[singlepic=244,300,,,right]Ahh…album covers. With digital download methods more readily available these days, many have lost the true meaning of an album. Albums today are merely a collection of tunes which, we home, all relate to each other in some way. They sit on your iPod, and the only reason to have album artwork is for the iPod to display its cover as a song is playing. How silly.
Album covers have always been the artists playground. Musicians, like many artists, have a significant appreciation for many forms of art, including the visual mediums. Album art has seen everything from Jackson Pollock to LED (Pink Floyd’s “Blink” album). But the photographic artwork is some of the best work you’ll see around.
Album art is actually one of the things that brought me into the photography world. The Who’s “Who’s Next”, Rage Against the Machine’s self-titled album or U2’s “War” – all great examples of photography in and of itself, yet they are tied in harmony (no pun intended) with the music they represent. They become pop-art icons, easily recognized branding that symbolizes not just an album, but a stage in the musician’s career. For example, U2’s early works look as great if their album covers were in color? Or what if Radiohead’s front-man, Thom Yorke, didn’t lose the original artwork – a picture of an iron lung – requiring him to use the Yorke-like test dummy that ended up on the cover of “The Bends” (pictured at right)?
Real pop-art can be seen through Album Photography.
100 Best Photo Album Covers (pophoto.com)