This is the next entry in Best Album Covers, a series begun right here. The first successful long-playing microgroove record for the phonograph was introduced by Columbia Records back in June of 1948. Yet, album covers (the paper board packaging that held them) didn’t come into their own graphically till decades later. Eventually becoming the cultural stamp on the music of the time. Catching the eyes of potential record-buyers and later their ears and minds. Melding the musical experience with the artist into a unique visual form.
Why Compact Disc versions of album art don’t exactly raise the same reaction these days was looked at in this post. Although, music label artistry continues to be noticed and discussed among the material published today. The bits and bytes are looking over their shoulder, though, because vinyl hasn’t entirely gone the way of the dinosaur. Online or at the record shops still out there. Cover art hasn’t lost purpose, either for old and new. Mostly, it’s my contention while digital reigns supreme, its vigor among fans lacks the tactile passion of the past LPs.
Hence the reason for this series. Some register more with me musically than others, though. Yet, the artwork will always take center stage, at least here. Let’s continue shall we?
Just so no one can accuse me of ignoring current album artistry — yes, that sounds a bit paranoid to me, too — I’ll point to this. A group, Panoram, I know next to nothing about, outside of its obvious electro/technic music association.
“Completely unique music in it’s own cosmos & 1st LP from sibylline Panoram. Experiments in evocative soundscapes, minimal rhythms and mood. Hand printed sleeves.” ~ Amazon
I’ve little to say about the group’s music, having only sampled a few bytes of it online, but that cover remains a stunner. Everything I usually admire of photographic art — elegant imagery, high contrast, and a distinct grain within the medium — is clearly represented. An impressive image of a solar eclipse by the album’s artists. No coincidence that today is the first eclipse of the 2014, be it a lunar one. We only have to wait till the 29th of this month for the annular solar variety.
Still, this one captured the Sun’s corona as well some well-defined and red highlighted prominences spectacularly for its album art. Wish I could find who shot the image or how it was processed, but the silkscreened artwork worked quite well as an eye-catcher. I don’t know, given its music genre and small independent label, one specialising in oddball house, techno and electronics out of Edinburgh, UK, release, if or when this album cover might ever make a splash. Pop or otherwise. But its cover certainly did with me.
I had a sneaking suspicion I’d seen similar before. The one on the left being the 1990 reissue of the ’74 recording by Andre Previn. Holst’s The Planets. Previous releases depicted planets of the solar system as album art, but here an eclipse stood instead.
Title: Everyone Is A Door
Label: Firecracker Recordings
Track Listing (and yes, the label issued this on vinyl LP, CD, and for immediate download of its 12-tracks in the high-quality format of your choice (MP3, FLAC, and more)):
- “Serenity Cosmos”
- “Awake Walk”
- “Alone In Hawaii”
- “Harmony Study”
- “A Replica Of Yourself”
- “The Pacific Command”
- “Toluka Lake View”
- “Tiny Little Faces”
- “Bad Request”
The entire series can be found here.