Sunday, December 27, 2009

Post Mortem-Message from the dead


Ah... a perfect day. The sun is shining, the family is spending time together and the mail is being delivered by the walking dead. Brilliant cover actually.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Disco Party

Nothing says Christmas like dancing under a big shiny disco ball. Well, maybe if it was like 1977. I guess it was inevitable that this fad and the holiday would come together on vinyl.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Worst and Best Album Covers of 2009

Worst: Neil Young may be a rock icon. He may have had a few classic songs over the years. But he' ain't no looker. So why would he put not only his face, but a warped image of same, on the cover of Fork in the Road?

Best: One of my favorite albums of the year for its music, Mastodon's Crack the Skye, is my choice for best album cover. The quasi-Russian icongraphy mirrors the album's content, and the bright colors add to an already impressive catalog of Mastodon covers.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Best and worst of 2009

I was supposed to post mine today, but I couldn't think of a best cover and frankly, I'm not motivated enough to come up with something. My mood has been generally negative lately anyway, so perhaps it's fitting that I only pick the worst anyway. That honor goes easily to Chad Smith's Bombastic Meatbats and their Meet the Meatbats album. It might even be the worst cover of the decade. I can't think of anything redeeming about it. Is that one guy supposed to be a wrench? Well, that's just stupid. The guy made of bubbles isn't any more clever. Just because a little girl dressed as a bee worked for Blind Melon 15 years ago, doesn't mean it'll work for a cartoon guitarist as well. The caricature of Chad Smith is completely lame, to be sure, but still an awful lot better than his just plain dumb looking bandmates. If you're interested in the music, see if you can find it on or Ebay or in the budget bin without the artwork. It'll save your eyes the pain of looking at crap.

Monday, December 14, 2009

2009 Best and Worst Album Covers - Ray Van Horn, Jr.

Like Metal Mark, I'll get the peeyoosah cover out of the way first and pin the award to Foreigner's Can't Slow Down. Despite the fact Agent Provocateur remains the band's best-selling album, reverting back to an abstract "F" logo isn't going to replicate the predecessor's success.

I mainly pushed play on the album out of loyalty to Jeff Pilson and the album isn't rotten, but it's not a heat-seeker, either, despite going the Wal Mart uber-packaging route like Journey and Kiss with a three-disc bonanza including an album of modernized redos and a live DVD. If you're talking the inner contents, then assuming you're willing to have the wool pulled over your eyes a bit, have a go.

This uninviting cover where the "F" is just one striking slash away between the red circle almost subversively hints avoid at all costs. Yes, you can see the open brackets within the circle which is Foreigner's way of saying they're not letting the notorious "buster" logo stamp them down, but it's a bit naive and good marketing only as announcement to their diehards they haven't yet left the scene. Of course, Foreigner is historically not well-known for investing much time in their art work, save for the devious Head Games and the pop art glee of 4.

I know half of you readers are going to be thinking about Ace Frehley's Anomaly as my choice for best album cover, what? Why? How? Is he insane? Did he blow his laser-healed eyes out to pieces looking at too much Dali? Well, perhaps, but there's two reasons I've giving the Spaceman his due with this album.

One, I absolutely love Ace's balls by making the chin drip cutting through the seventies and early eighties-toned celestial twinkle scape deliberately reminiscent of his Kiss persona. Given that Frehley's character in his old band is being adorned by someone else lately, Anomaly throws down a subtle "fuck you" snarl at Kiss (who of course released their own new product in the same year Ace makes his solo return after two decades), just like the song "Outer Space" on this album. It's like he told you, he came from outer space...

The other dimension to Anomaly's award for best cover of 2009 is well obvious if you own a genuine hard copy instead of lazing through a download. When's the last time you saw a CD cover unfold to be able to make a 3-D cardboard tower? The fact any album release these days gives you the chance to play with it deserves a nice honor.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

My favorite and least favorite album covers of 2009

I'll get the worst out of the way first.


It's like a sixth grader tried to draw the Terminator on the cover of their notebook and they failed badly. Nothing wrong with that if you are sixth grader, but there is something wrong with putting this on your album cover.

The best...

Wolfmother-Cosmic Egg

Easy choice. Beautiful cover that combines a fantastic object with a brilliant landscape. The pictures in the booklet are all equally wonderful.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Theme week coming soon

Next week we will posting our favorite and least favorite album covers of 2009. Drop by and check them out!

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Sunday, December 6, 2009



This cover is well-drawn, but maybe a little too busy. The sea serpent has me thinking of Asia's debut. Then we have a bubble city, lightning and I am not sure they really needed people riding the sea serpent. It's like the artist had all these ideas and instead of concentrating on one concept they elected throw everything into one cover.

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