An album’s cover art used to be almost as important as the music contained within. I remember listening to tapes and CDs, enjoying the included artwork of several bands and reading the liner notes. With the advent of digital music, a lot of that has gone away, but some artists like Trent Reznor are paving the way for a hybrid of sorts, where digital downloads and physical media are offered together and with additional content for purchasers of the physical media. Nevertheless, album art is still (thankfully) included within most digital offerings. I’d like to present three of my favorites.
Dookie, Green Day
The third studio album by punk rock outfit Green Day, Dookie was released to much success and fans studied the album cover, entertained by all there was to see. The cover depicts a city being bombed with (for lack of a better term) turd bombs and various characters doing various things. There’s a lot going on, to say the least, and it’s an entertaining look into the band’s humor. The art was drawn by Richie Bucher, an artist from East Bay, at the request of Billy Joe Armstrong, who wanted artwork that looked different. Well, he definitely got what he paid for!
Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death), Marilyn Manson
Marilyn Manson‘s first studio release after the Columbine Massacre, Holy Wood was the most successful album in the band’s history. The art depicts Manson in a Jesus Christ pose, missing his lower jaw. This was to demonstrate how the media, along with ignorant parents and lawmakers, were placing blame on Manson for the actions of two psychopathic students whose parents didn’t properly raise them. Manson felt as though he was being unfairly targeted and that his freedom of expression was being threatened. The Christ-like pose on the cover was done to show how he was essentially being martyred at the time.
“Amerika” was released on Rammstein‘s fourth album, Reise, Reise. A song critical of the United States and their foreign policy, the lyrics demonstrate contempt for the fact that countries seem to be losing their identity and are becoming “Americanized.” The album cover shows lead singer Till Lindemann against a backdrop of the American flag, dressed up as some sort of twisted Uncle Sam with the barrel of a gun in his mouth. It’s a striking image, to put it lightly.
I could go on, but I’d like to read yours, so hit me up in the comments with your favorites!