I came across the Keyboard Masher website the other day and beyond it being home to some great mixes and edits and a couple of tracks for your downloading pleasure they have a decent archive of some of their favourite sleeves from their collection. I've always been taken by record sleeves every since I was a young lad leafing through my dad's collection and being taken in by all the die-cuts, colours and printing even though if memory serves me correctly they were all prog rock bands committing heinous crimes against fashion (and some would argue music).
I remember seeing a copy of New Order 'Blue Monday' in it's original die-cut form when I was 5 or 6 and thinking that it was the done thing for all record sleeves to look that way and then years later being quite excited when I found out the story that Peter Saville designed the sleeve under Tony Wilson's 'money is no object' brief and even though it's one of the biggest selling 12"s of all-time it ended up costing more to produce than they were able to recoup from sales. No wonder half of the records that come out nowadays come in generic disco bags and have nothing to do with Mr. Saville, which is a pity really. I most certainly hold firm in the belief that the 12" format is still the best one for records both aesthetically and artistically and I'm sure that just about any designer you'd care to mention would agree wholeheartedly, that and have you ever tried to roll a joint off an .mp3? Exactly.
I've chosen a few examples from Keyboard Masher and a couple of examples from my collection taking in some of the better sleeves from the past couple of years. I think you'll agree that they don't make them like they used to.
Getting Keith Haring to design your record sleeve can't be a bad thing, can it?
FROM MY COLLECTION
And a post about sleeve art without a Fela piece would be wrong.