The Album Cover Hall of Fame has a nice summary of this year’s GRAMMY Award nominees in the Best Recording Package and Best Boxed 0r Special Limited Edition Package categories. The award show will be broadcast tomorrow on CBS. Check your local listings for the time and channel.
My Modern Metropolis blogger Katie Hosmer has written about British artist David Marsh, who recreates classic album covers using Pantone swatches.
If you are a graphic designer, you will immediately recognize these little squares that represent Pantone swatches in Adobe design software. British artist David Marsh took these functional little squares and turned them into something completely new. Take a step back to get a really good look at the pixilated scenes, which use minimal amounts of colors to form the famous and recognizable artwork.
Check out the covers on Hosmer’s blog. All of them are instantly recognizable. My favorite is Roxy Music’s Country Life. Other examples include Nirvana’s Nevermind, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and Weasels Ripped My Flesh by Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention.
Portland’s RockPop Gallery is a unique showcase of the best artistic and photographic talent from all areas of today’s music industry. Founder Mike Goldstein has just published an interview with Roddy Bogawa, the filmmaker responsible for Taken by Storm, a recent documentary about artist Storm Thorgerson. As many of our readers know, Thorgerson is one of the most famous album cover designers of all time and best known for designing classic album covers for bands like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.
RockPoP Gallery’s Mike Goldstein interviews film-maker Roddy Bogawa about his new film titled Taken By Storm
When filmmaker Roddy Bogawa was in his teens, a ticket to a date on Pink Floyd’s Animals tour exposed him to full-scale examples of the work of Storm Thorgerson and that artist’s unique approach to rock music-related design. In Thorgerson’s forward to the revised (2008) edition of his book on album cover design titled “Album Cover Album”, he posits that record sleeves were “often the first place where pubescents come across the visual arts – being reluctant to visit galleries or read art books while in the throes of hormonal disarray” and, in this case, his words seem prophetic when you now take into account the path that Roddy has taken to becoming the talented multi-media artist he is today.
Famous Album Covers is a fun collaborative blog that I have been contributing to for many months. It features fictional album covers by fictional bands and often fictional stories about them.
My latest creation uses an acid-washed stencil font like those that have been popping up on a lot of recent album covers, particularly the various ICON greatest hits collections (right).
I also wanted to follow the trend of using scans of old family snapshots and amateur photos as album art. So, I used a scan of a my late mother in a photo booth with a friend that was taken in the 1950s. Mom was the blonde on the right. I imagined that it was the kind of photo girls would send to their boyfriends who were away at war.
I like making up stories that are almost believable and based on real artists. You’ll have to guess who inspired the fictional artist Ellen Townsend. You can click the image for a larger view.
Ellen Townsend (born August 16, 1956) is an American singer-songwriter and musician. Townsend was born in St. Joseph, Missouri. A musical prodigy, she learned to play guitar by the age of 10. Her formative years were spent in the small town of Clarinda, Iowa, where she began performing in a bar owned by her stepfather. Her first public concert was at age 15 at the University of Iowa campus. Townsend cites Joni Mitchell as a primary influence on her music, and her initial recordings reflect that.
Townsend began working in the music scene professionally in the late 1970s. She moved to New York City in 1983, where she became involved with the Fast Folk cooperative in Greenwich Village. She has recorded 10 studio albums.
Released in August 2010, her most recent album, Missing You, is being called the best of her career by many top music critics. The title track was used for the theme of the TV series Deadly Little Bitches and has reached #4 on the pop music chart.
Famous Album Covers accepts submissions. If you’re inspired to create a fictional album cover and a short story to go along with it, feel free to drop them a message.
I ran across an article on Huffington Post today about Album Tacos, a blog that features album covers that have been altered to feature tacos.
The Internet continues to surprise us on a daily basis. Today, the hottest Tumblr on the web is Album Tacos, an amazing blog with a simple purpose: inserting tacos into our favorite album covers. Tumblr users continue to amaze us with their creativity, and Album Tacos is no different…
There aren’t that many covers on the blog at this stage, but they are all hilarious.
A blogger who goes by the handle Jrod published an article today about how his photograph was selected by Interscope Records to be the cover of the forthcoming album Last Train to Paris by Diddy – Dirty Money. I don’t know whether or not this account is true. However, I have had several photographs that I’ve posted to my Flickr account used for things like greeting cards and travel books by companies who found them through a Internet search. So, it is certainly believable.
I’ve had to keep a secret for a little while now, but finally I can reveal all.
Puff Daddy, P Diddy, Diddy, or Sean Combs, whatever you prefer to call him, has released a new album.
Last Train To Paris as part of the group Diddy Dirty Money.
So far everything is going along normal.
Diddy is a big recording star, he makes albums, all is good with the world.
But then something got fucked up, I got involved.
Interscope emailed me repeatedly, and then called me, they wanted one of my photos for the album cover.
Who was I to argue?
Especially as they were going to pay me.
So I gave them my picture, and then I had to wait for the Album to get made.
For some reason I never asked where on the cover the photo would go. I assumed the back cover with some writing over the top, I like my photo and all, but I never really saw it as front of an album cover material.
Apparently I was wrong.
Jrod writes that on at least one website the commeters were calling the album cover “whack” and another asked visitors to rate it against the cover for Enrique Iglesias’ Euphoria. He will have to come to AlbumArtExchange Blog when Last Train to Paris is released on June 22, 2010 to see how his cover fares in the Best Album Cover of the Week poll.
Personally, I like this album cover. I would have never guessed it was taken by an amateur photographer.
Recently, Jeff Crouch at Famous Album Covers invited me to become a regular contributor to the best fake album cover blog on the Internet. Creating parodies of album covers has always been a kick for me, so I gladly accepted the opportunity.
My latest contributions are parodies of the album covers of New York indie rock band Vampire Weekend (right). The photos are old snapshots from my family album. They were taken in 1960 of cousins who I haven’t seen for decades.
The trend of using scans of old snapshots for album art is one that has gotten a little cliche. It seems as every indie band has been busy searching through shoeboxes of faded old photos.
Martian Holiday is a Chicago-based American indie rock band, formed in 2008 and signed to SuperSized Recordings. The band members include: Walter Cartwright, lead vocals and guitar; Omar Kahlil, keyboards, guitar, and backing vocals; Tom Christianson, drums and percussion; and Chachi Charles, bass guitar and backing vocals.
The band’s name is derived from the film Christmas on Mars by psychedelic rock band the Flaming Lips. The band first gained attention via a variety of blogs, such as Stereogum. The members claim to be influenced by both 1960s psychedelic rock and Middle Eastern classical music, describing their genre of music as Bucktown Freak.
The members of the band met as students in the Department of Music at Chicago University where they studied ethnomusicology and composition; after graduation they self-produced their first album while concurrently working full-time jobs. The self-titled album met with immediate critical acclaim.
In 2009, Martian Holiday’s song Terrible Terrorist was ranked 42th on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Best Songs of the year. In November 2009, they toured the United Kingdom with Kylie Minogue. They were declared “The Year’s Best New Band” by Spin magazine in the March 2010 issue.
The band is also known for their unusually minimalist album cover art. The cover for Martian Holiday featured a Polaroid snapshot that lead singer Cartwright found in a family photo album. Cartwright revealed in a Rolling Stone interview that the people in the snapshot are his mother and her twin brother. The band’s sophomore album Green Again is scheduled to be released in June 2010. The band’s website was recently replaced with a single image that is believed to be the official album cover.
I recently uploaded a bunch of 1980s Beggars Banquet album covers and was inspired to greate a couple of new submissions for my favorite fake album cover blog, Famous Album Covers.
Many of the album covers from the era exhibit a similar design style. They often feature textured backgrounds and a morbid photograph of some sort. The photograph used in the first example is one that I took at the Santa Barbara Mission. The one used in the second is a vintage 19th century photograph.
I created the textures by scanning a couple of old journals that I had around the house. I think that I was able to recreate the look of the era. I am especially pleased with the second cover.
Micheli and the Macchiaioli were a British alternative rock band active from 1978 to 1996. They are known for complex instrumentation and atmospheric and often unintelligible vocals.
Though formed in the post-punk and New Wave era, Micheli and the Macchiaioli continues to defy precise categorization. Their music is recognized as being a key influence on ethereal goth.
The sophomore album by British alternative rock band Micheli and the Macchiaioli, Tomboj de niaj patroj, cemented their place in the history of goth music. Not only were the compositions darker than that of the band’s debut album Macchie Macchie, the heroin addiction of lead singer Connie Cooper resulted in a bizarre slurring of the already incomprehensible Esperanto lyrics.
Famous Album Covers accepts submissions. If you want to submit a fictional cover and a story to go along with it, just visit the blog and use the email address listed.
One of my favorite blogs is Famous Album Covers. It is a collaborative blog that posts album covers for fictional bands, often with fictional stories. I have contributed my own creations several times.
The recent cover for Delphic’s Acolyte (right) reminded me of several photographs I took of jellyfish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium a couple of years ago. The viscous trails behind the human figures floating in water look quite a bit like the beautiful tendrils of the jellies.
That inspired me to create a fictional album cover for Famous Album Covers using one of my photographs. I also chose to parody the recent trend in rock music of bands covering entire albums by other artists.
I really like the way my “famous” album cover turned out. I think that this image would make an excellent album cover for the right project.