Details on the U.S. Mensa Society’s “Best Cover Art” Bracket Challenge
By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Earlier this month, I learned about an interesting poll looking to discover “the world’s best album cover”. While these polls are typically done by music/art/photography/lifestyle publications (and something that I summarize in a yearly report on the topic (here’s a link to the one from last year – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2013/12/27/best-and-worst-album-cover-art-lists-2013-summary-and-analysis/), I was intrigued by the organization behind this most-recent poll – the U.S. outpost of the Mensa Society which, to the uninitiated, is an international organization made up of people of all ages who, according to their site, ” share only one trait — high intelligence.” To qualify for Mensa, applicants were required “to score in the top 2 percent of the general population on an accepted standardized intelligence test”, making Mensa members – who include engineers, homemakers, teachers, actors, athletes, students and CEOs – well-equipped to develop a method (their “bracket challenges”) via which the “best ofs” in many categories can be determined (past challenges have include “best” heroes, inventions and toys).
This year, the group decided to throw their focus to determining, in a totally subjective, slightly-scientific and non-definitive way, which modern-era album cover is “the best”. On October 14th, I contacted the organization to find out more about their methodology and heard back from Chip Taulbee, who serves as the Editor of the Mensa Newsletter for the American Mensa organization and, based on this back-and-forth between myself and Chip, I think that they’ve come up with a strong approach that will, in the end, probably start more heated discussions than serve to satisfy any music fan’s appetite to know “what’s best”. Even so, I have to laud the group for their efforts and look forward to seeing the results when they’re posted early next year. For your review, here are my notes from my discussion with Chip: