Album art that matters

500 compelling artists' covers


One of the biggest losses of music going from LPs to digital—besides the comforting click and pop sounds of a needle on vinyl—is the shrinking size of the album cover art canvases, so often illustrated with the exquisite vision of an artist or photographer.

Author Francesco Spampinato is watching out for us record lovers with his newest book, Art Record Covers (Taschen Books), a collection of 500 album covers from the 1950s to today. In it, we get a broad stroke of contemporary art—pop art, conceptual art, postmodernism—all designed to intrigue music lovers as well as entice buyers to pick up the latest release by their favorite band.

Included in the archive are important artists like Salvador Dali, Damien Hirst, Banksy, Basquiat, Robert Mapplethorpe, Kara Walker, and Andy Warhol, along with interviews with creatives such as Kim Gordon, Raymond Pettibon, Tauba Auerbach, Shepard Fairey, and Christian Marclay, talking about the collaborative relationships between the artist and the musician.

We suggest pulling out the old turntable, dusting off some of your favorite vinyl, and tripping down memory lane with this remarkable anthology of album art.


Ed Roscha Mason Williams
Music by Mason Williams, Art by Ed Ruscha


Andy Warhol Velvet Underground
Music by The Velvet Underground, Art by Andy Warhol



Music by Emanon, Art by Keith Haring



Lady Gaga by Jeffrey Koons
Music by Lady Gaga. Art by Jeffrey Koons



Patti Smith by Robert Maplethorpe
Music by Patti Smith, Art by Robert Maplethorpe



Ryan McGinley - Sigur Ros
Music by Sigur Ros, Art by Ryan McGinley



Takashi Murakami - Kayne West
Music by Kayne West, Art by Takashi Murakami



Albert Oehlen - Gastr del Sol
Music by Gastre del Sol, Art by Albert Oehlen



Sonic Youth by Gerard Richter
Music by Sonic Youth, Art by Gerard Richter



David Shrigley - Deerhoof
Music by Deerhoof, Art by David Shirgley



Arto LIndsay and Kara Walker
Music by Arto Lindsay, Art by Kara Walker



Ai Weiwei - Day & Taxi
Music by Day & Taxi, Art by Ai Weiwei’


Art Record Covers by Francesco Spampinato
Art Record Covers by Francesco Spampinato