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Cover Story: Bizarre Album Art by Staff of…
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Cover Story: Bizarre Album Art

by Staff of Wax Poetics

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This is one of the oddest books I've read in years. The book is a collection of reproductions of over 250 record album (LP) covers from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Contributor David Hollander describes many of the included covers as coming from "private press" releases -- perhaps not seen by many in the general public. The images in this book are bizarre -- ranging from merely uncomfortable, to truly surreal. These coming from the height of the 1960s drug use era, and from one of the most prolific periods of New Age music. Dali-esque melting landscapes, Escher-like 3-dimensional images and nudity vie with cheesy Brady Bunch-like family portraits and sea- and space-scapes for prominence. In all, browsing all of the covers turns into something of a psychedelic experience. I do wish that there had been text accompanying many of the images -- background on the origins of the images chosen, or at least credits for who created the album covers. As it is, this is a unusual and memorable collection of images. But it could have been so much more than that. I kept wishing for a satirical authorial voice to poke fun at many of these inexplicably bizarre images. [If you're taking these images seriously, I can't help you. If you're looking at them with a satirical eye, you might appreciate the humor books of James Lileks.]

Originally reviewed for the staff recommendations page of my library's website: http://www.lincolnlibraries.org/depts/bookguide/srec/staffrec11-02.htm ( )
  cannellfan | Nov 1, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0979811031, Paperback)

Cover Story Volume Two: Odd, Obscure, and Outrageous Album Art, the second installment in the Cover Story series from Wax Poetics Books, continues a graphic narration of the vibrant subculture of record collecting through the art of the album cover. This volume focuses specifically on strange and bizarre record covers, selected by the staff of Wax Poetics and major collectors of music’s avant-garde.

The Cover Story series vividly explores an element of music culture that has withered with the advent of MP3s and digital downloading. Vinyl records tell their stories visually as much as they do aurally, and the record cover—eye candy for the music lover—speaks a language rooted in the environment and era of the music itself. Cover Story Volume Two: Odd, Obscure, and Outrageous Album Art celebrates the products of music’s most eclectic and eccentric figures—those whose artistic visions were so absurd and grandiose, they often extended beyond the boundaries of the recording and onto the album covers themselves.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:33 -0400)

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