Tag Archives: Album covers

Insects in rock ’n’ roll cover art

Insects in rock ’n’ roll cover art is an article and an online database by Joseph R. Coelho, who teaches in the Biology Program at Quincy University.

The article, which can be read online here, was published in American entomologist (L/3 [fall 2004] pp. 142–151). The database (here)  is part of a larger project called Insects in rock ’n’ roll music, which also includes lists of insect-related songs, albums, and artist names.

Above, a classic Iron Butterfly album cover. Below, ants dancing to Ant man bee from the legendary Trout mask replica by Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band (Beefheart plays two saxophones simultaneously on this track).

Many thanks to the Improbable Research blog for alerting us about Professor Coelho’s work!

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Filed under Animals, Nature, Popular music, Resources, Science, Visual art

Album covers

fela-zombie

Record album covers comprise a genre of music iconography that shows how musicians wish to be perceived—or how their producers wish them to be perceived. This type of iconography makes no claim to objectivity; rather, it explicitly presents images meant to arouse specific associations with the recorded music inside.

For example, the cover of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s 1977 album Zombie shows him brightly dressed, singing and gesturing defiantly, facing images of Nigerian soldiers: the zombies of the scathing title song, which satirizes these enforcers of the military government. The singer appears as a vibrant, strong leader, while the soldiers are depicted in a jagged, grey collage—as dehumanized and sinister as the zombies of horror fiction.

Below, Sahr Ngaujah and the cast of Fela! perform Zombie on Broadway.

Click here for more on music iconography.

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Filed under Africa, Black studies, Iconography, Mass media, Politics, Popular music