the orchestration, we hope we have honored and paid tribute to the people of Japan. All of our proceeds from the sale of this recording goes directly to the American Red Cross.
Thank you for all of your support.
The artwork for the single is being sold as a t-shirt through the Warner Bros. online record store. The single is currently available for download on iTunes and will be released on Amazon.com on April 26, 2011.
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According to a tweet from Lady Gaga, the most anticipated album cover in recent memory has been completed. The pop superstar sent out the tweet less than an hour ago, letting her fans know that the cover is "glorious" and hinting that it will be revealed in her next GagaVision video on Tuesday.
The album is scheduled to be released on May 23, 2011 in five formats: 1) Full Length Album CD; 2) Full Length Digital Album; 3) Full Length Album 2 CD Deluxe Edition; 4) Vinyl 2 LP Album; and, 5) Full Length Digital Album Deluxe Edition.
In the many months that I have edited the Album Art Exchange Blog, I have not seen this much interest in a forthcoming album cover. There have been more fakes and fan-created covers for Born This Way than any other. I will post the cover as soon as a high resolution image is distributed by the record label.
Glee star Matthew Morrison revealed the cover for his forthcoming self-titled album via Twitter today. The tweet included a link to the image and that the album will be released on May 10, 2011.
The cover features a photograph of Morrison standing on a bridge. I am sure that there is a story related to the image other than a contemplation of suicide. With the success of Glee and the launch of his solo recording career, Morrison isn't very likely to jump off a bridge in the near future.
About an hour ago, I noticed a tweet from Gibson Guitar that asked, "Is this the most famous album cover in history? (If not, what is??)" The tweet included a link to an article on the Gibson website about the making of the cover for The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (below right).
While I agree that the cover for Sgt. Pepper's is famous and iconic, I do not believe that it is the most iconic album cover in history. It is not even the most iconic album cover in The Beatles' discography.
I believe that the cover for Abbey Road (below) is the most famous and most iconic by The Beatles. It is undoubtedly the first that comes to mind when you ask people to name a "famous album cover by The Beatles" — try it.
Both album covers have been copied and parodied countless times. However, Abbey Road still compels tourists to the location where the photograph was taken. Many people today cannot even name most of the celebrities on the Sgt. Pepper's cover.
I also believe that there are many album covers that can be regarded as the "most iconic" simply because young people continue to display it on their bedroom walls. You can walk into any college dorm today and see a poster of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon (below). The Beatles? Not so much.
Funk legend Bootsy Collins revealed an animated version of the cover for his forthcoming album Tha Funk Capital of the World via Facebook and Twitter this morning. The album is scheduled to be released on May 3, 2011.
While the tweet indictes that no one had yet seen the "actual" album cover, I assume that refers to the animated version. The static version of the cover has been in the AAX gallery for a couple of months. Both the animated and static versions are pretty cool and exactly what fans would expect from Collins.
Less that an hour ago, pop singer and American Idol judge Jennifer Lopez revealed the official cover for her forthcoming album via her Twitter account. A release date for the album was not given.
The album cover was previously revealed during a TV interview. However, this is the first time that a high resoultion, final version of the cover has been distributed. The cover has been updated from the previous version, with sparkling lights added to the background and some additional touch ups.
I am not quite sure how I feel about this cover. It looks like Lopez walked through a crucifix store wearing a magnet. Perhaps she's trying to ward of vampires. The wind machine and the eyelashes a bit over-the-top as well.
This afternoon, singer Chris Brown revealed the cover for his forthcoming fourth studio album F.A.M.E. via his official Twitter account. The album is scheduled to be released on March 22, 2011.
The album cover is a mural that in a recent interview Brown claims to have painted himself with the "help" of Australian artist Kid Zoom. Yeah, right.
Well this has been my first time doing it on canvases and going hard with the spray paint... but now I've been following Kid Zoom and Ron English and Kid Zoom's been teaching me a lot of techniques. We actually painted a mural for my album cover. It's actually gonna be my face but all the paintings behind it is me and him painting.
Source: Take 40
I don't know know who the artist was who painted the portrait of Brown that appears on the album cover. However, I hope he or she gets credit for it. It is very impressive.
As he promised yesterday, Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker has revealed the cover art for his forthcoming solo album Give the Drummer Some via Twitter. The cover was posted less that an hour ago.
The illustration is by Pushead (a.k.a. Brian Schroeder), an artist and record label owner who specializes in the hardcore punk and heavy metal genres. In the past, he has created artwork for Metallica and The Misfits. He has also designed t-shirt graphics and a line of rock music trading cards.
Pushead is known for his detailed illustrations of skulls. Unfortunately, skulls are the most cliché subject when it comes to artwork for rock albums. An illustration of a skull has to be quite special to get my thumbs up. This album cover falls short of the mark. It is a good illustration. However, it is not particularly memorable.
Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker just sent out an announcement via Twitter that he will be revealing the cover art for his forthcoming album tomorrow. Give the Drummer Some is Barker's first solo album. It is scheduled for release on February 15, 2011.
The cover is a tightly cropped close-up portrait of Spears. Her chin is resting in her hands. Her face is partially hidden by her hands and her platinum blond hair.
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.
Earlier today, pop singer Jesse McCartney revealed the cover for his forthcoming album Have It All via Twitter. The high resolution image was posted on Twitpic with the caption "Here it is people..." The album is scheduled to be released on December 28, 2010. It is McCartney's fourth studio album.
While rooftop portraits are fairly common on album covers, this one features a very dramatic sky and the wind blowing McCartney's hair. I think that makes it a bit better than the typical rooftop scene.
The cover is definitely a cut above the similar cover used for Nick Jonas' solo debut album (above right) that was released early this year. I was not able to find a credit for the photographer of the McCartney cover.
American Idol runner up Crystal Bowersox revealed the cover for her forthcoming album on her official Twitter account today. Farmer's Daughter is scheduled to be released on December 14, 2010.
Bowersox also tweeted comments about the dog shown in the photograph and the shirt she wore. I just want to know if there was a toothless albino playing a banjo on that porch.
The shirt can be seen underneath a coat worn by Lil Wayne on the cover of I Am Not a Human Being, which was released today.
The shirt was designed by Marc Hundley as a tribute to The Smiths' Hand in Glove. It features fluorescent lyrics screen printed on a white 100% cotton t-shirt. It is available in unisex sizing from online retailer Open Ceremony for $60.
Hand in Glove was The Smiths' first single. It was written by The Smiths singer Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr and released in 1983 . The cover for the single is noteworthy because it featured a photograph of a naked man with his back to the camera by gay photographer Jim French (a.k.a Rip Colt). I wonder if Lil Wayne knows any of this.
Actor and musician Mark Salling revealed the cover of his forthcoming album Pipe Dreams via Twitter today. The album is scheduled to be released on October 12, 2010.
The album cover features a very nice portrait of the young star of the hit TV series Glee. Pipe Dreams is Salling's second studio album (the first was released in 2008 under the stage name Jericho). He also appears on several Glee soundtrack albums and singles.
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!
Country singer Kenny Chesney revealed the cover for his forthcoming album Hemingway's Whiskey via his Twitter account this evening. The album is scheduled to be released on September 28, 2010.
The cover features a black and white photograph of Chesney, with his face almost entirely obscured by a cowboy hat. This is yet another one of those puzzling instances of a recording artist wasting decades of work making his or her face highly recognizable to the public. The photograph on Chesney's album cover could just as well be of any unknown person.
Rock musician Dave Stewart just posted this photo of a woman holding a worn copy of Abbey Road on Twitpic with the caption CINDY LOVES ABBEY ROAD. I bet Abbey Road loves Cindy.
I know that in a world in which a celebrity like Ashton Kutcher has over four million Twitter followers, 400 people following the AlbumArtExchange blog doesn’t sound like a big deal. Unlike Ashton, Perez, and Lindsay, the AlbumArtExchange has a very specific audience — those interested in album art.
Many of our Twitter followers are recording artists. Some are graphic designers and art directors. Quite a few work as publicists for recording artists and record labels. Then, there are folks who simply have an interest in album art and pop culture.
Over the past few months, we’ve seen an increase in the number of artists revealing their album art via Twitter. It has become a great way to generate publicity for a forthcoming album or single.
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.
For some reason, KKK isa trending topic on Twitter. In addition to being disturbing, it reminded me of the 1981 single by Ramones The KKK Took My Baby Away. I was not able to locate the cover art for the single. However, the AAX gallery does have the cover of the album on which the song appeared. Pleasant Dreams was the sixth studio album by the pioneering American punk band. It is also one of my favorites by Ramones.
The cover features a creepy silhouette of a man in a trench coat. I remember how cool this graphic looked on the LP.
I just noticed a trending topic on Twitter called #chartjackers and did a quick Google search to find out what it is. I discovered that ChartJackers is some kind of YouTube project involving a BBC documentary and four young guys making a pop music single.
Frankly, I found it all a bit confusing. It all seems like cheap publicity stunt. A video posted on October 15 shows one of the guys asking people to submit artwork for the cover of the single.
Unfortunately, he did not mention the name of the single and refused to play it. So, these people are asking for artwork based on absolutely nothing. The designer does not know the name of song, what it is about, or anything. Not only that, there is no mention of how much they are willing to pay — which makes me believe that they are asking a graphic designer to work for free.
Good luck with that. Watch the video and I’m sure that unless you are a teenage girl (or otherwise inclined to appreciate a cute boy) you will find this young man’s coyness to be quite annoying. Does anyone really have time for this kind of tease? Either play the song or shut up!
Rapper 50 Cent revealed the cover for his forthcoming album Before I Self Destruct on Twitter earlier today. The cover which features the head of the artist exploding into flames from within was well received by fans. It has been reported that Madonna tweeted 50 Cent with a comment calling the cover scary.
The tweet also announced that the release date for the album has been set for November 17.
What may be the cover for Joss Stone’s forthcoming album Colour Me Free appeared as the background of the artist’s Twitter page yesterday. There’s no word whether or not this is the official cover. Frankly, it doesn’t look polished enough to me. I am willing to bet that it changes before the album is released next month.
The cover is typical of a Rob Zombie album. It features a rather gruesome image of the artist with numerous bloody injuries and stitches in his face, in the tradition of the horror movie genre for which he has become known. Hellbilly Deluxe 2 is scheduled for U.S. release on November 17.
It appears that Twitter and Twitpic is quickly becoming the cool way for recording artists to reveal their album covers. Today, American boy band Honor Society revealed the cover for their upcoming album Fashionably Late — the title of the album is “Fashionably Late” not that they were late in revealing the cover — via Twitter.
For recording artists and PR folks who may be reading this, Honor Society did everything right. The tweet included the terms “album” and “cover”, the title of the album and the release date. The art that was uploaded to Twitpic is print resolution 1500 x 1500 pixels (800 x 800 is suitable for digital distribution). This allows blogs, fans, and online journalists to spread the word about the upcoming release.
Unfortunately, none of the album covers were not what I would consider to be particularly notable. However, this has unspired me to do an AAX poll every Wednesday (new music is released on Tuesdays) to allow people to vote on the best cover of the week.
R&B singer Marques Houston revealed his new album cover via Twitter this afternoon. The cover was uploaded to Twitpic. This is becoming a welcome trend in the way album covers are revealed by artists to their fans. It certainly is a better approach than scavenger hunts and other games that make fans jump through hoops to get a preview of an upcoming album.
Now, we just have to get Houston to stop writing in all caps.
One of AAX blog’s Twitter followers is an L.A. alternative rock band called Kingsley. The band has been promoting their music through an online service called Twiturm. Twiturm allows users to share music files via Twitter.
This certainly is an innovative way to promote a recording artist. I was able to download Satisfy, a track from Kingsley’s 2008 album Choices in a matter of seconds. Kingsley was generous enough to provide a 320kbps MP3 with the album art embedded. Cool guys!
Rapper Johnny Polygon just sent out a tweet about a casting call for an album cover. Hum, I don’t look like a gangster, I’m not a young mallrat/hipster or a bikini girl with realy great legs and a closet full of skimpy outfits. I guess that leaves me out. What about you?
Carly Simon’s “No Secrets” album cover—sexiest in the history of music!
I have to agree that there is something special about this album cover. Of course, it was quite controversial at the time because Simon wasn’t wearing a bra and her nipples could clearly be seen under her shirt.
Things have changed quite a bit since 1972. Most people who view this album cover today simply see a wholesome young woman. The gold record hit number one on Billboard and featured the hit You’re So Vain.
Mariah Carey announced the release of her latest album cover via Twitter today.
Here is the album art that was posted on MariahCarey.com:
Of course, Perez Hilton was one of the first to write something nasty about it.
Check out the three beautiful - and beautifully Photoshopped - versions of Mariah Carey on the cover of her new album Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel.
God bless her retouchers!
I don’t know about you, but I am getting very sick of Perez Hilton. Not only is he predictably mean, he’s got a lot of nerve to write about Mariah’s album cover being Photoshopped. Have you seen the cover of single he released recently with Larry Tee called My Penis?
Now, take a look at an unretouched photo of Hilton. YUCK! I doubt that Mariah Carey had to have hundreds of zits airbrushed away.
Sneaky Sound System is on tour and have been tweeting about lost luggage and flight delays. I absolutely love this band. So, I’m posting a music video of the groups hit song 16 and wishing them the best of luck on the rest of their tour.
Singer/songwriter and Go-Go’s guitarist Jane Wiedlin caught my attention with the following tweet:
Just sang 1 of my songs about Edith’s death here at Steelbridgesongfest , here it is on youtube.
I checked out the link and found the following live performance at the Steel Bridge Songfest in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Moving At The Speed of E is a thoughtful and touching tribute to a friend who committed suicide. I hope that she records this in studio.
We have one of Wiedlin’s solo album covers in the AlbumArtExchange gallery — 2000’s Kissproof World.