Those of you that love guitars and the history of guitars, may also feel an affinity with vinyl records. Here is a little piece about the cross-over between the two worlds, and the appearance of iconic guitars on vinyl record cover art
Rock My World: Guitar Cover Art
Sometimes the album cover is just as (or more) interesting and fascinating as the album itself. Great cover art catches the eye and makes any record stand out from the rest. Cover art also provides clues as to the band or artists’ intent – will this be an upbeat or melancholy collection of songs? Or will it be a journey through various musical stylings that will evoke a multitude of emotions and feelings? You can also determine the time period by looking at clothing, famous architecture, and icons (peace signs and smoke rings should be a dead giveaway) featured on the cover.
What Do Guitars in Cover Art Mean?
For many musicians, musical instruments are much more than just a medium on which to play – these instruments are an extension of the soul, spirit, and body. Featuring an instrument on the cover usually means more than, ‘Hey, you’re going to hear a lot of guitar work on this album.’ Usually portrait shots (Johnny Cash or John Lee Hooker holding their guitars) or abstract images of guitars floating in mid-air (Dire Straits Brother in Arms), the guitars featured can provide some clues as to the main theme of an album.
For example, Brother in Arms, features a steel blue National Style 0 Resonator, manufactured between 1930 and 1941. This guitar relied decorative steel sheets (also called cones) to help it produce a louder and more distinctive sound than traditional acoustic guitars. The design helped keep the instrument from being overshadowed by other instruments like the drums and horns.
Interestingly, the album features several songs including Brothers in Arms, and Ride Across the River that explore the nature or war and military life. The guitar on the cover was probably designed during WWII and, while beautiful, appears to have been pieced together with various metals (may cause some people to think of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome – a post apocalyptic movie about people surviving war and rebuilding a society – the movie came out in 1985, the same year as Brothers in Arms).
Musicians Known for Their Guitars
Other famous musicians such as Eric Clapton, Santana, Hank Williams, and B.B. King, who named his original guitar and all those that came afterwards ‘Lucille,’ are known for their expert guitar work. King even wrote a song about his guitar, several of which have been featured on album covers.
This may be why Eric Clapton is seen holding a guitar on many album covers – Slowhand , Just One Night and 24 Nights just to name a few. The cover art for 24 Nights, a live album Clapton released in 1991, was done by Sir Peter Blake, who also designed the cover art for The Beatles Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. The cover, a squiggly, free-hand drawn sketch of Clapton playing his guitar, is appropriate for the album because, according to Clapton, the album was not an easy one to produce. The album chronicles Clapton’s impressive 24 nights of performances at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
This piece was written by Sylvia from www.vinylstall.com