Alright, it's time to get out of the '70s for a bit on this series and get a little more current. As in almost to the 21st century. I'm not usually a fan of using historical photographs on album covers, but this one - from the Roots' classic 1999 album Things Fall Apart - is just so striking. The image was taken in the 1960s as riot police in Bedford-Stuyvesant chased down two black teens. And although the album title actually comes from a 1958 novel by Chinua Achebe, it is brutally appropriate given the cover image.
This week we venture outside the cozy confines of the U.S. of A and head to Germany, home to one of the most successful and influential practitioners of Krautrock - Can. Album covers that play off the band's name can often be lame, but 1972's Ege Bamyasi is definitely an exception. And as an added bonus, it's a great album as well. Food connoisseurs may be able to figure out what the title means, but for those who aren't I'll help out (it's a translation of "Aegean okra" in Turkish).
While everyone else is out buying a copy of the new Lil Wayne album, Tha Carter III, I'm casting my lot with this future classic: Look for the new single, "Moonshine-flavored Lollipop", coming soon to iTunes! (for a little background, get thee to Wikipedia)
This week's entry is my humble tribute to one of the most inventive and influential musicians of the 20th century, the late Bo Diddley... The iconic rectangular guitar (aka "The Twang Machine") is missing, but the cover to 1961's Bo Diddley Is a Gunslinger is a gem just the same. It's one of a series of tongue-in-cheek images shot for Diddley's early-1960s albums on the Checker label.
I was absolutely fascinated by this cover as a kid and I still think it's awesome: What gets me about this is the look on the robot's face, which says "Oh crap, did I do that?" The blood drop on the finger is also a very nice touch. The only part that doesn't thrill me is that Brian May (the one with the curly hair and puffy shirt) looks like a bit of a dandy. As it turns out, interestingly enough, this wasn't exactly a new painting. The October 1953 issue of Astounding Science Fiction featured the original art by Frank Kelly Freas. Queen contacted Freas and asked him to adapt his work for their album cover. He agreed, and his updated killer robot appeared when News of the World was released in October 1977.
All too often it happens that an album with great artwork is full of forgettable music. Luckily that's not so with Pink Floyd's 1975 classic, Wish You Were Here. For my money, this is the ultimate Floyd album and one of the ten best albums of all-time. One of the really appealing things about this cover - aside from how surreal it is -is how ambiguous it is. There may be a definite story or scenario behind this photo, but it's vague enough to allow you to make up your own. I know I've made up more than a few. This is one of many memorable covers designed by the famed design group Hipgnosis, whose work will undoubtedly pop up at least a few more times in future installments in this series.
Starting today and running every Monday until I lose interest, I'm going to feature one album cover that is notable for either being well-crafted, visually striking, humorous, or all of them at once. I am old enough to remember when vinyl still held sway as the dominant format for music delivery, and I've always lamented the decline of the format for reasons other than the ones usually trotted out (i.e. it just "sounds" nicer than compact discs). Back in the day (yes, that dreaded phrase), album covers served as the last chance for a record to sell itself. Would-be owners spent hours thumbing through record racks, waiting for something to pop out at them. A lot of great (and lousy) music was discovered this way. So with all that out of the way, here's your album cover for the week of...
Ever notice how most posts that spread internet memes usually start with a proclamation by the author that they don't usually do memes? Well not me. But seriously, I usually don't spread memes. I like this recent one I found on Thom's site, however, so I'll contribute. The Rules 1. Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random. The first article title on the page is the name of your band. 2. Go to http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3. The last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album (you might have to click new random quotes at the bottom). 3. Go to http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days/. The third picture, no matter what it is, is your album cover. You then take the pic and add your band name and the album title to it, then post your...