Help me ifgure out if I'll score brownie points by giving LP albums as art or not.
December 5, 2006 1:48 AM   Subscribe

Grateful Dead/Dylan/Phish/Johnny Cash/Hank Williams lovers. How do you feel about LP albums as art?

I'm thinking it might be cool to get my bf - who is pretty intense about the Dead, Phish, Dylan, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, bluegrass and jazz (sorry I can't specify more) - some LP albums that I would frame and hang on the wall as art for his music lair. He has a lot of concert-related memorabilia. I'm just wondering, though - LP album art - hot or not hot? I'd rather not ask him too many questions or I'll tip him off.

If hot, any tips on Dead, Dylan, Johnny Cash, Hank, Phish, albums that would make his little heart sing? (I do know some favorite shows/albums of his, but I'm wondering if there are albums out there that almost anyone would recognize as awesome to have on their wall. If they liked this stuff on their wall.)
posted by n'muakolo to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Having LPs on the wall is always a sign of coolness. I myself have a few up including the epic Aeroplane over the Sea and the righteously sweet DJ Shadow In Tune and On Time.

In terms of Johnny Cash there are really only three albums to choose

American Recordings
The Legend of Johnny Cash
American IV: The Man Comes Around.

For Dylan I'd either go with Blood on the Tracks or The Times They Are-A-Changin'
posted by cyphill at 3:19 AM on December 5, 2006

This is a good idea for a gift.

I'm not sure if they're available in vinyl, but if someone gave me these three albums to hang on my wall, that person would be like the most coolest person I ever met.
posted by dogwalker at 5:06 AM on December 5, 2006

Super awesome. I'd be ecstatic to come home and find 'em on the wall.
posted by EarBucket at 5:46 AM on December 5, 2006


The fuck-me-til-I-fart coolest Johnny Cash album is 'Live at San Quentin'.
posted by unSane at 5:46 AM on December 5, 2006

Oh, and for Johnny, there's only one album you need.

For Dylan, Slow Train Coming would be good, as would The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, The Times They Are A'Changin', or any of the Electric Trilogy (Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, and Blonde On Blonde).
posted by EarBucket at 5:49 AM on December 5, 2006

for the dead: blues for allah or shakedown street or maybe mars hotel.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 5:54 AM on December 5, 2006

I know, it's not in the list but it should still fit in nicely: Derek and the Dominoes Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs has a beautiful cover suitable for framing.
posted by Cookiebastard at 6:08 AM on December 5, 2006

For Johnny Cash, I think the best choices are either one of the two prison albums, or Bitter Tears. For Bob Dylan, I think Nashville Skyline is a great cover, but it's hard to go wrong with any of the early albums, almost all of which had cool portrait covers. Alternately, how about Self-Portrait? It's not his best work (musically, I mean), but that just means that the vinyl wouldn't be prohibitively expensive, and the boyfriend would probably never want to take it down from the frame to listen to it. In that same spirit, the conventional wisdom seems to be that the cover of Dylan and the Dead is much better than the actual album. (Ooh, how about The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan? The cover image, of Bob walking with Suze Rotolo, could be seen as, y'know, romantic or something.)

I don't know much about Phish or Hank Williams or bluegrass, but if you tell me more about his jazz listening, I could definitely come up with some additional suggestions. There are also a few books of jazz cover art (most focused on Blue Note) that might prove inspirational.

Dusty Groove and Turntable Lab (and probably plenty of other folks) sell frames that are made for displaying 12" records). And GEMM's the place for records.
posted by box at 7:46 AM on December 5, 2006

I was going to say that a framed LP of Junta would be nice as the cover art on it is pretty sweet. Upon searching though, the only Phish album that I can find on vinyl is Farmhouse, though I really do like the simplicity of its cover.
posted by chrisroberts at 8:25 AM on December 5, 2006

I was in the US last week and picked up a bunch of frames for 12" records at Michael's, on sale for 5 bucks each.
posted by chillmost at 8:25 AM on December 5, 2006

Great idea. My $.02 = Don't go for greatest hits albums - for J. Cash, an old Columbia record such as Live at San Quentin or Blood, Sweat and Tears (the American Recordings ones, though they have a stark design, will be harder -- i.e. more expen$ive -- to find on vinyl). For the Dead, one of the older Warner Bros LPs. For jazz, classic duotone-photo Blue Note LPs.

If you have time (given the holidaze), you might also find some bargains online at GEMM by looking for copies where the disc is trashed but the cover is in VG+ or better shape. I think you can do an advanced search by quality grade. A record store likely would not keep one such as this in stock for just the cover.

It's the thought that counts here; you don't have to spend a lot of $ to get a sleeve that looks great. Target has LP frames.

(On my walls = Jackie Gleason Lonesome Echo [Salvador Dali cover], Yma Sumac Miracles, Bow Wow Wow See Jungle..., XTC Drums & Wires, The Incredible World of James Bond, Beatles Abbey Road, and my band's first LP.)
posted by omnidrew at 8:37 AM on December 5, 2006

This is a spectacular idea.

Don't overlook The Grateful Dead live album, Workingman's Dead, and American Beauty, along with those suggested above.

I agree with Junta or Farmhouse as the best bets for Phish albums. Rift would be pretty cool-looking, too. Junta was probably sold as an album at the time it was released, so maybe you can find it used somewhere.
posted by ibmcginty at 11:02 AM on December 5, 2006

Give him the Dead's Aoxomoxoa and he'll love you for ever.Useless LP with a great cover.
posted by Dr.Pill at 11:45 AM on December 5, 2006

I have Mars Hotel hanging in my office as we speak, and I'm eventually going to put up Reckoning.
posted by grateful at 11:46 AM on December 5, 2006

Slightly off topic but a Dead LP in all but name.
posted by Dr.Pill at 4:48 PM on December 5, 2006

Update - I did give some LPs (went with Dylan - Times They Are A Changin', Dead - American Beauty, Johnny Cash - Live At Folsom Prison, and Talking Heads - Stop Making Sense), and they were a HUGE hit. We've since bought Dead - Workingman's Dead (because it was the obvious one he still wanted), and we're probably going to get at least Velvet Underground - the Andy Warhol banana album, and possibly a few others. Thanks everybody!

Urban Outfitters also has LP frames - $15/each or 2 for $19.99. And they deliver.
posted by n'muakolo at 6:34 AM on January 15, 2007

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