Thursday, September 25, 2008

Album Cover Art

Here we go again- a look at Gigwise's list of controversial, weiredest, best and worst album cover art as complied by their crack staff.


34. The Strokes: ‘Is This It’ This is controversial? Maybe it has something to do with the leather glove, buy I hardly think this ranks as a great cover. But, it did draw controversary and actually had to be replaced.

"Is This It," is the debut album by the American alternative rock band The Strokes, released in 2001. The Strokes were the first band to break into the mainstream as part of the turn-of-the-millennium garage rock trend. After signing with RCA, the band went on the opposite way of recording adopted by traditional rock bands. Instead of doing their full-length debut in a professional studio, the Strokes instead opted to record in a basement on Manhattan's Lower East Side, to which they put the name Transporter Raum Studio.

Hyped by the music press for their melodic pop-influenced garage rock sound on both sides of the Atlantic, The Strokes' auspicious debut garnered them critical and popular attention, as well as a backlash from listeners turned off by the hype. Nonetheless, Is This It's more famous songs "The Modern Age", "Last Nite", "Hard to Explain" and "Someday" won the band much respect and helped the album reach number two in the UK and number thirty-three in the US.

The track "New York City Cops" was pulled from the North American edition of Is This It following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack and was replaced by "When It Started". This was because the band and their management thought the song might be considered insensitive, particularly the main chorus line "New York City Cops, they ain't too smart", which is repeated throughout. The band still plays "New York City Cops" live and the song is available on the international edition of the album, along with its original cover art. In 2002, Is This It was re-released with a DVD with music videos and out takes from a performance on MTV2.

alternate cover

"Is This It" is one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the 2000s. It was ranked 89th in a 2005 survey held by British television's Channel 4 to determine the 100 greatest albums of all time. In 2003, the album was ranked number 367 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In June 2005, the album was ranked number 100 on Spin's list of the "100 Greatest Albums, 1985-2005". In July 2006, the album was ranked 48 on The Observer's list of 'The 50 Albums That Changed Music.' In November 2007 Q magazine rated it at 21 in "21 albums that changed music" In addition to being ranked among the greatest albums of all time, the non-U.S. version of the album cover has been ranked as one of the greatest album covers of all time. The U.S. cover is different; it features a photo of particle collisions in the Big European Bubble Chamber.

Wow, quite a remarkable list of accomplishments but the cover is not that bad- c'mon people it's just a butt!



34. Cerrone 3: 'Supernature' I guess this was some Disco music man, I won't even spend any time with this. Weird? How about worst and not even looking at it? What is with the guys with animal heads? Remember, coke was the drug of choice in the Disoc era, but this is more of an acid trip. Enough said.



34. Village People – ‘Renaissance’ After the downfall of Disco, the group tried to transition into a New Wave group. The attempt failed commercially and critically as most were turned off by the harsh change in direction. The album peaked at #138 on The Billboard 200. However, the album did find a cult fanbase years later. Many fans thought of the album to be an abstract, intriguing work. The standout tracks are the two singles, "Do You Wanna Spend The Night" and "5 O'Clock In The Morning." This album was reissued to CD in 1999.

Village People are a concept disco group formed in the late 1970s. The group is well known for their on-stage costumes as for their catchy tunes and suggestive lyrics. Original members were: police officer (Victor Willis), American Indian chief (Felipe Rose), cowboy (Randy Jones), construction worker (David Hodo), leatherman (Glenn Hughes) and Military man (Alex Briley). For the release of "In the Navy", both Willis and Briley appeared temporarily as sailors. Originally created to target disco's primarily gay fan base by featuring stereotypical gay fantasy personas[1], the band's popularity quickly brought them into mainstream. The group is seen by some music critics as less serious for their camp style, appearance and musical choices.

Village People scored a number of disco and dance hits, including their trademark "Macho Man", "Go West", the classic club medley of "San Francisco (You've Got Me) / In Hollywood (Everybody is a Star)", "In the Navy", "Can't Stop the Music", "Sex Over the Phone" and their biggest hit, "Y.M.C.A.".

Collectively, the Village People have sold 85 million albums and singles. The group also recorded new materials under the name "The Amazing Veepers".

I liked them better as the Indian, cop, construction worker, cowboy, the leather guy and military man. But, honestly, not that much.



34. Peter Gabriel: ‘Melt’ Peter Gabriel (1980) is Peter Gabriel's third eponymous album. It was his first and only release for Mercury Records in the USA, and was re-issued in 1983 on Geffen Records. The album was met with wide critical acclaim and contains two of Gabriel's most famous songs, "Games Without Frontiers," which reached the U.S. Top 50, and the UK Top Ten, and the political song "Biko", about the late anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko. The album was remastered, along with most of Gabriel's catalog, in 2002.

This album is often referred to as Melt, on account of the cover photograph. This was part of a session taken by Storm Thorgerson of Hipgnosis, using a Polaroid SX-70 instant camera, subsequently modified by Thorgerson and Gabriel. Thorgerson does not recall whether the cover image was manipulated by Gabriel, or by himself. I guess you just spill some water and modify as needed, hmmm, simple, but effective.

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