PORTRAIT PLAYOFF, ROUND 1

You are a solo artist or the face of your band. The music is complete and the record company asks for your thoughts on the cover of the album. What do you choose? A picture of yourself, obviously.

As a result of this most simple of logical sequences, there is a plentitude of album cover art boasting some sort of portrait of the artist.

Instead of simply posting them, Vinyl Connection has consulted with the organisers of the Australian Open to devise and present,

The Vinyl Connection Cover Art Portrait Playoff

Below you will find pairs of albums arranged as singles matches: the one on the left versus the one on the right.

Pick whichever cover/portrait you prefer, focussing on the art rather than the artist, on the visuals rather than the music. In the comments section, list your ‘winner’ for each of the eight matches. Feel free to include comments or reasons for your choices!

This is Round 1, the top half of the draw. The bottom half is here.

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Match 1 – Reed vs Ronson

Reed - Ronson

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Match 2 – Palmer vs Grosskopf

Palmer - Grosskopf

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Match 3 – Vangelis vs Turner

Vangelis - Turner

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Match 4 – Sade vs Odetta

Sade - Odetta

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Match 5 – Schulze vs Thorogood

Schultze - Thorogood

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Match 6 – Gilmour vs Isaak

Gilmour - Isaac

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Match 7 – Hynde vs Ronstadt

Hynde - Ronstadt

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Match 8 – Subramaniam vs Swarbrick

Subramaniam - Swarbrick

23 comments

  1. Match 1: Ronson, for those beautiful eyes (vs. the glare on Reed’s sunglasses)
    Match 2: Grosskopf, for the typography and….that skin color!
    Match 3: Turner, because his face is so much more interesting than Vangelis’
    Match 4: Odetta, because the look on her face intrigues me, and could represent any number of different feelings
    Match 5: Thorogood, for the same reason
    Match 6: Gilmour, because I wonder what he’s gesturing at with his thumb
    Match 7: Hynde, because she’s just so damn cool
    Match 8: Swarbrick, because I love the long ash on cigarette

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    1. Thanks to everyone for joining in. Hope you enjoyed it.
      Results below.

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  2. 1 – Reed, due to the rawness compared to the “pretty” cover of Ronson’s
    2 – Palmer, Grosskopf is a definate turn of, with that silver thing
    3 – Vangelis, cool cover, but i like them both.
    4 – Sade, she is a beauty
    5 – Schulze, like that window style, the blue is also nice.
    6 – Isaak, dislike that finger, what is that good for?
    7 – Ronstadt, both great covers, but the dots is clever
    8 – Subramaniam, again both fine covers, a close pick. But i guess is got a little more style.

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  3. 1. Mick Ronson – the glare from Lou Reed’s sunglasses spoil it
    2. Robert Palmer – mean and moody beats synthetic tan
    3. Joe Turner – Vangelis looks so grumpy
    4. Sade – the quietly composed look vs Odetta’s concentrating hard
    5. George Thorogood – for his Mick Jagger impersonation
    6. David Gilmour – the other guy looks like The Fonz
    7. Chrissie Hynde – the Linda Ronstadt pic couldn’t be more boring
    8. Subramaniam – Dave Swarbrick’s fag is horrible

    Those votes are not so much for the winning image as against the competing one. I guess.

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  4. 1. Ronson (that’s quite a gaze he’s got going on there)
    2. Palmer (for rockin’ the bemused boss look)
    3. Vangelis (looks like a mean ol’ dude there)
    4. Odetta
    5. Thorogood (cause I thought it was Mick Jagger at first)
    6. Gilmour (the “this guy for real?” thing he’s got going on there)
    7. Ronstadt
    8. Swarbrick (haha! Cigarette!!)

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  5. As it’s not actually a competition, I guess I can add my choices too…

    1. Reed – it captures his guarded, street-wise persona (though I love the melodrama of the Ronson)
    2. Grosskopf – a very funny image, painting himself as a (synthesised) robotic figure.
    3. Turner – a wonderful face (Vangelis looks a bit sulky)
    4. Odetta – I’ve always found this portrait unsettling but captivating.
    5. Schulze – Like the image of head in front of sky. George’s Jagger is a bit icky.
    6. Gilmour (just). Hard choice. Pasty Dave or coiffed Chris. Neither appeals much!
    7. Hynde – Linda is cute but Chrissie is cool.
    8. Swarb – Dr Subramaniam has a fine penetrating gaze, but Swarb’s who-gives-a-fuck fag takes the biscuit.

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  6. […] If you missed Round 1, check it out here. […]

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  7. 1. Reed (It’s more New York than Ronson’s cover, and I’m a New Yorker)
    2. Palmer (I prefer my suave rock stars unpainted)
    3. Joe Turner (just because it’s Joe Turner)
    4. Odetta (the profile is a more striking image)
    5. Thorogood (because I listened to him earlier today, and you get to see the full photo, not a portion inside a circle)
    6. Gilmour (because it’s one of my all-time favorite albums with possibly my favorite album-ending track…”Near The End”)
    7. Pretenders (even though it’s far from my favorite of their albums, Ronstadt had too many polka dots)
    8. Swarbrick (love the smoky atmosphere)

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      Results below.

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  8. Paolo M. · · Reply

    reed
    palmer
    turner
    sade (here i can’t be impartial, sorry: i’m in love with that face and expression)
    thorogood
    gilmour (funnily indicating and commenting isaak pose, hehe)
    hynde
    swarbrick (that cig is fantastic)

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  9. Reed

    Grosskropf

    Vangelis

    Odetta

    Schulze

    Gilmour

    Ronstadt

    Swarbrick

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      Results below.

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  10. Reed (sparkle & sweat)

    Palmer (background)

    Turner (the Pablo cover style)

    Sade (shadow)

    Schulze (composition)

    Isaak (striking colors)

    Ronstadt (dot contrasts)

    Swarbrick (profile, smoke)

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      Results below.

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  11. Here are the results (to this point).

    REED def Ronson (7-2) Lou busted Mick with his shady stare

    PALMER def Grosskopf (6-3) Mr Smooth slides past Prof Silver

    TURNER def Vangelis (6-3) The wonderful Pablo portrait took Joe to victory

    ODETTA def Sade (5-4) A close one. Enigmatic Odetta scraped home over Ms Adu

    THOROGOOD def Schulze (5-4) George and his Jagger lips smack Klaus in an upset win

    GILMOUR def Isaak (7-2) Not much love for the other Mr Smooth. It’s a wicked game

    HYNDE def Ronstadt (5-4) Two highly regarded contestants, Chrissie on a countback

    SWARBRICK def Subramaniam (7-2) Clearly no-one read the health warnings

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  12. Paolo M. · · Reply

    7/8 win for me – and who the damn betrayed Sade? 😉

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    1. T’was me. I knew I couldn’t compete with your smokey charms.

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      1. Paolo M. · · Reply

        he he 🙂

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  13. […] the album cover Portrait Playoff (One and Two), I considered having a satellite event where the artist portrait was not a photograph, […]

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