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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fleet Foxes Win Album Art Prize

With “list season” come and gone its now time to welcome “awards season” to the blogosphere. And for all of you Art History aficionado’s out there, this story is pretty intriguing. Following a number of top honours in 2008, Seattle’s much-loved Fleet Foxes have claimed the Best Art Vinyl Award for their self-titled album’s cover art.

Fleet Foxes’s winning cover features a segment of the 1559 painting Netherlandish Proverbs by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, whose work depicts the Dutch proverbs of the day. In rock’n’roll history, Bruegel’s painting The Triumph of Death was used in the late seventies by Black Sabbath for a greatest hits album. Well worth the trip to Wikipedia to analyse this one though, it makes for an illuminating read.

The Fleet Foxes’ cover beat out 50 other album jackets that made the longlist for the annual prize, which was organized by the UK-based album-art appreciation society Art Vinyl and drew almost 3,000 online votes. Second in the list of 50 superbly terrific covers was the more modern Roots Manuva cover for Slime & Reason. Coldplay’s Viva La Vida got third prize for their reversion of Liberty Leading the People by Eugene Delacroix (1830 for the Wikipedia fact contingent).

In previous years, artists such as Thom Yorke and the Cribs have taken home the Best Art Vinyl Award, and 2008’s top selections will be on display at the London (UK) Rough Trade East store throughout January.

No word yet on whether Thom’s red pants will be recognized this “awards season”.

Here are the top ten album covers picked in the 2008 poll:

1. Fleet Foxes Fleet Foxes
2. Roots Manuva Slime And Reason
3. Coldplay Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
4. Goldfrapp Seventh Tree
5. Elbow The Seldom Seen Kid
6. Metallica Death Magnetic
7. Bloc Party Intimacy
8. Low Motion Disco Keep it Slow
9. Santogold Santogold
10. Zombie Zombie Dog Walker

So what are your thoughts on lifting these historical pieces to promote pop music? At least the Pogues made it their own when they did it. My vote would likely have been cast for Roots Manuva or Bloc Party.


Anonymous said...

they are all awesome

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'll have to look at them all before I give my esteemed judgment, but I always loved the Stanley Donwood art on Radiohead albums.

Thom's trousers, of course, are in a category of their own.

Sean Wraight said...

ABSOLUTELY Barb! How could they not be in a category of their own!

I'm a huge fan of Donwood as well. Did you hear that he just started his own record label. Should be curious to say the very least!


Barbara Bruederlin said...

I did read about Stanley's latest project. I think the interest in it took him by surprise.