The relative demise of vinyl and the onslaught of mp3’s and digidownloads have pretty much wiped out the pleasurable gestalt of seeing a great album cover. Many books have been devoted to classic rock cover art (The original cover art of the Beatles’ Yesterday and Today was controversial, so was the first Blind Faith lp).
I bought jazz albums so became more familiar with this cover art. The photos of Bill Claxton and Chuck Stewart, the graphics of Reid Miles on the classic Blue Note sides are what I know best. I also love the cover art of Fania Records by the great Izzy Sanabria. These covers were all done old-school, with analogue photography and hand-painted art.
I want to recommend some wonderful books that celebrate album cover art:
- In the Groove/Vintage Record Graphics by Eric Kohler
- Cocinando!: Fifty Years of Latin Album Cover Art by Pablo Iglesia
- The Cover Art of Blue Note Records
- California Cool by Graham Marsh
Here are some more memorable album covers. I’ve also included those two controversial Beatles’ and Blind Faith Covers.