In the days before music streaming services became a ubiquitous, when physical media ruled the music world, the first thing a music fan encountered before playing the music on a record, a CD or a cassette was the artwork on the cover. The cover was the always gateway to the music. Some cover art is tastefully done, some covers have Facebook groups devoted to their awfulness. If done very well (or very poorly), cover art can come to define the music the listener is about to play.
Welcome to episode 159 of Love That Album.
Even before you play a note, looking at the covers of albums like Abbey Road, East or Whipped Cream and Other Delights will bring memories or impressions into your head. You may buy the record for the music, but it may well be the album cover that persuades you to pick it up in the record store in the first place. The very important role of cover designer often decides whether you decide to give an album a second glance.
One gentleman who knows this very well is Steven Jurgensmeyer. He may be known to podcast listeners as the host of the excellent All Music Books: Deep Dive podcast (also on the Pantheon network), but his day gig for many years has been in designing album covers. He worked for may years at Ryko and Rounder, so you may well know the artwork he's done for albums by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Sugar (featuring Bob Mould), Branford Marsalis, Robert Cray, Chris Bell and many others. We had a great discussion on his own work, whether an album's success and its artwork are linked, and the contrast between the previous world of physical art layout and its modern digital counterpart....we also take some time to talk about Steven's work with All Music Books.
Thanks so much to Steven for his time and invaluable insight into a side of music that we know about, yet don't make as much a part of the conversation.
You can check out all the album covers (and more) that we discuss at https://www.stevenjurgensmeyer.com/#/music/ and you can read reviews of a large library of music books at https://allmusicbooks.com/. AllMusicBooks: Deep Dive is also part of the Pantheon Network of music discussion podcasts and is available wherever you get your podcasts.
Download this episode of LTA from your podcast app of choice. The wider back catalogue of episodes can also be found at http://lovethatalbumpodcast.blogspot.com
Love That Album is proudly part of the Pantheon Podcast network. Go to http://pantheonpodcasts.com to check out all their great shows.
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You can download episode 159 from here.