When I think back through time and consider how and when I became aware of art I think that it was initially first through music and specifically album covers. A long time before I’d come across Rothko’s signature use of colour I had been impressed by the stark minimalism of AC/DC’s Back in Black album cover. There have been a string of great artists and photographers who have designed album covers including Andy Warhol, Annie Leibovitz, Peter Saville, Robert Mapplethorpe, Raymond Pettibon, Banksy, Damien Hirst, Sir Peter Blake and Jean-Michel Basquiat to name just a few. Many of the iconic images are burned into my consciousness and I can remember flicking through racks of records sometimes simply buying a record based solely on the cover design. This was not always the best policy of course but did sometimes turn up some gems. As we have moved across to the digital age the art design associated with a record has reduced and I don’t remember covers in the same way I used to which I find a bit sad.
Alongside the album cover artists were also involved in designing flyposters for gigs, often a gig poster didn’t display much other than name of band and venue and this is still often the case today but sometimes beautiful images were produced and at the moment in Gallery Munro House there is an exhibition of lovely original screen printed gig posters (all of which are available to buy at very reasonable prices). I loved the vibrancy of many of the designs, particularly those of the Manic Street Preachers, Queens of the Stone Age and Public Service Broadcasting. I liked the way, wondering round the exhibition, that in the same way album covers remind me instantly of the sound of the band these posters transported me to the live venues where I’d seen many of the bands on display. The exhibition finishes on Saturday I believe so you’ll need to be quick to catch it now but if you are in Leeds over the next couple of days, like your art and music then it’s well worth popping in.
Click through the gallery and let me know which ones you liked and also which album covers made an impression on you.