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Musical Squares

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Clockwise from the top left: Let It Be by The Beatles, Demon Days by Gorillaz, Remain in Light by Talking Heads, and Hot Space by Queen.

The cover of an album has various squares, each with a band members' face in them. Most commonly done with four squares, one in each corner, though variations with more or less are still fairly common. Similar shapes (rectangles, parallelograms, etc.) still count, and the squares may be slightly offset. Commonly used on singles, EPs, and Greatest Hits Albums.

The four-square variation is frequently a Stock Shout-Out to either The Beatles' album Let It Be or Andy Warhol's Shot Marilyns, five portraits of Marilyn Monroe painted in a riot of different colors, usually displayed in a grid of four.note 

A Sub-Trope of Face on the Cover.


Examples with four squares:

  • The cover of the in-game song "K.K. Fusion" from Animal Crossing: New Leaf, featuring K.K. Slider and various townspeople. The squares are slanted slightly, but it still counts.
  • The Beatles:
    • Let It Be, as mentioned above.
    • The American version of A Hard Day's Night used a similar cover that only showed the Beatles' foreheads.
  • The Best Of by Blur, their Greatest Hits Album. Damon Albarn in his pre-Gorillaz days takes the bottom left square.
  • The self-titled debut EP by electronic duo Galantis features four squares with variants of the band's Seafox mascot.
  • Gorillaz:
    • Demon Days, as a homage to Let It Be.
    • The digital cover of Humanz features art of the band members in similar fashion to Demon Days, with an Art Shift to 3D model versions of them.
  • Let it Be by Green Jellÿ is a parody of the Beatles' album above, replacing the Beatles' faces with Green Jelly members and a bedsheet.
  • Advertisement:
  • The Fourth World by Maroon 5's predecessor Kara's Flowers features rounded squares that don't occupy the four corners.
  • Undermind by Phish, which adds a purple tint and a grainy effect to the pictures. The cover was an intentional call-back to Let It Be because it was intended as Phish's last album, but the band wound up reuniting five years later.
  • Hot Space by Queen has the band's translucent heads on a solid, Warhol-esque background.
  • Emotional Rescue by The Rolling Stones (Band) features thermal images of the band members, albeit in a more uneven rectangular format.
  • Talking Heads:
    • Remain in Light adds a red digitally-added mask over each of the band members.
    • Speaking in Tongues features a variation; the general release's cover features four monochrome photos, each in a different color, of a lounge chair positioned at different angles.
  • Pop by U2 has the band members' faces rendered in a colorful, high-contrast Pop Art style.

Examples with some other number of squares:

  • The original UK version of A Hard Day's Night has various squares filled with pictures of The Beatles.
  • The liner art for Tomorrow's Harvest certainly qualifies (even though some rectangles are mixed in).
  • Furthermore: From the Studio, From the Stage by Jars of Clay has the cover divided into 16 squares. Some of them are photos of the band members, and some are random scenery shots.
  • Marshmello's remix EP for his single "Alone" spoofs the Brady Bunch opening titles with a set of nine squares including himself, similarly-styled versions of each remixer, and the Monstercat mascot.
  • With only one member in the form of Andre Allen Anjos, RAC's EGO foregoes including photos of the band in favor of an abstract sculpture, but achieves a similar effect by being split into a set of individual squares.
  • All Killer No Filler by Sum 41 features a 4x4 grid of unfortunate-looking still-frames of the band members with Flapping Cheeks.
  • The initial release of Technodelic by Yellow Magic Orchestra features three neatly-arranged Polaroids of the band members in kabuki makeup.
  • The front, and back, of Fight Songs: The Music Of Team Fortress 2 shows head shots of each of the nine classes in a three by three grid. The front has them nice and tidy, while the back has them bruised and battered.

Examples from other media:

  • On The Masked Singer, the stage turns into this during the Parrot's performance of "What's My Scene?", with shifting, primary-coloured Musical Squares of his face.