Let us go back to the days before social-networking sites like MySpace or facebook got around-or just the Web for example. Record buyers have to rely on their visual interpretations in buying albums. I mean it’s there on the shelf, with its glossy cover ; but you didn’t know back then what to expect. There were even record stores that won’t allow you to listen unless you are willing the buy the album(the process of removing the plastic cover was and still is not really something a sales person welcomes). I live in Asia and perhaps, the situation here was different compared to the States.
An album cover was the only telling sign of what the music’s about. Even now. I mean there are those who still prefer physical media over downloads. Album cover plays a big part in marketing. In the music business, building an image is as crucial as making music. The image that can also make or break album sales upon release.
I remember picking up my first Clannad album Banba. I didn’t know their music back then, but I KNOW what to expect. And I was right. The blue , gray and black did say something about the mood of the album. The logo as well as how the photo shoot was done convinced me that the music was that of a haunting, somehow gentle kind with a folk appeal.
Celtic artists do put out beautiful album overs. Bands like Altan, Capercaillie, The Chieftains or Lunasa tell you something…
Here are my examples of album covers that made me buy the CDs: