Monday, February 02, 2015

What Were They Thinking? (An Occasional Series): Special Completely Fucked Up Art Direction Edition

A friend writes:

Dear Steve:

Here's one for you.

Cleopatra Records (in LA, I think) recently (sometime this month) issued an album, Stoned: A Psych Tribute to the Rolling Stones. Below is the album cover, I kid you not.

A nice group of younger and young-ish bands doing covers. OK. Cleopatra in 2014 issued a collection of Doors covers, which I possess, and which is pretty good, and whose front artwork is below.

Apparently, the marketing folks at Cleopatra associate the Doors with the Thirteenth Floor Elevators, while the Stones mean Girls Use Heroin.

If this were not so laughably bad, it would be Onion-like funny.

So I took the time to EMail the following to Cleopatra.
Dear C Folks:

Please let the Cleopatra marketing person (or group) who designed the cover for the Rolling Stones tribute collection know that the cover ... ahem ... art is just about the stupidest image I have ever seen on any album. Whereas your Psych Tribute to the Doors collection reflects (not mine, but) a general psych feeling associated with ... ahem ... something, the Stones cover pretty much says Stones = Junk. Of course this is preposterous, and only a 14 year-old would make such a primary visual association.

If it turns out that your marketing person IS 14 years old, please pass along my comments. Also, if the person IS 14, then please stop employing underage staffers. Furthermore, if your marketing person is OLDER than 14, then what the fuck's WRONG with him or her?

And here's an update:

Since I received an auto-reply from Cleopatra ("Thank you for contacting Cleopatra Records. A representative will respond to your message within 24-72 hours (Business Days). Thank you.") that thanked me not once but twice, I may have a response from Cleopatra before Monday, which I'll forward to you.

And Cleopatra IS based out of Los Angeles.

Frankly, I can't wait.

[h/t Mark R]


edward said...

I see a future listomania topic;>

Anonymous said...

Wow. Look at the point on that thing! I guess they were going for the junkie chic look. The model looks too cute for that image from what I can see of her. And I bet she works cheap. That's sorta the name of the game with this label.

Back in the dealing days I used to step out on my boyfriend (we had a very open relationship, to say the least) with a guy that I nicknamed "Metal Ed." For a metal guy, he actually had some brains to go along with his other fine assets.

Anyway, he knew this guy, Brian, that used to sell stickers at all the early L.A. hair metal shows. This was before the whole scene got signed. Well, that sticker guy, and hair metal fan, started a label a few years later, by licensing Motorhead's On Parole. That would be Cleopatra. The label has been surprisingly successful and has gone well beyond its licensing shit from other labels origins.

You might find this amusing from recent classified ads:

CLEOPATRA RECORDS seeks graphic artist for Los Angeles office, M-F, 8:30-5:30pm FIRM. Experience and references required! Contact Tim Yasui (310) 477-4000 or for interview

Vickie Rock

buzzbabyjesus said...

Someone didn't do their homework. Junk is not too Psychedelic, and neither are the Stones as far as I know.

And leave it to Vickie.