Welcome to a new series of posts I'm going to be doing on some of the best album sleeves that I own. A good album sleeve can be enough to make me buy the album regardless of the band (up to a point!), and there's no better way to see these sleeves that on an LP, so that's where all of these albums come from - my record collection.
I'm not claiming these are the best record sleeves ever, and nor do I claim to be an art critic, but these are the ones that have always impressed me the most. I've got some shockers too, so I'll be dragging those out too, to shame the guilty parties.
Here's the first, and arguably my favourite...
Chuck Berry's On Stage LP is one of many donated to me by my Dad (thanks pops!), and I've always been struck by the brilliant simplicity of this sleeve. It immediately says legend, and the font colours are exactly the right side of showy, without being gaudy. The white sleeve has faded a lot since it was bought by my Dad in 1963, but the signature of the sleeve designer is still there on the bottom left hand corner of the front cover. It's a proper signature so is difficult to read, and the brief credits on the back don't even list the producer or any other musicians, let alone the guy who put the sleeve together, so I can't be sure who it was. Jan Breustei? Ian Houster? Hmmm...no, I don't know who it was.
The album has some of Berry's best known songs, including Memphis, Tennessee, Maybelline and Brown Eyed Handsome Man, but these posts aren't really about the music. It's all about the art, man.