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Sleeveface Paperback – November 1, 2008
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Well two young DJs - Carl Morris & John Rostron - were fooling around one day and decided to pose for photos using covers - like Huey Lewis' "Picture This" album or Elton John's "Song of the Westies" which had a life-size face of the artist filling the cover. They shared with their friends and then on a web site and now they've turned it into this book (using photos submitted by folks through the Internet.).
It's a fun book and some are really clever. Others are not so clever. The Huey Lewis Album is a no-brainer but the shirt of the real person doesn't match Huey's. Page 67 shows Richard Clayderman (hey, the photos are not based on the quality of the music that the jacket surrounded) has Richard in a solid shirt but the real person wearing a STRIPED shirt.
But some are REALLY clever. The female (I'm assuming they are female) behind Carly Simon's "No Secrets" Cover on Page 24 not only has the same color pants, but the SAME SIZE legs! And Supertramp's "Breakfast in America" has the waitress down perfect. The one that really takes the cake though is The Carpenter's "Now And Then" cover on page 19. The car color and shape truly match the illustrations on one of my favorite Lps.
It's a fun book to share and browse through as you listen to you CDs and REMEMBER when album jackets were large enough so you could read the liner notes on the back while spinning the discs on your turntable (well SOME of you will remember turntables.)
"A new way to play records by obscuring or augmenting any part of your body with an album jacket (sleeve)."
I always thought that the sleeve was the paper insert, usually white and often blank, that contained the record and was stuffed inside the cardboard cover, you know, the "jacket." I think I'm right. Where else would you find the sleeve? This book should actually be called "Coverface," but it really doesn't matter.
"Sleeveface" collects photos of people holding record covers in front of their faces, as well as over other parts of their bodies, to create new, usually amusing, images. It's a clever concept, and a tribute of sorts to the bygone era of 33 1/3 vinyl albums whose size made cover art important. Now, in the age of the tiny compact disc, to say nothing of downloading, a graphic masterpiece like the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper" cover wouldn't be possible.
The results are sometimes hilarious, especially the photos inspired by the covers for "Barbra Streisand's Greatest Hits Vol. 2" and John Travolta's self-titled 1976 album. But this is a novelty item, a joke book, and like most novelties, it wears out its welcome pretty quickly. Nonetheless, this is a good stocking stuffer for that person on your Christmas list for whom you feel obligated to buy a present, but who isn't close enough to merit anything too personal or more costly.
Brian W. Fairbanks
The idea is simple: take a picture of your friend holding up a album cover (remember those?), also called sleeves, in front of his/her face, posing as his or her favorite rock/pop/soul singer. Of course it's a little more complicated than that and the people featured in the book use camera angles, perspective and props--like similar clothing etc.--to create a seamless image. Some pull if off better than others, as album cover blends with model.
I give SLEEVEFACE a generous five-stars because the concept is clever and the book is filled with color photos. But it is smaller than most coffee table/photo books, but it does make a good conversation piece and you'll have fun looking at the pictures. And there's a website so you can check and see if your favorite album cover/sleeves are featured and you can send in your own!
SLEEVEFACE won't make you "smarter or five pounds thinner," but a little frivolity in life makes it fun and we could all use a laugh now-a-days.
I am young enough to remember vinyl, even some of the 75 rpms. I don't have a single vinyl record or phonograph in my home, but the nostalgic use of these album covers, besides being entertaining, brings back memories.
The only part that bothers me is that the book begs to be the same size as the other books on my coffee table. It just feels too small. I am also surprised at the high quality of the photos. The paper the book was printed on helps bring these pages to life!
In summary, the book shows us the lighter side of art. The small size of the book reduces the effect of the art and will cause it to get lost amongst your book collection. For these reasons, I give the book 4 stars.
Most recent customer reviews
Although the premise behind the book is great, and some of the images were amazing, there were too many that just didn't fit...Read more