Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Album Covers Referencing Big Star's "Radio City"

Is it just me, or are Tommy Keene and Vampire Weekend paying homage to Big Star's second album Radio City? Or are Vampire Weekend referencing Tommy Keene's 1998 album Isolation Party? Or are Vampire Weekend referencing Tommy Keene referencing Big Star? Or is it mere serendipity, like a godless universe in which everything that happens is random and meaningless? Or do these bands just like ceiling shots of lights? The mind boggles. Mine at least.


Radio City, 1974


Isolation Party, 1998

Vampire Weekend, 2008

By the way, the Radio City album cover was taken from a photo by William Eggleston, who's had his work shown at the Whitney Museum ("Democratic Camera and Photograph and Video 1961-2008") and is widely credited with securing recognition for color photography as a legitimate artistic medium to display in art galleries. So remember Big Star fans, that record you hold in your hands is not just a great album, it's a legitimate piece of gallery art as well. And controversial art to boot (for the sexually-explicit poster silhouettes appearing in the lower right-hand corner of the image.) Oh, Eggleston photos also provided album covers for Alex Chilton's Like Flies on Sherbet, Primal Scream's Give Out But Don't Give Up, and albums by Jimmy Eat World, Silver Jews, Chuck Prophet, and Joanna Newsom.

And, for the record: Trevor O'Shana shot the Isolation Party cover while Annie Reeds shot the chandelier cover for Vampire Weekend's self-titled debut album (allegedly taken somewhere on the Columbia University campus).

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