With the year coming to a close, it’s that time again to take a look back at some of the best that the music world had to offer in 2016. First up on the “Best of” docket is my annual “Best Album Covers” list. Throughout the year, I kept a list of album covers that I found strange, beautiful, and provocative. This list is a compilation of my favorites from this yearlong collection. Anyone who loves the album as an art form knows the importance of a powerful LP image, and the following 20 covers elevate their corresponding albums.
2016 was a pretty horrific year, and as a result, coming up with a fun little list of bad album covers was a little bit more difficult this year. Let’s be honest, this collection of horrible covers pales in comparison to the shit show Donald Trump has lined up to be in his cabinet. If anything, let this list be the pick me up you need as we say goodbye to a year of unending tragedies and disappointments.
Last week, several news sources picked up on the fact that Bernie Sanders used David Bowie’s “Starman” during his exit from the stage at his Iowa caucus celebration. I love this Bowie classic and think that anytime is a good time to listen to it, but I didn’t quite understand the correlation between Bernie’s campaign and the lyrics that tell of an alien that contacts Ziggy Stardust amidst the apocalypse. Is Bernie the “Starman,” and if so, shouldn’t he be staying away from us in an effort to avoid “blow(ing) our minds”?
Politicians have a history of using music to help define their campaign. In 1992, Bill Clinton invigorated the baby boomer generation with Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop” and in 2000, George W. Bush used Tom Petty’s “Won’t Back Down” until the artist threatened litigation. While both of these tracks capture the essence of the candidate’s campaign message, “Starman” and its out of this world lyrics don’t quite match up with the campaign of a 74-year-old Jewish grandpa. Unless one of Bernie’s platforms is to “let all the children boogie,” I don’t think “Starman” is the best choice for his campaign.
Despite my disagreement with the song choice, this news story got me thinking all things Bowie when it comes to the election: what Bowie song should each candidate come out to? What album best matches the persona of each candidate? It goes without saying that I have a lot of free time on my hands. This pointless night of musing resulted in the following – a series of Bowie album covers featuring all of the current candidates (Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina are also included). I have zero formal training with Photoshop and still struggle to do the most basic of skills with the interface, but I still got a kick out of my results. Enjoy!