Story Behind The Album Cover – Cactus’ Tightrope

Cactus - Tightrope | Main Street Vinyl

I’m always interested in album art and the stories that go with them. I’d like to add more of these stories in the future, but for a start – Sue Candia gives some feedback and the details behind the album art for the new Cactus album Tightrope. In the past Sue has been credited on Vanilla Fudge’s 2001 album , as well as The Lizard’s 2015 album Reptilicus Maximus – Sue was responsible for the titling and interior of these 2 album designs (and Lizards is cool news to me, as I interviewed Randy Pratt on the band, and now of Cactus many years ago about The Lizards, and I was not aware of this this album).

How you wound up being chosen to do it [Tightrope art]

I began designing CDs, gig cards, and T-shirts for Randy Pratt (the harpist for Cactus) some years ago, and for bands produced on his label Hyperspace Records. I probably worked with the Vanilla Fudge on cd packaging and show promos first, and later on various projects for Carmine Appice, Jimmy Kunes, and eventually Cactus. Cactus is a phenomenal band, and collaborating with them on this particular album cover was amazing for me.

The story or concept behind the cover

I wanted to honor the band’s legacy, and so I felt there should be cactuses in the artwork. I was inspired to explore the challenges we face in the current environmental and political climate. My goal was to reflect the band creatively, in a way that is true to their voice and respectful of their talent and scope, to be both contemporary and historic. Hopefully, that comes across to fans.

Familiar with the band’s music [or just this album]  

I always liked the classic heavy rock style of the late sixties and seventies, so knew about Cactus prior to getting involved with them creatively. But getting to work with such a talented, iconic band, on a double album, for that I’m very lucky and grateful.

The alternate art to the Cactus album at the Behance site

Yes, the band was split on which song to use as the title track and name of the album, Tightrope or Primitive Touch. So they asked me to come up with concepts for both. Ultimately they agreed on Tightrope and chose the concept that I brought to final for the cover. I had a fun time working on the initial illustrations so I decided to post them on my Behance page along with the finished piece. 

art@duckinc.com

suecandia@gmail.com

Cactus : 2020 Album Cover Concepts on Behance

Susan Candia • NYC Creative Production • Art Direction • Graphic Design

KJJ, 05/’21

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