This reminds me of the Pantera album Vulgar Display of Power only the aftermath. It’s an album cover that says to the viewer “this album is going to musically leave you bleeding”.
The cover achieved cut through by featuring such an iconic photo. In ads for music sales on TV where the album covers fly in quickly and you have a brief second to digest them it’s covers like these that stand out. AWK also made sure to saturate the media with this image when the album came out, it featured on magazine covers, his film clip, tour posters. It was the single image that informed people of Andrew WK’s emergence.
And much like the Pantera album there is still confusion as to the real story behind how the final image was produced.
Taken from the Wiki entry;
“Andrew has stated that he attempted to create the nose bleed with a self-inflicted blow from a piece of a cinder block; however this proved unsuccessful and he created his nosebleed using a bottle of pig’s blood (or some other animal) acquired from a butcher’s shop. However, Andrew has recently denied that the cinder block story is true, although he has told the story himself during various interviews. The only constant fact is that there was some sort of animal blood used. It is highly suspected that the “blood” was mostly created through common movie special effects. Many music retailers that feared that the cover was too graphic to be shown in public covered the image with a black sticker which only enticed fans to look into the true meaning of the photo.”
It has been suggested that this covering/banning of the artwork was orchestrated to help sell more CDs. The actual photo was taken by Roe Ethridge, he talks about the cover photo in an interview here.
The lesson here is that everyone loves a good story and labels know this all to well.
Conspiracy Theory: For those that want to delve deeper there is actually a larger conspiracy theory around AWK and a mysterious person called “Steev Mike”. It’s more confusing than LOST.
The back of the album is your standard track listing and a photo of AWK trying to look like Mike Patton from the early days.
The album also shipped with a type version across the top. (The other version had stickers) This is one time where I prefer the type version, it’s like a wanted poster.
The cover photo even spawned a T-Shirt (buy it here) that speaks directly to fans. It’s actually pretty cool.
The only song I remember is the first single “Party Hard” which would have to be his most popular song by far.
AWK is actually touring Australia this December (tour dates here) so surprise grandma with front row tickets.