Jan Bellekens and Simon Robinson
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Buy *Covered: Classic Sleeves and Their Imitators* by Jan Bellekens and Simon Robinsono nline

Covered: Classic Sleeves and Their Imitators
Jan Bellekens and Simon Robinson
Easy on the Eye Books
159 pages
January 2012
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Album art is a study in and of itself, and this wonderfully detailed and graphically stunning book is one of the best examples of why the genre is so compelling. Gathered here are dozens and dozens of the most iconic album covers ever--and the dozens and dozens of copies who used that original design to fashion their own facsimiles.

In his introduction, author Simon Robinson sheds some light on what this book is about:

"It should not be surprising that when musicians come to release a record, and have admired or even idolized a particular band so much, they might also want to release their offering in a cover which owes something to that of one of their faves. (...) It may be they've seen a sleeve idea which they like so much they want to borrow it, and it has to be said in some cases the attention to detail in the recreations is extreme, both in getting the band photograph just right, as well as tracking down the correct typeface and even making sure the retro record company logos are closely echoed."
There are so many remarkable covers here, it's hard to know which ones are the most fascinating. The book opens with six takes on The Beatles' Abbey Road cover where they're famously walking across the street in front of the famous studio. Imitations include records from the Red Hot Chili Peppers (they're all naked} and even The Simpsons. There are takes on the Rolling Stones infamous Andy Warhol/zipper Sticky Fingers cover; the Beatles' black-and-white With the Beatles photograph; John Travolta in disco pose and white suit on the cover of Saturday Night Fever, and many, many more.

Astonishingly, many of these covers were from Bellekens' own collection. The attention to graphic detail here is remarkable, and the sheer quality of the book--paper, binding, and resolution--is nonpareil. This is a wonderful book that perfectly describes the maxim, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Steven Rosen, 2014

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