Must See Album Art: Portraits of Classic Album Covers

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Going to the movies on Christmas is any annual pilgrimage for many. So many, it’s actually pretty crowded on Christmas these days so, to avoid the rush, I hit the Arclight Hollywood a few days early to check out “This is 40” (solely on the basis of Judd Apatow’s name and the inclusion of TWO Ryan Adams songs on the soundtrack).

What I didn’t expect was to come across some incredible art – giant oil paintings of classic album covers – from Dylan, Willie Nelson, Tom Waits, The Beatles, Boston, Led Zeppelin and, my favorite, Fleetwood Mac – all taken from Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.

fleetwoodThe series is called “Record Collection – Portraits of Classic Album Covers“.

I immediate sought out the artists’ name only to find out it’s Clifford Bailey, an artist from my hometown in Miami, best known for his paintings of jazz musicians and the roaring twenties, always full of life, color and in his own unique style that is very easy to identify.

These albums covers before me, however, were something else entirely so I had to ask, what inspired him to do it? From Cliff:

“It was an idea I’ve had for many years, and I finally got around to it. They were all painted out of love and respect for the music. Each painting was painted while I listened to the album I was painting. Some were highly detailed, like “Purple Rain”, while others were simpler, like the Sex Pistols (“Never Mind the Bollocks”). The details were very challenging.”

The result is absolutely spectacular. “Purple Rain” was already sold as of Saturday, but there is still time to check out the rest which will be on view at the Arclight Cinemas Hollywood until January 8, 2013. You can also view them online at his website,