Saturday, October 12, 2013

Vinyl Album Covers

I still have about 200 or so vinyl albums and 12 inch singles. Being a music aficionado, I kept on buying vinyls well into the 90s even when the CD format had become totally dominant. What I cherished most about vinyls were the album covers. For many albums the cover-art was worth the price of the album alone.

I often -- and I'm sure many others did too -- bought an album just for the cover-art. Album covers were a genre in their own right, and what we've gained in the ease and convenience of the MP3 format, we've lost in the artistic seduction and beauty of album cover-art. Please let me take a moment to share with you some of my favourite vinyl album covers.

The German group Kraftwerk were one of the pioneers of the electronic, techno sound (together with the British group Depeche Mode). Not only was their music revolutionary but their album covers were out of this world. Above and below are two examples of Kraftwerk's album covers. It's such covers that made one grab an album, just for the cover art!

The British group Soul ll Soul were another band whose album covers were always outstanding. The one that stands out though was the album cover for the 12 inch single Get A Life. "Simply outstanding", is the only description I can give for this wicked piece of album cover-art. It's as if they had hired Basquiat himself as artistic director for their album cover.

The rap genre too had many memorable album covers, and here's one from Scarface (with his game-face on) when he was at the top of his game.

With all respects to Scarface though, I think for the generation of 80s teens, one couldn't find better album covers than those of Kool Moe Dee. Here he is below in his signature all-black outfit and wrap-around shades.


And finally, they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, if that's the case, the album cover for Timex Social Club's "Rumors" is a picture that tells it all, literally. A brilliant album cover, it would later be much used and borrowed for other artistic endeavors all over the world.

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