Ten Album Covers That Rock My World
by Tommy Burton
I was shopping at one of
my favorite record shops over the weekend and got into a
discussion with the shop owner about record covers. I
know we are not supposed to judge a book by its cover,
but I feel that we can judge a record by its cover. I
have had similar discussions with other friends on these
matters and we all seem to agree: record covers are
important. Now, I know that there are many great albums
with lousy covers. On the same token, there are some
lousy records with great covers. So, the equation doesn't
always equal. But the ones I talk about here are ten
sleeves that will always hold some fascination for me.
Some date back to my father's own record collection,
others from my own childhood. I alluded to a couple of
these in an earlier article for We Like Media. Anyway,
without further ado, here are ten record covers that hold
a special place in my heart. Some are classic, others not
so. Some obvious, others may not do a thing for you. I
like them all the same. Here they are:
If You Want Blood
I stared endlessly at this
cover when I was a kid at the mall in the record
store. It scared me, yet intrigued me all the
same. The back cover, with Angus lying on his
stomach and the guitar neck sticking out of his
back, was the clincher. It doesn't hurt that the
record rocks like a brick.
|2. Big Brother and The
My dad had this record and I would
gaze at the colorful artwork by Robert Crumb. It
looked like a freaky comic. I had no idea who R.
Crumb was or Janis Joplin, for that matter. It
looked sexy, cool, and very detailed.
|3. Miles Davis
On The Corner
A friend of mine found a
copy of this album on a trip and bought it. Just
looking at the cover, I knew that this music
would be nothing but a slab of pure funk. It is
and more. It really was a mark of the times and
it rings true.
|4. The Rolling Stones
A record with a graffiti
covered bathroom wall. A dirty roll of toilet
paper. A nasty toilet. This record jacket truly
says it all concerning its contents.
This is the very first LP I
remember owning. I would look at this cover while
listening to the album. It looks something like a
harem of Kiss girls with the band holding
dominion over them. They could be about to, or
just finished, playing for them sending them into
a hypnotized state. Truly the look of rock gods.
|6. Bob Dylan
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
I wasn't familiar with
Dylan or his albums, but I kept picking this up
and wondering what the hell was going on inside
of this LP. This girl on Bob's shoulders looks as
though Bob could do no harm and all is right with
the world. All of this on a wintry day.
|7. Van Halen
This jacket struck me as a
youngster. The smoking angel baby. The smirk on
the kid's face kind of gives it away.
|8. Marvin Gaye
What's Going On
Marvin is standing out in
the rain with a leather trenchcoat on. This is
some serious stuff.
|9. The Who
Four English dudes have
just finished pissing on a huge monolith. It's
tasteless, trashy, raunchy, and perfect. The 2001
of rock music.
|10. Big Star
There's something about
Alex Chilton leaning over to Andy Hummel and
pointing at the camera. It reeks of rock. And
what the hell is that guy with the sideburns
doing in the background?