The new Quakers material is impressive in various ways – a 50 track beat tape then an album with 31 rappers over 33 beats, with a triumvirate of producers in the form of Fuzzface (Geoff Barrow), Supa K (fka Katalyst) and 7STU7, a relentless, quickfire succession of high-impact beats and confrontational lyricism – but one of the most immediately striking features is its album art, courtesy of Joe Currie. (So it was only right that we asked him to pick his Favourite 5 Album Covers.
But before we dive into his selections here’s a look at a Supa K beat tape, Heavy Tremors, announcing the forthcoming album to the world – K’s a supervillain raining down chaos for this comic-book inspired cover, figure-hugging cossie and all.
Then with Quakers II: The Next Wave, K’s back but this time, he’s brought his army along…
Two dynamic covers containing two dynamic records. In this spirit of this, the producer has chosen five excellent album covers containing equally good albums. Enjoy!
You can stream and buy both Supa K – Heavy Tremors and Quakers II – The Next Wave, both on Stones Throw Records, here.
The Upsetters – Super Ape
Also released in Jamaica under the name Scratch the Super Ape. What’s not to like about this cover and this music?
Lee Perry and The Upsetters in one of their heavier sessions put to tap, then Lee at the controls for the dub. Such a fantastic image of Super Ape on the cover with a massive spliff in one hand and an uprooted tree in the other.
The hand drawn/painted cover was one of the inspirations for the Heavy Tremors/ Quakers II artworks. The “sticker” in the top right reads – ‘Dub It Up – Blacker Than Dread’. Enough said.
Eugene McDaniels – Headless Heroes Of The Apocalypse
This is one of my favourite albums musically but it’s also the cover art that makes this album special for me.
It’s a picture of The Left Rev McD screaming between a painting of two warring Samurai. It’s a powerful image that conjures up some of the angst that is felt in the music on the album. The two sit so well side by side. The cover, mysterious with its Japanese influence, makes you wonder what the album sounds like. You already know it’s going to be good because who doesn’t like a good Samurai pic?
Madvillain – Madvillainy
DOOM, the man of mystery, is captured on film during the recording of this classic album. At a time and place where two energies came together to make something great probably without even realising it at the time. Often how great art happens.
Not a lot to say about this record cover or album that hasn’t already been said, it sits on my wall in a frame. Great photo of DOOM by Eric Coleman, and great art direction by Stones Throw’s Jeff Jank. The music itself? Stone cold classic.
The Velvet Underground and Nico
Andy Warhol and The Velvet Underground in 1966/67 in New York doing their thing. What more do you need to say really?
A very creative period for both artists. I was a big Lou Reed / Velvet Underground fan growing up and also was inspired by Andy Warhol’s work at that time in my life. So this cover and album came sharply into focus then.
As a combination it still holds up and gets a spin every once in a while mostly for nostalgic reasons.
Public Enemy – Fear Of A Black Planet
Public Enemy and Bomb Squad at it again. This time the cover art channeling a bit of Star Wars mixed with their staunch militant crosshairs logo symbolising the black man in America. Add the earth from space background and the result was a classic album cover. Appealing to many of my senses at once.
Equally as heavy is the music and the message delivered on this album. Some of their finest work committed to tape. Still as relevant today as it was then.