album covers

Fantastic Album Covers Illustrated by Kids

There’s something endlessly charming and fascinating about seeing the world through a child’s eyes, especially when it comes to all things pop culture. Ah, their uncorrupt hearts. Artist Jon F. Allen tipped us off to this fun Tumblr of album cover art by kids. While the submissions seem to have slowed to a crawl, we couldn’t resist the magic of these marker and crayon versions of music’s finest. Energetic scribbles, stick people, and bright colors make everything better. … Read More

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DIY Record Covers, Zines, and Posters from the ‘70s Punk and Reggae Movement

The fine folks at Boo-Hooray and Milk Gallery have partnered for an exhibition of DIY record cover art in New York City. The focus of DIY OR DIE! is geared toward the ‘70s punk scene in the US, UK, and Australia, as well as the Jamaican Dub/Ska/Rocksteady movement. The original paste-ups of punk fanzines from the collections of John Ingham (the music journalist who first interviewed The Sex Pistols), Geoffrey Weiss (whose record collection would make a grown person weep), and Bruce Griffiths (of Aberrant Records fame) are also on display, along with hand-printed punk posters created between 1976 and 1983. As if this treasure trove weren’t enough, Milk will also feature original stencils from the Crass archive. As the gallery explains: “These stencils are the ground zero of recent urban wall art. They were hand cut and utilized to full effect for the détournement of advertising billboards on the London Underground. They were also the origin for the backs of tens of thousands of punker leather motorcycle jackets.” If handmade silkscreens, stencils, and angsty collages on 12 and 7-inch vinyl sleeves are your happy place, stop by the gallery through August 10 to check out DIY OR DIE!. Here’s a teaser — highlighting covers for The Residents, Sun Ra, and more — to whet your appetite. … Read More

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Iconic Album Covers Recreated With Socks

Now this is an entertaining way to spend laundry day. Neatorama pointed us towards The Sock Covers, a very clever Tumblr devoted to recreating famous and iconic album covers with, you guessed it, socks. Sure, it’s not high art, but it’s goofy and cute and irreverent in all the right ways — if a sock-version of Warhol’s iconic banana on The Velvet Underground & Nico doesn’t make you at least crack a smile, well, we just don’t know what to tell you. In addition, we have to say that we’re rather impressed by the anonymous author’s collection of socks. Click through to check out a few of our favorites from the project, and then head on over to The Sock Covers to see some more for yourself. … Read More

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Famous Album Covers Photographed in the NYC Locations Where They Were Shot

Bob Egan isn’t the only person who’s photographing famous album covers superimposed over the locations where they were shot — in fact, the idea has become so popular that even advertisers have picked up on it — but he’s certainly doing more thorough research for his project than anyone else we’ve seen. At his website, PopSpots, Egan chronicles the detective work he does to find these places, providing multiple photos and maps that both show his process and help readers place the image within the city. While most of the covers (and other famous rock ‘n’ roll pictures) are from New York City, where Egan is a real estate agent, he’s also tracked Bob Dylan and The Who to London. See a few of our favorite PopShots photos below, and visit the site for a whole lot more. … Read More

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Duane Dalton’s Elegantly Redesigned ‘Album Anatomy’

You might be tempted to lump in Duane Dalton’s Album Anatomy series with the many “minimalist” renderings of pop-culture icons and artifacts that have flooded the Internet. But the Dublin-based designer is actually doing something a bit more interesting than many of his peers, pushing all the information about the record to the top and bottom of the image and using the center space to illustrate his own experience of it. Dalton writes that the project is “an exploration in the art of reduction. It breaks down album imagery into its purist [sic] form by discarding any unnecessary information. This is achieved using a strict grid that displays the relevant album details, which leaves a central void to convey a response to the album. This void is filled by my personal response to an album. It can be influenced by a key track, the cover art or the overall flavour of the album.” Click through to view some of our favorite Album Anatomy redesigns, and visit Dalton’s website to see many more. … Read More

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Alternate Album Covers Inspired by the Experience of Listening to Music

The best album covers reveal something about the records they decorate. But graphic designer Simon C. Page, who has made sleeves for artists including Ministry of Sound and the Crystal Method, takes that connection even further with a series he calls Musically Inspired Album Covers. “This year I have been asked to create more and more album covers, which I love doing, but I noticed that the ones which I wanted to work on most were the ones where I had been inspired or moved by the music,” Page writes at his website. “The artwork here has been created, influenced and inspired by just listening to the music. ” See what hearing the Avalanches, Daft Punk, and more looks like in some of our favorite covers from the collection, then visit Flickr to see the entire series. … Read More

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15 Weird and Beautiful Collaged Album Covers

To many, collage is an under-appreciated art form – perhaps merely because often it’s too accessible to be considered Capital-A Art. After all, every semi-creative teenage girl’s walls will inevitably become a massive collage, and even in our age of recycling and DIY, there is often an establishment resistance to art that is built out of the art of others. There’s also a movement for exactly that idea, of course. Regardless, we love us some collage, and since music is ultimately nothing but a very grand tonal collage anyway (Girl Talk aside), we think album covers are the perfect vehicle for this particular form. These album covers, created from found paper, disparate ideas, reassembled photographs and pieced-together letters, manage to be strange, lovely, and completely apt all at once. Click through for 15 of our favorite collaged album covers, and let us know your own favorites in the comments! … Read More

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Hip Hop’s Craziest Art: The Best Pen & Pixel Album Covers

We’ll admit it: while we admire the lyrical genius displayed on Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and the musical elasticity of Big Boi’s Sir Lucious Left Foot, we have a certain soft spot in our heart for the halcyon, pre-recession days of southern rap. You know, when three cars were always better than two, and rappers whose names we can no longer recall sported Rolexes the size of Rick Ross.

This is why, when news reached us recently that Lil’ Romeo was relaunching that paragon of hedonisitc dirty south rap, No Limit Records, under the online-distribution-only moniker of No Limit Forever Records, we immediately became nostalgic for that very thing which online-only distribution obviates: the tactile CD experience, and in particular No Limit’s over-the-top cover art. While few may know Pen & Pixel, the Houston-based art studio responsible for many of the label’s most memorable covers, by name, its unique style is synonymous with extravagant rap excess. (The studio’s motto is, after all, “We do CD covers, posters, flyers, websites, videos & logos and still find time for sex.”)  So, in tribute to No Limit, we’ve gathered up ten of our favorite Pen & Pixel album cover creations. … Read More

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10 Wondrous Drug-Themed Album Covers

When you name your mixtape Cocaine Waitress, you’d better have the artwork to back it up. And thanks to The Awl, we now know exactly what the cover to that album, by the Atlanta rapper Diamond, looks like. It is so deadpan wonderful that it made us think about all the other incredible drug-themed record covers we’ve seen over the years. Check out ten of our favorites, picturing everything from heroin to sizzurp, after the jump and link us to any we missed. … Read More

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