this ipod continues to entertain me as i continue to re-discover albums from my long-gone past.
i’ve long had a fascination with certain album covers and have been known to buy albums by groups i’ve never heard of simply because the cover was so cool or captivating. i’ve gotten some incredible tunes this way over the years (and no duds come to mind in all of them). need an example?
i knew about the grateful dead in my musically formative years (read: junior high) but didn’t know about the music itself. none of my friends were really into the dead and i’m sure i’d never heard their music. we’ve all been hit with the Columbia House Record and Tape Club junk and i was no exception. the dead’s Europe ’72 album was among the offerings when i succumbed to the intoxicating offer and what a cover!! this sucker was a TRIPLE album (which meant it was like getting three albums from CHR&T – a sacrifice!!) and when it came all i could do was sit. and. stare. even if the music sucked, holy crap! what a great album cover! and luckily the album didn’t suck – it was fantastic music and the dead became a favorite.
around high school i started to branch out into jazz… slowly. one of the first albums i remember buying was miles davis’ tutu. why? geez, look at the cover! think about this picture in a 12″x12″ package – it was HUGE and how could you get away from davis’ piercing stare? picking the album up showed you the back and yet another huge picture of davis, this time with some intense emotion going on. i just couldn’t resist! this never did become a favorite, but it DID introduce me to miles and his trumpeting.
more recently i’ve discovered another favorite band called waterdeep. back in 1999 or so i was shopping for some new, different tunes – as i walked through the CD section of the store, waterdeep’s sink or swim album stood out something crazy. that green cover was the front, the yellow cover was the back. no track listing. just art. and i loved it. took it home, unwrapped it and found MORE art on the inside! oh, it was incredible! quickly waterdeep became a favorite! why? mellow, acoustic rock – here i’d found another jam band! when i saw them in concert the first time and they played on and on and on and sang so sweetly and played so hard, then so soft – oh. my. god.
i remember discovering santana via album cover, too. but if i’m going to be truly confessional, i must admit – the artwork was strange and awesome to be sure, but the reality is, as a junior high boy, seeing a pair of boobs on an album?? zow! i mean, sure that’s stupid now (hee hee), but back then?? woo! i was ALL FOR SANTANA, dude!! abraxas became a favorite and oye como va? oy, vey!
my final example will be another acoustic band – folksy rock band out of oregon called five oclock people. again, out looking for new music, the nothing venture jumped out at me with its simplistic artwork, conveying nothing and everything. i bought it, took it home, loved the inside artwork, too, and loved the band. then they broke up a couple months later.