Milton Glaser album covers


Music For Space Squirrels (1958) by Al Caiola’s Magic Guitars.

Having sought out Saul Bass’s album cover designs recently, curiosity impelled me to see what fellow New York designer Milton Glaser had been doing during the same period. I already knew some of Glaser’s covers for the Tomato label in the 1970s but Discogs has many more, including a handful in the Pop/psychedelic style he used most famously for his Bob Dylan poster. Not all of these are to my taste—illustration-wise I prefer Bob Pepper’s art—but Glaser was nothing if not versatile. I’ve no idea what Music for Space Squirrels sounds like although it’s probably less interesting than the promise of those floating rodents.


Medium (1968) by The Mandrake Memorial.


Grieg’s Greatest Hits (1969).


Chopin’s Greatest Hits (1969).


Music For Two Harpsichords (1972) by Igor Kipnis & Thurston Dart.


Bach’s Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (1973).


John Cage (1978).


Einstein On The Beach (1978) by Philip Glass & Robert Wilson.

The Glass and Hassell were both on the Tomato label. Glaser only provided the type layout for Earthquake Island, the cover painting which wraps the gatefold being a minutely-detailed work by Mati Klarwein.


Earthquake Island (1978) by Jon Hassell.

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7 thoughts on “Milton Glaser album covers”

  1. Hi John, Have you ever come across a book called simply Record Covers by Walter Herdeg, published by The Graphis Press in 1974. The book is a hard cover, the front boards being designed to look like a record. The sub title is “The evolution of graphics reflected in record packaging.” and the book covers a wide range of genres and is illustrated lavishly with mostly black & white examples,

    I thought of it reading this entry.

  2. Hi Anne. No, I looked it up and I’ve definitely not seen it. Looks a bit more serious than the usual fare which tend to be less about design history and more about pop culture. Non-pop/rock, for example, seldom gets featured in album cover books despite people like Milton Glaser and Bob Pepper having produced covers for classical albums and other musical genres.

  3. You would probably like this book. The designs are really interesting and in many cases quite bizarre.
    Milton Glaser gets a mention, a possibly other pop artists as well.

  4. Glass/Wilson’s Einstein remains a desert island choice for me. This cover is the one I borrowed from my local library 20+ years ago. Though the illustration is rather literal, I like the type and colours a lot. Sadly the one I own now is a CD set with a terribly unimaginative black and white photo of Glass set on a dark green background. I’m tempted to search out a copy of this vinyl box. More definitely, I really must get round to booking a ticket for the performance being staged at the Barbican next year.

  5. Hi Colin. I agree about the Glass, and it’s also one of his works I enjoy a great deal, along with the Koyaanisqatsi and Mishima soundtracks. The cover painting used to amuse me for its being so obvious, almost as if someone had done it for a dare.

    Oh, and sorry to hear you’re putting Hardformat on pause although I can appreciate why. Daily blogging here can feel like a chore at times even though it continues to be enjoyable.

  6. I have an album cover by Milton Glaser entitled Strauss greatest hits. Let me know if you would like a copy for your blog.

    Aparently Columbia (US) and CBS (UK) did a series of 13 classical music albums. It looks like Glaser was commissioned to do a few.

  7. Hi Stacy. Thanks, is it this one?

    I don’t mind adding it if the photo is a good one. This post wasn’t intended to be definitive, there are several more of the classical designs at, I chose a couple that caught my eye. The collection here is more a sample to show one side of Glaser’s work which is often overlooked.

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