Album Covers From The Vinyl Junkyard


I picked up this book in Oxfam yesterday. It’s a gloriously entertaining compendium of record covers from the 50s, 60s and 70s – mainly the sort of budget label fare you see in jumble sales and the less discerning charity shop. It’s a riot of colour, and kitsch as hell. But unlike those “worst album covers ever” books, it doesn’t judge. These records were what they were, and the covers reflected that. Some of the records by the likes of Martin Denny, Esquivel and Jean-Jacques Perrey are hip as hell, and probably worth a mint these days. Other acts like Chet Baker and the Shangri-las have never been considered anything other than great, as far as I’m aware. A lot of this stuff, though, is totally of its time, and some seriously rubbish, even taking changing fashions into consideration. Some are rather good, though!


There have always been folk in other professions who secretly desired to be in showbiz. My brother, a postie, is a massive fan of Allan Smethurst, the Singing Postman.


My parents couldn’t understand why we wanted to buy singles when you could have a dozen hits on one of these fine albums. Like, duh! We had loads of them, but they all disappeared off to jumble sales over the years. Legendary these days, of course!


This has to be the campest cover in the book!

Album Covers From The Vinyl Junkyard is out of print, but there are definitely copies on Amazon. It was published in 1997 by Booth-Clibborn Editions. ISBN 1861540752.


One response to “Album Covers From The Vinyl Junkyard

  1. hey check this out……

    PictureBox is pleased to announce the release of the definitive account of the best album covers of the 1970s!

    For the Love of Vinyl: The Album Art of Hipgnosis
    by Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell

    Hipgnosis was the biggest and best graphic design firm for the biggest and best bands of the 60s and 70s. Formed by Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell in London in 1968 (with the addition of Throbbing Gristle’s Peter Christopherson in 1974), Hipgnosis specialized in creative photography for the music business, making classic album covers for bands and musicians like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Electric Light Orchestra, Genesis, 10cc, Yes, Peter Gabriel, The Gods, Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Paul McCartney, Syd Barrett, Scorpions and Styx, among others. Over the course of its 15 year existence, Hipgnosis produced timeless rock iconography–everybody knows at least one Hipgnosis cover, thanks to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. The firm’s inventive takes on the themes or titles of any given album opened up a new visual language in album cover art, one in which theatrical tableaux, trick photography and logo design played notable roles. For the Love of Vinyl is the first book to survey Storm and Powell’s output in detail, focusing on more than 60 package designs–from cover to label–described with entertaining detail by the team who created them. Also included are short essays by musicians (such as Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason and artists (British Pop artist Peter Blake) and fellow designers (Paula Scher) on their favorite Hipgnosis covers, as well as previously unseen photographs and ephemera. Complementing all this material is a lengthy critical-historical text examining Hipgnosis and its legacy. For the Love of Vinyl is the rock book of 2008.

    Check it out on

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