Covered – Classic Record Sleeves & Their Imitators – Music Book
You’re browsing through some albums or CDs and all of a sudden one crops up which causes a moment of recognition and a “haven’t I seen this cover before somewhere?” The answer is that you might well have done.
For just as popular music of the present day seems to rifle the albums and bands of earlier generations, so the sleeve designers also often lean on the past for inspiration.
Sometimes this is done by way of a deliberate reference point. In other cases the band might be wanting to pay homage to their influences, or peers.
It might simply be that they have just seen an old cover which they like so much they want to borrow it.
On other occasions the similarities are less well intended, designed to mimic or (dare we say it) even poke fun at classic designs and bands.
Sometimes the new covers are simply a deliberate spoof of a well-known piece of artwork, done for subversive or mischievous reasons.
So you get Ian Gillan of Deep Purple, just kicked out of the group and understandably angry at them, referencing one of his former band’s classic covers, but highlighting himself and blurring away the rest of the group on purpose.
Then there is comedian Barry Humphries commissioning a very clever pastiche of the familiar Sound Of Music album cover, only with himself in a frock dancing up the hill instead of Julie Andrews.
Paul Weller’s former band The Jam did an album called Sound Affects, and wanted a cover which recalled the pioneering series of BBC Radio sound effects albums of the sixties, a knowing design which only older fans would have even been aware of.
Perhaps one of the most famous examples is that of the Clash single London Calling, which brought together a photograph of the arch Punks trashing their guitars and lettering lifted from an early iconic Elvis Presley sleeve.
The list goes on. For this fascinating book, Belgian based collector Jan Bellekens has scoured the second hand stores and record fairs of Europe and assembled an amazing collection, of which this book contains a selection of over 650 sleeves.
The original covers are shown alongside their newer cousins, with explanatory notes for music fans and designers.
Paperback: 159 pages