Art Vinyl, which specialises in creating display cases for album covers, has compiled a list of the best album covers of 2005.
At number one on the list is Hard-Fi's Stars of CCTV, which features a black CCTV camera silhouetted against a bright yellow background. Also in the top five for album artwork are Franz Ferdinand's You Could Have it So Much Better, Gorillaz' Demon Days, Robbie Williams's Intensive Care and Madonna's Confessions on a Dancefloor.
Although CDs dominate the marketplace and music downloads are on the rise, Art Vinyl maintains there is still a place for the different media, believing that fans still buy albums to hang on their walls or play at parties at the same time as downloading music to their MP3 players. In 2005, it noted a trend of moving away from using photographs of bands on album covers, explaining that such images date bands quickly, and that when they are reduced down to CD format they look very small.
Andrew Heeps, managing director of Art Vinyl, describes the Hard-Fi cover as a "piece of marketing genius" that is clever for using an "image that you see every day." Another band that has chosen its own image is Gorillaz - the animated band created by Blur's Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, cartoonist and creator of comic book heroine Tank Girl. "It (Demon Days) reminds us of one of the Beatles' album covers, Let It Be", says Heeps. "It is going back to old imagery, but to have cartoon characters instead is great." Jamie Hewlett has also just been shortlisted for the prestigious Designer of the Year award for the cover. At number six, Coldplay's third album X&Y takes influence from New Order's Blue Monday and Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, according to Heeps.
The Art Vinyl top ten is:
1 - Hard-Fi: Stars of CCTV
2 - Franz Ferdinand: You Could Have it So Much Better
3 - Gorillaz: Demon Days
4 - Robbie Williams: Intensive Care
5 - Madonna: Confessions on a Dance Floor
6 - Coldplay: X&Y
7 - Mylo: Destroy Rock & Roll
8 - Goldfrapp: Supernature
9 - Kaiser Chiefs: Employment
10 - Kanye West: Late Registration
With seven-inch single sales increasing by 80% in the second quarter of 2005, Heeps predicts they could be the next boom area for record sleeve artwork.
Sources: The Independent, Andrew Heeps, Art Vinyl and BBC Radio 6
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