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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.


 

Victor Vasarely album covers

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Terretektorh / Nomos Gamma (no date; late 60s) by Iannis Xenakis.

Xenakis and Victor Vasarely are paired again on this album cover from the late 1960s. Given how often record companies have used abstract artwork on the sleeves of classical recordings, especially those by 20th-century composers, you’d expect there to be more examples. There may well be but Discogs (always the easiest place to search) only turns up the following examples.

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Chamber Concerto For 11 Instruments / Symphonic Variations (no date) by
Neils Viggo Bentzon / The Royal Danish Orchestra conducted by Jerzy Semkow.

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Kontakte For Electronic Sounds, Piano And Percussion / Refrain For Three Instrumentalists (1968) by Aloys Kontarsky, Christoph Caskel, Karlheinz Stockhausen.

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David Bowie (1969) by David Bowie.

I confess that until I began searching for Vasarely covers I hadn’t known that this was an early example. That’s partly down to David Bowie’s second album (the first in his official canon) having been reissued for years in a different cover with Bowie’s face filling the sleeve. The album reissues in 1999 restored the original design, one of the artist’s Folklore Planetaire series. The credit is to “Vaserelli”.

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In 1989 Deutsche Grammophon reissued a portion of its extensive back catalogue in a CD series entitled 3D Classics. A small selection follows, all of which feature Vasarely paintings. The art direction was by Harmut Pfeiffer. I have one of the discs in this series, and there’s no explanation inside as to what the 3D is supposed to signify; I expect they would say it’s something to do with the clarity of the digital recording. As cover designs these would work well if they weren’t spoiled by the obtrusive foil stamp in the top right of each insert.

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Trio «Syrinx» (1987) by Trio «Syrinx».

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B9: Belgian Cold Wave 1979-1983 (2013) by Various Artists.

Vasarely’s Alphabet Plastique is used on the sleeve of this double vinyl reissue. As usual, if anyone knows of other Vasarely sleeves then please leave a comment.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The album covers archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Vasarely, a film by Peter Kassovitz

 


 

Posted in {art}, {design}, {music}, {painting}.

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2 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by Vince Bowdren

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    The ’3D’ probably refers to the DDD claim they used to push CDs with: digital technology used in recording, mixing and mastering.

  2. #2 posted by John

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    Yes, of course, that didn’t occur to me even though DDD is prominent under the series logo. In the late 80s classical labels were still pushing the superiority of CD over vinyl, and digital over analogue. You weren’t a proper audiophile if you didn’t appreciate the DDD–ADD–AAD recording hierarchy.

 


 

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