EAR CANDY MAG - February 2012

Alternate Universe Album Covers
The fantastic art of Jon Hunt

At EAR CANDY, we love "alternate universe" album covers! In the past we've covered The Beatles, The Rutles, and many more. Now we are proud to present a collection of alternate universe album covers by graphic artist extraordinaire, Jon Hunt. He is the former co-creator of the Smile Shop, a website repository for Beach Boys arcana. We interviewed Jon in our August, 2005 issue, back when the Smile Shop was still active. He now lives in Minneapolis where he works as a graphic designer. He does this nonsense in his spare time.

So sit back and enjoy Jon's incredible collection of alternate universe album covers! And he has supplied us with a little narration for each cover...

The Who-Rock is Dead...Long Live Rock The Who-Who's For Tennis?
The Who, "Rock is Dead...Long Live Rock"
Album cover for the lost Who 1972 album "Rock is Dead...Long Live Rock." Never got finished -- of course, Quadrophenia came out in its stead.
The Who, "Who's For Tennis?"
The cover for the Who's aborted 1968 "Who's For Tennis?" LP, done in the style of noted British pop artist Peter Blake.

The Rolling Stones-Could You Walk On Water? The Beatles-Liverpool Childhood
The Rolling Stones, "Could You Walk On Water?"
No design skills necessary -- instead, I'm following some unrealized 50+-year-old art direction from a hand-drawn mockup.
The Beatles, "Liverpool Childhood"
Remember when Peter Blake designed the cover for the Beatles' 1967 "Liverpool childhood" concept album? Yeah, that was awesome!!

The Beach Boys-Smile The Beach Boys-Lei'd In Hawaii
The Beach Boys, "Smile"
This is a "Brother / Reprise" Smile. Of course, in the alternate universe, Warner shelled big-time, for the flocked velvet / gold inlay cover. They wouldn't have used the Frank Holmes cover, as that was Capitol's property. They would've had their house designers work on it -- and they were captivated, at the time, with old-timey old-west and Victoriana. So I went with the latter, as it fits the themes of the LP. Controversial, I know, but this *is* an alternate universe.
The Beach Boys, "Lei'd In Hawaii"
This is a cover for the Beach Boys' shelved "Lei'd In Hawaii" LP. Originally, it was meant to be a record of the Beach Boys' 1967 Hawaii concerts -- featuring Brian Wilson on Baldwin organ. The concerts were unusable, mostly because of certain substances ingested by certain band members and lack of rehearsal. They attempted to re-record a "fake" live LP at Wally Heider -- but both were shelved.

Led Zeppelin-Friends / Four Sticks (45 sleeve) Dennis Wilson-Bambu
Led Zeppelin, "Friends / Four Sticks" (45 sleeve)
A 45 sleeve for the "Friends / Four Sticks" "Indian Sessions" single that never happened. Done in the style of "Led Zeppelin IV," of course, and the few other singles they put out at the time.
Dennis Wilson, "Bambu"
Dennis Wilson's "Bambu," done in the style of Dean O. Torrence's Kittyhawk Graphics, who did all the late 70s Beach Boys stuff and solo projects.

Pink Floyd-Household Objects Pink Floyd-The Wall
Pink Floyd, "Household Objects"
Now that we've finally got one or two songs from these sessions available to us, here's a cover for you to use for your iTunes.
Pink Floyd, "The Wall"
In the alternate universe, Storm Thorgerson did the cover for "The Wall." Here's a nice sealed copy with the sticker still intact. Note the die-cut sleeve.

Joy Division-Ceremony The Who-Lifehouse
Joy Division, "Ceremony"
A cover for a nonexistent 3rd Joy Division album, done in the style of Peter Saville (one of my idols!) ripping off Italian Futurism (see also: lots of stuff he did in that early 80s era).
The Who, "Lifehouse"
One of my favorites so far. It's a touch Hipgnosis in graphic design mode, maybe a titch Alan Aldridge. On the back, these cords twist around and turn into a rainbow ribbon computer cable.