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The earliest signs of an album cover can date as far back as 1910 when it was just a basic CD wrapped in brown paper. The first notable album cover was designed by Alex Steinweiss in 1938, with the artistic cover of Music of Gershwin (left).Since then, album covers have played a major part in the advertising for an artist or band. Bands/artists like The Beatles, Guns’n’Roses, Coldplay and Michael Jackson have all used their album covers to promote upcoming singles.The future of album covers looks steady. Although with CD stores such as HMV going into administration, the designs are still available when any song is bought through iTunes.
Abbey Road is the 11th studio albumfrom The Beatles, and the onewhich caused the most controversy.Towards the end of their album Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Band,Lennon sings ‘I Buried Paul’ whichsparked rumours that McCartneyhad died in a car accident, butdue to the rising fame of TheBeatles, they tried to hide this. Theband humoured this rumour bygoing along with it. McCartney isseen not wearing any shoes, whichshows he is the deceased, Lennon is This became The Beatles’ mostwearing all white to symbolise iconic album cover with theangelic features, Starr is in all black simplicity of it all, and has beento take the role of the undertaker, recreated by other bands such asand Harrison is wearing dirty denim One Direction.to indicate he’s the grave digger.
Both of these rock albums are iconic in their own right. With the dark androcker motorbike and graveyard theme to Meatloaf’s cover, to thesimple and not so rock-like cover by The Who, both albums represent thegenre of the artists music at this time. Who’s Next? Is the album whichproduced the famous song Baba O’Riley, whereas Bat Out Of Hellproduced the self-named single Bat Out Of Hell, both songs of which arerock ballads.
Cruel Summer is West’s 7th studioalbum. Released in 2012 it includedartists such as Jay-Z, 2Chainz,PushaT, Big Sean and Rick Ross onthe album. Since releasing MyBeautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Westhas gone from being a rapper to anartist with his music. The album coverhas a religious feel to it, with thewhite statue and angelic woman inthe middle. Even though the albumname isn’t visible on the album, theuniqueness of the design meansbuyers recognise the albuminstantly.
Similar to West’s Cruel Summeralbum, Watch The Throne also takeson the no name included on thecover. The gold background withvarious patterns is meant torepresent the illuminati, which iswhat Jay-Z and West are usuallyassociated with. Watch The Thronewas released in late 2011/early 2012,and the album was instantly on thecharts. West says the design to thealbum cover is one of his favourites,as it shows a new him is being born,and that he feels he finally hasbecome an artist.
The revolution of the Spice Girlsstarted the craze for girl bandsand ‘Girl Power’. The SpiceWorldalbum links in with the self namedmovie ‘SpiceWorld’. The albumcover is rather basic. With a whitebackground and the word ‘SPICE’written across it, it links in with theSpice Girls saying of ‘Spice UpYour Life’. Each band member isprinted within a letter, identifyingthem as the band members.
One Direction’s 2nd studio album ‘Take Me Home’ represents the pop culture. The shot includes all the boys fooling around by a phone box – this plays up to their boyish attitude they stereotype.‘The Evolution of Man’ is Example’s 4th studio album. There is a handholding up the picture, which suggests Example has always wanted toperform. The name ‘Evolution of Man’ links in with the cover as it showsExample as a child, in front of a crowd he performed to in Australia. Thisshows Example’s journey to get to where he wants to be today.
The xx’s first studio album ‘xx’ wasreleased in 2009. The self named albumwas The xx’s first shot to fame. The basicblack background and white X on thefront made the album extremelyrecognisable to buyers. The 2nd album‘Coexist’ was released in 2012. Similar to‘xx’, ‘Coexist’ still portrayed the basicbackground with a large X on the front.The X this time looked as though it hadbeen coloured in. The simplicity of bothalbums made them eye-catching tobuyers as the band have such a simplename in the first place.
‘Until Now’ is Swedish House Mafia’s2nd studio album. The bandassociates themselves with Housemusic. The album cover features all3 members of SHM, in a negativegrayscale format. It also features thethree dots behind them, which is atrademark of the band, signifyingthe three members. This albumcover differs from other albumcovers due to the genre of the bandand the amount going on in onecover. The colours, the picture andthe merge of the name all is a lotgoing on in one photo which canlink to the style of music House is.