What an obvious idea: Making jigsaw puzzles out of classic album covers. But Debbie Gold’s RedisCover puzzles take it a couple of steps further: two-sided puzzles including the back covers (best appreciated on a glass table) and compensation to the artist, record label, photographer/graphic artist and art director.
“We all miss album covers,” says Gold. “Albums are certainly a visual memory as well as an aural one. It seemed like a no-brainer.”
Her new line debuted this fall with eight classic titles by Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead, Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Jackson Browne and Nirvana. The company sells the puzzles online through Barnes & Noble for $22 each.
Gold is the ultimate music-biz behind-the-scenes operative. She’s been a manager and producer, working with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Dylan and the Dead. In 2009, she was responsible for the creation of Dead-opoly, a
Grateful Dead-themed version of Monopoly.
“I got immersed in the toy and game business,” the New Yorker said. “Going to Toy Fair became my SXSW. It’s fun to merge music and games."
Gold knew how to negotiate the landscape of the music business – the labels, the managers and the artists. But she went further and tracked down photographers and art directors.”Most of these people didn’t have contracts” for the album covers, she said. “A lot of them haven’t been paid in years. It was a thrill to pay them.”
She searched to find a company – she did in Milwaukee – that could manufacture two-sided puzzles because she thinks the back covers add authenticity.
Since the puzzles, at 16 by 16 inches, are slightly larger than album covers, Gold added some trivia about the albums in the margins on the back covers.
Which is the easiest puzzle to assemble?
“I don’t know the easiest,” Gold said. “I think the hardest ones would be the Stones (“Let It Bleed”) and Bowie (“The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust”) because the front and back [covers] are similar.”
She has one suggestion: “It’s easier and more fun to do the puzzle if you’re listening to the album at the same time.”