Eiko Ishioka album covers


Eastward (1970) by Gary Peacock Trio. Photography by Hiroshi Asada, Tadayuki Naitoh.

Continuing an occasional series about artists or designers whose work has appeared on record sleeves. Also another jazz-related post which includes Herbie Hancock via the V.S.O.P. album.

Eiko Ishioka is best known outside Japan for the costume designs she created for feature films, especially those in Francis Coppola’s Dracula, but she also had a parallel career as a graphic designer and art director, working with photographers and other designers on a large number of album covers. The examples here are a partial selection, many of which were created for East Wind, a label established by Nippon Phonogram to promote Japanese artists overseas.


Circle 2: Gathering (1971) by Circle. Design by Eiko Ishioka, Seiya Sawayama, Yoshio Nakanishi.


Weather Report Live In Tokyo (1972) by Weather Report. Design by Eiko Ishioka, Yoshio Nakanishi.


Miles Davis Story Vol. 2 (1972) by Miles Davis. Design by Eiko Ishioka, Yoshio Nakanishi. Photography by Columbia Records Photo Studio, Tadayuki Naitoh.

Black ink on silver foil, something that always looks impressive but doesn’t wear very well. This cover may have led to Ishioka’s work on Tutu (see below).


Winter Love, April Joy (1975) by David Friedman. Design by Eiko Ishioka, Motoko Naruse.


Hogiuta (1976) by Terumasa Hino. Design by Eiko Ishioka, Kyoko Inui.


The Pentagon (1976) by The Pentagon. Design by Eiko Ishioka, Motoko Naruse. Illustration by Shigenari Ohnishi.


Prism (1976) by Ryo Kawasaki. Design by Eiko Ishioka, Motoko Naruse. Sculpture by Eiko Ishioka.


Bubbles (1976) by Shunzoh Ohno. Design by Eiko Ishioka, Motoko Naruse. Photography by Noriaki Yokosuka.


Survival Themes (1976) by Reggie Lucas. Design by Eiko Ishioka, Motoko Naruse. Artwork by Eiko Ishioka.


Five Stars (1979) by The V.S.O.P. Quintet. Art direction by Eiko Ishioka. Design by Motoko Naruse.


Mandance (1982) by Ronald Shannon Jackson And The Decoding Society. Design by Eiko Ishioka. Illustration by Katsu Yoshida.


Barbeque Dog (1983) by Ronald Shannon Jackson And The Decoding Society. Art Direction by Eiko Ishioka, Kazumi Kurigami. Artwork (Mask) by Akio Takaya. Design by Kaori Kamata.


Tutu (1986) by Miles Davis. Art Direction by Eiko Ishioka. Design by Susan Welt. Photography by Irving Penn.

Putting the artist’s face on an album cover is always the least interesting option (and one which egomaniacs often demand…) but this cover looks good thanks to Irving Penn’s photography. Every time I see this now I can’t help but be reminded of its anachronistic appearance in The Talented Mr Ripley, a film set in the 1950s. What makes the error worse is that the filmmakers added Dickie Greenleaf’s jazz enthusiasm to the story themselves.


Red Warrior (1990) by Ronald Shannon Jackson. Artwork by Eiko Ishioka.


Have You Heard? (1997) by Jack Dejohnette. Design by Eiko Ishioka. Photography by Hozumi Nakadaira, Takayuki Ogawa.


Nefertiti (2005) by Andrew Hill. Design by Eiko Ishioka, Motoko Naruse. Photography by Shinya Fujiwara.


Daahoud (2015) by Tsuyoshi Yamamoto. Design by Eiko Ishioka, Motoko Naruse. Photography by Taishi Hirokawa.

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2 thoughts on “Eiko Ishioka album covers”

  1. Quite a few beautiful designs here. The Weather Report, Terumasa Hino and Reggie Lucas records I’d expect to be on the aforementioned Kozmigroov list. I treasure my Tutu vinyl, a highpoint of 80s design imo. I’d never have expected to see a direct link with some of the late, great Ronald Shannon Jackson’s releases. Particularly, perhaps Red Warrior – I saw that band play in Mile End and consider it one of my all time favourite concerts. I fear Jackson’s work has somewhat fallen into obscurity, a great shame.

  2. I was surprised I had a few of these, including Red Warrior. I’d not noticed her credit for Tutu until this week.

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