Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Best and Worst Album Covers of 2008

There were a number of fine covers in 2008, but the one that wins hands down has to be The Mars Volta's Bedlam in Goliath. Its mix of the real and surreal is only surpassed by that of the music in the grooves. Plus, it had an excellent vinyl package. (Yeah, the Ouija board piece is a shaped 7" picture disc. You just don't get stuff this cool with CDs, although there were limited numbers of a bonus CD with Bedlam in Goliath that actually had vinyl pressed on one side so they did get pretty close).

Master Slash Slave's Scandal and Tippy Canoe and the Paddlemen's Parasols and Pekingese are close runners up, but can't quite touch TMV.

Worst is usually a tougher call since there seem to be so many ways in which to be bad. I usually have to eliminate amateur photoshop covers from self-released and demo albums right off the bat, because there are simply too many to choose from. This year is different though, because (perhaps as payback for making it so hard on me when I had to listen to the music) Judas Priest made the task easy with Nostradamus. The cover is as over-the-top stupid as the album itself. It really is sad though, because it seems Priest wants us to take this cover as seriously as they'd like us to take their ridiculous, epic concept album about a pop culture subject. Ooooh, scary eyes. Yeah, wait 'til you hear the music. The scariest part is that a band with almost four decades of music (most of it good) under its belt couldn't tell that both the cover and music were rotten.


Anonymous Woody said...

The Priest record is really bad. I wasn't expecting much but as soon as I saw the cover I knew the music was gonna stink.

December 23, 2008 at 10:39 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

So all that Quija board stuff comes with the vinyl? My girlfirend is getting me Amputechture in vinyl for Christmas, I'm excited to get that. I wanted Bedlam to, but it was a little pricey, but if it comes with all that then maybe I'll have to make the purchase.

December 24, 2008 at 9:06 AM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

Yeah, the vinyl comes with all that! I'm funny about spending a lot of money for one record, ut this one is a great package. Amputecture is a nice set, because the artwork is so cool and I like the music more, but Bedlam is a better package. Another one you should look for is Deloused, because the vinyl is silver. It looks like a platinum record award!

December 24, 2008 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

I like the Mars Volta cover, but somehow the white outfits and sand makes me think of Star Wars which is never a good thing. The Priest cover is overdone and trying so hard to look sinister. It looks more like an early 90's movie poster for a bad, low-budget horror movie.

December 24, 2008 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Bob - The one I really wanted was Frances the Mute because it's my favorite album from the Volta. In fact it's probably my favorite album of the past decade. It seems like they're all pretty pricey, but maybe I'll shell out the money slowly for each of them.

December 24, 2008 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

Frances the Mute is probably my least favorite of their album (which means it's still among the best records of the last decade). It's pricey, but it is a triple LP. You should also look for the Frances the Mute EP which has the song, "Frances the Mute." I don't know what that goes for now though. They also did some cool picture disc EPs that look great.

December 24, 2008 at 11:51 PM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

I almost went with Volta (like Soilent Green from Mark's choice) but took an accurate guess you'd get this one

December 31, 2008 at 7:47 AM  

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