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Happy PillsBroken World
Green Imagination
Description
Giving You The Eye

A common saying is that the eyes are the windows to the soul. In ancient Egypt, the Eye of Ra symbol was believed to confer health, wisdom and prosperity. The eye also figures prominently in the Great Seal of the United States (finished in 1782) and appears on one dollar bills. The eye on the bill can be interpreted as the "eye of providence." The use of eyes on an album cover usually comes across as eerie especially since typically just one eye is shown, disconnected from the remainder of the body. Here are three examples of single eyes on album covers: Candlebox's 1998 "Happy Pills," Lost City Angels' 2005 "Broken World" and The Sunshine Fix's 2004 "Green Imagination."

Smoking Album Covers
Surprisingly, album covers featuring some form of smoking are not common. When it appears it lends an aura of sophisticated sexiness however misguided that may seem by anti-smoking campaigns.

Abbey Road and Beatles for Kids
In the late '80s and early '90s there was a small revival of Beatles music for kids. Interestingly, most use the easily identifiable Abbey Road cover to make sure the purchaser knows exactly what's being referenced.

Headline Covers
Of the album covers using the tabloid or news motif, Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" is the most famous. The lead story concerns a boy who recited a poem aptly entitled "Thick as a Brick" and shocked the community.

Well Tended Tresses
Rock music and hair go together like, as they sing in Grease, "rama, lama, lama, kadingy, kading-a-dong." Although musically dissimilar, the albums, Roger Daltrey's 1973 "Daltrey," Heart's 1980 "Bebe Le Strange" and the Judd's 1987 "Heartland," use similar album art direction. Each album displays front views of well coiffed tresses on the front cover and reveal the tresses from the backside on the backside of the CD or album.

Just Food Themed Front Covers
Covers that feature a food appeal to both the visual and taste senses. Perhaps the most scrumptious are the 1976 Chicago cover for "Chicago X" with its unwrapped chocolate bar followed by the bowl of raspberries on the 1973 Raspberries album "Side 3." Most often, the food item depicted relates to a song title included on the release. Examples include Booker T. & the MG's 1962 "Green Onions" or the Dead Milkmen's 1990 “"Smokin’ Banana Peels."

Famous Landmarks Behind the Band
Famous landmarks used on album artwork as a backdrop for the band members sometimes communicates something about the music. On America's 1975 "Hearts" the San Francisco bridge is evocative of the group’s wistful West Coast sound. On the Who's 1965 debut, the Big Ben clocktower is likely to have reminded US record buyers, eager for anything British-sounding, that this was the real deal.

Artists in a Landmark
On album artwork, famous landmarks sometimes are morphed with an image of the artist. On Bette Midler's 1980 "Divine Madness" Midler's face replaces Thomas Jefferson's face on the famous South Dakota national monument of Mount Rushmore. On Deep Purple's 1970 hard rock classic "Deep Purple in Rock" all five members are rendered on Mt. Rushmore. On Al Kooper's 1969 "I Stand Alone" Kooper’s head replaces the Statue of Liberty's head on the famous New York Habor landmark.

New York Skyline
The New York City (NYC) skyline and its famous landmarks are one of the most popular city motifs to appear on album covers. On Supertramp's 1979 "Breakfast in America" the NYC skyline is depicted using everyday objects from a diner. On the Climax Blues Band 1980 "Flying the Flag" a waterfall flows around the Empire State building. Joe Jackson's 2000 sequel "Night and Day II" shows the World Trade Center through a car windshield. And the 1995 Skyy compilation shows the famous Brooklyn Bridge from the Fulton Ferry Landing.

Fingerprints Cover Design Theme
Fingerprints offer an infallible way to identify people. Around the turn of the 20th century, fingerprints began to be used for criminal identification, first in England and then in the United States. Fingerprints became popular album cover designs in the late part of the 20th century, such as in the 1980 Chicago X1V album by Chicago, the 1995 "I Am" album by Ke and the 2003 "Keep on Your Mean Side" album by The Kills.

Circular Design Trend in Album Art
Jefferson Starship's 1974 "Dragonfly," Starcastle's 1977 "Fountains of Light," Kansas' 1977 "Point of Know Return" and L.T.D.'s 1978 "Togetherness" share a similar circular, air-brushed styled front cover design. The first three were designed by Peter Lloyd, a respected airbrush artist. The fourth was quite possibly inspired by the design trend of time.

Kaliedescopic Design
These three late 1960s, early 1970s albums share a common design them on their covers. Each features an image that looks as if it was produced by a kaleidoscope, an optical device that produces symmetrical patterns as bits of colored glass are reflected by mirrors. Kaleidoscopes are an apt symbol of the psychedelic soul style that these three albums belong to. The designs also indirectly refer to the mandala - a symmetrical design used for meditation - which was common to Eastern religions. The albums with the kaliedescope/mandala motif are the Rotary Connection's self-titled debut in 1967, David Axelrod's "Song of Innocence" in 1968 and Funkdalic's self-titled debut in 1970.

Eiffel Tower, The
Perhaps no other manmade structure is as instantly identifiable as the Eiffel Tower. The tower is located in Paris France and was built for the World's Fair of 1889. Named after its designer, Gustave Eiffel, the tower stands at 300 meters (986 feet) and took 2 years to construct. The image of the tower is often used on covers of albums ranging from Pink Martini to Malcolm McLaren.

Postcard Cover Theme
Tim Buckley's 1972 album "Postcard from L.A." features an aerial view of the sprawling southern California city. Buckley recorded the album in a Hollywood studio as a comeback of sorts from the disappointing reception of his previous album. On Bruce Springsteen's 1973 "Greetings from Asbury Park" a similar postcard theme is used. This time the greetings are from Asbury Park New Jersey. Springsteen was struggling in New Jersey in the early '70s writing songs and trying to break through. Phil Collins' 2004 compilation cover art is air mail with stamp featuring Collins.

Aerosmith Logo
Part of the marketing of a successful commercial music act involves developing a strong brand identity. Band logos often play a part in this effort. Consider the Rolling Stones and the bright red, Jagger-esque lips or the Grateful Dead’s skull and rose as instant reminders of the band. Aerosmith's winning logo is a pair of wings marked with an "A." It is featured prominently on a number of their album covers and first appears on their 1974 sophomore release, appropriately named "Get Your Wings."

Martin Denny Women
Martin Denny's 1957 release "Exotica" founds its niche perfectly in America yearning for something different and in the midst of a tiki rage. At this time, advances from mono to stereo recording also helped lure exotica audiences with promises of far-out aural experiences. One feature of the Denny albums was the sultry woman, usually shown shoulders up, enticing the buyer into a faraway land.

Babies on the Cover
Babies are used to sell many products and album covers are no exception. On the 1972 album "Baby James Harvest," from the British progressive rock band Barclay James Harvest, the baby photo was the idea of the group’s manager and the album title was based on the resulting photo. On the 1986 Call album "Reconciled" the baby in a doctor’s bag may refer to the imagery of a fresh start as this album from the California-based quartet is filled with Christian mysticism. On Nirvana’s 1991 grunge classic "Nevermind" the baby floating in the pool chasing a dollar bill on a hook has been described by the designer, Robert Fisher as representing lead singer Curt Cobain’s innocence (the baby) in a an alien environment (the water) lured into the corporate world of rock music (the dollar bill on the hook).

Mount Rushmore on the Cover
Mount Rushmore was designated a national memorial in 1925. The South Dakota attraction features the presidents (from left to right) Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt (Theodore) and Lincoln. This massive sculpture is featured on album covers by Deep Purple ("Deep Purple in Rock" 1970), Bette Midler ("Divide Madness" 1980) and the Temptations ("Awesome" 2001). In Deep Purple’s and the Temptations’ case, an extra head is added to represent the five members of each group.

Earth Wind and Fire Egyptian Themes
The pyramid is one of the most evocative symbols of Egypt. It represents power, mystery, and the ancient. Pyramid power, which was popular in the 1970’s, is based on the belief that a pyramid’s shape generates or directs occult power or energy. Earth, Wind & Fire (EWF) used pyramids and other Egyptian motifs on a number of their album covers. Members of the group were interested in Egyptology. Their designs often mixed the Egyptian motifs representing the ancient with futuristic motifs as of way of connecting past and future. This is best represented on 1977 "All ‘n All" where Rameses II’s pyramid is in the midst of a futuristic metropolis.

Giving You the Eye
A common saying is that the eyes are the windows to the soul. In ancient Egypt, the Eye of Ra symbol was believed to confer health, wisdom and prosperity. The eye also figures prominently in the Great Seal of the United States (finished in 1782) and appears on one dollar bills. The eye on the bill can be interpreted as the "eye of providence." The use of eyes on an album cover usually comes across as eerie especially since typically just one eye is shown, disconnected from the remainder of the body. Here are four examples of single eyes on album covers: Scott Walker's 1969 "Scott3," George Michael's 1998 "Older & Upper," Yngwie J. Malmsteen's 2003 "Attack!!" and Nickelback's 2001 "Silver Side Up."

Giving You the Eye
A common saying is that the eyes are the windows to the soul. In ancient Egypt, the Eye of Ra symbol was believed to confer health, wisdom and prosperity. The eye also figures prominently in the Great Seal of the United States (finished in 1782) and appears on one dollar bills. The eye on the bill can be interpreted as the "eye of providence." The following examples are album covers with illustrated eyes: the 13th Floor Elevators, Alan Parsons Project, Robyn Hitchcock and the Steve Miller Band.

Design Similarity: Walking in Line
While not an overly popular motif when it comes to album covers, people walking in line appears on a number of albums including Supertramp's 1985 "Brother Where You Bound," Genesis' 1992 "Genesis Live: The Way We Walk, Vol. 1," Echo & the Bunnymen's 1980 "Songs to Learn and Sing" and Burning Spear's 1983 "The Fittest of the Fit."

Design Similarity: Superimposed
Janis Ian's sophomore 1968 sophomore release, "For All the Seasons of the Your Mind," features a picture of Ian's face superposed over a more distant shot of her. Van Morrison's 1970 and third release, "His Band the Street Choir," features a strikingly similar composition.

Design Similarity: What Are They Looking At?
Turning your back on someone is considered an insult or tantamount to shunning that person and is one way to end communication. The people in these album covers are probably not trying to shun the viewer, but rather, seem more intent on what they are gazing at. The albums shown are The Proclaimers "Sunshine on Leith" (1988), Tres Chicas "Sweetwater" (2004), Israel Kamakawiwo'ole "Facing the Future" (1993) and Randy Newman "Randy Newman Songbook, Vol. 1" (2003).

Bloody Noses
The medical term for a nosebleed is "epistaxis" and is caused by injury to the mucous membrane that covers the nasal septum. Children are more susceptible to bloody noses because they are more likely to stick object in their noses (like fingers) and have thinner mucous membranes in the lining of their noses. Bloody noses appear on D.O.A.'s 1984 "Bloodied But Unbowed: The Damage to Date 1978-1984" and Andrew W.K.'s 2001 "I Get Wet." On the latter album, both W.K's blood and pig's blood was used.

Arms Crossed
Reading body language can sometime give important non-verbal communication about people. One of the classic body language positions is the folding of arms across one's stomach or chest. The psychological reading of this position is that the person is being protective, defensive, closed or guarded. The position, however, might more easily be explained that it is a comfortable position to put one's arms into. The following album covers depict people with their arms folded – what meaning do you derive from them?

Giving You the Eye
A common saying is that the eyes are the windows to the soul. In ancient Egypt, the Eye of Ra symbol was believed to confer health, wisdom and prosperity. The eye also figures prominently in the Great Seal of the United States (finished in 1782) and appears on one dollar bills. The eye on the bill can be interpreted as the "eye of providence." The use of eyes on an album cover usually comes across as eerie especially since typically just one eye is shown, disconnected from the remainder of the body. Here are four examples of single eyes on album covers: Downset's 2004 "Universal," Dada's 1998 "Dada," Banco de Gaia's 2002 "10 Years" and the soundtrack to the television series "Nip/Tuck."

Let Me Give You A Hand
The human hand in artwork first appears in Stone Age paintings on cave walls where, alongside depictions of animals and hunting scenes, hand-prints (perhaps signatures) are also found. In modern life, the hand is an important symbol in law when raising your hand in a court oath, extending your hand for agreement or taking a partner's hand in marriage. In biology, the hand is fundamental to the complex hand-brain tasks that humans routinely perform. In terms of actions, hands reach, grasp, conceal, plead, push against and console. The following four albums offer examples of hands on the front cover: Jeff Beck's 2001 "You Hand It Coming," Majek Fashek's 1989 "Prisoner of Conscience," Dead Can Dance's 1993 "Into the Labyrinth" and Janis Ian's 2003 "Billie's Bones."

Let Me Give You A Hand
The human hand in artwork first appears in Stone Age paintings on cave walls where, alongside depictions of animals and hunting scenes, hand-prints (perhaps signatures) are also found. In modern life, the hand is an important symbol in law when raising your hand in a court oath, extending your hand for agreement or taking a partner's hand in marriage. In biology, the hand is fundamental to the complex hand-brain tasks that humans routinely perform. In terms of actions, hands reach, grasp, conceal, plead, push against and console. The following four albums offer examples of hands on the front cover: George Harrison's 1973 "Living in the Material World," Genesis' 1986 "Invisible Touch," Dead Kennedys' 1982 "Plastic Surgery Diasters" and Faithless' 1996 "Reverence."

Giving You The Eye
A common saying is that the eyes are the windows to the soul. In ancient Egypt, the Eye of Ra symbol was believed to confer health, wisdom and prosperity. The eye also figures prominently in the Great Seal of the United States (finished in 1782) and appears on one dollar bills. The eye on the bill can be interpreted as the "eye of providence." The use of eyes on an album cover usually comes across as eerie especially since typically just one eye is shown, disconnected from the remainder of the body. Here are three examples of single eyes on album covers: Candlebox's 1998 "Happy Pills," Lost City Angels' 2005 "Broken World" and The Sunshine Fix's 2004 "Green Imagination."

Giving You The Eye
A common saying is that the eyes are the windows to the soul. In ancient Egypt, the Eye of Ra symbol was believed to confer health, wisdom and prosperity. The eye also figures prominently in the Great Seal of the United States (finished in 1782) and appears on one dollar bills. The eye on the bill can be interpreted as the "eye of providence." The use of eyes on an album cover usually comes across as eerie especially since typically just one eye is shown, disconnected from the remainder of the body. Here are two examples of single eyes on album covers: Mr Bungle's 1995 "Disco Volante," Boom Bip & Dose One's 2002 "Circle," Evanescence's 2004 "Anywhere But Home" and Tweet's 2005 "It's Me Again."

Chicago
Originally called the "Chicago Transit Authority" and later just "Chicago," this group has had several personnel changes as well as style changes over the last four decades since its formation in 1967 in Chicago. The word "Chicago" appears on many of their album covers as demonstrated in these releases from 1970, 1979, 1982 and 2005.

Album Covers with a Marquee
A marquee is a roof-like structure often projecting over a building entrance and often acting as a signboard with a message. Here are four examples of album covers featuring a marquee with a message announcing the band or the title of the album. The examples include Elton John's 1973 "Don’t Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player," Styx's 1981 "Paradise Theater," Faithless' 1988 "Sunday 8pm" and Adrian Belew's 2000 "Coming Attractions."

A Kiss is Just a Kiss
With so many songs about love, pictures of kissing on album covers are surprisingly spare. Here are several examples that do include couples kissing. There is the nostalgic innocent kind of kiss on the Noel Coward compilation "A Room With a View." There is the domestic bliss kiss of John Lennon and Yoko Ono on the 1980 "Double Fantasy" album. There is the androgynous kiss on London Suede's 1993 cover. And finally, the movie kiss on the soundtrack of the 1992 blockbuster movie "Prelude to a Kiss."

William Wegman an Weimaraners on Album Covers
The American art photographer William Wegman (1943- ) is famous for his compositions involving Wiemaraner dogs in various poses and costumes. The Weimaraner breed of dog has a short, smooth grey coat and typically, grey eyes. They were originally bred for assisting hunters in tracking and retrieving prey. They were name after the Grand Duke of Weimar, a city in Germany. Two album covers that feature weimaraners are Nelson's 1995 "Because They Can" and Sonia Dada's 1999 "Lay Down & Love It Live."

Ears on the Cover
The ear is an essential part of enjoying music and it is fitting that it should be featured at least on some album covers. Examples include Golden Earring's "Moontan" (1973), the Stranglers' "Aural Sculpture (1984), Jean Michel Jarre's "En Attendant" (1990), and Vangelis' "Beaubourg" (1978). The ear is an organ that collects and focuses sound waves. It consists of three basic parts, the outer, middle, and inner ear. The outer ear collects and focuses sound to the middle ear. In the middle ear sound waves are transformed into mechanical energy as they create vibrations in the bone structure. Finally, in the inner earl, mechanical energy is transformed into nerve impulses that are transmitted to the brain. Finally, note that human ear lobes are vestigial, and are often used for decoration as on Golden Earring's "Moontan" (1973) cover.

A Kiss Is Just a Kiss
With so many songs about love, pictures of kissing on album covers are surprisingly spare. Here are several examples that do include couples kissing. There is the kiss on the cover of the soundtrack to the 1997 movie "A Life Less Ordinary." There is the domestic bliss kiss of John Lennon and Yoko Ono on the 1984 "Milk and Honey" album cover. There is the nostalgic kiss on Post Stardom Depression's 2005 "Prime Time Looks a Lot Like Amateur Night" album cover. And finally, there is the almost-kiss on London Suede's 2003 "Singles" album cover.

Psychedelic Mandalas
The psychedelic era refers primarily to the last half of the 1960s. The era takes its name from the psychedelic drugs that came into common use during this time including LSD, magic mushroom and mescaline. Psychedelic music is characterized by a break with the rigidity of the rock & roll structure of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Psychedelic music is more fluid, employing freer, longer song forms that often use abstract lyrics based on visions or dreams. The accompanying album cover art often aspired to capture and extend visually what the music did sonically and what the psychedelic drugs did psychically to all senses. A common theme in the album cover design of psychedelic albums is the mandala. Mandalas are of Hindu origin but are also used in Buddhism to refer to any object (usually circular in form) that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically. Mandalas crept into album art design as part of the psychedelic era's fascination with alternate beliefs and, in particular, Eastern belief systems. Examples of mandalas on album covers include the Insect Trust's self-titled debut (1968), the Grateful Dead's 1968 "Anthem of the Sun," the Fraternity of Man's 1968 self-titl

Sitting on the John
While not exactly the most popular album cover theme, ladies sitting on the john (i.e. the toilet), does appear on at least these two covers that have come across Lostvibe's desk: Millie Jackson's 1989 R&B album called "Back to the Shit" and Eddie Spaghetti's 2005 alternative country/rock album called "Old No. 2".

Postage Themed Cover Art Work
A postage stamp as an album cover art theme appears on these four album covers: Alison Moyet's 1994 "Essex," Cracker's 1996 "The Golden Gage," the Rheostatics' 2004 "2067," and the Divine Comedy's 2006 "Victory for the Comic Muse."

Title Tattoos
Sensual tattoos have been used been used many times to display an album’s title or artist name, such as: Alanis Morrisette's 2005 "The Collection," Mint Tattoo's 1968 self-titled album, Amelia's Dream's 1999 "Love Tattoo," and Jeff Talmadge's 2001 "Bad Tattoo." The word tattoo comes from the Tahitian noun "tatau." Samuel O'Reilly invented the electric tattooing machine in 1891, improving upon an earlier machine invented by Thomas Edison.
Associated Albums
Happy Pills Broken World Green Imagination
Further Exploration
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