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Album Cover Analysis #3: Soundgarden-Superunknown

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Unitron View Drop Down
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    Posted: 08 Jun 2017 at 2:17am


SOUNDGARDEN
Superunknown
Artist: Kelk (Design), Kevin Westenberg (Photography)
Album release date: 1994

Soundgarden's Superunknown is an album that's always been part of my life, and a great one at that. Not only is the music an amazing combination of grunge, alternative rock, sludgy doom metal, and psychedelic/stoner rock, but the album cover is one that has always fascinated me. It's all very ominous and even quite freaky. The only thing that's perhaps easily recognizable are the trees reflected in the water at the bottom of the cover. However, the main focus in the picture is certainly what is contained in the complete darkness. What is it? I've always thought what is in the middle looked like some freakish screaming goblin-type thing. I still see that, but now I know that it's a distorted photo of the band members.

The beautiful part of the photograph and what makes it a masterpiece of modern surrealism, is that even once you know what it actually is, it still retains it's mysterious quality. The distorted band photo isn't representational enough to make it clear even after you learn what is, and the contrast between the black and white photo of the darkness-engulfed forest with the bright infrared-looking things in the sky never loses its effect. It certainly fits in with an album with a title like Superunknown, and you can only guess what kind of music will be contained until you listen. 

For the most part, the cover art reflects the music nearly perfectly. While "My Wave" kind of sticks out and doesn't really fit the mood, many of the songs reflect the ominous and brooding quality of the album cover. The songs I think of in particular when I see the cover art are: the apocalyptic "4th of July", the somber gloom of "Head Down" and "Like Suicide", the haunting mellotron of "Mailman", and the roaring yet ominous title track.

Superunknown went on to be Soundgarden's best selling album, and a defining album of the grunge scene. With a cover as attention-catching as this, it's quite easy to see why people would pick it up as a blind buy. You're alive in the Superunknown, and "First it steals your mind, and then it steals your soul."


What are your thoughts? Feel free to give your input!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vim Fuego Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 2017 at 3:03am
It's a blurry old blob!Wink
I Am Deth!!! Fukk You!!!
인생 은 나쁜 음악 이 너무 짧다!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote aglasshouse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jun 2017 at 6:21pm
Not really a fan of this cover, to be honest. I think it's kind of silly looking. Soundgarden isn't really that great with covers, though. This one's the best one probably.

Review Bon Scott stabbing himself with a guitar.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote UMUR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jun 2017 at 1:53am
^That would be Angus, but yeah that´s one hell of a great cover Clap.
 
This one...meh, never really thought anything positive about it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nightfly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jun 2017 at 4:28am
I never found the cover anything special, but the music, now that's a different matter. they never bettered it.
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