The widow Cobain has always given, as a meal to the media, transgressive (mostly trash) images of herself, that were in any way linked to rock sound of his recordings. With this album, the rebellion music and the human musician went to knock on a dreamy cover, almost paradisaic, in which is portrayed in a pinky atmosphere a winking Courtney Love. To strengthen this (fake) icon of sweetness a pair of wings is put on his back; Courtney is angelical for her characteristics too: she’s blonde and she’s got blue eyes. The only “R’n’R” thing is a stylistic electric guitar scribbled on with a red crayon. Moreover, the sense of love and purity of the illustration goes perfectly well with the surname of the artist. The image (thanks to a very ’60s font ) has an impact and a very considerable appeal…beautiful to see and excellent technique in the design (the picture is signed
bottom left). A creative grace that unfortunately isn’t balanced by equal quality sound tracks.
Among the many covers in which painting has given a touch of originality and strong surrealism, stands one of the most famous: “Nursery Cryme “(1971) by Genesis (band that included two strong personalities such as Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins). The cover in question is a disturbing picture in which a little girl is playing
croquet using instead of the usual balls, small heads! The warm colors, the fantastic atmosphere and a touch of the artist made this cover one of the best known of the ’70s, an icon of progressive rock…a myth so that the original cover was stolen by thieves. The author of this masterpiece Paul Whitehead is one of the undisputed masters of album arts world and creator of many cover spread over thirty years of career (Le Orme, Van Der Graaf Generator, etc. …). His works are always different stylistically, but recognizable in atmosphere.
This cover fully reflects the blend pop-art and music, indeed on a completely white background stands a yellow banana designed Andy Warhol. A work of art donated to music? Not only. On the cover, next to the fruit, stand the words “Peel slowly and see”, a pointed out that the banana was actually a sticker on the cover which, if lifted,
showed a psychedelic pink banana just peeled! One outcome absolutely in style with the language of art by Warhol, which will influence many other artists in the years to come.
In the 80’s exploded at a technical-graphical level the use of the airbrush, after the computer was not yet widespread so the creatives (like their predecessors) relied mainly with brushes and acrylics. The beautiful cover belong to this strand painting and carries the signature of Mark Ryden who, taking cue from the title of the disc, shows the inside of a garage in which a man repairs a huge guitar, a Fender Stratocaster (Beck’s one), while in the street a van is taking away an already repaired. The interior of the space also shows huge pallets, giant picks and speakers, pedals and a billboard on which are written the names of the owners of the shop: Jeff Beck, Terry
Bozzio and Tony Hymas, the authors of the album.
Stanley Donwood explains how he creates art for Radiohead
The “gimmick covers” had the particularity of using materials from the newspaper as textiles, metals and board details. In this special strand must be filled the cover of “Sticky Fingers ” by Rolling Stones, created by Craig Braun on concept and photos by the pop artist Andy Warhol already coverist for the Velvet Underground. The cover shows a close-up of a pair of jeans (this vision unleashed the wrath of many shopkeepers who refused to put the album on their shelves); the particularity of this artwork is represented by the zip applied on the photo. This one is in fact a real zip, beyond which are the slip of the model (the sexy-known actor Joe Dallesandro from Warhol’s factory). This layer, beyond a curious creative fiction, has also an important protective function because the zip could scratch the vinyl content inside (specifically the track “Sister Morphine”). The cover of “Stiky Fingers” is remembered by the fans of the British band thanks to another trick chart, as appeared on the back for the first time the famous red tongue, which will become the icon of the band.