At the Movies: Cowboys & Aliens

The SciFi Western Cowboys & Aliens opened in U.S. theaters today. The film stars Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, and Olivia Wilde and was directed by Jon Favreau. It is based on a 2006 graphic novel of the same name by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg.

The score for the film was composed by Harry Gregson-Williams. The soundtrack album features 17 original tracks and is scheduled for release on August 9, 2011. The cover art for the soundtrack features a dramatic image of Craig and Ford, omitting Wilde. Wilde is included on the official box office poster for the film. I guess she doesn’t qualify as a cowboy for the soundtrack.

Posted by: zeefritz

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Feist reveals Metals album cover using paint-by-numbers

Canadian singer-songwriter Feist has revealed the cover for her forthcoming album Metals using a paint-by-numbers “canvas” that was posted on Facebook today.

This is the first time I have seen this concept used for an album cover reveal. It is very unique. I wonder how many fans will actually take the time to fill in the colors. The album is scheduled to be released on October 4, 2011.

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Album Art Flashback: 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong by Elvis Presley

This Album Art Flashback is from 1959 and features one of the most successful compilation albums in music history. 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong: Elvis’ Gold Records – Volume 2 is Elvis Presley’s ninth album. It was released on RCA Victor Records in November 1959 and reached #31 on the Billboard album chart.

The title of the album and the artwork probably had Elvis fans scratching their heads when the record was released. The title is based on a 1927 Sophie Tucker hit called Fifty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong. The album cover features a photograph of Elvis wearing a gold gold lamé suit. The image is repeated 14 times in various sizes. The design is similar to the pop art style that emerged several years after its release.

Posted by: zeefritz

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Another interesting thing about this album cover is that it has inspired several imitations over the years. Whether they are parodies or simply paying homage to the King is debatable for each particular album cover. There are albums that use a variation of the title alone. There are others that feature multiple images and at least two that go all the way with gold lamé. 

Below are several examples from the AAX gallery. Included are covers from Bon Jovi, Elvis Costello, Rod Stewart and three other artists.

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Banned in the USA: Nirvana’s Nevermind

According to an article on The Hollywood Reporter website, Facebook has removed the the cover art for the 20th anniversary edition of Nirvana’s album Nevermind from the band’s Facebook page.

Posted by: lackofcreativity

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Twenty years later, Nirvana is still managing to cause controversy.

The band, whose Nevermind album made waves when it was released in 1991 because of its cover art which featured a naked baby boy floating in a pool, has run into censorship yet again, this time on its Facebook page.

After product shots of the album (which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this fall) were uploaded to Nirvana’s Facebook page, the social networking company removed the photo citing a violation of its Terms of Use.

When the cover was originally released, many U.S. retailers refused to display it on their shelves. It was banned in Saudi Arabia and several other countries. So, it looks as if things have not changed in two decades — at least as far as Facebook is concerned.

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Which album cover is the best for the week of July 26, 2011?

Below are six album covers that were preselected from this week’s new music releases. They were chosen based on Amazon.com sales rank and for their noteworthy album cover designs. Please vote for the cover that you think is the best of the bunch. The winner will be announced next Tuesday.

America – Back Pages
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  Eric Church – Chief
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Joss Stone – LP1
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  Kelly Rowland – Here I Am
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Little Dragon – Ritual Union
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  Vanessa Carlton – Rabbits on the Run
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Universal Pulse by 311 voted best album cover for the week of July 19, 2011

According to our AlbumArtExchange Blog poll, the best album cover for the week of July 19, 2011 is Universal Pulse by 311. The album cover received 32% of the votes cast by our readers. The Mosaic Project by Terri Lyne Carrington was second with 23%. Time of My Life by 3 Doors Down and the soundtrack for Captain America: The First Avenger tied for third with 18% each.

The winning cover is a fantasy Photoshop collage designed by Sonny Kay, who has designed dozens of album covers for artists such as guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López. Kay’s official website features an extensive Flash gallery of his work.

Posted by: zeefritz

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Come back this evening to vote on your favorite album cover from among those preselected from this week’s new music releases. Featured artists include Joss Stone, Kelly Rowland, Vanessa Carlton and a couple of surprises.

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Editor’s Choice: July 25, 2011

Below are 10 noteworthy album covers that were posted to the AAX gallery last week. They were selected simply because I found them to be interesting or a valuable addition to the gallery. They are listed in no particular order.

Posted by: Lazlo Nibble

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Posted by: cjmal

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Posted by: Tim Barron

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Posted by: Vocephus

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Posted by: Mediocrates

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Posted by: zeefritz

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Posted by: Gulickson

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Posted by: Scott

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Posted by: amantel

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Posted by: Ozsteve

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Strange Connections: The 27 Club

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)

Posted by: Foundation image

Buy Now 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)

Posted by: Scott image

Buy Now 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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Buy Now 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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Buy Now 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.

Other musicians in The 27 Club, include Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones, Richey James Edwards of Manic Street Preachers, Pete de Freitas of Echo & the Bunnymen, Jeremy Michael Ward of De Facto and The Mars Volta, Ron “Pigpen” McKernan of the Grateful Dead, and Gary Thain of Keef Hartley Band and Uriah Heep — to name but a few.
 

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Remembering Amy Winehouse

Here is a slideshow featuring the covers of the albums and singles Amy Winehouse released during her life, which was cut short tragically over the weekend at the age of 27. All of the images can be found in the AAX gallery.

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