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Stephen Kroninger
Illustrated Record Sleeves
posted:

Album covers are one of the lost arts of the previous century. Their 12 inch by 12 inch format was ideal for illustrators  to present their work to a wider audience. Often the contents of the record and the cover art were inseparable in the mind of the consumer. Looking at the cover art for a favored album immediately starts the recording itself playing in one's head. I don't know of a comporable format for illustrators in today's market. I skipped a lot of musical genres since many of those covers have been collected in books (see links at the botton of this page).
 The lps here are from my own collection. My records now mostly take up up closet space. My turntable has been gathering dust for over a decade.
In previous posts I spotlighted the record sleeve art of Gary Panter and Cal Shenkel. I started this post some time ago and kept coming back to it. lt got a lot larger than I originally intended it to be. Very few of the records depicted here made the transition to cds and of those that did fewer retained the original artwork. The popularity of digital formats has made the association between the graphic arts and recordings all but disappear..
 I trust there's something of interest to be found here for all designers and illustrators. Think of it as a box of records.
 I'll begin with a few Jack Davis covers that don't appear in the new anthology Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture: a Career Retrospective.

Jack Davis 1964
front

Jack Davis (1965)
back


Jack Davis (1958)

Jack Rickard (1966)

Tomi Ungerer (1964)

Everett Aison (1961)

John Alcorn (1974)

uncredited (1973)

Charles Gehm (1975)


Guy Peelaert (1976)
Farmett, Barsanti & assoc. (1969)

Saul Bass (1980)

Leo Kouper (1959, rereleased 1970s)
Ajay (1949)

Frank Tashlin (1946)

uncredited (1949)

uncredited (1946)

uncredited (1952)
front

Ed Nofziger (1956)
back


uncredited (1954)

uncredited (1986)

 William S. Harvey  (1956)


Emory Douglas (1969)
front

Mark Beyer (1989)
back

front

Mark Beyer (1989)
back


uncredited (1951)

uncredited (1952)

front

Ray Gonsalves/Smith-Clippinger & Assoc. (1960)
back

Alexander (1961)

Dick Hendler (1965)


Basset Hand Graphics (1969)

Warren Linn (1971)

Mort Drucker (1971)

Gilbert Stone (1972)
front

Bill Hickson (1976)
back

Mike Byron (1976)

Nick Taggart (1978)
Promotional pinback


uncredited (1962)

uncredited (1962)

Leo and Diane Dillon (1960)
Volume 2



Fritz Eichenberg (1969)

Hiram Ash (1956)

uncredited (1965)

Robert Osborn (1967)

Al Hirschfeld (1953)

Fritz Eichenberg (1958)

Russo (1963)
front

Russo (1964)
back


uncredited (1959)

uncredited (1957)


Antonio Frasconi (1957)

Antonio Frasconi (1952)

uncredited (1961)

Sally Stillman (1973)
David Levine (1964)


Leo and Diane Dillon (1959)
Leo and Diane Dillon (1961)

Leo and Diane Dillon (1961)
Joseph Low (1957)

John Solie (1975)

Art Director: J. J. Stelmach
front
back


front
back


Alan Saret (1973) Philip Glass: Music In Similar Motion/Music In Fifths

Milton Glaser (1979)

Sol Lewitt (1974)
Milton Glaser (1980)
front
Joe Davis (1981)
back

John Cage (1978)

uncredited (1960) for more of this type Project Thirty-Three

Saul Bolasni (1955)
Tom Allen (1957)
Ben Shahn (1958)
front
uncredited (1962)
back


Paul Davis (1976)

Linne? (1958)
Tom Allen (1964)
Wattley (1954)
Carroll (1963)
front

Milton Glaser (1969, rereleased 1977)
back

front
Milton Glaser (1978)
back

William Stout (1981)
front

Robert Crumb (1978)
back


 R. Crumb: The Complete Record Cover Collection gathers every album sleeve he’s done to date, along with tons of posters and other music-related ephemera.



Robert Crumb (1973)
front

Robert Crumb (1978)
back


Jean Cocteau (1952)
 To close out this post, album covers featuring illustrations by Edward Lear and John Tenniel. The records were released in 1957 and 1959.





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