Way back when there were such things, I used to spend hours studying album covers, poring over them for every nuance and detail.
Before there were music videos they were a kind of visual aid, but they were also a portal into another world entirely.
Especially post-punk when the overblown gatefold sleeves of the 70s gave way to a post-modern orgy of graphics that had rarely had anything to do with the music.
The cover for Ian Dury’s ‘Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick’ was one of my favorites. It was by Barney Bubbles who created so many covers for Stiff Records. One blogger called his cover for Elvis Costello’s ‘Armed Forces’ his Sistine Chapel.
Bubbles killed himself but is now, finally, celebrated in a fabulous book with the bittersweet title ‘Reasons To Be Cheerful’.