Albums you bought because of the Cover Art / Liner Notes

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Knights Who Say Neve
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Albums you bought because of the Cover Art / Liner Notes

Post by Knights Who Say Neve » Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:30 am

I did this a fair bit when I was younger (before used CD listening stations and downloads) and it worked out OK sometimes.

Terry Riley - Shri Camel
Voivod- Killing Technology
Charles Mingus - Oh Yeah
John Fahey - Death Chants, Breakdowns and Military Waltzes
Max Roach- We Insist / Freedom Now Suite

I also avoided Yes albums because of my dislike for Roger Dean. This also turned out pretty well.
"What you're saying is, unlike all the other writers, if it was really new, you'd know it was new when you heard it, and you'd love it. <b>That's a hell of an assumption</b>". -B. Marsalis

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Post by mjau » Thu Mar 29, 2007 6:47 am

I bought a Trembling Blue Stars cd based only on the cover art (which was cool, but the album...not nearly as much). Also bought an Earlimart cd based mostly on the cover art (and a little word of mouth), which proved a brilliant (said like the Guiness guys) choice.
Cover art is a sometimes forgotten art, and I think it's because cd's are so small. Vinyl is great for cover art - McCartney II comes to mind as a particularly over-indulgent use of all that space. I love the covers of After the Goldrush and Who's Next - both of which need that real estate to really make their point.
FWIW, I think J Mascis / Dinosaur jr. has always had the best cd cover art.

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Post by lukievan » Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:37 am

Back in the day, i would peruse the record stacks and wish i had some money to buy all the records that looked so enticing. Occasionally, i would save up enough to splurge, although usually i was too paranoid to take a chance on an unknown, because that was the only new music i would have for a month or two and what if it sucked. I did end up buying the XTC album 'Drums and Wires' based on the cover art and that kind of changed my life, in a small but meaningfull way. Since then , I have bought albums based on a combination of the overall graphic sensibility and the (sometimes very spare) textual information. Sometimes, like with 60's-era Jazz, you can actually get a pretty good idea what the music may sound like, and if you like free/freak(y) shit, you can find some goodness within. I think it's probably a little harder to 'read' a CD nowdays; it used to be that if it looked freaky or weird, it was probably cool in some way, and if it was a guy with a beard holding an acoustic guitar and a glass of red wine, well, buyer beware. Now that Irony is everywhere and more indie bands are thinking about design in a more sophisticated and critical manner, the quality of the music within is anyone's guess.

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Post by syrupcore » Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:39 am

I used to do it a lot, particularly in the bargain bin. I bought this manu dibango record after walking past it 20 times. on the 21st time I realized it was him posed as africa with his shoe as madagascar. the record isn't really my thing but what a photo.


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Post by JGriffin » Thu Mar 29, 2007 8:51 am

My mother used to buy us records (later, CDs) based on the album art. Got some good stuff that way actually.
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Post by chris harris » Thu Mar 29, 2007 9:11 am

will the moor wrote:I used to do it a lot, particularly in the bargain bin. I bought this manu dibango record after walking past it 20 times. on the 21st time I realized it was him posed as africa with his shoe as madagascar. the record isn't really my thing but what a photo.


Image
I wouldn't have picked up on the Africa reference if you hadn't said anything. Looks like he's checking to make sure his antiperspirant is working. ;)

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Post by lg » Thu Mar 29, 2007 9:34 am

blind faith (w/ bob seidemann's rather controversial photo)
pink floyd: atom heart mother (oddly similar)
wire: 154 (hadn't discovered their first two at that point)
talking heads: fear of music (LP, of course!)
roxy music: country life (er, the uncensored version)
eno: another green world (tom philips' incredible illustrated victorian novel, 'a humument', was a later discovery)
stockhausen/constant: music for percussion
pixies: surfer rosa
this mortal coil (1st one)
red house painters: down colorful hill
the breeders: pod


(i'm obviously a cheesecake & vaughn oliver fan)

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Post by lg » Thu Mar 29, 2007 9:37 am

subatomic pieces wrote:I wouldn't have picked up on the Africa reference if you hadn't said anything. Looks like he's checking to make sure his antiperspirant is working. ;)
yes, it's been documented that a particular aroma wafts up off the horn of africa in the late summer...

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Post by JGriffin » Thu Mar 29, 2007 9:39 am

lg wrote:
subatomic pieces wrote:I wouldn't have picked up on the Africa reference if you hadn't said anything. Looks like he's checking to make sure his antiperspirant is working. ;)
yes, it's been documented that a particular aroma wafts up off the horn of africa in the late summer...
I think Richard Pryor was talking about that in his 1984 comedy special I watched last night.
"Jeweller, you've failed. Jeweller."

"Lots of people are nostalgic for analog. I suspect they're people who never had to work with it." ? Brian Eno

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Post by Burning Ember » Thu Mar 29, 2007 9:48 am

I did this when I was younger as well when I went to the library to check out records or if I was sifting through Salvation Army or garage sale collections. I didn't really do that at the local store I used to shop at (which of course no longer exists); I would just get employees' opinions/recommendations. Even though there's no cause/effect relationship between the packaging and the actual audio, I do think there can be a correlation. If the packaging is really good, you know at least they care enough about their presentation that it just *might* be well done (and vice versa). Also, even though the music is the most important part, I think awesome packaging is the icing on the cake.

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Post by radionowhere » Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:10 am

haven't bought it yet, but as soon as it shows up in the cutout bin, I'll be buying Keane's Under the Iron Sea.

Don't like the music that much, but I saw the CD booklet at a friend's house and it was amazing. It folded out with artwork on several panels, and I really like the style.

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Post by lg » Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:23 pm

in a similar vein, i tend to buy bottles of wine using the visual criteria of the label design as testament to the vineyard's good taste. generally i've been happy with the results, and though every once in a while a really nice bottle comes with a lousy label, rarely have i found the inverse to be true. strange...

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Post by mjau » Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:37 pm

lg wrote:in a similar vein, i tend to buy bottles of wine using the visual criteria of the label design as testament to the vineyard's good taste. generally i've been happy with the results, and though every once in a while a really nice bottle comes with a lousy label, rarely have i found the inverse to be true. strange...
I do that, too - mostly looking for the labels that don't make an overly obvious attempt at putting French words on there (unless it's French wine).

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Post by stereopathetic_banjo » Thu Mar 29, 2007 1:40 pm

I fully agree with the J Mascis/ Dinosaur Jr. cover art. The Neil Blender scribblings always got me psyched, and the music never let me down. Good combo.

-Travis

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Post by Meriphew » Thu Mar 29, 2007 2:10 pm

Menomena's latest album has the best cover artwork that I've seen in a very very long time.

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