54th Annual GRAMMY Awards for packaging

The nominations for the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards were announced tonight. Below are the nominees for the Best Recording Package and Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package categories.

Best Recording Package
Chickenfoot – Chickenfoot III

Todd Gallopo, art director 
eOne Music

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Reckless Kelly – Good Luck & True Love
Sarah Dodds & Shauna Dodds, art directors 
No Big Deal Records

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J.Viewz – Rivers and Homes
Jonathan Dagan, art director
Jorjia Music

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Arcade Fire – Scenes from the Suburbs
Vincent Morisset, art director
Merge Records

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Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch the Throne
Virgil Abloh, art director
Def Jam

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Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package
Radiohead – The King Of Limbs
Donald Twain & Zachariah Wildwood, art directors
ATO Records

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Bruce Springsteen – The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story
Dave Bett & Michelle Holme, art directors
Columbia Records

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Danny Elfman & Tim Burton – 25th Anniversary Music Box
Matt Taylor & Ellen Wakayama, art directors
WB

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Sting – 25 Years
James Spindler, art director 
A&M Records/Cherrytree Records/UMe

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Wingless Angels – Wingless Angels Deluxe Edition
David Gorman, art director
Mindless Records, LLC

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Which album cover is the best for the week of November 29, 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.

Adele – Live at the Royal Albert Hall
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  Hot Chelle Rae – Whatever
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Trey Songz – Inevitable
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  Gorillaz – The Singles Collection 2001-2011
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Kylie Minogue – Aphrodite Les Folies Live in London
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  Various Artists – Sons of Anarchy Music from Seasons 1-4
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New and Notable: Kate Bush

Kate Bush has posted an interesting video called “Mistraldespair” to YouTube. It is described as the official animation for a segment from Misty, a track from Bush’s new album 50 Words for Snow. The album was released last week.

The video features a snowman that is literally melted by the passionate touch of a woman. It is definitely a new take on the traditional Frosty tale. I usually like music videos that tie in to the theme of the album cover. However, the video is really quite depressing. It is not what I imagined when I saw the cover.

Posted by: zeefritz

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The Muppets soundtrack voted the best album cover for the week of November 22, 2011

According to our AlbumArtExchange Blog poll, The Muppets Original Soundtrack has been voted the best album cover for the week of November 22, 2011. The cover received 50% of the votes cast by our readers. Kate Bush’s 50 Words for Snow was second with 26% of the vote. Mary J Blige’s My Life II… The Journey Continues (Act 1) was third with 15%.

The winning cover is a cropped version of the movie poster by Walt Disney Studios. The poster shows the actors’ feet, which makes it clear that they are standing and holding back the crowd of Muppets. The album cover looks more like they are laying on a pile of Muppets. I think the cropped version is actually more appealing.

Posted by: zeefritz

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Editor’s Choice: November 28, 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: zeefritz

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Posted by: Vocephus

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Posted by: Vocephus

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Posted by: zeefritz

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Posted by: Tim Barron

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Posted by: PhilR

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Posted by: Mediocrates

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Posted by: Vocephus

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Posted by: Lazlo Nibble

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Posted by: Vocephus

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Noteworthy 2011 holiday albums

Here are 10 new holiday albums for 2011. They are presented in no particular order. All are currently available for purchase.

Posted by: zeefritz

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Posted by: zeefritz

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Posted by: zeefritz

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Posted by: zeefritz

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Posted by: zeefritz

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Posted by: zeefritz

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Posted by: Tim Barron

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Posted by: ron spencer

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Posted by: zeefritz

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Posted by: zeefritz

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Rammstein’s Made in Germany features six life masks

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Made in Germany, the forthcoming greatest hits album by German rock band Rammstein, features six different album covers, each with a photograph of a plaster life mask of a band member. Many online reviews and articles about the album are calling the artwork “death masks” rather than “life masks” without understanding the obvious difference between the two.

Death masks are, of course, plaster masks that are created shortly after a person dies. Life masks are made while the person is still alive. Plaster masks were once the best way to memorialize a person. They were created in order to have a record of what the person looked like, both in life and in death. Painters and sculptures often made them in order to have a model to use and avoid having to make the subject pose for many hours. The most common use for them today is the creation of special effects make up.

Although death masks are quite rare in modern times, many famous people have had life masks created. This includes pop stars such as David Bowie (above left) and Michael Jackson (above right). Fans can purchase life masks from businesses such as The Haunted Studios

This is not the first time that a life mask has been used as album cover art. The 1973 album Lifemask by English folk singer-songwriter and guitarist Roy Harper features a life mask of Harper.

Made in Germany is scheduled to be released on December 13, 2011. It includes one new track, Mein Land.

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New and Notable: A Very Gaga Holiday

Lady Gaga has released a live holiday EP. It is available as a digital download from iTunes and Amazon.com and features four tracks, including a version of the holiday classic White Christmas.

Posted by: rljnunez

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At the Movies: The Muppets

The musical comedy The Muppets opened in U.S. theaters this week. It is scheduled for release in the U.K. on February 17, 2012. The film features six new musical numbers. It also includes performances of three classic Muppet songs, The Muppet Show Theme, Rainbow Connection and Mah Nà Mah Nà.

The soundtrack is available as a digital download and on CD. It features 30 tracks, which includes clips of dialogue and the film’s musical numbers. There are two different album covers for the soundtrack. The U.S. version features The Muppets and human stars Jason Segel and Amy Adams (below left). The U.K. version does not include Segel and Adams (below right).

Disney has created a preview video for the soundtrack. It is over seven minutes long and includes previews of all of the songs from the album. Both the film and the soundtrack are getting great reviews. This will probably be the most popular soundtrack of 2011.

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