When sleeves were first illustrated, designs were cheaper, but photos joined them soon, then it became a hallmark for many classical labels to use existing paintings. That is a “found” category rsather than a commissioned category.
Roger Dean (Yes, Asia et al) would be a separate category on his own and there are whole books of his stuff. Also, he is known first as a sleeve designer. It’s his day job. Similarly Bob Cato another great sleeve designer, mainly did sleeves. This is about illustration, not design.
Is this found and adapted, or was it commissioned?
Robert Crumb became known for illustrating underground comics in the 1960s, such as Zap Comix which he illustrated entirely. His creations include Fritz The Cat, Mr Natural and the Keep On Truckin’ strip.
The LP sleeve that pulled him into LP sleeve work was Cheap Thrills by Big Brother & The Holding Company, one of the dozen framed albums that adorn my walls.
His love has always been authentic folk / folk-blues and he’s done around twenty sleeves, including some for his own records and his own blues compilations. First up was Earl Hooker in 1972, done for the specialst British label, Red Lightning..
Also in 1972, he designed the sleeve for Good ToneRecords, and they released it as a 78 rpm 10″ record. R. Crumb is the singer on this track.
The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers writer and artist. He dd two notable ones.
Shelton spent 1980-1981 in Barcelona, producing a marvellous LP sleeve for Gato Perez (Spain only).
Shelton also does his own compilations:
Milton Glaser was the guy who designed the I Love NY logo. His many 50s jazz and classical LP covers are iconic. In 1963 he came up with this dsign for Black Moonlight &Sunshine, a trad jazz LP by Monty Sunshine. The style pre-dates mid-60s English styles. He was highly influential. He designed hundreds of album covers including Music From Big Pink and There Goes Rhymin’ Simon, but apart from design, he illustrated and nearly always signed his own illustrations.His style is strong, distinctive and much copied.
Alan Aldridge was head of design at Penguin books, producing some of their most iconic book covers in the late 60s, as well as being the author of The Penguin Book of Comics. The Who’s A Quick One comes at the same time as his book covers.
Aldridge was also a designer, but this only covers his illustration (he designed Family Entertainment by Family, and Goodbye Cream among others).
Under The Jasmin Tree: Modern Jazz Quartet, Apple 1968
One of the rare Apple albums by other artists.
Groovin’ With Mr Bloe 1970
He did Elton John’s Captain Fatastic & The Brown Dirt Cowboy in 1975, wqith a total concept including centre label and inserts.
Captain Fantastic and The Brown Dirt Cowboy
The Butterfly Ball, 1975
It accompanied a book.
Everybody Loves A Happy Ending: Tears For Fears, 2004
Scarfe is the best-known. That would be because of his work for Pink Floyd, extending to concert props. They first used him in 1974, when the programme for their tour in the UK and US, was designed as a comic with a centre spread showing the band.
One of his earliest was on the back sleeve of Love Me, Love My Friends by Paul Jones in 1967:
Shouts Across The Street
In 1976 he did the sleeve for Alan Price’s Shouts Across The Street, including his distinctive hand-lettering on the reverse:
I would expect the Scarfe sleeve to uplift the secondhand value of the album considerably (I paid £3.50) but though there are speculative £200 mint copies out there, most seem to settle around £20 which is about normal for a sought-after artist’s lesser known albums, It doesn’t even get into Rare Record Guide’s list. It has his trademark ‘whole concept’ down to handwritten credits.
He did a music video for Welcome To The Machine and projected clips for their 1977 In The Flesh Tour.
The Wall project resulted in a myriad of posters, adverts, stage show material as well as the elaborate sleeve.
Scarfe did the whole, including hand lettered lyrics.
centre labels gallery (click to enlarge)
and the posters … gallery
A classical departure in 1982:
The Pros and Cons of Hitch-Hiking
British cartoonist, best known internationally for his illustrations for Rolling Stone to accompany the writings of Hunter S. Thompson, such as Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas and Fear and Loathing On The Campaign Trail. He also did the spoiken voice album covers:
Like Gerald Scarfe and Alan Aldridge it was ‘design the lot’ including lettering. When we go back to 1967, he was doing a Who 7″ single picture sleeve that was never used in the UK or USA. The example is Norwegian. It looks like Polydor commissioned a base Who design that they could recycle.
He goes back a long way! This is NOT a complete selection either/
Streetnoise: Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity, 1969
Paul Brett: Phoenix Future 1975
Spoken voice series … Charisma, gallery 1983
Peter Arlott Talks Cricket
Peter O’Sullivan Talks Turf
Ambrosia: Road Island 1982
Juvenile Delinquent: Alexis Korner, 1984
Closed on Account of Rabies: Edgar Allen Poe
Have I Offended Someone? Frank Zappa
The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent & Depraved … Hunter S. Thompson spoken word 2012, gallery
Huncho Jack: Jack Huncho 2017
The London Sessions series
A fine selection of late 60s / early 70s British artwork. I’d frame them if I could find frames to take the full gatefold.
They’re included because sleeve-design aa not their main work.