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Album Art Exploration Articles 

TARKUS: VISIONS OF DOOM FROM EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER

It’s hard to be afraid of an armadillo. Yet, this is no ordinary creature. Rather, it is a mysterious, mechanical hybrid of doom. An armored tank of destruction, this unholy entity is designed to spread terror. It even has a name. Behold TARKUS! Behind Tarkus is an infinite trail of death. The carnage extends well beyond the line of vision. No sign of exhaustion is visible in his glaring red eyes. Tarkus pushes onward in his murderous rampage. Strange worlds come alive within the gatefold of this classic ELP record….

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Album Art Exploration Articles Observations and Musings 

DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH: THE METAL MONSTERS OF JUDAS PRIEST

In 1982, Judas Priest found themselves at a crossroads. Point of Entry had brought criticism from fans who thought the record suffered from commercial leanings. For their next record, the band could either continue to court radio or proudly return to their characteristic heavy sound. With Screaming for Vengeance, Judas Priest chose the latter path and created one of the strongest statements of their career. To reassure fans that the new album was a return to form, the cover needed to make a bold visual statement. The result was The…

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Album Art Exploration Articles Observations and Musings 

Rush vs. Rainbow: The Great Rock and Roll Swindle

In 1978, Rainbow was a veritable super group carefully assembled by Ritchie Blackmore. The gatefold photo inside Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll perfectly captures the excitement of seeing these giants perform live. A festive crowd eagerly waits for the curtain to drop. A few fans even hold a banner to greet Blackmore and company as they hit the stage.   This sign has always struck me as problematic. Who makes a banner to hold up at a rock concert and decides NOT to include the name of the band? One…

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Album Art Exploration Articles Observations and Musings Uncategorized 

TASTING IN TOKYO: SUBLIMINAL HOMOEROTIC ALBUM ART OF THE SCORPIONS

Most of us are familiar with the eighties version of the Scorpions. In the decade before MTV and “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” the band steadily released well-received albums to an international fan base. Although these records arguably represent the band’s best work, the music is often overshadowed by their outrageous cover art. Some images were humorous while others were done in bad taste. They could also be strange. Very strange. LONESOME CROW It all started innocently. Lonesome Crow, their debut album, features a human hand towering over a scorpion. Seems…

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