Crappy Album Covers #198 — Crappy album covers raised to high art

Yes, I remember paintings like this. Some of them hang in the National Gallery in Ottawa, with names like “Gray Square on Canvas” and sell for about a quarter million dollars CDN. The members of U2 saw this one, fell in love with it, and used it on their twelfth album released earlier this year, called “No Line on the Horizon”. Well…. it’s not exactly “in your face”, is it? At least it has that going for it. 

But to really convey a sense of “no line on the horizon”, you need to experience a Canadian winter, such as what exists in places like Iqaluit and Nunavut. There, you get whiteouts. The snow is so pervasive, that you can’t make out the sky for the ground. It’s all white. You need the other painting the National Gallery has, called “white square on white canvas”. (OK, so the latter painting doesn’t really exist, at least not yet, and not to my knowledge).

I don’t mind the cover, if this was some kind of prog rock album, but heck, this is Chet Atkins (1924-2001). This original 1957 album cover looks like the cover of some Trigonometry textbooks I’ve seen. The cover was re-designed sometime later (see this Wikipedia article) to be a little more suggestive of Atkin’s main genre, country and western music. There was a 50th anniversary reissue of this 27-minute recording in 2007, with 16 bonus tracks. 

Chet Atkins is a central figure in Country and Western music, helping to invent what has become known as “The Nashville Sound”, both as musician and producer. His influence extends into Rock and Roll. George Harrisson, Ted Nugent, Eric Clatpon, and Mark Knopfler all list Atkins as an influence. He has won over 14 Grammies along with a Lifetime Achievement award. After his death, he was finally inducted into Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame.

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