Top 5 Dog Album Artworks Ever (Part I)
With the recent revelation surrounding dogs and their preference for reggae music, I thought it might be rather fitting to take a look at a few of our favourite, dog-related album covers. From Kate Bush to Snoop Dogg and everything in between, I intend to take you on a journey that explores how these canine covers came to be...
Fleetwood Mac – Tusk (1979)
For Lyndsey Buckingham, Tusk was the album that, with its punk-fuelled, jagged-edged sword intentionally decimated the bands previous triumph in Rumours. Tusk was the exact moment in 1979 where Fleetwood tried to redefine what had gone before. Gone is the twee-ness of its neo-gothic preaching and Stevie Nicks induced mythical ‘witchcraftery’; here is a band attempting to reinvent themselves with the same bullishness of presence as The Sex Pistols debut of 1977. Now we see a band manifesting itself in the same vein as the snarling dog that dominates the album cover, with the grainy roughness of its spatial background, a milestone away from the softer, ‘coffee table’-aesthetic promoted somewhat unintentionally by Rumours.
Rush – Signals (1982)
Released in 1982, Signals is the 9th studio release from the Canadian rock-trio Rush. It saw the band develop their newly adopted new wave electronica sound that they continued to pioneer throughout the 1980’s. Keyboards, sequencers and electric violins were all used to make the album, sadly however, it’s not one of their best efforts. The album artwork on the other hand is certainly an intriguing point of discussion with its luscious green grass providing the backdrop that sees a stark contrast between the heavily spotted Dalmatian sniffing at the base of a suspiciously shiny red fire hydrant.
Kate Bush – Hounds of Love (1985)
Hounds of Love might just be the most popular of Kate Bush’s albums but it’s also the one with the best album artwork. Her fifth album, the first to be self-produced, Bush embraces the possibilities of digital sampling synthesizers to explore a world of technical accomplishment unseen in her previous albums. The lead single, ‘Running Up That Hill’ is widely considered to be one of her greatest hits helping the album selling more than 1.1 million copies and achieving double platinum status. The hounds of love on the cover itself are in fact Bush’s own dogs Bonnie and Clyde who, according to an interview with the NME, took all day before finally falling asleep, allowing the photographer to capture the image. Her dogs also feature in the artwork notes whereby Bush credits the two of them writing, ‘Woof to Bonnie and Clyde’.
Blur – Parklife (1994)
Released in 1994 on Food Records, Parklife was the follow up to debut album Modern Life Is Rubbish and saw Blur rise to prominence at the beginning of the Britpop-era. Selling over 5 million copies, Parklife took on a life of its own with 4 fantastic singles including ‘Girls & Boys’ and ‘End of a Century’ which narrated contemporary life in a way that was culturally significant but with the musical substance to engage audiences who had long been disenfranchised by British rock music. The album cover itself is certainly one of my favourites as its depicts the quintessentially British (if a little controversial) past time of greyhound racing. Many of the images contained in the album artwork depict the band at Walthamstow racing track although the cover-art wasn’t actually shot there. The album cover was eventually chosen by the Royal Mail for a set of ‘Classic Album Cover’ postage stamps in 2010.
The Cardigans – Emmerdale (1994)
Named after the British television soap opera of the same name, Emmerdale saw the debut of one of Sweden’s best bands who would go on to write many pop rock classics that defined the newly aspirational times of the late 1990’s. However, despite the sunny weather depicted on the cover this is an album tinged with melancholy, created aptly by Nina Persson’s clever musical arrangements and touching vocals. The cover, with its end of summer, nostalgically-autumnal and yet playful naivety, is both striking and impressionable as it depicts a spaniel in motion as he/she descends a grassy knoll. The same dog would be used again for the single release of ‘Sick & Tired’ from the the same album.
Part II to follow later this week...