I don’t know about you guys and gals, but I love picking up an album and dropping my jaw open in amazement at the album artwork before listening to the tracks.
Sometimes it’s a photograph, a simple but striking shot merged with some neat typography that draws you in. Then again sometimes the album artwork has been created through illustrations, just as stunning! Then there’s some that state a political message, and some which are highly focussed on beauty style shots (dependent on the musician maybe) There’s so many elements to an amazing album cover when you start dissecting it.
I’ve always been fascinated by them, and certainly since some of my own shots have been used on EP / LP artwork, it’s given me heaps to think about for future shoots with musicians. I have one coming up at the weekend I’m excited about.
Here’s 10 covers which made me go WOW! Of course there’s so many of them….
The Clash – London Calling
I adore this live shot! I think the photographer (Pennie Smith) has captured the essence of the show in that split moment. It was taken in NYC at The Palladium back in 1979. Insane!
Rage Against The Machine
Amazing that a photograph can down in history. (And they say photography is dead….) The cover shows the self-immolation of a buddhist monk, Thích Quảng Đức, in Saigon back in 1963. Taken by Malcolm Browne for press. Fits right in to what the band were / are about and the political messages they were singing about.
Korn – Issues
Love this since I was back in high school! ( I just HAD to buy the doll when it was available for sale 😉 ) It’s so fucked up yet so cute! Definately got issues…poor thing
Sepultura – Roots
Love the tribal connection on this one and the branches in the background. The disconnected head from the neck is obscure but it can relate to a number of things. Great thing is you can perceive it however YOU see it…
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Zero
Made me go OH? then OHHHH…. It’s weird and wonderful!
Love this one – Super eye catching, obscure but has the fashion / beauty style to the shot. I think it represents her music really well, different with her own stamp to it and style.
Lenny Kravitz – Baptism
Speechless… Simple and ties in so very well with the album title.
The Roots – Things Fall Apart
Striking and captivating photo. The album was released with 5 different covers, each cover representing and showing a different social disaster. The first one captured during a riot in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn during the 1960s – Civil Rights era. I look at her face and just FEEL something. Yet the police behind her look so relaxed and blaze about the situation. The one above, a child in rubble…
Their more than photographs, they tell a story of going ons in life. The Roots were trying to get a certain message across through their music at the time in 1999, it works. Even though the photos were over 30 years old by this point.
Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti
The creative process is a complex one, there’s layers upon layers that can be applied to a piece of work. A photo can be taken, then can be adapted and changed to create something new. Check this out below. The shot was taken in NYC – it took them weeks to capture it and find the right place for it. It’s then later been changed, the final product being the album sleeve design for Physical Graffiti.
OK.. There’s infact 11
Marilyn Manson – Mechanical Animals
Love him or hate him ( I love him) He gets peoples attention. It’s amazing to see him this year as the face of YSL. The album cover won a number of awards and the concept was his photographer’s, Joseph Cultice.
What do you guys and gals think?