Book Suggestion: The Art of the LP: Classic Album Covers 1955-1995


The book suggestion of this week is very inspiring, especially for those out there fans of LPs. The book is called The Art of the LP: Classic Album Covers 1955-1995 and it has a great variety of cover design styles from punk rock to pop all divided by thematic chapters.

Sexy, provocative, playful, beautiful: from their earliest days, LP covers have been objects of art and fascination. This celebration of album artistry presents more than 350 of the best covers, and departs from the usual approach by organizing the images by visual theme. Many of us remember the iconic album-cover images that defined our collective and individual histories—such as the smoldering pinup girl on the Cars’ Candy-O, the plaintive baby following a dollar bill through water on Nirvana’s Nevermind, and Andy Warhol’s controversial zippered pants on the Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers. From perennial classics to lesser-known gems, here is the LP art that shook, rattled, and rolled us through music’s early formative years.

The thematic chapters include:

  • Art: Ornette Coleman, Empty Foxhole; The Sex Pistols, Never Mind the Bollocks; Santana, Abraxas
  • Death: Otis Redding, History of Otis Redding; Frank Zappa, Hot Rats; Ice Cube, Kill At Will; Metallica, Master of Puppets
  • Drugs: The Beatles, Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; The Monkees, Head; Thelonious Monk, Underground; Peter Tosh, Bush Doctor
  • Ego: Frank Sinatra, No One Cares; Astrud Gilberto, Nothing Better To Do; Joni Mitchell, Clouds; LL Cool J, Mama Said Knock You Out; Bjork, Debut
  • Escape: Johnny Cash, Orange Blossom Special; Bob Dylan, Freewheelin’; Peter Gabriel, 1 (car)
  • Identity: The Jackson 5, ABC; Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon; Blondie, Parallel Lines
  • Politics: Funkadelic, America Eats Its Young; Bruce Springsteen, Born in the USA
  • Rock & Roll: Jerry Lee Lewis, Jerry Lee Lewis and His Pumping Piano; Clash, London Calling
  • Sex: The Ohio Players, Honey; Robert Palmer, Double Fun; Pulp, This Is Hardcore
  • Real World: The Allman Brothers, Brothers & Sisters; Bob Marley, Catch A Fire; Lucinda Williams, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road

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Written by

Fabio Sasso

I'm a Brazilian product designer based in Oakland, California currently working for Google as a Staff Designer. I am also the founder of Abduzeedo, an award-winning digital publication about design and a personal project that has become the source of inspiration for millions of designers and enthusiasts.