📚The Face of a Vinyl
Taking a look at some of the best album covers
The importance of album art is just as important of what’s inside.
The music industry has changed. With digital streaming now by far the most popular way of discovering new music, the way listeners find their music is now mostly through pre-made playlists, whether by Spotify/Apple Music or user created ones. Whilst skipping through those pre-made playlists; the art is often forgotten about.
So with that - we'll celebrate some of the best. 📚
The O’Jays - Back Stabbers
The Philadelphia soul group created a concrete funky-soul groove that no other could quite match. The cover represents a the perfect blend of sheer paranoia and wholesome love that the LP plays. The upfront representation of the artists was common in the early 70s soul scene, the album is ranked #318 on The Rolling Stone greatest albums of all time and we can only echo that. What a treat.
Radiohead - The Bends
For the album that announced the band’s legitimacy as a new leader in rock a pivotal album cover was in order. Stemming from a term used for sickness, band vocalist uses “The Bends” as a metaphor for for drowning in the sea of modern life. The LP is the outcry that the band Radiohead is, and for what that figure is? Well it is one of those practice CPR mannequins used in first aid training.
Artist Stanley Dogwood saw the facial expression as an “Android discovering for the first time the sensations of ecstasy and agony, simultaneously.”
John Denver - Rocky Mountain High
Throughout the album Denver goes full acoustic mode. He wrote this song whilst staying in the Rocky mountains with friends - he caught sight of a meteor shower and the shadow of the starlight blew him away.
With the album cover taken along the Rio Granda trail in Aspen Colorado, it’s the perfect reflection of the earnest delivery that Denver brings.
Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Often hailed as the best rap albums of all time, it’s undoubtedly one of Wests greatest feats. With an album telling the story of fame, it was only right for it’s album cover to be a naked kanye next to a nude phoenix woman.
“Banned in the USA!! They don’t want me chilling on the couch with my phoenix!” Kanye tweeted.
James Brown - Live at the Apollo 1963
“Are you ready for star-time?” As the album opens. This album takes to you a different time, a time machine in a sense.
For Brown this was a make or break album, it was fully bankrolled by himself so much it risked financial ruin. But Live at the Apollo sold millions, it was so popular people began to call in to radio station to play the entire album back to back.
Who’s Next - The Who
Produced by legendary Glyn Johns, the LP is the bleeding heart of protest-pop. But for the cover? Well it’s a rubbish dump in county Durham. After coming back from a gig American photographer Ethan Russell noticed these three or four pillars on the landscape.
“They were gone in a flash, but I said to him that they might make an interesting backdrop for a photo shoot.”
That was it, Peter Townsend swung the car around, Russell started shooting and 24hrs later the one as we know appeared.