The Art Of The Record Cover

By Yehudit Mam, September 9, 2015

… has almost been lost.  CDs are simply not the same. Having in your hands a big square with a shiny black acetate inside, covered by indelible art, sometimes with more art inside, now that was a rite of passage.

MoMa’s architecture and design wing has a lovely exhibit on the art that graces the covers of pop music. It is colorful, sexy, explosive and one look at those covers will make you remember the songs, which are, to put it cornily, the soundtrack of your life, and which are also playing in the background. They also have a tagboard where people share their favorite covers. It is great fun.

As it is to gaze with wonder at these magical, mystical, sexy marvels by some artists you may know:

stickyfingersThe Rolling Stones. Sticky Fingers. By Andy Warhol .


The Velvet Underground.

Warhol was a great graphic artist, and his record covers are so iconic. Better perhaps than his series of celebrity portraits.


The inimitable Saul Bass. First in the 60s, then in the 90s. Impeccable.

bass4Artist and sound poet Brion Gysin for John Zorn.


The great illustrator H.R. Giger for Emerson Lake and Palmer.


And then for Debbie Harry. Not everything is aliens.

giger9 giger10 giger11You’ll never guess what famous illustrator created this jazzy cover:


The one and only Ralph Steadman.


The great graphic designer Leif Podhajsky for Young Magic.


But what about all those terrible album covers that haunt your waking hours? Boy (and girl), are you in luck! There is an online museum just for that.

What do you think?

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