When these began appearing I wondered if it would be a fad that would ride the waves for a while and then ultimately, the novelty would wear off, You could I suppose, loosely contrast it with the de riguer of late seventies / early eighties coloured vinyl though, with vinyl very much back in vogue, repressings have seen a new devotion to colour.
The thing I found about animated album covers was that using a variety of forums, as good as they looked, if you posted one or two to show them off, a lot of people found them just annoying, some heading to their profiles to disable moving images!
And the Nevermind one – well, the cover was controversial to begin with but I do like the animation.
Like most things, some of these are very smart and clever and some really quite tacky. In this post, I aim to give a brief history into the topic and post a few of my favourites.
So on May 8th, 2010, a single topic blog on Tumblr called Animated Albums created and posted three endless GIF loops of popular albums, including David Bowie’s Low, Blondie’s Parallel Lines, and Grace Jones’ Nightclubbing. Of the three, the Blondie received the most notes, with 750. Animated Albums continued to publish animated cover GIFs through 2013.
The meme went mainstream in October 2011, when the practice was adopted by the band R.E.M. as part of the promotional push for their “greatest hits” album, Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982–2011.
jbetcom’s music, another single topic blog devoted to animating album covers, began publishing in October of 2013, around the same time as Animated Albums ended. Several articles have collected instances of the meme, and a subreddit devoted to fans of the meme was founded in 2013 and has over 100 members.
Animated album covers have proven hugely popular though whether this fad will continue to be popular will of course remain to be seen.