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The Friday Morning Listen: Beth Rowley – Little Dreamer

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I would say buying an album for the cute girl on the cover would probably be just about the saddest thing a grown male could admit to that wouldn’t get him thrown in jail.

Tom Johnson

C'mon Venus, let's go look at Carly Simon album covers.

– Johnny Fever, WKRP in Cincinnati

So over at Confessions Of A Fanboy, Josh Hathaway kicked off a discussion about music vs. cover art. It's probably true that most guys have purchased at least one album based on the girl on the cover. I sure have. In fact, one of 'em was way back in the mid-80's. The group was called "The Pinups," and the music was terrible!

Did I learn my lesson? Well… sort of.

The thing is, it's not like I'm unaware of the fact that I'm being manipulated by the marketing people. On the other hand, I'm a guy… so who cares?!!! (I'd like to point out that Tom Johnson had the right idea. In fact, I was at a record shop once looking for a copy of Christian Aguilera's "Genie In A Bottle." There was just something about the cover that creeped me out… creeped me out in an old-guy-at-the-playground kind of way.)

Seriously though, the funny thing about this is that when I do pick up a CD with some, ahem… "nice artwork" on the cover, I still get the sinking feeling (originating from the great Pinups incident) that I'm making a big mistake — even when I'm certain that the music is great. Heck, I even feel a little bit weird about discs that show up as review material. Those CDs can't be my fault!

From the reviewer's side of the desk, there is definitely more than a little redemption to be had. For the many releases whose most positive attributes are the photos (Hello Paris Hilton!), there are those that don't disappoint. Last week, I received an email from a publicist containing some streaming audio links for a singer named Beth Rowley. I saw the pictures, and couldn't help but get that old feeling. Well, it turns out that Rowley can sing. Her take on "Nobody's Fault But Mine" killed me. One part Norah Jones, one part Sara McLaughlin… and something else. In any event, a really beautiful voice.

So anybody else out there want to admit to buying a CD for the pretty face on the cover? C'mon, you know you've done it before.

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About Mark Saleski

  • http://somethingelsemusic.blogspot.com/ Pico

    Well, I did fantasize about buying records by the Ohio Players at one time back in the seventies.

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    i actually bought some…oh yes, that’s what cheapo used vinyl is for!

  • http://www.magicjunkradio.com S.Rod

    Mark, Do you think if Magic Junk Radio had better cover art we could generate more listeners? ;)

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    yes! a nice cover pic of mark would be so hot!! ;-)

  • http://www.magicjunkradio.com S.Rod

    I don’t think Sahm would be up to a beefcake shot even if it would benefit Magic Junk Radio…Maybe we should do cover art that included a couple of our loyal listeners???

  • http://www.knownjohnson.com Tom Johnson

    Never bought nuthin’ for the pretty lady on the cover, totally honest. That’s not saying that I haven’t admired some of the lovely ladies who happen to grace my CD collection, but they grace my CD collection for their voices, not their faces. Seriously. Besides, isn’t that what the internet is for?