Thursday, May 19, 2011

Album Cover of the Week: Misfits, by The Kinks

For some time, now, I have been paying homage to album covers on my Facebook page but the level of engagement possible on a social networking site is so much more limited than it is on a vaunted blog such as The Rhetorical Situation. So this is the first of what will be weekly installments of Harrogate's Album Cover of the Week.®

Most if not all of these album covers are going to be gleaned from those which in my estimation contain great music--this one certainly fits that bill. But sometimes the cover art of an album which one detests muscially, may still merit attention. I encourage other contributors and commenters to get in on the discussion not only of the album covers that I place here in these installments, but also of those which you would like to share, or talk about.

So here is one of my very favorite album covers ever, from the Kinks Misfits (1978):

Misfits as a Rock 'N' Roll Album really is a wonderful piece of musical art that one can listen to endlessly and never feel cheated. Here is the song list, a few of which I will probably post through the week:

1. "Misfits" – 4:42
2. "Hay Fever" – 3:33
3. "Black Messiah" – 4:08
4. "A Rock & Roll Fantasy" – 4:58
5. "In a Foreign Land" – 3:02
6. "Permanent Waves" – 3:48
7. "Live Life" – 4:47
8. "Out of the Wardrobe" – 3:37
9. "Trust Your Heart" (Dave Davies) – 4:11
10. "Get Up" – 3:22

So, what do you think of the cover? I have always been able to look at it for long periods of time and keep noticing different things about it.


Oxymoron said...

I see Jesus. Cover the bottom half of the picture with your hand, then tilt your head ninety degrees to the left.

He is missing His nose and has a Beatles' cut. But I'd recognize that glorious beard anywhere.

harrogate said...

Love the comment. Certainly the image seems not without overrt religious connotations, with the surreal-celestial background as well as the verticle lines of the head which could just as easily be striving upwards as striving down.

The thing that has always stood out to me about this cover is its gesture towards the mutliplicity of selves within a single selves. We see not only the world but our own souls, our own faces, our own heads (as proven in the Elain Benes "Giant Head" episode of Seinfeld) through a variety of lenses, most of which are ephemerally constructed and many of which indeed, in the scales of the broader communities wherein we operate, make us feel like, well,


The cursive writing, too, stands out for me here. The elegant simplicity of the album title and of the band name both rise to the fore.