Creating Art from Failure.
Take one epochal album
by one of rock's legendary bands (called "one of the dullest and most confusing albums I've heard this year" by Rolling Stone
on its release.) Name it after the nickname the band has given the venues where they appear, and for which they had written a song
, which they neglected to put on the album itself. And then there's the album cover ...
Originally planned to be shot in Peru, the photos were instead shot over a grueling 10 days at the Giant's Causeway
in Northern Ireland, where the Irish giant Finn McCool (who created the Isle of Man by flinging a chunk of Ireland at an enemy) once did battle with the Scottish giant Benandonner -- sort of
. (He disguised himself as his own baby and pretended to eat stone steaks, scaring the other giant away.) It's also where the climactic scenes of Hellboy II
were shot, a film heavily influenced by Irish myth
. The location also doubles as the Dothraki Sea
in Game of Thrones.
The cover was based on the final scene from Arthur C. Clark's "Childhood's End,"
in which humanity's children have ceased being human in any recognizable way, having turned into telekinetic beings. The image was a composite based on a series of photos taken by the legendary designer Aubrey Powell
, founder of the album design agency Hipgnosis
, which was responsible for such iconic covers as Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon
," T. Rex's "Electric Warrior
," and Peter Gabriel's "Melt
" cover. The experience of making this album was intensely unsatisfying to Powell, but some accidental tinting in the studio transformed it.
There were actually only two children on the cover,
siblings Stefan and Samanatha Gates. British foodies might recognize the name Stefan Gates -- he is The Gastronaut
, a food writer and host of "Cooking in the Danger Zone" (here he is eating possibly radioactive food in Chernobyl
). In 2010, Gates recorded a half-hour documentary for BBC Radio 4 about his experience making the album cover
("an experience I found oddly disturbing," he says.)
And, for fans of the album, here is every song on it
, thanks to YouTube:
"The Song Remains the Same"
"The Rain Song"
"Over the Hills and Far Away"