When it comes to albums, the choice of artwork makes a strong first impression, and represents the album for the listener. I've honestly missed out on some good albums the first time around because the artwork was downright unappealing. While only being a relatively recent fan of The Offspring, I can say that all their albums are solid. But the artwork? Some more awesome than others. So I'm asking you; what's your favorite Offspring album artwork? (This is mainly for albums, but if there's an EP, single, or other release of note, feel free to mention it).
I'll go ahead and rank the artworks in my own order:
10. Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace
Being completely honest, it just strikes me as… amateur. The design itself is nice, but it's very basic, and the limited use of colors isn't easy on the eyes. It just seems like a lot of basic Photoshop work. Not to mention, this is probably my least-favorite incarnation of the band's logo.
9. Conspiracy of One
Again, my complaint with this one is the very basic design. It's not poorly done, either, it just seems generic; this wouldn't jump out at me on store shelves in 2000. Yes, The Offspring has a badass logo, but this cover just kinda shoves it in our faces. Never really cared for the graffiti font too much, either, but it's all aesthetically pleasing, at least.
8. Ixnay on the Hombre
After Smash, we're beginning to see a skull motif in place. The Mexican calavera-inspired art is striking, but seems a bit weird and out of place. In my opinion, it doesn't really seem consistent with the general theme of the album (only the occasional wacky songs). I guess in a way, it is symbolic of The Offspring finding their own way, and not caring what others think.
The title and art of this album is a bit of an enigma. Ignition as a whole offers a more deep and reflective side of The Offspring, but the title comes from the song "Burn It Up," which is one of the more fast-paced punk cuts on the album. Either way, the cover shows a relatively calm picture of fire from behind a stone wall, with the text being written in a relatively uninteresting font. I don't know why, but something about this cover just makes me think of the early 90s in terms of design…
Note: I am aware that this album has an alternate artwork, however, I do not consider this important in the slightest.
I actually like this one, it has a strong composition and looks nice. But I can't help but wonder how well this represents the band itself. Oh well, I guess it's inspired by the softer tone of most of the tracks. I also love the logo here; it was a nice, subtle way to incorporate the band's logo.
What can I say? It's very lively and animated… just like the album itself. I feel it really represents The Offsprings off the wall humor, and sums up the album well; you don't know what to expect.
4. The Offspring (Nitro Records)
While it's a bummer that the original artwork for the album was censored (the exact reason being unknown), the new artwork, made by Mackie Osborne, still does the album justice. It's dark and creepy; a perfect atmospheric approach to the album's content. Meanwhile, The Offspring logo contrasts well with the background. Apparently, the band prefers this to the original. I don't blame them.
3. Days Go By
The message of the album artwork is clear, made even more obvious by the title Days Go By, but the simplicity of the design is where it truly shines. The atmosphere is creepy as ever with desolate woods in the background, accented by heavy fog. The band's logo is also deathly serious. It definitely feels like The Offspring.
What can I say about something so iconic? It's a very 'punk' representation that suits the album well. A very ominous image to compliment the music. Meanwhile, "SMASH" is written in a basic font, which actually makes it more interesting.
1. The Offspring (Nemesis Records)
"Mad" Marc Rude is somewhat of a legend in the punk community, and after looking at some of his artwork, it's not hard to see why. The Offspring wanted to make a real album, and didn't let anything get in the way; they got in touch with the esteemed Thom Wilson (of Dead Kennedys and T.S.O.L. fame), as well as Mr. Rude. To me, this artwork goes along great with Noodles' screeching guitars and Dexter, I mean Keith's, wailing vocals. Probably most fitting when stacked up against "Beheaded."
* And yeah, I guess there's an 8 image limit per post. Bummer.