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Album Art

When gramophone records first hit the stores in the late nineteenth century they were wrapped in nondescript brown paper. It was not until 1938 that record companies started putting art on record covers. At first, classical art was often put on the covers and the art was not original. However, it soon became clear that original art had the powerful potential to boost sales.

Throughout the 1940s to 1980s album art was one of the most important selling points of albums. Talented photographers, illustrators and artists such as Andy Warhol, H.R. Giger and Robert Crumb were recruited to create original album art.

From the early 1980s to early 1990s cassette tapes dominated music sales and album art suffered as cassettes were too small to be an effective medium for art. With the growth of CDs in the early 1990s this situation improved. However, most album art aficionados still feel that the days of LP records were the golden age of album art.

Today, Mp3 downloads dominate music sales and album art in various resolutions is generally included with legal downloads.


Album Art

Album art has the power to inspire and most people have a favorite LP cover, CD jacket or digital album art that seems to match the music perfectly.

On August 8th, 1969 at 11:30 on a bright sunny morning outside Abbey Road Studios in Westminster, London photographer Iain Macmillan was given 10 minutes to capture a photo for a new Beatles album.
The cover is a collage of more than 60 famous people. Most of the people selected for the collage were requested by The Beatles. For example, George Harrison requested the three Hindu gurus who appear in the collage.

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