VINYL IS SO DEAD! Who would ever want one of these things in the car? And the discs have an issue with scratches and exposure to too much heat...
8 Track is obviously the wave of the future! Well, except for the crappy audio quality and the annoying tendancy for the player to consume the medium...
Cassette tapes are the wave of the future! Significantly better sound quality and more compact. But, there is still that same medium devouring player issue and now the artwork is the size of a postage stamp...
CDs are absolutely the wave of the future! An order of magnitude better sound, considerably more durable, and dirt cheap to produce. There is however still that art sizing issue and the difficulty of converting older material into a digital format that preserves much of the sound quality, so...
Vinyl is the wave of the future! New plastics remove almost all of the scratching and wear problems, the sound quality is stunning, and artwork like this is again possible:
My apologies to E-6 for reposting his brilliant rework of the cover art from Goats Head Soup to include our very own MPE, Corey Brewer! Nate has suggested accompanying the highlight video of Corey's big night to a cut from the album, and it is a great idea, but I'm going to suggest that this link is more fitting of our Polar Vortex of a season:
I'm in the process of converting some of my vinyl to digital in order to hear it more often, and this (of course) involves admiring the great artwork that adorns many of the albums. Here are some favorites accompanied by a song from the album.
I'll start with a favorite album cover that reminds me of Summer days and all the pleasant things associated with them and also brings back memories of my youth to boot:
I'll make the assumption that there will be some of you folks who will post some of the better more current album artworks, so I'll stick with what my personal bias tells me are some of the best covers from the "golden age" of album covers. This one brings much of my largely mispent youth back and has the happy coincidence to describe my current level of activity given the cold that I'm nursing. This happens to have been the last album this group produced and certainly may have been their best, although that is open to dispute.
Up next is some artwork that has to be vividly etched into the minds of anyone who came of age in the 60s or 70s. The album was also quite memorable, although the band would never rise to the heights of their first album. I have found it to often be the case that a phenomenal first album is rarely ever exceeded by later works.
I'll switch to something more contemporary now, this cover art is nothing short of brilliant given how it mixes Robert Crumb and newer photography to create an unforgettable image. The band was certainly popular at the time, but the musical style they employed never really achieved great popularity on this side of the pond which is unfortunate since it strikes me as perfectly suited to Corey's play.
Sometimes great album artwork is more than just an homage to a cartoonists style; sometimes it's an near perfect duplicate of an older album cover. It would be hard to think of two styles of music that are more removed from each other than the original artist and the group that honored the artwork on one of his albums, but it left us with an amazing cover.
Here is the original for reference:
I'll just post the next album cover because as heretical as it might be to say this, I really didn't care for any of the music on this one. It may be an offense calling for burning at the stake, but I felt it was this groups least interesting album.
To wrap this edition up, I'll post one from a group known for the great cover art on all of their albums. The album I prefer was recorded 2 years after the one for which they are most famous and which has the artwork that most people would associate with the band. Roommates mostly destroyed my affection for the earlier album by playing it until the stylus started to contact the platter. Don't even ask me about former girlfriends and Billy Joel and Dan Fogelburg! At any rate, this cover just grabbed me the first time I saw it and still does today.
Now that I've pissed away a fair amount of a Sunday morning worshipping at the altar of musical idols, I'm hoping that many of you will post some of your favorite album artwork for our enjoyment. I've always felt that there needs to be some music and artwork that requires a greater input of time to enjoy than merely pulling up a shuffle function on iTunes or other media player; I may be putting vinyl onto hard drives, but I will always enjoy having my albums regardless of how much space they consume. Here is a link for a site that has an extensive array of cover art and might be worth spending considerable time perusing. Arty Hoopers show us your covers!