Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Afghan Whigs - 1965


On December 11, 1964, at his Nobel Lecture, Martin Luther King, Jr., said "There is a sort of poverty of the spirit which stands in glaring contrast to our scientific and technological abundance." The following year, the United States, in its "scientific and technological abundance" launched its first Gemini space missions, one of which is depicted on this album cover. The inside sleeve depicts helicopters in Vietnam as well as a Civil Rights march, a reminder of that "poverty of the spirit" of which Dr. King spoke.

I initially chose this album, because while the music never really stuck with me, the cover always has simply because I like pictures from space, particularly those that have something in the foreground that gives the picture a sense of height above the earth. It wasn't until I was writing this that I made the connection between the outer and inner sleeves and realized how powerful this cover really is. I wonder if they were thinking of Dr. King's speech when they designed the package or if it was just a happy (or not so happy as the case may be) accident.

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3 Comments:

Blogger taotechuck said...

The cover does very little for me at first, but reading your comments is intriguing. Greg Dulli strikes me as kind of a sharp guy (at least by drug addict [at the time] rock star standards), so maybe he actually did make the connection.

I haven't listened to Afghan Whigs in probably 10 years, but I've become a fan of Twilight Singers in that time. I need to go back and see how AW sits with me now.

July 11, 2007 2:43 PM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

I like it now that I have to look at it. Still if I was flipping through a stack of albums I don't though that it would jump out at me.

July 12, 2007 5:40 AM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

It's good to get a backstory to it because the first impression is some sort of space odyssey that's striking in some aspects, but somewhat dull when confined to an album cover. Splashed on the wall at the Air and Space Museum it'd be outrageously beautiful. That might say something in correlation with the message of the album.

July 12, 2007 6:45 PM  

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