Total Records reveals the artists behind some of the most striking images on vinyl sleeves and takes us on a journey through the cultural history of the twentieth century. Musicians and designers have also sifted through photography’s rich history for powerful photographs to match and keep company with the music enclosed within: Anders Peterson’s classic Café Leibnitz portrait of a man nestled into a partner, stands in for Tom Waits on the cover of Swordfishtrombones; Big Star and Alex Chilton push the listener into a corner with William Eggleston’s Red Ceiling on their album Radio City; Rage Against the Machine goes for the jugular with the anonymous Vietnam War photo of the self-immolation of a Buddhist monk. Iconic images like the Abbey Road crosswalk are deeply inscribed in our collective memory, but we know few details about the photographer of the image. All of these—and more—are included in this compendium of electrifying images and the albums they grace.

Vinyl . Album . Cover . Art features stunning reproductions of every single Hipgnosis cover – 372 in total and arranged chronologically– finally does justice to the work of the most important design collective in music history, which, according to Roddy Bogawa, director of the documentary Taken by Storm (2011), ‘designed half your record collection’. Founded in 1967 by Storm Thorgerson, Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell and Peter Christopherson, Hipgnosis gained legendary status in graphic design, transforming the look of album art forever and winning five Grammy nominations for package design. Their revolutionary cover art moved away from the conventional group shots favoured by record companies of the day, resulting in the ground-breaking, often surreal designs which define the albums of many of the biggest names in the history of popular music: 10cc, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Peter Gabriel, The Police, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Paul McCartney, Robert Plant, Syd Barrett, Throbbing Gristle, T. Rex, Wings, Yes and XTC, to name but a few.

Related items