The music industry has come a long way from when it began. One of the earliest forms of recording sound was invented by a person named Thomas Edison in 1877 which was called ‘phonograph’. The phonograph initially had a major disadvantage – the records could not be duplicated but this problem was overcome when the gramophone was invented. The gramophone was similar to the phonograph but allowed music to be copied onto flat discs as many times as the user wanted. The gramophone became a conventional part of the 20th century and by 1914 over one third of all British households owned a machine. In 1958 the first stereo records were issued in the UK enabling listeners to experience a more 3 dimensional sound effect. After the years of the Stereo Records, tape records were introduced and soon after CD’s came in to provide us with the very best of recorded sound. Since then, new forms of recording music have been coming in such as MD players.
The music industry is very competitive and getting to the top requires connections to people already in the industry as well as sheer luck and talent. The process of getting a record deal can be one that requires a lot of effort, self-esteem (rejections are a big part of the business) and can be time consuming. Often, you can find yourself in the position of working for months on something but achieving nothing out of it. Bands usually start by practicing in their own time and playing at local venues.
This is where most of the bands get noticed as people from record companies visit many of these local gigs to pick up young, new talent. If the band is lucky and gets spotted then the procedure is cut sort. If not, the band records a demo tape and send it off to various record companies hoping to get heard. This is one of many routes available into the industry. Another way is where record companies hoping to manufacture a band advertise to get the attention of anyone wishing to take part in auditions. There are several disadvantages to this such as the bands image and genre is decided and controlled by the people who are putting the band together. As well as this, the band members do not know each other.
For our project, we were asked to put together a band and promote it by making a CD cover. Before we started this task there were many factors to consider such as the genre of the band as this would determine the final outcome of the way the CD cover would look. For example, if the genre was pop and the group was a 5 piece girl band then the colours on there would be bright and girly. If the genre were rock or grunge, the colours would be dark and the cover would be more serious, displaying a more dramatic image of the band. We also needed to decide upon how we would dress for our photo-shoot. Again, this would depend on the chosen genre.
Originally, we were in a group of four; Me, Mandy, Jay and Sophie. We had chosen our genre of punk as neither of us dress punky and thought that it would be a good opportunity to dress up. We looked further into this style and looked at different punk/grunge CD covers, names of albums and the style of clothing. However, our idea failed as Mandy and Sophie changed their mind on the day of the photo shoot and so our group split up to work individually. As I had already done some background work to put towards this project, I carried on with the punk/grunge style but had to ask for a group of 3-5 friends (girls) to take photo’s of. The image I was looking to portray was ‘rough-and-ready’ so I asked most of the girls to dress in dark colours and baggy clothes to create a grunge effect and asked one of them to dress in
either stripes or neon-bright colours (punk imagery). In my opinion, this went well and I ended up with five different photos of good quality that exposed the image I wanted to send out. The next step was to transfer these photos into an album cover and produce a band name, album name and song titles for the CD. Earlier, we had conducted a questionnaire around the class to ask about band names we had come up with to get a generalised view on the one I was going to use for my design.
I chose the most popular out of the five, which was ‘Disturbance’ and used the second most popular (Under the Table) as the album title. Using programmes such as PhotoShop, Paint Pro and CorelDraw, I added special effects to the photos and made them suitable for use on the CD cover. I decided to use dark tones on most of the images but also left lots of white background to generate a minimalist result. The font I used for the cover stood out but wasn’t too big or bold, so it gave a blasï¿½ look. For final design touches and promotional purposes, I added a barcode and a copyright sign. This completed my practical side of the project.
I am very pleased with the end result of the CD cover. I think the images I have used will attract the right type of audience and the band name, album name and song titles are suitable for the chosen genre. If I could change anything about this project, it would be to print the barcode out instead of drawing it out by hand. I had used CorelDraw to make a barcode but for some reason it decided not to print out and I did not have enough time to make amendments to this. Also, another area of improvement could be on my questionnaire. Next time, I’d ask more open questions that would allow one to comment on certain areas as this will enable me to get a broader view of people’s opinions. Other than that, I don’t think I would change anything else. I am happy with the way I worked, the things I have learnt and the final results. In the future, I would like to be part of the Music Industry as a Publicist which involves doing promotional work for the band and this project has given me a great insight to what goes on behind the scenes.
These are images of both male and female punk bands. From this we can see that most punk bands tend to use dark and bold colours and images. The font face is usually large and stands out (there is only one exception this case). A few of the covers also use a minimalist effect to grab attention. Black and white images are very effective and the colour black seems to be popular with this particular style.
The general punk style is like a modernised version of the 70’s. Stripes and dots are popular along with black, red and very bright colours. The style is baggy and comfortable. Footwear is big and heavy.