We are taught not to judge a book by its cover, but does the same ring true for a record. Art historian Francesco Spampinato’s book Art Record Covers is a giant collection of works from the 1950s to the present day. It explores how modernism, pop art, conceptual art and postmodernism all informed the visual identity of music, creating eye-catching covers that stuck out on record store shelves.
Art Record Covers provides analyses and facts on records such as Jean-Michel Basquiat’s urban hieroglyphs for the hip hop single ‘Beat Bop’, Banksy’s stencils for Blur, Damien Hirst’s skull for the Hours, and Salvador Dalí’s skewered butterfly on Jackie Gleason’s Lonesome Echo.
There are also interviews with artists and musicians such as Tauba Auerbach, Shepard Fairey, Kim Gordon, Christian Marclay, Albert Oehlen, and Raymond Pettibon. If you’re interested in knowing why you bought all those records without a pre-listen, this book is for you.