Once again, from the innovative to the iconic, let’s visit and revisit three of our favourite music album cover art.
The artwork for Mylo Xyloto was a collaboration among Coldplay, graphic design team Tappin Gofton, and British street artist Paris 1974. The band originally enlisted Paris to teach them graffiti techniques. After six months of research, they together created a massive graffiti wall in their London recording studio. The album art is a photograph of that wall. Lead singer Chris Martin said the album, and clearly the album’s art as well, was inspired by ‘old school American graffiti’ and the White Rose, a non-violent, intellectual resistance group in Nazi Germany who became known through a graffiti campaign.
70s funk band Sly and the Family Stone couldn’t have picked a better cover to sum up the overall sound of their 1973 album Fresh. The now iconic photograph of bandleader Sly Stone was taken by legendary photographer Richard Avedon, and it perfectly brings together the two seemingly disparate ideals that made the album so important. Yes, both the cover art and the material that make up Fresh proved to the world that funk music can be stripped down to an almost bare minimalism and still be as funky and full of attitude as ever before.
This is one of the first albums I remember playing with – literally, I must have been 4 or 5. This was a live album cut at the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin in 1973 over 3 nights of performances. The cover, naturally, is a sea of armadillos surging in waves among microphones and amps. The artwork was by Jim Franklin, a Texas artist who, last we heard, was living in a cave in France. Whether or not this was an actual cave or a wine cellar, I don’t know. My dad booked all of the talent for several years at the Armadillo and says this was by far one of his favourite shows. Rolling Stone once called this the best live album ever. I believe it. Definitely one of my favourite albums and album covers!