MTV Greatest

MTV UK are running a promotion to find the MTV’s Greatest Album Ever and have asked us to post the covers here for the promotion. Mind you this is based on the actual music content not the cover art as there are some sorry examples for covers in here. It’s interesting the top albums picked (by a jury within MTV) as some are classics while others just a few years old.

MTV Base, MTV Two and VH1 selected 100 albums each; then motormouths Trevor Nelson (MTV Base), Zane Lowe (MTV Two) and Edith Bowman (VH1) discussed the merits of each album in a bid to select the 10 best rock, urban and pop offerings from across the globe.

I do find it interesting many of these are self titled albums, which goes to show most bands have all their good ideas for the first album or it’s the album that people first hear and then only treuly great bands follow up time and time again and get better.

Only 2 albums were previous featured here on Sleevage. Read on to see the short list. In no particular order.

Nirvana: Nevermind
NIRVANA − NEVERMIND
Originally posted here

Second cover option
GUNS ‘N’ ROSES − APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION
Originally posted here

RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE: RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE.
I have wanted to feature this one for a while as the story behind the “Burning Monk” photo is as interesting as the album. This is a crop of the photo below which won Malcolm Browne the 1963 World Press Photo of the Year.

Burning Monk

MARY J BLIGE − WHAT’S THE 411?
MARY J BLIGE − WHAT’S THE 411?
Hey Mary, the 411 is your album cover sucks.

RADIOHEAD − OK COMPUTER
RADIOHEAD − OK COMPUTER.
The album cover is OK and done on the computer.

AMY WINEHOUSE − BACK TO BLACK
AMY WINEHOUSE − BACK TO BLACK
They wanted us to feature this cover and I said No No No

ARCTIC MONKEYS − WHATEVER PEOPLE SAY I AM, THAT’S WHAT I’M NOT
ARCTIC MONKEYS − WHATEVER PEOPLE SAY I AM, THAT’S WHAT I’M NOT
This cover caused a stir as it promoted smoking. The guy in the photo was the bands friend and he ended up getting shafted for the use of the photo once the band broke out with this album.

CRAIG DAVID − BORN TO DO IT
CRAIG DAVID − BORN TO DO IT
Do what exactly, we haven’t found out.

DIZZEE RASCAL − BOY IN DA CORNER
DIZZEE RASCAL − BOY IN DA CORNER
Dizzee is terrible at hide and seek.

USHER − 8701
USHER − 8701
The only thing mildly interesting about this cover is the name of the album refers to the album’s release date of August 7, 2001 and because of the years he’s been in his career (1987 to 2001).

EMINEM − THE MARSHALL MATHERS LP
EMINEM − THE MARSHALL MATHERS LP
Too much subtext in the photo

HUMAN LEAGUE − DARE
HUMAN LEAGUE − DARE
I dare you to get this tattooed on your back.

JAY-Z − THE BLUEPRINT
JAY-Z − THE BLUEPRINT
Talking about the blueprint for his 300ft yacht

KANYE WEST − THE COLLEGE DROPOUT
KANYE WEST − THE COLLEGE DROPOUT
Kayne is annoyed his album is posted under Jay-Z’s. “It cost a million dollars mofo!”

LAURYN HILL − THE MISEDUCATION OF LAURYN HILL
LAURYN HILL − THE MISEDUCATION OF LAURYN HILL
Can’t think of anything funny to put here.

MICHAEL JACKSON − THRILLER
MICHAEL JACKSON − THRILLER
As cliche as it sounds this was my first record I ever owned. I still know all the lyrics to Thriller even the voice over guy parts!

Check out the 25th anniversary cover.

MICHAEL JACKSON − THRILLER 25th

OASIS − (WHAT’S THE STORY) MORNING GLORY?
OASIS − (WHAT’S THE STORY) MORNING GLORY?
The album that made women around the world ask “what’s a morning glory?”

OASIS − DEFINITELY MAYBE
OASIS − DEFINITELY MAYBE
Another album cover done on the cheap at the last minute? Definitely maybe

PIXIES − DOOLITTLE
PIXIES − DOOLITTLE
The Wiki page mentions that this was the first album where the band photographer Simon Larbalestier and Vaughan Oliver had access to the lyrics earlier. Poor Simon isn’t cool enough to have a Wiki page for himself.

PRINCE AND THE REVOLUTION − PURPLE RAIN
PRINCE AND THE REVOLUTION − PURPLE RAIN
Prince: “You know what would look pretty on this cover?…. some flowers”
Designer: “Seriously?”
Prince: “Seriously!”

REM − AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE
REM − AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE
From Wikipedia: The photograph shows a star ornament that was part of the sign for the Sinbad Motel on Biscayne Boulevard in Miami, near Criteria Studios, where the bulk of the album was recorded. The motel is still there, but the star is gone. The slanted support where it was once attached is still there on the roof of the Sinbad.

I wonder who has that star now?

THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G. − READY TO DIE
THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G. − READY TO DIE
Wow The Notorious B.I.G started young!

THE SMITHS − THE SMITHS
THE SMITHS − THE SMITHS
World’s most linked sentence: The sleeve was designed by Morrissey. It features American actor Joe Dallesandro in a cropped still from Andy Warhol‘s 1968 film Flesh.

THE SMITHS − THE QUEEN IS DEAD
THE SMITHS − THE QUEEN IS DEAD
The album cover of The Queen Is Dead, designed by Morrissey, features Alain Delon from the 1964 film L’Insoumis.

THE STONE ROSES − THE STONE ROSES
THE STONE ROSES − THE STONE ROSES
An interesting story behind this piece of art from Wikipedia

As with most Stone Roses releases, the cover displays a work by John Squire. It is a Jackson Pollock-influenced piece titled “Bye Bye Badman”, which makes reference to the May 1968 riots in Paris.

The cover was named by Q magazine as one of “The 100 Best Covers of All Time”. In the accompanying article, Squire said: “Ian had met this French man when he was hitching around Europe, this bloke had been in the riots, and he told Ian how lemons had been used as an antidote to tear gas. Then there was the documentary – a great shot at the start of a guy throwing stones at the police. I really liked his attitude.” This story was also the inspiration for the lyrics to the song of the same name.

I find it interesting the lemon became a sort of icon for them.

U2 − THE JOSHUA TREE
U2 − THE JOSHUA TREE
For some reason when I hear the words Joshua Tree I think of Dolf Lundgren

The tree that featured in the album died in 2000 :(
2 degrees of separation: The photographer who provided the shots for the album Anton Corbijn was the director of Control the story of Ian Curtis from Joy Division.

THE STROKES − IS THIS IT
THE STROKES − IS THIS IT
This is another cover we have wanted to feature. It reminds me of Smell the Glove from Spinal Tap. It’s the most sexually charged cover since Ween’s Chocolate and Cheese.

Here’s a video of the model explaining the story behind the photo. Posted by Goldenfiddle which is an awesome blog.


Is This It from Goldenfiddle on Vimeo.

What is the USA get? Well they must be fearful of a sexy butt as they got this pile of poop.

THE STROKES − IS THIS IT

I wonder what different albums would have been chosen by the MTV USA or MTV Australia and MTV Asia crew. I doubt two Oasis albums would have made this list on any of the others. I feel lists like this are always made to stir up conversation. I’d be interested in hearing what everyone thinks of this list.

Update:

I realised I didn’t post my best album ever list. Rather than pick one I’ll choose 5 that changed the way I listen to music and still play today. All these have good covers too! If only MTV let me pick the albums!

1: Tool: Ænema

Tool - Aenima

2: Sepultura Chaos A.D

Supultura - Chaos AD

3: Beck: O delay

Beck: Odelay

4: Justice: Cross

Justice: Cross †

5: Menomena: Friend and Foe

Menomena: Friend and Foe

6: Beastie Boys: Ill Communication

Beastie Boys: Ill Communication

7: Boards of Canada: Music has the Right to Children

BOC Music head Right to Children

I still remember the first time I hear this CD playing.

7: Michael Jackson: Thriller

I gotta throw in a classic

8: Regurgitator: Tu Plang

Regurgitator: Tu Plang

9: Amon Tobin: Permutation

Amon Tobin: Permutation

10: Smashing Pumpkins: Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

Smashing Pumpkins: Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

Phew well that’s my list so now I’ve bared my soul add your top 10 albums in the comments. And yes I consumed the most music during the 90s.