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Downloading artwork at iTunes

27 May 2007

When I get a new CD, I study the cover and read the inlay. The artwork is part of the creative product, as I see it, and I like to know (or at least read) who arranged the strings and so on.

My iTunes experience has been sterile by comparison: a list of albums and artists, much like a spreadsheet. So this weekend, I decided to use the feature to automatically download artwork for all my albums from the iTunes shop.

It's a good job I did. I didn't realise how out of touch I had become with the acts I love.

Prince is like a chameleon, reinventing himself for each project with a new haircut and a style transformation. You can hardly keep up with his constant image changes. I certainly don't recall this one, from the Batdance single:

Jagatee by Prince Max, who looks like a white man in a beer stein

I love 'Let me entertain you' (when the trumpet comes in over the fade at the end, it's one of the greatest moments in pop music ever) and 'Angels' is a great singalong. I'm not as struck by some of Robbie Williams' other songs, but I'm prepared to give him a lot more slack now I know that he recorded 'Millennium' as a ten-year old boy. It's damn fine, considering:

Album sleeve of 10 year old boy that comes up as Robbie Williams

Memo to self: if I ever meet Robbie and want to thank him for 'Entertain' and 'Angels', don't give him a banana. He doesn't like them.

It's a long time since I saw my CD single of 'Chocolate Salty Balls', a 90s Christmas chart hit for Chef from the cartoon series South Park. I don't remember this sleeve, so I guess it must have been repackaged. I think the one in the middle is Chef. He's lost a bit of weight, but he looks like he's getting into the spirit by chewing a couple of salty balls:

Chocolate: very serious-looking soundtrack album

We've all got treasured memories of the 80s. But how to sum up the decade that gave us Spandau Ballet, The Jam, Simple Minds and The Art of Noise? How about with a picture of German punk theatre outfit Antiteater? 'This is the 80s', apparently:

Picture of 1970s style German cardboard cutout record sleeve for band Anteater

I realise now how newspapers cheat us when they give us free CDs in flimsy cardboard wallets. Yeah, they claim they're paying the artists but they're definitely ripping us off! My sleeve for 'The 20 sexiest songs ever!' was just text, without any pictures. It should, it seems, have looked like this:

Caribbean female artist in shimmering dress in 1970s Top of the Pops record sleeve pose

When I need to rock out, I like to play 'The best rock album in the world ever!', which kicks off with Kiss blasting out 'Crazy Nights' and takes us through Stiltskin's 'Inside' and Alice Cooper's 'School's Out'. It's a serious business playing the 'best rock in the world'. You can almost hear Meat Loaf's scowl. At least I can now turn to the sleeve for a bit of light relief:

Sleeve for 'The funniest las vegas album ever'

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