Art Sleeves: Album Covers by Artists

Rizzoli. Mar. 2021. 216p. ISBN 9780847868872. $50. DEC ARTS
This “love letter to art and music” is not an inclusive history. Unable to get permission to include some of his favorite LPs, CDs, and cassette visuals, writer/DJ Burkeman points to them in his introduction, which outlines the scope of the book (post-punk to present) with an eye to both “obscure and artisanal, hand-embellished sleeves.” An essay by pop culture critic Carlo McCormick provides a quick overview of how and when the LP cover concept originated, and the years of creativity “cojoin[ing] sight and sound” that followed. Interviews with the artists seem somewhat hit-or-miss. No matter; it’s the album art that readers will want to see—over 180 pages of it beautifully reproduced here. Aficionados will recognize many names (Jamie Reid, Peter Saville, Tauba Auerbach, etc.), but so will general audiences (Damien Hirst, Kiki Smith, Jeff Koons).
VERDICT For music and art fans alike, a look at a stunning array of high-concept packaging.
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