Album Cover Art

A look into the sometimes lost art of Album Cover Art

1971 Jimmy McGriff Black Pearl

Posted by talesinthesun on December 11, 2008

1971-jimmy-mcgriff-black-pearlScrolling through some websites and books and bam this album hit me.  Jimmy Cliff’s Black Pearl was a live recording from the Golden Slipper in Newark NJ.  McGriff played the organ from age 6 on until his death in May 2008.  Along the way he recorded over 30 albums between 1963 and 1998.

While McGriff may be a good musician I did not pick this album for that reason.  I picked it simply for the brilliant attention grabbing art of John Van Hamersveld.  Van Hamerveld was better known for his Rolling Stones, Steve Miller , Greatful Dead and The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour album.  Van Hamersveld also was the creator of memorable posters for JImi Hendrix, Kiss, Cream etc.  While this is the first I have posted of his art it will by no means be the last.  You may not see the albums seen normally by him but you will see great art.


Posted in 1971, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy McGriff, John Van Hamersveld, Rolling Stones, The Beatles | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

1973 Miles Davis Jazz at the Plaza

Posted by talesinthesun on December 8, 2008

1973-miles-davis-jazz-at-the-plazaIt seems that musicians that have very artistic music also let that flow into their covers as well.  This 1973 MIles Davis album is the release of a 1958 concert at the Plaza Hotel.  The sextet formed of : Miles Davis – trumpet; John Coltrane – tenor saxophone; Cannonball Adderley – alto saxophone; Bill Evans – piano; Paul Chambers – bass; Jimmy Cobb – drums.

The album was released on Coumbia records and a second album by Duke Ellington and his orchestra was released in 1973 as well with the same artwork.  I am currently searching for the artist and cover designer.

Posted in 1973, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

1971 The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers

Posted by talesinthesun on December 7, 2008

1971-rolling-stones-sticky-fingersAfter about 20 posts I assume it is time for an album associated with pop artist, Andy Warhol.  Warhol did many many covers including those for The Velvet Underground and Nico who he produced as well.  Warhol designed the cover with an operating zipper.  The zipper in turn was scratching the record inside until Craig Braun rededigned the package with cardboard underneath as well as a zipper that only opened half way.  THe openned zipper revealed underwear of course.

Warhol  is widely known for his painting of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presely and the Campbell’s Soup label.  More information can be found at The Warhol Museum, The Warhol Foundation and Warhols.

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1991 Nirvana Nevermind

Posted by talesinthesun on December 7, 2008

1991-nirvana-nevermind1Taking a break from the painted art I chose Nirvana’s Nevermind.  The picture can be seen what is wrong with society as a baby is even chase the almighty dollar. 

The picture was taken by Kirk Weddle and designed by Robert Fisher for Geffen Records.  Fisher was an art director for Geffen and now runs a studio in Los Angeles.

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1979 Arthur Blythe Lenox Avenue Breakdown

Posted by talesinthesun on December 5, 2008

1979-arthur-blythe-lenox-avenue-breakdown1While Arthur Blythe may not be a household name, the Mark Hess illustration may be.  Hess created a downtown feel of a brownstone for designer Gene Greif.  Originally the painting had people but they were taken out for fear of distraction of the rest of the piece.  Prominent in the center of the city is Arthur Blythe’s sax.  The typography appears like many signs in a city posted on a roof of a building.

Hess went on to do 2 other paintings much like this using clarinets in a city scape and a sax as a roadhouse.

For being an unknown to most of the world, Arthur Blythe, has appeared on over 50 albums and is still playing at the age of 68.

Mark Hess’ work can be seen on a variety of portraits and magazine covers.  I cannot find any other albums he has appeared on but hopefully someone will let me know if that is correct or not.

Posted in 1979, album cover art, Arthur Blythe, Gene Grief, Mark Hess | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

1979 Little Feat Down on the Farm

Posted by talesinthesun on December 4, 2008

1979-little-feat-down-on-the-farmOk Ok A few didn’y like the creativity of The Beatles White Album so now I will venture even farther into the oddball art.  Little Feat’s Down on the Farm.  the 1979 album featured the artwork of Neon Park who was formerly known as Martin Muller.  Park’s work can be seen on the albums of Little Feat, 38 Special, The Beach Boys and many others.  Park created every Little Feat album’s artwork from 1972 and later.

Park was known for his duck series with the 3 main ducks being Marilyn Duck, Betty Duck and Jane Duck modeled after Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and Jane Russell.   He also created works for cartoon series, opera sets at UCLA and special effects for films.  He passed away in 1993 from Lou Gehrig’s disease.

More can be learned about Neo Park XIII at the ALS website.

Posted in 1979, Little Feat, Martin Muller, Neon Park XIII | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

1968 The Beatles White Album

Posted by talesinthesun on December 2, 2008

With all the art on the previous Beatles albums including Sgt.Pepper’s, Revolver and Magical Mystery Tour the Beatles released a true work of art, The White Album. No contreversy. No hidden messages,  No pictures of 4 men with similiar haircuts.  Just a plain blank canvas.  The only mystery is the serial number although it means nothing at all.

Maybe a few other bands can let their music speak louder then their cover.

Posted in 1968, The Beatles, White Album | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

1968 Jose Feliciano Feliciano!

Posted by talesinthesun on December 2, 2008

The next entry is another album from 1968.  This breaks my norm since most of the other entries are more cartoonish and still.  George Bartell did the cover for this album of cover songs for Jose Feliciano. 

Bartell is known for his art that shows motion but the subject is usually cars.  He worked on many of the ads for the Shelby Cobra, Daytona Coupes and GT40’s.  Many of the ads were used since phorographs of the cars were not available.

Posted in 1968, George Bartell, Jose Feliciano | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

1968 Thelonius Monk Underground

Posted by talesinthesun on December 2, 2008

1969-thelonius-monk-undergroundThis is the first of many Thelonius Monk’s  covers that I like.  You will see more posted here in the next few weeks as an entry as well as listed in the years tabs above. 

Underground was released in 1968 and the art work by John Berg and Richard Mantel for art director and Horn/Griner Studio for photography.  John Berg was the art director of Coumbia between 1961 and 1985.  He oversaw projects for Chicago, Bob Dylan and Barbara Streisand as well as the Bruce Springsteen Born to Run fold out cover.  A good article can be seen at the AIGA website.

Richard Mantel worked at Columbia, Atlantic Records, Mosaic Records as well as doing countless magazine covers, covers of many reissue albums and poster for events such as The Hampton Classic. 

If you have some time look at the cover and enlarge and see how many meanings you get get from the art work and images.

Posted in 1968, John Berg, Richard Mantel, Thelonius Monk | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

1975 Freddie Hubbard Liquid Love

Posted by talesinthesun on December 2, 2008

1975-freddie-hubbard-liquid-loveFreddie Hubbard was a jazz trumpeteeer getting his start in 1958 and then appeared on his or others albums  through 2003.  Hubbard appeared with the jazz greats including MIles Davis, Thelonius Monk, Herbie Hancock and on and on.

For this album, the artwork was created by Lou Beach.  Beach created countless album covers using his collage method.  Other covers include David Sanborn, BLink 182 and Weird al Yonkovic.  Oddly enough the Liquid Love cover does not appear on his website.  It may be due to his dislike of the large lettering that he said overpowered the image.  Even with the large typography, the art is what caught my eyeand make this cover one of my favorites.

Posted in 1975, Freddie Hubbard, Lou Beach | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »