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Thread: Genesis Album Covers

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    Member Staun's Avatar
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    Genesis Album Covers

    It seems Genesis never went in for what you might call great covers. I think SEBTP may be their best. Unlike Yes or Eloy and others, they stayed rather understated. Looking at those covers themselves could make you want to hear the music and see what itís all about. I wonder if not having really eye catching packaging hurt their sales, at least in the beginning?
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    I think most of the 70s covers are great. No idea how much or little effect they had on sales though.
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    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    Not really a fan of any of their covers, to be honest. SEbtP is pretty good, and The Lamb hints at the lunacy inside, but otherwise, meh.
    Music isn't about chops, or even about talent - it's about sound and the way that sound communicates to people. Mike Keneally

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Progatron View Post
    I think most of the 70s covers are great. No idea how much or little effect they had on sales though.
    I agree. I'm especially a fan of the Foxtrot, ATOTT, and W&W covers.

    I also liked the covers for Duke, Abacab, and Calling All Stations.

    Not many of their album covers were as eye-catching as some by Yes, IMO, but having Paul Whitehead doing a few of them gave them a bit of consistency for a while sorta like Yes with Roger Dean.
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    Wind & Wuthering has, IMHO, their most evocative - and therefore most effective - album artwork. Both the front and rear covers succeed in catching the overall mood of the album splendidly.

    I also think the Trick of the Tail cover works well. Very Dickensian, which suits the album's subject matter well. I also found the inner sleeve artwork to complement the lyrics nicely.

    Nursery Cryme represents a perfect melding of the Victorian & the macabre. This is truly an excellent cover, and it might be Paul Whitehead's best work.

    I have to say that I've always loved the cover & inner sleeve art for Trespass. It just works perfectly for me somehow.

    The Selling England by the Pound artwork epitomizes the surreal elements of that iconic album. Betty Stanwick as the album cover's artist was a very wise choice!

    The cover for The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is highly effective in its b&w starkness. It helped to set the mood of the album for me in a very big way before I ever heard a single note of the music.

    And Then There were Three... I never thought much about this particular album art, but somehow the imagery managed to have a definite effect on how I heard the album, which I will say was largely a positive experience.

    At the time of its 1980 release, I never really cared much for the Duke album art though I have always absolutely loved the music therein. Since then, I'll admit it has gradually grown on me. Probably a nostalgia thing, if I'm honest...

    I like the Foxtrot artwork well enough though I never really rated it anywhere near the best of the lot. It does have its charms, however.

    The only one of the post-Duke covers I enjoy is Bill Smith's Abacab designs. I find that certain abstract art resonates with me for some inexplicable reason. Bonus points to them for making three or four variations available.

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    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koreabruce View Post
    Wind & Wuthering has, IMHO, their most evocative - and therefore most effective - album artwork. Both the front and rear covers succeed in catching the overall mood of the album splendidly.
    Totally forgot about this one, which is probably my favorite. A Trick of the Tail is pretty good, too, in how it weaves in the subject matter of the album's lyrics.

    But I'm not a fan at all of Whitehead's work.
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    Trick has always been my favorite maybe by any band. I love the colors and the characters... it tells the story. It is great as art work as well. The Whitehead LP's are great... Love the Wind and even the Lamb. Always thought And Than There Was Three was very cool, came with a poster when originally released, it was very different from all the other covers. Mama and Invisble Touch are my least favorite. I actually have the I cant' Dance up as art work in my office, cool water color painting.

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    SEBTP up to and including W&W are all very good covers imo. Not on the RD level but still fit the music perfectly imo.
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    All the covers from Trespass to Wind & Wuthering are lovely in my view- some of my favourites. Not so keen on Lamb.
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    My preference is for covers that convey an overall vibe of whats inside rather than a concrete representation of a song or songs within. I enjoy all of the covers from Trespass through ATTWT for different reasons, but for me the nod for being most evocative without being literal would be a tie between W&W and ATTWT, with Trespass getting an honorable mention (in spite of the very-concrete knife ).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piskie View Post
    All the covers from Trespass to Wind & Wuthering are lovely in my view- some of my favourites. Not so keen on Lamb.
    This^^^ If I had to pick 5 ATTOT, W&W, Trespass, SEBTP, Foxtrot. The only one I don't care for is In the Beginning and The self titled album

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    Quote Originally Posted by Piskie View Post
    All the covers from Trespass to Wind & Wuthering are lovely in my view- some of my favourites. Not so keen on Lamb.
    Lamb is a bit odd but it fits the music. You don't want a normal cover for music like that! :P
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    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    My favourite is easily Wind And Wuthering. It perfectly sets the mood for the music inside.
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    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Like Rich is saying, TotT is clearly their best artwork and its inner sleeve is awesome. Loved the waffled cardboard effects as well

    I think W&W's waffled cardboard artwork is also right up there, but I would've liked it to be a gatefold artwork, like all of their other 70's albums (I know SEBTP.... and in that regard, it's a bit disppointing)

    I'm not that much a fan of Whitehead's three artworks, but they are his best works AFA rock albums are concerned - certainly better than his VdGG or Italian albums. Out of those three, I prefer Tresspass and NC

    Never dug Duke's artwork (I tried).... and let's not mention the 80's artworks. Or the awful Spot The Pigeon EP.


    Quote Originally Posted by Koreabruce View Post
    And Then There were Three... I never thought much about this particular album art, but somehow the imagery managed to have a definite effect on how I heard the album, which I will say was largely a positive experience.
    Indeed, the ATTWT artwork can be easily dismissed (but it's in a photo class like Lamb, Seconds Out or Live), but it played a big role in how listened/heard to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by rich View Post
    Trick has always been my favorite maybe by any band. I love the colors and the characters... it tells the story. It is great as art work as well. The Whitehead LP's are great... Love the Wind and even the Lamb. Always thought And Than There Was Three was very cool, came with a poster when originally released, it was very different from all the other covers.
    However, I don't remember a poster in Canada's release. Would you have a visual??
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  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Koreabruce View Post
    And Then There were Three... I never thought much about this particular album art, but somehow the imagery managed to have a definite effect on how I heard the album, which I will say was largely a positive experience.

    [...]

    The only one of the post-Duke covers I enjoy is Bill Smith's Abacab designs. I find that certain abstract art resonates with me for some inexplicable reason. Bonus points to them for making three or four variations available.
    Oh yeah, I forgot all about ATTWT. I have always really liked that artwork; something about the way the sky and clouds look, and the late evening feeling, really contributes to the overall feel of that album for me. I always associate it with late summer and early autumn. It's certainly a moody cover.

    Abacab and Calling All Stations are the only post-1980 covers that I really like. The abstract style and the different colors on Abacab have always appealed to me, for reasons I probably can't explain myself. It reminds me of something from my childhood I think.

    In spite of Invisible Touch being one of my top 5 favorite G-men records, I've never dug the artwork. But I feel similarly about plenty of other 80s pop/rock albums that I love -- Songs From the Big Chair by Tears For Fears and Once Upon A Time by Simple Minds, for example. Rather plain/boring covers, but there's some wonderful music within.
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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by rich View Post
    Trick has always been my favorite maybe by any band. I love the colors and the characters... it tells the story. It is great as art work as well. The Whitehead LP's are great... Love the Wind and even the Lamb. Always thought And Than There Was Three was very cool, came with a poster when originally released, it was very different from all the other covers. Mama and Invisble Touch are my least favorite. I actually have the I cant' Dance up as art work in my office, cool water color painting.
    The only thing I got with ATTWT was a flyer for the Knebworth shows.

    Wind and Wuthering is probably my favourite Genesis artwork.

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    With the exception of dull and uninspired design of their 1969 debut as well as the "The Lamb..." cover which looks pretty dated to me and which I don't like at all, I love all those amazing covers from "Trespass" to "Wind & Wuthering" - including "Live" of which I think is a great cover that thoroughly conveys the atmosphere of Genesis concerts at the time.
    I couldn't care less for Storm Thorgerson's and Aubrey Powell's design for "...And Then There Were Three...".
    Regarding their 80's albums, only "Duke" has a cover which I like; thanks to well-know French illustrator Lionel Koechlin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Staun View Post
    It seems Genesis never went in for what you might call great covers. I think SEBTP may be their best. Unlike Yes or Eloy and others, they stayed rather understated. Looking at those covers themselves could make you want to hear the music and see what it’s all about. I wonder if not having really eye catching packaging hurt their sales, at least in the beginning?
    Gotta agree with you. I even met Paul Whitehead once, and like some of his work, but the Genesis album covers are not my favorites.

    Looking back at the Genesis covers over the years, my favorite would probably "Trick Of The Tail" and even that one is good, but not great.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Bails View Post
    Not really a fan of any of their covers, to be honest. SEbtP is pretty good, and The Lamb hints at the lunacy inside, but otherwise, meh.
    A friend of mine had the gatefold version of SEbtP with the lyrics printed inside--was quite jealous of that.

  20. #20
    Member bill g's Avatar
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    The covers weren't bad, but not particularly artful in my opinion. Trespass, Foxtrot and Wind & Wuthering are perhaps my favorite covers, all decent, but not earth shattering. 'And Then There Were Three' is one that fits the music well with the night sky, and is part of the mood of the album. I imagine a cover along the lines of 'Geese and The Ghost' or 'Voyage of the Acolyte' may have helped sales. Tony's covers, after A Curious Feeling, have actually been poor, and did nothing to help attract people to the album.

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    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveSly View Post
    Gotta agree with you. I even met Paul Whitehead once, and like some of his work, but the Genesis album covers are not my favorites.
    Yeah, also met Whitehead at a Musical Box concert. Bought him his book, but he was rather pushy to buy a big print of his Genesis artwork

    Quote Originally Posted by syncopatico View Post
    A friend of mine had the gatefold version of SEbtP with the lyrics printed inside--was quite jealous of that.
    Actually, I also had it, but it doesn't bring much to the object, since everything inside (the inner gtefold) was printed on the inner sleeve at the exact same size... in the gatefold, the inner sleeve was plain white.
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    I'd say that, in general, their album covers were better than the average prog band's covers. There's quite a bit of diversity over the years, which is a plus. I think the main shortcoming in the cover art is the fact that the album covers could never convey just how good the music was.

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    The "We Can't Dance" tour T-shirt has a nice collage of their album covers and such

  24. #24
    I happen to rather like the Genesis album covers, at least up through Wind & Wuthering.

    As a side note, I remember Steve Harris said that he was disappointed when they dropped the Nursery Cryme/Foxtrot/Live era logo. He said it inspired him to pick a good logo for Iron Maiden, and then never change it. And that's what they've done, they've still got the same logo they had on their first album.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    Like Rich is saying, TotT is clearly their best artwork and its inner sleeve is awesome. Loved the waffled cardboard effects as well

    I think W&W's waffled cardboard artwork is also right up there, but I would've liked it to be a gatefold artwork, like all of their other 70's albums (I know SEBTP.... and in that regard, it's a bit disppointing)

    I'm not that much a fan of Whitehead's three artworks, but they are his best works AFA rock albums are concerned - certainly better than his VdGG or Italian albums. Out of those three, I prefer Tresspass and NC

    Never dug Duke's artwork (I tried).... and let's not mention the 80's artworks. Or the awful Spot The Pigeon EP.




    Indeed, the ATTWT artwork can be easily dismissed (but it's in a photo class like Lamb, Seconds Out or Live), but it played a big role in how listened/heard to it.



    However, I don't remember a poster in Canada's release. Would you have a visual??

    Well I stand corrected Trane... Thinking back and pulling out the LP and my box of memorabilia it was the 1978 ATTWT tour program that unfolded into a poster. So i thank you for making me scratch my head and dig this stuff out. Looked at all my old ticket stubs and programs as well. Many great memories in that box!

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