100 Best Album Covers

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9780789449511: 100 Best Album Covers

From the psychedelia of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's to the quirky social commentary of Nirvana's Nevermind, some of the most memorable, groundbreaking images of the last five decades have graced the covers of rock albums. DK's 100 Best Album Covers presents the cream of the cover crop, chosen by legendary designer Storm Thorgerson (the creator of celebrated sleeves for Pink Floyd, among other artists) and presented in DK's brilliant lexicographic style. No other album cover compilation comes close to 100 Best Album Covers in showing -- and telling -- the "stories behind the sleeves." The ideal gift for music lovers of all ages.

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Review:

The immediate question that arises with a book entitled 100 Best Album Covers is, of course, "Says who?" Wisely, authors Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell have anticipated such widespread suspicion. In their thorough and amusing introduction, the two former cover designers (of Hipgnosis) go on at length about potentially qualifying factors (innovation, humor, bizarreness, minimalism, audacity) and possible reasons for nonselection (popularity, dull illustration, ugly technique, emotional offensiveness). But, they concede, what it really comes down to is a matter of taste--with a bit of nostalgia thrown into the mix.

In the end, the mysterious (and eternally debatable) selection formula matters not. The history, inspiration, and technical design details provided for each of the 100 covers that made the cut serve as reason enough for their inclusion. Did you know that Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy cover was inspired by Arthur C. Clarke's novel, Childhood's End?? Or that the burning man on Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here was actually on fire (and in a bit of danger)? Or that an original idea for Supertramp's Breakfast in America was to depict cereal and milk rolling through the Grand Canyon? Tasty tidbits like these, along with quotes from designers, photographers, and the musicians themselves, make this a must-have volume for music fans--yes, even if your personal top 100 covers would constitute an entirely different collection. --Brangien Davis

About the Author:

Together with co-author Aubrey Powell, Storm Thorgerson founded the influential 1960s Hipgnosis design studio. He is the creative genius behind some of rock music's best-known and most compelling album covers, including several classic Pink Floyd sleeves. Thorgerson has had five of his cover designs included in the 100 classic album covers chosen by the editors of Rolling Stone magazine.

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