Good day all,
Is the album cover/artwork still as important today as it once was when bands actually put out vinyl albums? Yes, I know that some bands are getting back to releasing some of their albums on vinyl, but it is not the same as it was when I was a kid and literally going to the “Record Store” and buying an album. Back in my youth that record store was called “Peaches”, then “National Record Mart” came along, albums where a serious business! Now, though with the advent of the MP3 and the ability to download music is the album artwork as important to the product that is produced anymore?
When I was still shopping for albums in my youth I used the album art to help me gauge what I thought would be an awesome album, hell it was the album art on the Iron Maiden album Killers that was the sole influence in me buying that album and getting into Iron Maiden and by default metal. Iron Maiden’s “Eddie” is still one of the hallmarks of heavy metal and the unique ways they have used “Eddie” as a visual clue, if you will, as to what the album concept was about. Additionally, you knew that that album cover was going to be the T-shirt design that you would be purchasing at the concert when it came to town. Back then there was not a grand announcement of what the album art was going to be, like there is today. Of course we didn’t have the access to the multitude of heavy metal sites back then, we had the monthly issues of Circus Magazine and Hit Parader to wait for to get our music news and views. Yes, this was before MTV , so you need not ask and date me any further!
Now, however, most people, at least in my generation, are trying to minimize for the sake of saving space. As we start having families and kids who show up with the millions of toys and assorted accessories that go along with them, our “collections” are usually the first to go or get relegated to the garage. Downloading is how a lot of us get our music and with the exception of the initial purchase of an album I rarely see an album’s artwork. I do miss the days of the album, the fold-out, the liner notes, the full size band picture, plus albums where much more conducive to getting an autograph from a band than a cassette tape.
I want to be clear, I love album artwork and am in awe of what an artist can come up with from a band’s album or concept. As I said earlier, I used to shop by album cover, if it had a cool album cover that screamed METAL to me, I usually bought the album. That was harder to do when everything moved to cassette as they where in those wall units stacked on top of each other and you had to pull them individually unlike fingering through the albums, you could spend hours looking for cassettes. But again, it was the artwork that made the album interesting to me and had me buying it and giving it a try. Does that still go today? Is it the album artwork that makes you give an album a chance? Or, are we so inundated with information now a days that we have all of the information and samples before the album even comes out. Could all albums have the Spinal Tap “Blacker than Black” album cover and we would all still buy the album? Tell me what you think.
Song of the Day: http://youtu.be/73iWtbooPrA
Until Later, Peace,