“The Abyss” by Alan Silvestri

I always have loved the art direction and style of James Cameron’s films and of course their musical counterparts. And The Abyss by Alan Silvestri makes no exception. Varese Sarabande Records carefully recycled the official artwork for their recent release of the Deluxe Edition (#1). I was never a big fan of the sparse score by Silvestri, but I took this opportunity to finish up a few design sketches that were sitting on my shelf for a while now.

The first cover I wanna share some thoughts upon is an exact replica of the 1998 Japanese CD Edition by Volcano (#3). I was looking for a high resolution image of this cover for years (really!) and you can image my bliss when I finally came across a fairly decent version on Straxcollector. Its poster, a kind fella named Emmanuel Scordo, sent me a high resolution scan that made this cover possible in the first. So I cleaned up the image and restored the whole album credits letter by letter. It’s as pixel-perfect as you can get and possibly the highest quality version on the whole internet (…I’ve looked everywhere…). And I’m really glad to finally remove this from my searchlist.

Cover #7 is a digital recreation of the 1993 release by Soundtrack Listeners Communications, a manufacturer of professional soundtrack records that was active from 1990 to around 1997 in Japan. I added scratches and wear to cover the poor image quality – but also to make it look more authentic.

The last two entries are rather obscure. First a real customized image based on an “Abyss” wallpaper I found on Google (#8). I didn’t know in what direction I wanted to go with it and ended up relying entirely on that powerful image. The last one is acutally a real film poster from Germany (#9). I’ve never seen that style anywhere in cinemas back then, but I guess it’s a Twentieth Century Fox thing, because for Ridley Scott’s Alien I found a similarly stylized poster.

5 Comments

  1. These covers are wonderful. In fact, all your work is quite astounding. I’m very impressed and now using your restored Japanese cover for The Abyss in my iTunes. I was searching for a restoration of the original US LP cover, but this one is much cooler! Once again, excellent work.

    1. Thank you for your kind words! I also prefer the Japanese one, still super happy to finally have a decent version of it.
      I also appreciate you taking the time to comment. It always stirs my motivation when I see that the site serves a purpose and that people actually stay here a while. Please stop by again, several new posts are just around the bend :)

  2. I think I prefer #4, its pretty close to the artwork used on the VHS special edition we had in the UK.

    THE ABYSS is just one of those films really difficult to realise as a poster. I can imagine the long nights the original marketing dept must have had trying to sum the film up. BLADE RUNNER never got a definitive poster either. Funny how some films are like that, while ALIEN’s poster pretty much nailed it.

    1. Yeah, we had the same cover here as well. I struggled a bit with the subtitle “The Original Soundtrack” on this one. The movie logo is of such nice, kind of three-dimensional quality, that it kept me quite busy to recreate that style on all the other textual elements on the cover. Also, since the template was so big this time, I couldn’t make the text as pin sharp as usual. It needed a little bit of fuzzyness to make it not stand out from the rest of the image.
      I would by the way consider #2 as the “main” poster art for The Abyss. At least I would have chosen it to represent the film.

  3. […] old Vinyl record covers lately, as you could probably see in my previous cover series for The Abyss or Nebraska. So during my effort to recreate the original Vinyl artworks, I also wanted to come up […]

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