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The Archives, August 2002 – April 2009
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Music by Design

As one of the few people left on the planet who buy CD’s (hey I get paid to design them, the least I can do is cough back $100 now and then), I dropped some cash at the Virgin Megastore last night. I ended up with a fairly eclectic collection, and I’d just like to state for the record that just about every choice was influenced by the cover design. I refuse to buy a CD with an awful cover — well almost always. What did I walk out with? For the curious: Black Flag’s “Damaged” - 1981, Interpol’s “Turn On The Bright Lights” - 2002, Jaguares “Cuando La Sangre Galopa” - 2001, Simon & Garfunkel’s “Wednesday Morning 3AM” - 1963 reissue, Liars Academy “No News Is Good News” - 2001, Jimmy Cliff “Jimmy Cliff” - 1970 reissue, and Bob Marley and the Wailers “Catch A Fire” - 1973 reissue (I need Reggae in hot weather). Anyone have suggestions for recent albums with great covers?

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PUBLISHED ON Sep.14.2002 BY long-gone author
Kippy’s comment is:

I'm not one whose advice really counts . . . but I like the consistency of Beth Orton's albums. Photos of Beth on the cover . . . of course they're getting a bit blurrier as the years go on. Luna really has some great covers; Pup Tent, Penthouse and the Days of Our Nights are the best . . . of course the Romantic cover says to me, it says "Todd, do you like Pina Colada's? Getting caught in the rain . . ."

I like the warmth of Neil Halstead's "Sleeping On Roads" so orange and inviting . . . it says "take a load off and have a drink in the easy chair . . . while you're at it, play me".

Air, Moon Safari.

The Strokes, Is This It (the UK cover)

Flaming Lips, The Soft Bulletin as well as Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.

On Sep.14.2002 at 09:13 PM
Armin’s comment is:

I have another confession to make. As a teenager I loved Iron Maiden. So as a true Maiden fan I just drooled over their covers, don't worry I don't like them any more, I finally grew out of it. But the style was quite cool when I was mad at the world. I wasn't really mad, I was just too lazy.

Nowadays, some of my favorite covers are: this one from Live and this one from pearl jam. I'll just mention those, otherwise I will never get back to work.

On Sep.16.2002 at 09:05 AM
Kippy’s comment is:

No no no, that's the worst Pearl Jam album ever.

On Sep.16.2002 at 09:55 AM
Armin’s comment is:

we're talking covers, not music kippy.

Dude, I like to write kippy. You picked a hell of a name.

On Sep.16.2002 at 10:06 AM
Randy Pettigrew’s comment is:

I believe the cover for the album "Sweet Release" by Canadian band "The Flashing Lights" takes the ultimate prize.

Please go here (http://www.maplemusic.com/artists/thf/disc.asp) to view.

On Sep.16.2002 at 04:30 PM
kai bernau’s comment is:

great recent, not so recent and upcoming cd covers
(that will probably look even nicer on vinyl, granted)

Trust by Low

They Threw Us In A Trench And Stuck a Monument on Top by The Liars

Finally We Are No One by M�m

Live At Centre Pompidou by Console (the type is not printed but embossed)

Your Love Means Everything by Faultline

About a boy (o.s.t.) by Badly Drawn Boy
(Not the one that looks like the Movie Poster.)

Isn't it weird how one can actually find great, really great music, just by looking at the cd covers? and i don't mean that the music i like always have the best cd covers..., but sometimes you just know: "this looks (ugly, okay, but) promising". and Lotto!)

On Sep.18.2002 at 03:56 AM
Tom Dolan’s comment is:

Kai, those are great. Funny, a good friend of mine did the type of the Badly Drawn Boy cover you like and was disgusted when the company insisted on the other. I've done 3 packages for Low, nice to see them on your list too.

On Sep.18.2002 at 10:03 AM
kai’s comment is:


you should also listen to them, they sound as good as they look, and sometimes even better.


On Sep.19.2002 at 06:14 AM
Kippy’s comment is:

I'll agree, they are good . . . and they also make some really interesting videos. Well the ones from "Hour Of Bewilderbeast" were good. Another Pearl was especially funny.

On Sep.19.2002 at 07:45 AM
Achilles’s comment is:

My favorite (fairly) recent album covers:

-Shellac 'at Action Park', it's relief printed and is a wonderfully tactile cover.

-Tortoise 'self titled'

-Big Black 'Songs about f***ing', very simple and very effective, love the red on green.

-Slint 'Untitled', Purely photograhic cover, but captures the mood of the music really well. Even better in vinyl cuz it's biiiig

-AntiPop consortium 'Tragic epilogue'

-Kid koala 'Some of my best friends are DJs'

-Aphex Twin 'Windowlicker'

There plenty more but this'll do.

Btw, black flag get an honorable mention for having the coolest band logo ever designed.

On Oct.20.2003 at 09:12 AM
greenapples’s comment is:

A few of my favorite classics are:

Blind Faith

Elvis Collection Nice use of bold, large type.

Elvis "That's the Way it is" (great use of color, great packaging)

Eric Clapton 461 Ocean Boulevard I love the look and feel of the type and photo.

Herb Alpert A little diry, but the color and type are just beautiful.

Furry Lewis Again, big bold type, along with a great photo.

On Oct.21.2003 at 12:54 PM