Sunday, July 21, 2013

My 50 Favorite Rock Album Covers: #31 to 35

This is Part Four in my series listing my 50 Favorite Rock Album Covers of All Time.  This group of five, Numbers 31 to 35, includes a ray gun (well, a disintegrator gun, to be exact), an exploding car jump, and a giant musician, with a giant guitar, wearing a giant scarf.  Let’s get right into it, shall we?

If you have a favorite album cover or two you’d like to share, please post it/them in the comments on the blog here, on my Facebook page, or Tweet it to me @collindaniels.

Collin's 50 Favorite Rock Album Covers of All Time

#35: Foo Fighters (Self-Titled)

Who would have thought something so positive and wonderful could have come out of the suicide or one of rock’s all-time greatest, Kurt Cobain?  The post-Nirvana journey of  Dave Grohl and his band Foo Fighters is honestly one of the best things to come out of a suicide, ever.  Foo fans know this, but drummer-turned-guitarist-singer-and-frontman Grohl wrote and recorded this entire debut album by himself, and apparently only intended it for friends and never for any sort of wide release.  There was no band, there were no Foo Fighters.

The lone image of a Science-Fiction Disintegrator Pistol from the old Buck Rogers TV show could have a host of different meanings.  To me, it represents what Grohl eventually did, after the most famous band in the world at the time was literally gone in a flash.  Yeah, some really awful shit just happened.  Nothing we do is gonna make that go away.  But now, let’s have some fun, and let’s fuckin’ ROCK.

#34: Blondie – Parallel Lines

This band was once one of the hippest things to come out of the punk rock scene.  Then, all of a sudden, they were one of the hippest things in the Disco scene.  Before, during, and after all of that, somehow, they remained extremely cool.  Maybe I’m wrong, but I feel like you gotta be hardcore NYC to pull anything like that off successfully.  If students at the Fashion Institute of Technology haven’t been studying this cover for years, well…they should have been.  It’s also further proof for me of that adage that in Art, limits and constraints can breed the best creative ideas.  Black, white, up-and-down lines…voila.

#33: Gerry Rafferty – City to City

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…A GIANT GERRY RAFFERTY!  I’m amazed sometimes at how great works of art seem like if they were just an inch or an ounce less brilliant, they’d be…well, crap.  At first glance, this cover might look like a supremely cheesy example of early 1970’s American art, that centered around the Hippie culture concepts of peace, love and um…being on drugs.

But there’s something about it that knocks me into a happy place when I look at it.  I try not to let the music on the album itself influence this list too much, but I suppose one of the things that can make a cover great IS its connection to the music.  This album has always sounded to me like the masterpiece of one of the greatest rock songwriters ever, but created with a gentleness and humility that belies its underlying strength and power. 

So the fact that we have this laid-back, easy-going, 1970’s dude with a guitar and sunglasses, BUT he’s as big as a skyscraper, and could be coming to crush your whole town Godzilla-style, just feels right to me.

#32: Barbara Manning – One Perfect Green Blanket

It took a little-known female indie rock artist from the early 1990’s to put a gorgeous painting of a fully-populated, vintage baseball field, with players in action, on an album cover.  For this, and this alone, she makes the list.  I remain surprised that somebody else…CCR, John Cougar Mellencamp, SOMEBODY, didn’t do it first.  And that as far as I know, no one else has done it since.  

#31: The Subways – All or Nothing

Speaking of “How is it that no one has done this before?  HOW???” Here we have…an orange, 1970’s model American sedan, doing a jump off a ramp, caught in mid-air, exploding, on fire, with an additional and completely unnecessary fireball underneath it.  My inner 15-year-old-boy pretty much wants every album cover I ever do from now on to look something like this.  Did I mention it is EXPLODING AND ON FIRE??? Brilliant.

Coming soon, Numbers 36 to 40, which will include exactly zero cars exploding in mid-air, zero ray guns, and zero paintings of baseball fields.

Remember, if you have a favorite album cover or two you’d like to share, please post it/them in the comments on the blog here, on my Facebook page, or Tweet it/them to me @collindaniels.

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