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Rejected cover art for Stadium Arcadium by Storm Thorgerson
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Thomasowen
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Rejected cover art for Stadium Arcadium by Storm Thorgerson

Storm Thorgerson, the genius behind the album covers for Pink floyd, Muse, Audioslave etc was asked to design Stadium Arcadium's cover. He designed three draft cover concepts for Stadium Arcadium, but all were declined.

Potential Stadium Arcadium Album Cover concepts...







Storm Thorgerson's thoughts on Stadium Arcadium's Art Direction
What lay behind the cover behaviour of Red Hot Chilli Peppers was beyond mathematics, certainly beyond our understanding. For the Stadium Arcadium cover they elected to feature the title in 'superman' lettering which was already old fashioned in itself, plus some "planetary embroidery" and that was it! It was trite, dull and derivative completely unlike the music, which was colourful, eclectic, imaginative, positive, and endlessly inventive. I am not often inclined to publicly criticise the work of others for I see little purchase in it, but there is, in this instance a vested interest, for the Peppers turned down our offerings in favour of this piece of unadventurous graphics. How could they? And here are three of our suggestions for your curiosity, and for my petulance.

Strom Thorgerson's Official Porfolio
http://www.stormthorgerson.com

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http://twitter.com/RHCPFansite/status/27776070971293697

Post Wed Jul 25, 2007 7:37 am 
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chilies4life
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I Actually Dont like any of those drawings Erm
The chosen one is ok i suppose Whistle
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Post Wed Jul 25, 2007 7:44 am 
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Sidewinder
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Nice find. Smile

I love the first one, i'd prefer it without the desk and chair, but aside from that I think its an excellent concept and much better than the dull and uninspired cover that was chosen. It would have suited the album quite well in my opinion, as the artist himself even says...


quote:
What lay behind the cover behaviour of Red Hot Chilli Peppers was beyond mathematics, certainly beyond our understanding. For the Stadium Arcadium cover they elected to feature the title in 'superman' lettering which was already old fashioned in itself, plus some "planetary embroidery" and that was it! It was trite, dull and derivative completely unlike the music, which was colourful, eclectic, imaginative, positive, and endlessly inventive. I am not often inclined to publicly criticise the work of others for I see little purchase in it, but there is, in this instance a vested interest, for the Peppers turned down our offerings in favour of this piece of unadventurous graphics. How could they? And here are three of our suggestions for your curiosity, and for my petulance.

Post Wed Jul 25, 2007 7:48 am 
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magz
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the cross roads one was intense. Man they screwed up badly. The official one sucks compared to any of those
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Post Wed Jul 25, 2007 8:43 am 
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Sidewinder
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I wonder if thats supposed to be martian in the third pic. Perhaps them swimming towards eachother is representative of the fusion and unity that brings them altogether to form the chilis...

Post Wed Jul 25, 2007 8:48 am 
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magz
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quote:
Originally posted by Sidewinder:
them swimming towards eachother is representative of the fusion and unity that brings them altogether to form the chilis
Yep totally. It seems so appropriate, and anyone who bought the CD would see it also. Rather than some bullshit about planets and space pfffff
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Post Wed Jul 25, 2007 8:50 am 
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Sidewinder
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I think warner bros probably had a big say, if not the final say in the selection of the artwork.

Perhaps they thought the chosen artwork would have a broader appeal and be more marketable towards the masses, instead of a more abstract imagery with deeper meaning.

I'd be quite surprised in the band if they did choose to turn down the sample concepts in favour of the final selection.

Post Wed Jul 25, 2007 8:55 am 
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magz
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Yea but Muse are with Warner and this artist did Absolution and Blackholes and Revelations. Somehow I think its band related politics.
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Post Wed Jul 25, 2007 9:07 am 
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Wild_Fire
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Whoa, thanks for the links man.
To be honest, they all look better than the actual cover used. I hope the chili peppers weren't the ones soley behind turing down those designs.
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Post Wed Jul 25, 2007 9:39 am 
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Thomasowen
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quote:
I think warner bros probably had a big say, if not the final say in the selection of the artwork.

Perhaps they thought the chosen artwork would have a broader appeal and be more marketable towards the masses, instead of a more abstract imagery with deeper meaning.

I'd be quite surprised in the band if they did choose to turn down the sample concepts in favour of the final selection.


But to be honest muse are on a division of WB and they used the artist for their new album. Isnt John a big pink floyd fan - I would have thought he would have jumped at the chance to work with storm. My own theory is that AK had something to do with the chosen cover, didn't he co design it with a friend of his.

As to what I think Storms covers mean, I think the second one is an apple core because stadium arcadium is the core of what the chilis are about, but way bigger and more intense than anything before. The third one is about the four peppers coming together as one for the album. I dont really get the first picture, But i'lll keep trying to understand it!

Post Wed Jul 25, 2007 9:50 am 
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anthiegirl
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The third one is the best.

Post Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:21 am 
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jonnysaur
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I reckon the real cover is the best
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Post Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:45 am 
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1337_Person
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I don't like the Stadium Arcadium cover, so any of those would've been fine in my opinion. Except the second one. That one's weird Erm
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Post Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:45 am 
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johnnymagik
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does the body part one remind anyone of the Muse Absolution cover, with all the shadows?

and does the fucking giant apple core on remind anyone of Audioslave's debut album, with the giant flame thing on the lunar surface and the little man looking up at it?!

the third one is kinda cool!

Post Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:53 am 
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Ilpo
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quote:
Originally posted by chilies4life:
I Actually Dont like any of those drawings Erm

same here, those are ugly.

Post Wed Jul 25, 2007 12:16 pm 
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Hillel Slovak 56
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Not sure if I like any of the concepts better than the cover that ws chosen. I think in a retro kind of way the Stadium Arcadium cover art works pretty well, I spose partly that comes from the familiarity the cover now has (it is now the main visual image of the music). I think, as I recall some said at the time the album was released, they (the chilis) were after something a little different to their past albums (e.g the third of those candidate drawings is similar in concept to BSSM's cover), they've had arty stuff for BTW, Cali kinda did the "moody photo" thing and the 80's had that punky wacky kinda vibe. The SA art was something different entirely in getting away from the "arty farty" stuff (like the proposed drawings). Modern art style stuff is fine for a while but can get a bit dull and in its own way entirely predictable.

The artist from the design firm is natually gonna in some way dislike the successful competing candidate (he acknoledges as much), I just reckon he doesn't really get where the successful cover design was coming from. Anyway IMO even if you dislike the SA artwork its hard really to consider any of those concept designs being considered a classic so its not much of a loss.
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Last edited by Hillel Slovak 56 on Wed Jul 25, 2007 8:35 pm; edited 1 time in total

Post Wed Jul 25, 2007 12:28 pm 
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Thomasowen
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quote:
same here, those are ugly.


But they are just the concepts have a look at some of his other art work

http://www.numberninethegallery.com/artists/stormthorgerson_6.jpg

http://mitkadem.homestead.com/files/floyd/pink.floyd.pulse.dvd.2005.jpg

http://www.jmlondon.com/medias/eventmain/186.jpg

http://www.bbc.co.uk/portuguese/especial/images/1431_storm/5142317_storm03.jpg

http://www.soundvenue.com/upload/anmeldelse/2007-05/biffy_clyro_puzzle_22052007_top.jpg

http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Z8tOMzUtL._AA240_.jpg

Post Wed Jul 25, 2007 12:35 pm 
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Ilpo
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^^I don't like his style.

Post Wed Jul 25, 2007 1:09 pm 
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Sarahs Red Hot
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I don't think any of those covers really fit the Chili's.
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Post Wed Jul 25, 2007 6:07 pm 
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S. Thompson
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I love his work, but it's not fit for the chili peppers.

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Post Wed Jul 25, 2007 7:25 pm 
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maybe if the album was called Torture Me the covers would fit very well
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Post Wed Jul 25, 2007 7:51 pm 
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Missundaztood
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Hmmmm, it's not really RHCP style it's reminds me some other bands but not RHCP.

Maybe the one with the apple is good.
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Post Wed Jul 25, 2007 8:11 pm 
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quote:
Originally posted by magz:
the cross roads one was intense. Man they screwed up badly. The official one sucks compared to any of those

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Post Thu Jul 26, 2007 3:29 am 
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californianking
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pretty cool, although i can't really judge it properly as they are really rough sketches, imo the real one is pretty lame but these aren't that great by Storm's standards. Mars Volta also turned down a Storm design for Amputechture, it was way better than the one that is used.

Post Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:25 am 
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surfsunadam
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It looks like he does the same kind of themes for all his covers, sort of regardless of the actual band/music.
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Post Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:29 am 
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