Seriously, how hard is it to research your graphics and artistry before slapping a sleeve on to your newly recorded album? Well, according to a few artists, it’s more difficult than you might anticipate. Here are a some of the most blatant, impudent and cheekiest album artwork rip offs to date.
Interpol – Turn On The Bright Lights: Despite the ascending brilliance and legacy drawn on by the Joy Division-esque roll on from Interpol, questions were asked about their choice of artwork in relation to Radiohead’s release of Amnesiac the previous year. Subtle differences might deem the artworks as separate entities, but the red square on black background colour scheme, along with the obvious mirrored structuring deems Interpol with at least a telling off.
Ed Sheeran – Plus: Although Deerhunters’ 2008 record Weird Era Continued is virtually unheard of compared to the striving success of Ed Sheeran’s chart topping sequel, the orange imagery tainted with a distorted facial photograph, sitting just behind the haze, is a little bit suspicious. Although Sheeran has taken the British isles by storm, and completely in his stride, it seems that some of his work may not be entirely of his own merit.
U2 – No Line On The Horizon: Well, try explaining this one Bono. Huge sulphur waste land? Giant metallic mathematical symbol? Three dimensional meeting point of the sky and the earth? Absolutely incredible. This protrusive spin off of Taylor Deupree’s Specification. Fifteen. nearly pulled of a stone wall copy of the original. Deupree himself even wrote an article on the matter on his personal blog. However, no legal issues were ever pressed from the original Hiroshi Sugimoto photograph.
Lady Gaga – Born This Way (Single): Nobody likes to glitter their aptitude with zig-zag lines at the best of times, but the matter becomes even more sickening when it’s copied. Once again, Lady Gaga finds herself in the dusty midst of controversy and originality debates with her Born This Way single. Pretentious photography, shoddy editing and the grotesque use of wind machines. Ah yes, this must be the work of a Minogue.
Rihanna – Russian Roulette (Single): Ah, the barely legal uncovering of an oily, lusting and dangerous Rihanna, flaunting herself in the most eye-catching way possible. Coiled in a spring of barbed wire, suggestively looking into the camera and scarcely covering up her modesty, you would never have guessed that Rihanna’s artwork for her single Russian Roulette was a rip off of the ECW Extreme Music compilation album. Picture the same image of Rihanna, only replace her with a staring, sweaty and half-brain dead wrestler smoking a cigarette. Doesn’t quite have the same level of sex appeal as Rihanna’s artwork does, does it?
NOFX – Surfer EP: Oh dear, another cartoon orbited artwork choice. Bad Religion’s 1988 album Suffer encapsulated the typicality of America’s suburban areas, but with the twist of having a flaming child anarchist splattered on the side wearing brand new converses. In their habitual lunacy, skate punk four-piece NOFX replaced the badly drawn suburbs with the crudely deduced seaside for their 2001 EP Surfer. Even the name is plagerised.
Parts And Labour – Mapmaker: There’s not much to be said about Parts And Labour’s defraud of Broken Social Scene’s self-titled album, other than it’s just a slightly better drawn version of the original. Hot colours, pencil line drawings and running shades. I just hope neither band paid too much money for the design.
The Cynics – Buick McKaine: Forgive my irony in this incident, but my own cynicism is as plain as the fleecing of Mark Bolan’s original iconic artwork for T-Rex’s Slider from Pennsylvanian garage rockers The Cynics really is quiet something. I mean, Jesus Christ. I’m struggling to find ways in which the copy is different from the original, other than the man replacing Mark Bolan looks like a slightly healthier replacer of Slash.
Kruder & Dorfmeister – G-Stoned: Even though the musical differences are vaster than Katie Prices’ lady garden, the album artwork is, once again, simply ridiculous. Especially with albums as famous as Simon and Garfunkel’s 1968 folk classic Bookends are concerned. I mean, they’re even wearing the same inconspicuous turtle neck jumpers as Simon and Garfunkel. In fairness, Kruder and Dorfmeister’s slowdance record does have a the letter ‘G’ lurking in the top left hand corner. Top effort lads.
Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears – Let me tell you, I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in the pitching room when they thought this album artwork. “I know! We’ll use Brimstone Howl’s Guts Of Steel artwork, but replace the white guys with black guys”. Yeah, perfect. I suppose you’ll be wanting to take George Harrison off of the artwork for Abbey Road and replace him with Carlton from The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air next, wont you?