Here are a couple of album covers that when viewed in sequence should serve as a warning not to leave your glasses on a stark white surface.
Amy Winehouse is dead, at age 27. Welcome to the 27 Club, Amy. You’re in good company. All four deaths below have spawned controversy, allegations of cover-ups, murder or the like. I am sure Amy Winehouse’s death will also be subject to intense scrutiny.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Electric Ladyland (1986)
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James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix (Nov 27, 1942 – Sep 18, 1970) asphyxiated on his own vomit in London. The murky details involve Vesparax sleeping pills (a strong Belgian brand Hendrix was unfamiliar with), red wine, a doctor later investigated for malpractice and fraud (unconnected to Hendrix), inconsistent timelines and accounts, and an allegation of murder!
Hendrix’s third and final studio album, produced under his own supervision, was Electric Ladyland, The original US/Canada only Reprise release album cover featured a
“fiery” photo of Hendrix’ head. The slightly later Track/Polydor
International album release cover, controversially, was a photo of group
of nude women. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) is the last track on Electric Ladyland. It was re-released as a single after Hendrix’s death in 1970, and reached #1 in the UK, making it the band’s only single to top the charts.
Janis Joplin – Pearl (1971)
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Just sixteen days after Jimi Hendrix, the death of Janis Lyn Joplin (Jan 19, 1943 – Oct 4, 1970), the “Queen of Rock and Roll”, shocked the music industry. Joplin rose to prominence in the late 1960s as the lead singer of Big Brother and the Holding Company and later as a solo artist with her backing groups, The Kozmic Blues Band and The Full Tilt Boogie Band. The official cause of death was an overdose of heroin, possibly combined with the effects of alcohol. Her posthumous album Pearl peaked at #1 on the Billboard 200, holding that spot for nine weeks and went quadruple platinum.
The Doors – Waiting for the Sun (1968)
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Jim Morrison (Dec 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971) is best known as the lead singer and lyricist of The Doors. In the official account of his death, he was found in a Paris apartment bathtub by Pamela Courson (his long-term companion). Pursuant to French law, no autopsy was performed because the medical examiner claimed to have found no evidence of foul play. The absence of an official autopsy has left many questions regarding Morrison’s cause of death. Courson died of a heroin overdose three years later.
The Door’s third studio album, Waiting for the Sun, was the band’s one and only #1 US album. It was also the band’s first hit album in the UK. The title track Waiting for the Sun was left off this album, but would be included on the 1970 album Morrison Hotel. The first track, Hello, I Love You, sold over a million copies, and became their biggest hit after 1967’s Light My Fire.
Nirvana – Nevermind (1991)
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Kurt Cobain (Feb 20, 1976 – April 5, 1994), lead singer and guitarist of grunge group Nirvana, was found dead by an electrician on April 8 — the coroner’s report estimated Cobain to have died on April 5, 1994. Cause of death – suicide. The Seattle Police Department incident report states that Cobain was
found with a shotgun across his body, had a visible head wound and there
was a suicide note discovered nearby. The King County Medical Examiner
noted that there were puncture wounds on the inside of both the right
and left elbow.
Nevermind was the band’s second studio and most successful album. The cover alone has spawned many an internet meme and story. Big hits from the album included Smells Like Teen Spirit, Come As You Are, Lithium and In Bloom.
I’m not sure why, but recently there have been quite a few album covers with illustrations depicting disasters such as floods and tornadoes. Here are four that seem to have a strange connection. They are almost like before (or perhaps “during”) and after images. The fact that both “after” images are different covers for the same album makes it extra strange.
Sunny Sweeney, from East Texas, is “a country girl who sings in a country band and she plays acoustic guitar”. She also “has over 100 pairs of jeans and a weakness for cute boots.” Oh my! I’m in dream heaven right now! And hot on the heels of her first big hit “From a Table Away” is her new single Staying’s Worse Than Leaving, which debuted at number 60 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs.
Sunny Sweeney – Staying’s Worse Than Leaving (2011)
Minneapolis-based singer/songwriter Tim Mahoney (nice website!) got his start with the pop/rock band the Blue Meanies. His 2007 album Stay/Leave contains his composition Theme Song which won the Ray-Ban Never Hide music contest and he was subsequently featured in Rolling Stone Magazine (2007’s 40th Anniversary Issue). The album cover features Stay on one side and Leave on the other.
|Tom Mahoney – Stay (2007)
||Tom Mahoney – Leave (2007)
Just about filed this under Déjà Vu, what with the cute little dressed-up kids, both looking upwards for parental guidance, and both holding dangerous materials. They even both have the same blasé and resigned facial expressions, although the junior Blue Meanie looks like he might lose it any minute.
Anyway, here they are together under Strange Connections for obvious reasons. Imagine an alternative rock-grunge-ska-core band called “The Pretty Blue Reckless Meanies” with an album titled “Light Me Up and Kiss Your Ass Goodbye”. Or “Kiss Me Up and Light…” (just kidding!). Brilliant! Get Cowell on the phone…
The Pretty Reckless – Light Me Up (2010)
Blue Meanies – Kiss Your Ass Goodbye (1995)
It has been several months since my last installment of Strange Connections. This is a category that features album covers that have an unsual connection to something. The connection can be to another album, a work of art, or just about anything that seems funny or unusual.
This strange connection involves two albums that are both being released in the U.S. on July 20, 2010. I think that they should be sold as a package.
Twenty years ago, I worked in a bookstore in Los Angeles and was given a booklet by the late Charles Bukowski. It is called Bring Me Your Love and was illustrated by R. Crumb. The booklet (at 15 pages it can’t really be called a book) has been a prized possession ever since.
Bring Me Your Love is a short story about a woman named Gloria who is institutionalized. The R. Crumb illustrations are unforgettable. One that is etched in my memory is of Gloria punching herself in the face (right).
In addition to books and comics, R. Crumb has illustrated the covers of several notable album covers, such as Cheap Thrills by Big Brother & the Holding Company (Janis Joplin) in 1967.
Today, I was browsing through the AAX gallery and saw a very familiar image. AAX user flickeringlight had uploaded an album cover for an artist that I’d never heard of before.
From online research, I have been able to discover that Moderat is a collaboration between electronic groups Apparat and Modeselektor. Their album was released in April 2009. I’ve listened to a few samples on various websites and I really like their single Rusty Nails.
I don’t know if there is a connection between the illustration for this album cover and the one done by R. Crumb. It could very well be just a coincidence that the two are so very similar. What do you think?
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Posted by: infiniteloop
Recently, Joe Jonas performed on stage dressed as Elvis Presley — complete with wig and rhinestone-covered white jumpsuit.
Twenty-five years ago, the great Annie Lennox did the same thing at the 1984 Grammy Awards. Lennox shocked the crowd when she appeared on stage to perform Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) with her partner Dave Stewart, dressed in Elvis drag.
The verdict from the “timeless moments in pop music” jury? Joe Jonas = Clown. Annie Lennox = Immortal Goddess of Rock!