A Requiem for Album Art
Yes Relayer album cover, 1974
I recently started drawing up plans for a series of wall racks to display some of my favorite LPs. I like looking at the covers of albums from bands like Yes, Uriah Heep, Trapeze, Deep Purple, UFO, Captain Beyond, and Molly Hatchet because they’re incredible and they would actually make great wall art. It seems like all the bands with great album covers are from decades past. So it feels like this collage of album covers that will adorn my wall is less of a celebration of this art and more of a memorial to it. This has me seriously wondering why the bands of today can’t come up with decent art for their albums. I think for the most part they don’t even care to try. It’s definitely a lost art.
Now days we have single track downloading and internet music streaming, and even the CD is becoming ancient history. Hardly anybody likes to buy whole albums anymore; almost nobody understands the enjoyment of listening to a whole record while studying the jacket art and reading the album info. Pretty soon album art won’t even exist anymore, and what does exist now is largely not worth looking at. Musicians (I use that word loosely) of today seem to think that a close-up of their face is sufficient cover art.
Maybe you can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can usually judge an album by its art. If the art is lousy or stupid, or a glamorous photo of some singer’s face, you can pretty much safely assume, with a few exceptions, that the music will disappoint. Album art is important. I picked up the Trapeze album Medusa just because I liked the cover, and I discovered a great band because of it. I hate to see this art form die. Where are the Roger Deans and Frank Frazettas of our generation? I wonder if we’ll ever see them again.
Firefly, Uriah Heep, 1977
Medusa, Trapeze, 1970
Pulse, Pink Floyd, 1995
Captain Beyond, Captain Beyond, 1972
Broadsword and the Beast, Jethro Tull, 1982
Stand Up, Jethro Tull, 1969
Fly From Here, Yes, 2011
A Momentary Lapse of Reason, Pink Floyd, 1987
Animals, Pink Floyd, 1977
Beatin’ the Odds, Molly Hatchet, 1980
Led Zeppelin, Physical Graffiti, 1975
Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin IV, 1971
Relayer, Yes, 1974
All original content copyright S.D. de la Rosa, 2013.
~ by Sara on January 7, 2013.
Posted in Art, Classic Rock, Heavy Metal, Music, Thoughts, Uncategorized
Tags: album, album art, album cover, animals, captain beyond, cd, classic rock, deep purple, frank frazetta, jethro tull, lp, medusa, molly hatchet, music, pink floyd, pulse, record, relayer, roger dean, stand up, trapeze, ufo, uriah heep, yes