An original work is one not received from others nor one copied based on the work of others. It is a work created with a unique style and substance.
The truth is there are only very few original ideas. Wray Herbert , in his article published in Scientific American, said that we do not really operate as free agents in the world. We are all entangled in complex patterns of collective behavior, many spontaneously organized and most entirely outside our understanding or awareness.
Whether you favor droopy sweaters or Manolo Blahnik shoes, few people are original thinkers when it comes to what they wear. There are a few true innovators, of course, but unless you spin and dye the fabric and design your own wardrobe, you are cribbing from someone else’s mind. And what is true of sweaters is also true of less trivial ideas, which move through the ether in unpredictable ways. If you think that you coined a clever phrase or “discovered” a new talent, you almost certainly did not. [Scientific American]
So what about album covers? Certainly there are lots of albums with similar concepts. I compiled lots of album cover concepts that are somewhat overused like balloons, puppets, clowns. But there are those albums covers with very striking similarities they are almost like twins. Maybe some designers intentionally copy an artwork like Bruce Springsteen’s famous anal bum cover to pay homage to the original. Or maybe, they’re just purely coincidental.
Here are some of them, compiled by Music for Ants.
James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD/vinyl and merch company in LA.