Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Sci-Fi album cover art...Kansas, 1979


Earlier in the week I was commenting on a couple of post made by Rich Reynolds that covered AI as a possible UFO component.  This lead to pre-historic cave art and a smattering of Native American mythology.  

A few days ago while driving to work, I was listening to my "Best of Kansas" CD.  I started to recall that Kansas had an earlier album whose cover art depicted an American Indian with a space helmet in the setting of an "alien" location.  I pulled up the wiki thread for Kansas' Monolith album.

Regarding the concept behind the cover art, here is the wikipedia write-up:


The album cover by artist Bruce Wolfe features an Indian in a space helmet with horns on it standing in front of what appears to be the World Trade Center twin towers rendered in stone behind which is a lunar scene featuring what appears to be construction ruins of some sort. The key to the cover art is the juxtaposition of the stones (monoliths, two of them) with the moon and the Indian/spaceman. These symbols go together to form a particular picture that will be more familiar to 21st century fans than to original fans.
Due to the particular juxtaposition of elements, the album title therefore refers to the black monolith from the Stanley Kubrick film 2001: A Space Odyssey. This connection implies the album cover is telling us there is something on the moon and it has to do with human history/spirituality and our present period. That the band is known to have esoteric influences underscores this interpretation. The song "On The Other Side" therefore refers to the "other side" of the astral veil, or the state of in-between lives.[citation needed] It is unclear whether the band was aware of the esoteric references in the painting. Drummer Phil Ehart was the point man on album art, and he had personal approval of all aspects of it. Ehart has made no public statements about the cover, and no music journalist ever asked about any deep or esoteric aspects of it. 

I guess that I'm old school because I miss the cover art that adorned record albums.  We always tried to interpret what hidden message or deeper meaning was being conveyed.  A lot of times there were none...Freud's "...some times a cigar is just a cigar."

Oddly, I saw many a band in high school and college, but never had the opportunity to see Kansas...much to my regret.

1 comment:

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