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Crackle And Pop: Paintings as Inspiration for Vinyl Record Covers

Are you one of those people who love photographs that are inspired by paintings? I am! But being crazy about vinyl records and album cover design what I love the most is when the same happens with vinyl record covers. Read on to see some beautiful examples!

There are some stunning examples of photography projects that are inspired by paintings. There was even an article here in the Lomography Magazine a few months ago about a beautiful series of photographs of Julianne Moore inspired by various paintings and shot by the photographer Peter Linderbergh.

I love these kind of projects, and being a vinyl record lover/collector and a former art-student who has always loved art history, I especially love finding such examples in vinyl record cover design.

The fist time I saw a vinyl record cover inspired by a painting I was blown away! It was the album See Jungle! See Jungle! Go Join Your Gang, Yeah. City All Over! Go Ape Crazy (yeah I know, crazy title, but great album!) by the band Bow Wow Wow, released in 1981:

Photo via Sleevage

As you can see, the cover is a beautiful photographic rendition of Manet’s painting The Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l’herbe):

Photo via Sleevage

When it was released, the album cover stirred quite a lot of controversy and the lead singer, Annabella Lwin, almost had to quit the band because of it. She was 14 years old at the time and after seeing the photo her mother filed an alleged exploitation of a minor case for immoral purposes and brought on a Scotland Yard investigation. Because of that, the band was only allowed to leave the U.K. after their manager Malcolm McLaren (you may know him for having been the Sex Pistol’s manager) promised he would not promote Annabella as a “sex kitten” thus agreeing not to use the Manet-inspired photo. However, although the photo was not used as the album cover in the U.K. and U.S. it was still used in some European countries.

Ever since I saw that Bow Wow Wow vinyl record I’ve looked around for other album covers inspired by paintings and there are some beautiful examples! These are the ones I’ve found so far:

Cold Chisel’s album East inspired by Jacques-Louis David’s Death Of Marat:

Jackson Brown’s Late For The Sky inspired by, one of my all-time favorite paintings, René Magritte’s The Empire of Lights (L’Empire des lumières):

Styx’s Grand Illusion inspired by René Magritte’s Blank Check:

Ian Hunter’s self-titled album inspired by M.C. Escher’s Humanity:

What about you? Do you know of any other album covers that were inspired by famous paintings? If so, please leave a comment below and let me know!

Crackle And Pop is a weekly series written by Carlota, a Portuguese graphic designer and vinyl record lover and collector. It is aimed at everyone who can’t get enough of vinyl records and that wonderful crackling and popping sound old vinyl records make!

written by carlota_nonnumquam

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