The BEST Album covers/CDbox sets...of ALL Time ?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MikeAW, Jan 31, 2002.

  1. MikeAW

    MikeAW Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2001
    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    0
    What do you feel are have been the BEST album covers and or CD box set presentations of ALL TIME...so far...to you ?

    Pink Floyd and Yes, are the first to come to my mind, as presenting consistently high quality art work into the general concept and art work for their projects over the years.

    There are, of course, other artists who have produced exceptional, eye catching graphics and gatefold presentation, too. Hawkwind UK releases and Brinsley Schwartz's unique releases, TRex's "Electric Warrior", the Small Faces' "Ogden's Nut Gone Flake" tin box vinyl release, Chicago's austere early vinyl releases up to and including the special live, multi-lp boxset extravaganza.

    In the CD area, the Bear Family label seems to put the most work into their reissues...with hard cover books and the rare archive photo and memoribilia montages. Hard to pick just one, as their releases ALWAYS show great care....David Bowie's Rykcodisc box set....the new Charley Patton box set with replica's of 78 RPM records.

    What are your favorites ?
     
  2. MikeAW

    MikeAW Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2001
    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    0
    Interesting...do people really care what's on the Cover anymore, or just what music is in it ?
     
  3. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2001
    Messages:
    4,951
    Likes Received:
    1
    As Mike said, Yes has some fantastic album covers, specifically the ones designed by Roger Dean. Relayer has my favorite album cover of all time: classic Roger Dean painting style, but all white and silver and light brown, with a beautiful landscape and two horsemen- possibly riding to the Gates of Delirium?

    Dean's cover paintings for Asia and other bands are pretty cool, too.

    Weasels Ripped My Flesh by Frank Zappa is the funniest cover I've ever seen. A comic-book type cartoon guy's face shaving with an electric weasel and saying "Rzzzzz."

    The Black Crowes' Amorica has that, erm, interesting crotch shot. I'm actually not 100% convinced that it's a chick- could the Crowes be playing a trick on us?

    Dreamtheater's Images and Words cover is awesome- the creepy bedroom, the little girl, and the famous flaming heart logo.

    Opeth's Still Life album art is a perfect compliment to the music. Featuring the standard Opeth gloomy forest imagery and some spirit type woman (Melinda?), the CD comes in a slipcase. It's also red, and for some reason I love red album covers.

    Red album covers:

    Opeth- Still Life

    Rush- Hold Your Fire

    King Crimson- Discipline

    The limited edition gatefold CDs of King Crimson's albums are great, especially for the three albums they released in the 80s. Those album covers are just one bright color with a simple image in the middle, and it's really effective on the gatefolds. Discipline is all red with a Celtic-type knot, Beat is blue with a quarter-note symbol, and Three of a Perfect Pair is yellow with some inverted 'U' thing.

    Columbia has done one hell of a job with their Miles Davis box sets. Metal cases, fancy slip cases, very extensive liner notes- they went all out. They're really designed for the scholarly avicianodo, so I don't have them, but they sure are pretty.

    I like the way Rhino packages their Atlantic jazz stuff: gray cardboard-ish sleeves with the album cover shown through a window, which is part of the liner notes.

    Master of Puppets has probably my favorite metal cover.

    Genesis' old album covers are cool, with those odd little paintings.

    Marillion had some great artwork. Not only is Misplaced Childhood one of my favorite albums musically, but it also has that creepy kid on the cover, painted perfectly.

    As to whether people care about artwork and packaging, I think most people will say that it doesn't really matter, as long as the music sounds good. Artwork doesn't effect my listening choices. However, I like it when a band puts some effort into their presentation. It shows they care about their product.
     
  4. MikeAW

    MikeAW Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2001
    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well said, Mike.
     
  5. Peter Mazur

    Peter Mazur Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    1
    It is easy for me to pick my all time favorite cover. It would be "Nursery Cryme" by Genesis. There is just something cool about a woman playing croquet with chopped off heads.

    Another favorite is King Crimson's "In The Court Of The Crimson King". I heard that the artist that painted that cover went mad, I can see why.

    Iron Maiden has always had really good covers. My favorite would have to be "Somewhere In Time". You really need the album to appreciate the amount of detail in the painting, the cd is just too small.

    I have always liked "Destroyer" by Kiss. It is good at showing their larger than life comic book personas.

    In general I prefer painted covers, but there are some really good picture covers as well. "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd for example has a really interesting picture on the cover.

    Some others I like are:

    Oasis - Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants

    Jane's Addiction - Nothing's Shocking

    Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel III

    Def Leppard - Retro Active

    Dream Theater - Awake

    Kula Shaker - Peasants, Pigs & Astronauts

    Asia - Astra

    Many others...
     
  6. Tony Stirling

    Tony Stirling Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2000
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have to put in a word here for the 23Envelope covers of 4AD bands like Cocteau Twins and This Mortal Coil. It's really good stuff.

    tony
     
  7. Ryan Spaight

    Ryan Spaight Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    0
    Fish's Vigil In A Wilderness Of Mirrors is one of my favorites.
    I also like most the newer Pink Floyd covers, especially Collection of Great Dance Songs.
    Of course, the all-time best is probably the White Album. [​IMG]
    Ryan
     
  8. JoshK

    JoshK Agent

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2001
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Tool & Sigur Ros
     
  9. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2001
    Messages:
    40,219
    Likes Received:
    6,668
    Location:
    Rensselaer, NY
    Why did Carly Simon's "No Secrets" album (featuring You're So Vain) leap to my mind when I read this thread title? [​IMG]
    Maybe because I was 13 when the album was released? [​IMG]
     
  10. MikeAW

    MikeAW Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2001
    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hmmmmmmmmmmm Natalie Merchant's "Motherland", or whatever it's called...the new one with the prominent display of her breasts....Wonder why.
     
  11. Eric Alderson

    Eric Alderson Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 1999
    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    1
    The Misfits box set! Comes with a color booklet, the 4 CD's, and a "Fiend Club" pin all in a lined miniature coffin. [​IMG]
     
  12. James RD

    James RD Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2001
    Messages:
    788
    Likes Received:
    0
    Two that immediately come to mind:

    The Who - "The Who Sell Out"

    Roxy Music - "Country Life"

    Actually all of Roxy Musics covers are appealing.
     
  13. Bob Turnbull

    Bob Turnbull Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2001
    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    0
    I love Roger Dean's covers as well with Relayer being a particular favourite. The two covers he did for the band Osibisa are also gorgeous; very bright and colourful and lots of flying elephants...[​IMG]
    Miles Davis' Agharta is another favourite. Beautiful detail wrapped by lush red.
    Husker Du's Warehouse: Songs And Stories has all the colours of the rainbow in one of the most vibrant covers I've seen.
    A personal fave is Rush's Moving Pictures because of the wordplay...The scene consists of men moving a number of pictures which in turn causes a woman to be "moved" by them (to tears) while a camera crew films the whole thing to create a "moving picture".
    Hawkwind's Space Ritual unfolded into a huge picture as well didn't it? I only have that on CD, but I've heard the vinyl copy is an amazing folded up package.
     
  14. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 17, 1999
    Messages:
    2,358
    Likes Received:
    0
    Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here". Two businessmen shaking hands, one bursting into flames as he's "burned" by the deal.
     
  15. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    2
    Unfortunately I have come to the conclusion that the art of the album cover died with the advent of the Compact Disc in the 80s. [​IMG] Some of my favorites include:
    Joe Jackson: Night and Day
    Steely Dan: Gaucho
    DEVO: Q: Are We Not Men A: We Are DEVO
    DEVO: Duty Now For The Future
    DEVO: Oh, No! It's DEVO!
    DEVO: Freedom of Choice
    Paul McCartney & Wings: Band On The Run
    The Who: Who's Next
    The Cars
    Bruce Cockburn: Dancing in the Dragon's Jaws
    Wesley Willis: Greatest Hits (seroiusly - and I have it on LP, too)
    Tubeway Army Featuring Gary Numan
    Peter Gabriel: self titled "melting face" cover
    The Stranglers: "IV" (US release - in UK, it's a single)
    Kate Bush: Hounds of Love
    Doobie Brothers: whatever album has the unfinished highway on it - can't remember the name.
    The Beatles: Rubber Soul
    Rage Against The Machine
    Beastie Boys: Licensed to Ill
    Adrian Belew: Lone Rhino
    Talking Heads: Fear Of Music (original embossed LP)
    Saigon Kick: Devil in the Details
     
  16. StevenW

    StevenW Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2000
    Messages:
    363
    Likes Received:
    0
    Tool - Aenima
     
  17. MikeAW

    MikeAW Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2001
    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    0
    Phillip, I can see your point...and with gimmicks like special 3D inserts, outside slip covers....all the way BACK to the mini-lp digipak, and the gatefold concept where appropriate, it seems to have come full circle.

    Some of those multi CD mini-lp digipak sets are a real pain to get the CD's out of, without just grabbing the CD out of sheer frustration! The most horrific of these were the latest Charlie Parker, and I believe another jazz CD set...wherein, the paper weight used was so textured, whole thing just kind of disintegrated, only after a few times of retrieving the CDs out of the pack! It turned out to be a MESS!!!!

    The plain digipacks...unless you get an insert to put the CD in...are deadly if you don't carry or store them upright..they just roll or fall onto the floor. DEADLY !!!!

    Jewel cases are another story ! MFSL for all of their care that they put into the recording transfer...and the extra cost...had those holders inside, that if you didn't get it just right...the CDs would literally pop out as soon as you opened the holder!!! I would have like to have been at that office meeting when they came up with THAT Dumb Idea !!!

    The death of the LP-size CD box set and the advent of the tall digipack for multi-CD sets, seems to signal that the companies were straining to get back to the LP format where they could sell their product again.

    Just be verrrrrrrry careful in putting those CDs back in!!!
     
  18. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 27, 2001
    Messages:
    1,422
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bauhaus "Crackle" - I'll be honest, I just dig the time-lapse sparks.
    Massive Attack "Mezzanine" - What the hell? A giant beetle? Proving once again that trip-hop and etymology go hand in hand [​IMG]
    Screaming Trees "Dust" - great gargoyle painting
    U2 "Acthung Baby" - some stunning photography of some goofy things. Here's U2 in drag looking incredibly serious!
    Led Zeppelin "Houses of the Holy" - weird naked albino children climbing rocks? Oddly enough, it suits the music perfectly.
     
  19. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    2
    MikeAW, Man, I HATE those "Shape CD" packs that MFSL and DCC seemed intent on using. Every CD I own that came in one of those packages has a regular jewel case now. Those things are the absolute worst!
     
  20. MikeAW

    MikeAW Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2001
    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    0
    Phil, I agree...it's always a chore to put the CD's back in...especially of course, depending on your current state of...ahem, sobriety.
     

Share This Page