Wednesday, December 26, 2007

RECORD COVERS


Here's a little mini-essay David Byrne sent me when I asked him to write a blurb about my book "Cocinando." While it doesn't refer directly to the subject of Latin Album Art per se, and so I couldn't really justify using it as a "blurb" review for the back of the book as it was originally intended, none the less, it actually is much more satisfying, in that it addresses general themes and concerns that resonate with all of us. And I quote:

Pablo,

Hope this is all right:

Latin Album Art

Recorded music is a curious animal. It’s a product, a thing- like soap or toothpaste or designer running shoes- but it is also our culture, our heritage, our aspirations, our identity and our dreams. We would never say that we are who we are because we use Crest, but we do see ourselves in our record collections and the music we love and cherish. When a lover looks at our record collections for the first time we are revealed, naked, our smooth talk fails us. NOW they know who we really are.

Record covers try to reconcile this dichotomy- they try to be both a marketing tool and to convey a sense of the ecstatic extremely personal soul promised within simultaneously. It’s a thankless task. It’s always beautifully imperfect and skewed. But the very fact that the attempt is even made to convey all this is somehow noble, entertaining and even courageous. That is why some album covers resonate- they are the valiant but eternally futile attempt to reconcile these opposing forces- on cardboard and in our hearts.

David Byrne

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