Top Ten Thursday: Best Album Covers

Houses of the Holy, Led Zeppelin,  Full Album COver

Album covers are an interesting thing. Some artists choose to not put a lot of time into them and just throw any old picture of themselves on there (Bob Dylan). Others try and go for the shock factor by being wildly offensive (Death Grips), while others either hire an artist or come up with a concept themselves. Storm Thorgerson was a graphic design artist responsible for some of the most legendary album covers of all time, including ones for Led Zeppelin, The Muse, Mars Volta, Black Sabbath, Peter Gabriel and most all of Pink Floyd’s album covers (yes, including the infamous prism cover for Dark Side of the Moon) as well as many more. Sadly, Storm passed away last week, and in his honor we bring you the following list. And no, our #1 has nothing to do with the fact that Storm designed it, we just love it that much. This list was fun because there are so many album covers we loved and wanted to include, but also hard because there are many albums we left off but wanted to include. I guess we will just have to do a sequel to this one some day. Onto the list:

10. The Strokes – Is This It
Is This It, the stokes, Album Cover
One of the sexiest album covers of all time was actually banned in America soon after the albums release. Stupid American censorship laws really know how to put a damper on a good thing.
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How The Beatles Destroyed Rock ‘N’ Roll Review

How the Beatles Destroyed Rock ‘N’ Roll

Elijah Wald

How The Beatles Destroyed Rock 'N' Roll book review

I realize that LxL doesn’t ordinarily fashion itself as a book club, but extremely good books – and specifically extremely good music books – require our attention. Believe it or not, this isn’t our first book review, as Austin praised Songs of Ice and Fire series about a year ago, the series that has spawned the hugely popular Game of Thrones on HBO. Well, enough of this justification, and on to the review.
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Beach Boys Review Royale: The Smile Sessions

The Beach Boys

The SMiLE Sessions

Smile Sessions Box Set

It has been known as “The Holy Grail of Rock ‘n’ Roll” or the “Most famous album never released”. In 1966 and 1967, at the same time as The Beatles were concocting their  career staple Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beach Boys were constructing their own magnum opus known as SMiLE, meant as an ambitious follow up to their first masterpiece, Pet Sounds. But the project was rumored to be scrapped near the final stages due to dissension among the band about the project as well as Beach Boys front man and producer Brian Wilson dissolving due to heavy drug use and mental disorders.  Many tracks meant for SMiLE including staple Beach Boys songs “Good Vibrations”, “Heroes and Villains”, and “Surf’s Up” ended up landing on subsequent albums, but the album was never released as intended. Also, several of the missing tracks on SMiLE got released in the 1993 Good Vibrations box set but not released in album format or in complete.

The Beach Boys SMiLE
SMiLE, the mighty chalice of rock history

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Top Ten Thursday: Conception

With the great disappointment of Mylo Xyloto (Coldplays new concept album that dropped earlier this week) still being fresh in our heads, we at LxL wanted to remind the world that there are indeed good concept albums out there. Apologies to Austin, who got particularly screwed in this weeks voting, but nonetheless, here is what we came up with:
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