Have you ever wondered who Jay Z was emulating on the cover of The Blueprint? How about the names of the happy couple on the cover of Tom Waits‘ Rain Dogs? Or where that old, creepy watermill on the front of Black Sabbath’s self-titled LP is located?
When it comes to albums, the music may be the main attraction, but the artwork serves a larger purpose than just catching eyes on iTunes and in record stores. Musicians may spend months seeking out a perfect visual motif to represent their music (Kanye’s blank jewel-case for the stripped-down Yeezus comes to mind), or they may take the opportunity to collaborate with an artist in creating a cover that stands alone as a work of art (like Andy Warhol’s celebrated The Velvet Underground and Nico). Album artwork becomes part of the full story of the record, but much of the artwork on the cover of records has a story all it’s own.
Enter Art of Album Covers; a Tumblr blog, by a 20-year-old music enthusiast named Tevin, that tracks down and catalogues the origins of famous album designs. The blog is truly absorbing, showing high resolution images of each familiar album directly below it’s pre-manipulation inspiration, as well as the names of original pieces, artists, photographers, models, locations, and even interesting factoids, when available (Did you know Vampire Weekend’s latest cover was from the smoggiest day in NYC’s history?). See some of our favorite albums and inspirations below, and visit the blog’s archive for the full list!
[Source: Pigeons & Planes]