Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Some Favorite Album Covers

No doubt that these skew old, but is that any surprise. It's just very difficult for a CD cover to match the impact of a vinyl LP cover. Not as big, you know? In any case, more to come later.
Blonde On Blonde

Bob Dylan - Blonde on Blonde

The Jerry Schatzberg photo is a Dylan song in light and color. The blurred image that makes you feel as though you can see into the soul of the singer -- even as you realize that you really can't see him at all. The photograph as impressionistic painting. Manet with a camera instead of a brush. More details about the vinyl cover art here.

London Calling

The Clash - London Calling

The most famous and compelling image from the punk era. Photographer Pennie Smith caught Paul Simonon in mid-bass-smash at a 1979 show at the Palladium in New York. The colors and the typography hearken back to rock & roll's roots in the '50s, but the black and white shot was pure U.K. punk rage. The bass did not survive, but the photo certainly has. More details here.


Joy Division - Closer

The aura of death hung closely about this star-crossed band, and particularly around their lead singer Ian Curtis. Within two months of recording this album, Curtis took his own life in Macclesfield, England. Closer was released in the U.K. two months after that, and the mourning scene on its cover (designed by Martyn Atkins and Peter Saville, photographed in Italy by Bernard Pierre Wolf) would certainly bring to mind both the tomb of Christ and (perhaps) the tomb of Curtis. Could the reference be a coincidence? Not likely. More details here.

More Songs About Buildings And Food

Talking Heads - More Songs About Buildings And Food

A picture made up of 529 separate pictures. Each square on the cover portrait of the band was a separate polaroid photograph. The result is a startling effect -- like looking through a glass block wall, but with each glass block in perfect focus. The micro effect in any square is negligible, but the overall effect is profound distortion. The sum is greater than the parts.


David Bowie - Heroes
Perhaps the least naturalistic portait ever taken for an album cover. Not sure if Bowie was looking to expand upon the alien themes of Ziggy Stardust or the Station To Station cover, but has the man ever looked more alien than this photo? All studied effect, of a man who is all studied effect, in one portrait.

My Photo

Spinal Tap - Smell The Glove

"It's like, 'How much more black could this be?' And the answer is ‘None. None...more black’"


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