Stars and Guitars: Favorite Album Covers #1

Manila Bulletin, January 29, 2010 | Go to article overview

Stars and Guitars: Favorite Album Covers #1


I love album covers. The best of them can transport me into another dimension in my head just as much as the music itself does. There were times in my teens—well before internet review sites existed—when I would wander into a music store and pick out something to buy based on its art alone. These days album cover art has diminished somewhat in importance, as so many people download individual tracks or entire albums without ever having to see the actual physical object. Consider this a fond look back, then, at some of my favorite examples of a dying art.Andromeda Heights by Prefab SproutPrefab Sprout is one of my all-time favorite bands. Their particular combination of sweetness and melancholy, of smart yet heartfelt lyrics, indelible tunes and swoony arrangements, still gets to me after all these years. This was the first new Prefab Sprout album I remember buying since I became a fan of the band (I first got into their music a couple of years after Jordan: The Comeback, when their “Best Of” was released locally—it was an excellent introduction to their oeuvre). Oh, the thrill of just looking at that star-flecked cover, and imagining the greatness inside! In the end, it proved to be less than classic, but it did have great moments, like the guitar intro to “Electric Guitars” (which I used for the soundtrack of a slideshow for a friend’s wedding), the second verse of “A Prisoner of the Past,” the mention of Yuri Gagarin on “Weightless.” Not a great Prefab Sprout album, but still one of my favorite album covers. (Design by Stylorouge, painting by Anne Magill)Some Great Reward by Depeche ModeI grew up with this album, as my older brother had it on cassette (as well as Construction Time Again and a few other Depeche Mode classics). In general, with the possible exception of one or two that would slap a group picture of the band on the front instead of using evocative photography and type, DM had great album covers. It helps to be working with Anton Corbijn, no doubt. …

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