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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 12:28 pm
by Dominic
ian russell wrote:If we didn't ever buy albums on the strength of the cover, they'd be sold in brown paper sleeves.

It's been done, of course. John The Postman's Peurile c. 1978, for one.

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:14 pm
by ian russell
well, i think they all used to be like this at one stage. i meant, covers have a purpose beyond protecting the disc and, I imagine, can be very expensive to produce - it's all part of the experience of album buying.

On the subject of covers - apologies if it's been mentioned already but, I'm so in favour of the recent trend for cardboard CD gatefolds, instead of those awful plastic 'jewel' cases. Jewel cases?! I suppose the idea is to best protect what's inside but you can never get the booklet in or out without fear of ripping it apart.

As for double CD jewel cases! Arghhhh! 'Sound of the World' please note. a gatefold - a little book in itself really - is fun, easy to access and you read the notes like a book and there at the back is your little disc. what more can you ask? more of these, less of the nasty plastic, please.

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:22 pm
by Charlie
ian russell wrote:As for double CD jewel cases! Arghhhh! 'Sound of the World' please note. a gatefold - a little book in itself really - is fun, easy to access and you read the notes like a book and there at the back is your little disc. what more can you ask? more of these, less of the nasty plastic, please.

I share your feelings, Ian, but economics rules - cardboard digipaks are almost twice as expensive to produce.

In addition, retailers don't like them because they deteriorate in the racks. Once they've got a bit grubby, not only can they not be sold, but they no longer look enticing in the racks and need to be replaced.... none of which will matter once we are only buying online.

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 4:39 pm
by ian russell
digipaks - good god, i can't be calling them that. whatever happened to the beautiful language?

I take your point but I don't fully understand why, if it's so, so many already come within gatefolds. and now that i think of it - if they're worried about durability and expense, why do so many come in a jewel case INSIDE a cardboard picture sleeve?! The Very Best of The Ethiopiques! Is it good? I wouldn't know, I can't get the feckin' sleeve off it! I mean, talk about unnecessary packaging... save the planet, save our fingernails, and save my sanity.

I'm trying to remember the last time I browsed inside a record shop - it doesn't have the appeal it once had, not to mention the futility of the process and the disappointment that normally follows. Buying Online - priceless!

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 4:44 pm
by Dayna
I still enjoy going to a record store & buying the old fashoined way, better. I enjoy the album art, sometimes, if it's good.

I like the jewell caes. Especially after moving & loosing one of my CDs that was in a cardboard sleeve. It was Mali Music. It slipped out of the cardboard thing, unfortunately.

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:25 pm
by ian russell
oo, a slipped disc sounds painful, Dayna. What was the Woody Allen film where he's holding a record sleeve while talking and gesticulating, and sends the record inside flying across the room?

And an extra 10 points if you can tell me the name of the album.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 1:00 am
by Dayna
yeah, loosing one of my favorite CDs like that, by it slipping & cracking has been painful!

I was depressed afterwards.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 8:37 am
by will vine
Wow - Album covers ! The hours,days, and weeks of my young life I spent gawping at these wonderful things......

It's all about looking for clues isn't it ? You hear a track on the radio, a snippet, maybe a line from a song takes your fancy. You might read a review or two. How much more evidence do you need to buy the album? You know that ultimately the proof will be in the listening but does the album cover deliver up a sympathetic image to what you expect to hear ?

Little known facts; I was second from left on the cover of THE BAND. I was on the crossing at ABBEY ROAD. It was my bum in those extravagantly patched jeans on the back of AFTER THE GOLDRUSH. The boots in the boxcar on OKIE ? MIne. I was a cartoon in the back row of DOUG SAHM & FRIENDS. I was a NEW RIDER OF THE PURPLE SAGE. A LOST PLANET AIRMAN. I pissed up the obelisk on WHO'S NEXT, and I was the TROUT MASK REPLICA. Oh yes I internalised all that stuff.

There are no doubt many books devoted to the subject of album cover art that'll say more about it than I can, but it was always the art most accessible to me on day to day basis. It has given me a lot of enjoyment and I'd think a huge amount of it is worthy of gallery space (thus is "Art" defined).

Anyway....to a couple of Howard's questions;
Judging a book by it's cover is ,as we know, not any way to carry on and I know that, in the early days of shopping at STERNS I left hundreds of gems undiscovered hidden as they were behind cheap and unimaginative covers.

Album I absolutely had to have for the cover alone.....AFRICANDO..the one with the beautiful (primitive) african head carving atop a fine western style suit. (sorry I can't do the picture thing).

All time Favorite Album covers....TROUT MASK REPLICA...FUNKY KINGSTON...

I never went in for much dope smoking so I never used a cover to roll joints on but I did acquaint myself with some powerful hallucagens on a couple of occassions way back then. On the first occasion I took some kind of mind bender at a friends partyI had been studying (gawping at) the cover of The Grateful Dead's ANTHEM OF THE SUN which features images of indian princes and gods. Imagine my surprise, when looking in the bathroom mirror minutes later, to find my own face reflected back at me as a morphing series of these pastel complexioned exotic fellows. Far out Man !

I once interpreted a THIRD WORLD album cover in stained glass !

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 11:39 am
by Ian M
will:

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 11:41 am
by joel
Slightly off-topic, but a rule of thumb I've discovered when buying Soukouss vinyl is that the worse the jacket, the better the music.
Same principle as stinky cheese I guess...
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wonderfully abysmal cover; stonking soukouss

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This cover is borderline tasteful, and the album just manages to shake some booty.This is not a Franco album, it's (IIRC) Lengi Lenga presented by Franco.

D.P. Express OTOH, are from Haiti, but guess what? The same rules seem to apply!
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A zouk diamond, with a wonderful sub-Village People cover.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 1:30 pm
by will vine
Ian:

Not the Funky Kingston cover I was thinking of, but worthy of it's posting nonetheless. Thanks for putting up the Africando.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 2:59 pm
by Dominic
will vine wrote:Not the Funky Kingston cover I was thinking of, but worthy of it's posting nonetheless.


My guess is that it was this one

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not this one?

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 3:25 pm
by Ronald
I did go through my record collection and to tell you the thruth there wasn't anything arty or a very intersting cover. My lp collection consists of African music (mostly Congolese) a lot of Reggae and English, Irish and Scottish folk music. Most intersting covers seem to be found in other fileds of music, African or Reggae lp covers just show you most of the time just the singer or the band.

Here are some lp's which I did buy because the covers were horrible but had great music on them but didn't have anything to do with the music.

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and here some lp's which I bought just because I liked the cover but did'n't know anything about the band or the singer.

This I bought at the time when I bought a lot of English folk music, I knew they were a folk group but didn't know them but was intrigued by the cover.

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When in the early 1980's I started buying African music I found this album and also didn't know the singer but just had to buy it.

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I had some lp's on the Syliphone label which were quite good and then I found this one, I was in the shop for about 20 minutes with this lp in my hand not knowing what to do, was it as good as the other ones or was it a guy playing the electric organ? In the end I bought it and it turned out to be my favourite Guinean lp's of all time, it is absolutely fantastic, the strange thing is that no electric organ can be heard on the lp.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 3:41 pm
by will vine
YEAH they certainly are ghastly Ronald - you should get some sort of prize for that selection.

and Thanks Dominic........yeah....the top one of course.

It has only just occurred to me....I presume the album cover artists / photogaphers were all paid fees, or did any of them get offers of royalties ?

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 11:18 pm
by ian russell
I presume the album cover artists / photogaphers were all paid fees, or did any of them get offers of royalties ?


I think Boots the chemist did okay, judging by some of those.