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100 Best Album Covers:
The immediate question that arises with a book entitled 100 Best Album Covers is, of course, "Says who?" Wisely, authors Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell have anticipated such widespread suspicion. In their thorough and amusing introduction, the two former cover designers (of Hipgnosis) go on at length about potentially qualifying factors (innovation, humor, bizarreness, minimalism, audacity) and possible reasons for nonselection (popularity, dull illustration, ugly technique, emotional offensiveness). But, they concede, what it really comes down to is a matter of taste--with a bit of nostalgia thrown into the mix.
In the end, the mysterious (and eternally debatable) selection formula matters not. The history, inspiration, and technical design details provided for each of the 100 covers that made the cut serve as reason enough for their inclusion. Did you know that Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy cover was inspired by Arthur C. Clarke's novel, Childhood's End?? Or that the burning man on Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here was actually on fire (and in a bit of danger)? Or that an original idea for Supertramp's Breakfast in America was to depict cereal and milk rolling through the Grand Canyon? Tasty tidbits like these, along with quotes from designers, photographers, and the musicians themselves, make this a must-have volume for music fans--yes, even if your personal top 100 covers would constitute an entirely different collection. --Brangien Davis [via]