Thursday, April 18, 2013

Groovy, mod, abstract & brilliant: classic album covers

Yesterday's post about the synesthesia involved in animating the score to the Rite of Spring put me in mind of Jive Time Records' series of blogs devoted to vintage vinyl cover art. Called "Symphonie Fantastique," their classical one boasts striking designs by such '50s and '60s stalwarts as Erik Nitsche, Erik Kirby, as Alex Steinweiss. Many of them are abstract evocations of musical motifs. Here are a few of my favorites:
Next are some examples of covers that use typography creatively and elegantly.
Jive Time Records' owner, who curates these album cover galleries, has also collected a sampler of art for Peter and the Wolf spanning many nationalities.
This last one is Japanese; I think it's my favorite! Below is a sampler from the "psychedelia" cache:
Does this last one remind anyone else of the style of Fractured Fairy Tales in the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons?


  1. These are unreal!! What a labor of love. Has anyone else noticed that, in our digital age, there's decidedly less focus on album art/packaging, etc.? It's a shame. I remember pouring over every word and getting lost in the art of a new LP. Thanks!

  2. Yeah, these are wonderful. I am partial to the first group, the ones from the 1950s, I believe. Favorites are the 1st, 2nd, 5th, 7th, and 9th on the page. I love the artistic balance that is achieved in each of these, and the colors used.

  3. Super cool! The Stravinsky Les Noches album cover is my favorite, kind of reminds me of the opening credits to the Canadian kids show "You Can't Do That on Television"

  4. It's really hard to pick a favorite out of all of these! I agree with Wilhelm, now we just stick a photo of the artist on the cover or some weird abstract photo (see Iron & Wine's new release).

  5. C'mon guys! You've already seen the caption contest picture on February 8 of this year...surely you can come up with something funny for this by now!

    LP album covers were much more fun than their little CD counterparts, and some think the sound was better then, too.

    1. Something like: "When you said we'd do something together, I was sorta thinking Disney World!"

      I loved Bullwinkle and the little squirrel!