The Art of the LP: Classic Album Covers 1955-1995
Johnny Morgan and Ben Wardle
Rs 1,299, PP 400
One of the great tragedies of albums produced in India, whether of pop — which pretty much boils down to Hindi filmi soundtracks — or classical music, is that there has been no tradition of cover art or design. Film music had the badly designed pictures of the movie stars on the cover while the classical lot had some boring Mughal miniature or silly 'exotic' letterings. Not so in the West. The idea first came in 1939 from an art director at Columbia Records who designed advertising booklets. Alex Steinweiss, struck by the crashing dullness of the way records looked, decided that it could be a good idea to dress up the vinyls in a sleeve with some art work to grab attention. Album cover art was born.
The Art of the LP is a delightful compendium of classic album covers from 1955 to 1995 (although Brit band Pulp's 1997 This is Hardcore is included). Loaded with stylised info culled by music journos Johnny Morgan and Ben Wardle, it's got the usual suspects (Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon) and lesser remembered ones (Depeche Mode's A Broken Frame).
Judge this book by the covers. Watch Out