The time has come again for my five favourite album covers of the month .The below are a collection of covers which I have enjoyed on my musical journey through August. It has been a wild month for me which included much wonderful travelling. I look forward to September even more.
Thomas Dolby – The Golden Age of Wireless (1982)
I – I don’t believe it!
There she goes again!
She’s tidied up, and I can’t find anything!
All my tubes and wires
And careful notes
And antiquated notions
There’s something excellent about the idea of a stamp on an album cover with Thomas Dolby, then slightly less bald than he is now, tinkering with his tools. I have reviewed a Dolby cover in a previous Five Favourites and indeed reviewed The Flat Earth a very long time ago. Even the bottom ‘Fig. 1 Thomas Dolby’ is excellent. This is just great for me, especially the comic book quality present on many of his album covers.
Peter Tosh – Legalize It (1976)
A few Partners and clients of my firm subscribe to this blog so I shall not espouse a view in agreement or dissent with the sentiments of this album cover. However, I think we can all agree a cover this excellent should be illegal. There’s something so honest about the nomenclature of this album but also the idea of Mr Tosh, off his rocker, in the middle of a field of cannabis. I just find it so funny I felt I needed to share it with you. But humour aside it does make the point visually and concisely. A terrific cover.
Tool – Lateralus (2001)
Tool were one of my many re-discoveries this month. On my way back from Hull I listened to Fear Inoculum and Lateralus. The latter cover did strike me as, well, human, and also superhuman at once. There’s something really trippy about this cover. Perhaps the artist took a leaf out of Peter Tosh’s book (pardon the pun). There is something close to Todd Rundgren’s 1974 live masterpiece Utopia about this cover. The kaleidoscope background, prominence of eyes and striking blue which runds through the cover are quite impressive to me.
Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)
The team devised a concept for the cover involving two men — record execs fashioned in a style suggested by the album’s “Have a Cigar” — shaking hands to seal some unknown deal. Hipgnosis explained a handshake is often seen as an empty gesture, void of meaning or purpose. And the flames? A visualization of people’s tendency to remain emotionally withdrawn (or absent) for fear of “being burned.” Floydianslip
Well if there isn’t a more haunting cover from 1975. Two studio execs meeting in the middle of a row of large hangars which look like film studios, shaking hands on some unknown deal, while one of them is one fire. This is inspired to me. When listening to this album, I did feel like the man on fire. The quality of this record is off the charts, but the cover is also equally impressive.
Grace Jones – Muse (1979)
Produced by disco legend Tom Moulton, the cover of this album is most interesting. This cover was designed by a close friend of Grace’s, Richard Bernstein who created the covers of Interview Magazine from 1972-1989. This is so interesting to me, the scaled effect is repeated on the cover of Inside Story some ten years later. The extreme contrast and colourful ribbons mimic the colours at either side of Grace’s face. This is fun and colourful and excellent, as usual for Grace – though I am biased.
See you again next month!