Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Our Favorite Album Covers

Much like a musician who is part of a band but also releases solo material, I'm sort of glad we saved this post for this site as opposed to Pajiba. Of course, maybe if we woulda posted this on Pajiba, we'd still be on Pajiba. Right. Because this post is going to be that important.

I also want you to know that this post is totally NOT SUITABLE FOR WORK! You have been warned.

Anyway, here are each writer's (who cared to participate) Top 3 covers:


Buchanan, All Understood

It's not graphic or even all that provocative, but it always struck me as amusing. We know what's going on in there, guys. Maybe not the specifics, but...we get it. Lotta steam, too; somebody's good.

Faith No More, Songs to Make Love To

Rhinoceros humping. Indeed.

Rush, Power Windows

Alright, so my musical tastes don't really lend themselves to controversial cover art. You'll have to deal with what I think is cool, then. Hugh Syme has been producing excellent, thought-provoking cover art for decades, and this is one of my favorites.

I'd also like to make a brief mention of another prolific cover-artist: Storm Thorgerson. Not necessarily because he's produced a number of iconic covers, including Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. But because the man's name--his GIVEN NAME--is STORM fucking THORGERSON. I dare you to find me a legit birth name that's more rock 'n' roll than that.


Dwarves, Blood, Guts & Pussy

Yeah, it's totally misogynist, but there are naked women covered in blood and a dwarf acting like he's having sex with a rabbit. It's totally an affront to your sensibilities.

Black Crowes, Amorica

Umm, so yeah. I kind of like the low-brow covers.

Zipgun, Baltimore

A guy dressed up in a bunny suit giving an easter egg to a poodle. Folks, I dare you to find a more fucked up cover than this. Not necessarily a big smack in the head like the first two, but more like "What the fuck?"

Chris Polley

STNNNG, Dignified Sissy [Modern Radio; 2005]

I already knew the Minneapolis spazz-punk outfit STNNNG were awesome when I saw them live. It just so happened that an album cover featuring a polar bear viciously attacking armed men cinched the deal for me when contemplating whether to purchase their music. Also, every song sounds like the gruesome act depicted in the detailed illustration, so they get bonus points for appropriately complementary iconography.

I Am David Sparkle, This Is The New [Kitty Wu; 2007]

Okay so the actual visual, especially in JPEG form, of this album is nothing notable. But what makes holding the album cover in your hands so special upon purchasing the glistening and climactic instrumental guitar music of Singapore's I Am David Sparkle is that in order to get to the CD, you have to at least partially destroy its paper casing upon which the artwork is printed. Sewed together on all four sides with black thread, it is impossible to remove the disc from the packaging without ripping its cover, forcing you to work, to undo, to disassemble the art in order to hear the music. Call me a sucker, but I love pretentious shit like this.

Owen, At Home With [Polyvinyl; 2006]

Maybe I'm just an idiot, but I owned this album for a good two months before I noticed the item of mystery behind its cover's photographic composition. There the record sat, in my car's passenger seat, every single day for weeks as I listened to it obsessively on repeat, until one night I parked in my garage, picked it up to bring inside as the dim overhead light helped me catch a new found glimpse of its front side. Suddenly, as I stared, crickets chirping and the engine finally whirring down to a slight whine, I noticed it. Behind the fog, lying on the grass amongst the intimidating sprawling tree and foliage I finally saw it. If you're like me and don't see it right away, look closer. Hopefully when you notice it, it won't be as the automatic light in your car and garage turn off simultaneously and freak you out to the point of smacking your head on the door.


Nirvana, Nevermind

This is probably one of the most iconic album covers of my generation. I mean, you have the triumvirate of power, all captured here in a perversely simple image: money, penis, and swimming pools. (I could get all pretentious here, and talk about the imagery as symbolism for the delicate balance between life and death, but honestly, it's been a long day and I really just want to give this bottle of wine a blow job.)

Ween, Chocolate & Cheese

I had to add my own boobage. Ween and a pro-wrestling reference. I'm Southern. Need I say more? Oh yeah: blowjob.

Aphex Twin, Windowlicker

Jez: I see your Zipgun cover and raise you an Aphex Twin.

Sleep tight, kids.


Sean said...

I'm not okay with that Aphex Twin cover, Boo. Not even a little bit.

Jez said...

Okay, yeah, same reaction for the Aphex Twin cover as the Zipgun. At first I thought you just photoshopped Kufel's face over a photo of a girl and made it an Aphex Twin cover. But I see that it's legit. Thanks for adding your 3, it was a nice surprise. 'specially the selections.

Boo said...

Jez, you just like underboobage. And I like that about you.

Underboob rocks.

Sean said...

Jez, it hurts me that you think I would be caught wearing hoop earrings.

John Doughtry said...

On the Owens cover, if you're referring to the male body laying in the grass, then I would indeed be surprised you hadn't seen it for a month. But there are several female forms created by the fog, one on the ground and one in the center of the shot. To which were you referring? The body or the fog figures?

chris said...

No, John, I actually am that much of an idiot. I think the MP3 era has made me not appreciate album art as much as I used to, so when I got the album, I just threw it in my car and listened, only having glanced at the cover once or twice, thinking it was just of a fog and trees.

But the shapes of the fog are interesting too! And just as creepy!

ChristianH said...

I'm lame. I am lazy. I'm sorry.

I HATE The Stnnng, but that cover is pretty sweet.

If we're going for the classics, nothing beats Abbey Road. Other good ones include:

-The Decemberists, "Her Majesty"

-P.O.S., "Never Better" and Beck's "The Information" (make-your-own cover art=awesome)

-Kanye West, "The College Dropout"

-Arcade Fire, "Neon Bible (Special Edition)"

-The Flaming Lips, "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots"


-Pavement, "Wowee Zowee"

Just because that's what I thought of right now. I wish I'd remembered to do this over the weekend, lol.

Samuel said...

I Am David Sparkle has nothing on Soisong:

And then there's :Zoviet*France: who've used roofing shingles and ceramic pots:

Felicia said...

Ummm, I love the first four comments from our crew on here. I also love that Stnnng got a shout out on our little blog!

cinderkeys said...

OK, I see the dude on the grass. Where are the female forms in the fog?

I don't have any particular favorites, but I always love a good album cover. It's the one thing I miss from the days o' vinyl -- the effect of many of these kind of gets lost when you shrink it down.