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"Art is an invention of aesthetics, which in turn is an invention of philosophers.... What we call art is a game."
April 10, 2011 3:13 PM   Subscribe

What If Your Favorite Album Was a Book? Rock classics from from Arcade Fire to Zeppelin, reimagined as book covers.

What if your favorite rock album was a book? Christophe Gowans was wondering the same thing. "I got to thinking, well, what would those records look like if they actually were books, if the name of the album was actually the title of a novel or reference book?" Gowans, a graphic designer who lives in London, did just that, reimagining everything from Air to Zeppelin as something you might find on your shelf or in a used bookstore. After creating the covers, he digitally ages them—"I know my way round a retouch or two"—to look as well-loved as the LP sleeves and CD booklets that accompany their musical originals.Via Mother Jones
posted by Fizz (33 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
God, the Oasis and Pixies ones are hilarious.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 3:20 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was hoping for Born to Run and Rocket to Russia.
posted by jonmc at 3:26 PM on April 10, 2011


My favorite album is already a book. It's not that good.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 3:40 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Purple Rain was great.
posted by oddman at 3:44 PM on April 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I quite enjoyed "Bad," by Michael Jackson. It looks like such an airport book.
posted by gc at 3:52 PM on April 10, 2011


The artist misspelled "bollocks". SLOPPY!

These are good, though. I enjoyed the set.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:06 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


A lot of people I know are really tired of these (mostly mid-century modern/minimalist) re-envisionings, but I liked this set. I hope there are more to come.
posted by immlass at 4:13 PM on April 10, 2011


Very good stuff.
posted by zardoz at 4:13 PM on April 10, 2011


Wow, much better than I expected! Great post!
posted by kcds at 4:17 PM on April 10, 2011


Rock classics from from Arcade Fire to Zeppelin

Now, I have never heard a single piece of Arcade Fire's music. But I can tell you that they are far too recent of a band to be "classic" in any sense. Sorry to be all nitpicky but words happen to have meanings, y'know.
posted by MattMangels at 4:21 PM on April 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Good overall, but too many little annoying details, like using Dylan's and Bowie's real name but not Alice Cooper's? (And don't tell me it was Alice Cooper the Group because the Nightmare album was after that entity broke up, leaving Vincent Furnier solo) And some of the group album/books would've been better using the members as co-authors. Yes, little things, but distracting.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:23 PM on April 10, 2011


Arcade Fire's The Suburbs looking like a first edition John Updike is pretty clever.
posted by naju at 4:52 PM on April 10, 2011


Horses!
posted by The White Hat at 5:03 PM on April 10, 2011


A Day at the Races/A Night at the Opera was particularly well-played.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:18 PM on April 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you look closely at my bookshelves, you will no doubt find this. This, too.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:20 PM on April 10, 2011


That re-envisioning of Patti Smith's "Horses" may be the first thing that I have ever seen on the Internet that actually prompted me to exclaim aloud, "Boo! Hiss!"

Some things are just too perfect to be fucked with, and "Horses" is one of those things.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 6:07 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


MattMangels: “Now, I have never heard a single piece of Arcade Fire's music. But I can tell you that they are far too recent of a band to be "classic" in any sense. Sorry to be all nitpicky but words happen to have meanings, y'know.”

Well, but some meanings are relative. "Classic" seems like a pretty vague term, doesn't it?
posted by koeselitz at 6:38 PM on April 10, 2011


Well done. Dark Side of the Moon was good.
posted by Sailormom at 6:43 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm just glad that there was only one Penguin Classic in the bunch. Good stuff here.
posted by ErWenn at 7:23 PM on April 10, 2011


P. Rogers Nelson's 'Purple Rain' is a sci-fi classic. It's well known that it was a strong inspiration for Prince's album of the same name, but I never got the connection.
posted by bionic.junkie at 7:43 PM on April 10, 2011


The design is amazing. Horses though, is pretty jarring. I mean, it's well done, and clever, and hilarious but I kinda sat up in my chair when I got to it. So 180º from Mappelthorpe.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:48 PM on April 10, 2011


Oh reality, how I struggle with you and your non-mobile-phone-friendly content.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:57 PM on April 10, 2011


"Horses" is a riff on the kids' reference books and sticker books from DK Publishing, like this one -- note the "PS" in the corner of the Patti Smith redesign.
posted by lisa g at 11:32 PM on April 10, 2011


Shouldn't the author of Welcome To My Nightmare be Steven?

joking, enjoying these
posted by bdave at 11:34 PM on April 10, 2011


Moon Safari makes me wish he'd gotten to this before they issued a deluxe box reissue of that album already.
posted by mykescipark at 11:49 PM on April 10, 2011


I guess the term is relative koes. To me it implies something old, like how "Classic Rock" stations are heavily comprised of 70s songs. Whatever though, the book covers are cool.
posted by MattMangels at 1:56 AM on April 11, 2011


Now, I have never heard a single piece of Arcade Fire's music. But I can tell you that they are far too recent of a band to be "classic" in any sense.

Come now, you sound like one of those hoary old gentlemen who think there's been no good music since Pink Floyd dropped the definite article from their name.
posted by mippy at 3:02 AM on April 11, 2011


To me it implies something old, like how "Classic Rock" stations are heavily comprised of 70s songs

When was the last time you listened to "classic rock"? I was listening to radio the other (a novel experience) and they were playing STP and early RHCP. I kid you not I checked the station number. WHEN THE FUCK DID 90'S MUSIC BECOME CLASSIC!?
posted by Fizz at 4:44 AM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


No.
posted by hwestiii at 5:25 AM on April 11, 2011


oneswellfoop: Good overall, but too many little annoying details, like using Dylan's and Bowie's real name but not Alice Cooper's?...Yes, little things, but distracting.

Also the Alice Cooper one has his label's logo on it but most of the others do not credit the label. And Purple Rain uses versions of Prince's name that were not in use at the time of that record's release!

Why oh why do you take such liberties, crazy flickr person?????
posted by Sauce Trough at 1:30 PM on April 11, 2011


I don't really get this sort of thing at all. I mean, I can see what he's done, but it's not particularly insightful, or interesting, or clever. So a bit of a "meh" from me, I'm afraid.
posted by salmacis at 3:17 PM on April 11, 2011


the 90s were twenty years ago. There are kids in bands in the charts now that weren't born when Under The Bridge came out.

I wasn't born in the 1970s but it would be hard to argue that The Smiths etc. aren't part of the canon now. We have Radio 2 here which is kind of a middle-aged person's station - when I'm forty they'll probably be playing Groovejet and Craig David records. Heck, they already play Coldplay.

Did Alice Cooper change his name by deed poll?
posted by mippy at 4:09 PM on April 11, 2011


Moon Safari makes me wish he'd gotten to this before they issued a deluxe box reissue of that album already.

What what what what what????

[Googles]

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[Buys]
posted by Sutekh at 11:21 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


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