Album artwork has become an afterthought to the music buyer now that music is mainly purchased as a digital download. Cover art helps tell the story of an album and that story gets diminished when only a small digital example can be seen in an iTunes library. Here is a deeper look into some old and new album art.
Father John Misty’s Fear Fun album artwork was created by Russian artist Dimitri Drjuchin. Drjuchin’s bright surrealist style is influenced by Russian icon art, which is reflected in his comical symbolic adaptations. According to a 2012 interview, Drjuchin was introduced to Josh Tillman a.k.a Father John Misty by television host, Richard Metzger. Metzger was interviewing Tillman who expressed that the previous artist had backed out of designing the cover. The artwork shows Father John Misty as the central figure. The images and surrounding Misty are Drjuchin’s adaptations of the characters in Tillman’s lyrics.
AC/DC’s Highway to Hell album cover has become iconic and stirred up a huge controversy among religious groups at the time who accused the band of being Satanists. Acoording to Jim Bonomo’s novel AC/DC’s Highway to Hell, rock photographer Jim Houghton originally shot the photo for Powerage in December 1977. The cover shows guitarist Angus Young with demon horns and a tail and lead singer Bon Scott with a pentagram around his neck. The original concept for Highway to Hell would have most likely dodged the controversy-a good and evil scene that depicted the band as the good guys. AC/DC dismissed the idea as being “too artsy.”
The screaming, eyeless face on Ty Segall Band’s Slaughterhouse was created by Tatiana Tartomkin, a 26-year-old artist from London. In the past Tartomkin was heavily influenced by psychedelics, which can be reflected in her work. Segall asked her to design a face with no eyes to represent, “I Bought My Eyes” from the album.
Even if you don’t know who Pink Floyd is or ever heard Dark Side of the Moon, chances are you have seen the cover. The infamous prism was created by artist Storm Thorgerson.“I think the triangle, which is a symbol of thought and ambition, was very much a subject of Roger’s lyrics,” said Storm in a Rolling Stone interview. One of the original cover ideas featured a photographic version of the comic book character Silver Surfer, but it was turned down.
What are some of your favorite album covers?