Connection between Maiden's music and artwork

nuno_c

A hollow universe in space
Been thinking about this for a while now...

When i listen to any Maiden album, there seems to be a connection between the sound/production/vibe/songs on the album and it's artwork. Even the colours chosen for the cover art seem to connect with the music somehow, and i don't even mean thematically like Pink Floyd and other bands, i really mean in terms of overall vibe.

I'll give SSOASS as an example... Those songs, to me, sound like the icebergs on the cover. The imagery for the whole album really goes along with the songs.

Now the thing is, do you guys first of all feel the same thing or not and, if you do feel the same way as me, do you think the band has that in mind when they choose their artworks? Or is it all coincidence? I mean... 16 studio albums in, that would be a huge coincidence, but still...
 

Ariana

Black-and-white leopard
I think it's the other way round - you see the artwork and start to associate the music with it.
But of course there is a connection. An album is a finished project, a whole package. It's only natural that the visual and aural messages should match. Imagine TXF with a cover that looks like this:
my%20little%20pony%20games.jpg
 
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Srogyy

Ancient Mariner
I think that in case of Maiden (it might be different for other bands) we associate sound with certain images mainly because we get it as a package. I imagine that Seventh Son wouldn't sound 'icy' if the cover was different ;) The only exception I can think of is SiT's 'futuristic' sound.
 

CriedWhenBrucieLeft

Meme Only Account
Imagine TXF with a cover that looks like this:
my%20little%20pony%20games.jpg
"Did you notice there's six of them on that cover?"
"Yeh, that's odd, as there's only five guys in the band..."
"Why do you think there are six on the cover?"
"Is one of them meant to represent Eddie, maybe?"
"What one though?"
"Dunno, the one at the front is definitely meant to be Dave though..."
"Maybe it's a hidden message, Maiden trying to tell us something..."
...

"...ADRIAAAAAAAN!!!!!"
 

Lampwick 43

Barstool Warrior
I agree that I do associate the music with the album covers. This is likely because whenever I hear a song, I'm reminded about which album it's on, which then reminds me of the cover.

I do sometimes wonder if my opinions on certain songs would change if they were on different albums. (i.e. Would I feel the same way about Sun And Steel if it was on Powerslave? What if The Pilgrim was on Brave New World? etc.)

I'd like to think not, but you never know.
 

THESEVENTHMARINER

Ancient Mariner
The only album I feel a real connection between the album cover and the music is Somewhere In Time, primarily because of the synths and the spacey feel.
 

nuno_c

A hollow universe in space
Of course there's an automatic association post-listen. It's only natural that when i think of a specific album i'm reminded of it's artwork :p

What i mean to say is that i strongly believe the band (or whoever gets a final word in this sort of thing) really puts an effort into album covers, not "just" as an art form on it's own, but also as a vehicle to the songs and vice-versa. That is, i think they make a conscious effort to make the artwork match the vibe/whatever of the songs within the album, not the other way around.

The fact that the relation between artwork and songs is not "just" thematic, but sensorial, just amazes me. Many bands "only" try to make the artwork match the album title and/or theme of the album, but Maiden seem to go, at leat for me, that extra mile and actually create a whole universe of it's own for their albums. And that's a huge part, the way i see it, of Maiden's appeal.
 

Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
I'm in no doubt that real thought goes into the artwork and general packaging/marketing of an album.
 

Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
I'll accept there might have been too much thought there. I suspect the idea was good, it was more the execution that fell down. I don't know it would have been much better if finished, it's as if they wanted to make it look more modern by having half-finished computer generated artwork....and it actually just looked poorly done, particularly the random assortment of cavorting figures.
 

Srogyy

Ancient Mariner
I see where the criticism comes from, but I don't mind DoD cover... And I really like the rest of the layout, including band photos.
 

SixesAlltheway

Ancient Mariner
I don't know how the F*** the Dance of Death cover ever got released....Apparently a real fuck up by everyone.

"The cover, although it is not mentioned in the credits, was made by David Patchett, the artist behind the Cathedral covers. Reportedly, Patchett's cover only included Eddie and the monks, but Rod thought it was really empty, so he hired someone from ironmaiden.com to design the characters surrounding Eddie using the programme Poser. Then, he gave the roughs back to Patchett and asked him to work on the skin and mask textures. Patchett did so but was unimpressed with the result and asked not to be included in the credits. The masks used on the Dance of Death cover were made by Goblin Art, a company based in Portland, Oregon (USA). Although they bear a striking similarity with those that can be seen in Kubrick's 1999 film Eyes Wide Shut, Goblin Art never provided the masks for the film."
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
The floor design on DoD cover is great. Perfect background for the reaper. Then they covered up something perfectly good with those dancing abnormalities.

DoD is a very good album. I think it would be even better respected if they hadn't borked the cover.
 

nuno_c

A hollow universe in space
I think the band liked the artwork although it was an unfinished version mainly because it was unsettling, or something along those lines. And i get it, it was a deliberate choice from the band, and since the artist did not approve the version the band chose, he withdraw his name from it.

With this explanation i think the artwork "flows" better, and i think the main reason why many people dislike the cover is because they don't know the reason behind and/or simply don't like the end result regardless. But who cares, really? Okay, Maiden were always in part a visual band, but still...
 

SixesAlltheway

Ancient Mariner
I think overall it just shows how hard a band Maiden is to work with.....Riggs voiced his opinion on this many times. Dance of Death is the product of an artist just leaving the project because of the ridiculous demands of Rod/Maiden.....and we see the results. Riggs slaved to Maiden until he had enough in 1992. Read his book , Run For Cover.
 

nuno_c

A hollow universe in space
I think overall it just shows how hard a band Maiden is to work with.....Riggs voiced his opinion on this many times. Dance of Death is the product of an artist just leaving the project because of the ridiculous demands of Rod/Maiden.....and we see the results. Riggs slaved to Maiden until he had enough in 1992. Read his book , Run For Cover.
It's really tricky to say that... To me, the fact that Maiden are "hard to work with" means that they actually just have a very strong artistic vision, and that is certainly something i admire, regardless of the end result since that in itself is subjective...
 
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