Welcome to the final part of this meandering series of album covers featuring what we will loosely call portraits of the band.
Once again we’ll begin in the 1960s, with an all-time favourite.
I love the way artist/designer Bernard Yeszin utilised the television image of The Monkees (Davey’s shirt, Mike’s beanie) to create an engaging less-is-more silhouette that transcends the flowery era of its creation. Yeszin recalled,
The Monkees were so popular and so hot at the time that I could do just about anything that reminded you of The Monkees. I could do an album cover and just show their outline and people would identify them.
The Monkees — Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd 
On the Beach Boys cover, note the way the faces are echoed in the clouds and what is presumably a river (or lake). Their record company chose another portrait, this time in a Sixties flower-power style, for the 1978 compilation Endless Sumer.
Beach Boys — Friends 
Yardbirds — Little Games 
One of my favourite Sixties throwback covers adorned XTC’s excellent Oranges & Lemons album in 1989.
XTC — Oranges & Lemons 
On Road To Ruin there is a cartoon flavour to the artwork totally in keeping with the Ramones aesthetic. It’s a ripper, as is the Cheap Trick cover that follows. Rockford takes the cartoon style to a minimalist extreme, with fine results. The geometric heads would make Euclid swoon.
Ramones — Road To Ruin 
Cheap Trick — Rockford 
There is a fan art feel to the painting on Matt Finish’s 1981 debut album, yet it is quite a striking image with only the white-shirted sitting character looking outwards towards the listener. To me it evokes Little Creatures from the previous post.
Matt Finish — Short Note 
Dutch band Focus were sitting ducks for this compilation album cover. But would Rembrandt have been impressed? And how about The Rubinoos? Were they inspired by the Gentle Giant cover (also in the previous post)?
Focus — Dutch Masters 
The Rubinoos — The Rubinoos 
Let’s head to the finish line with something a bit special. Face Dances was The Who’s first album of the Eighties and the first new studio recording after the death of Keith Moon. His place was taken by Kenney Jones.
Notable artist Peter Blake, he of the Sgt Pepper cover, commissioned sixteen British painters to create one unique 6″ x 6″ portrait. These appear in a four x four grid on the cover. Left to right, the artists are:
Pete Townshend: Bill Jacklin, Tom Phillips, Colin Self and Richard Hamilton
Roger Daltrey: Michael Andrews, Allen Jones, David Inshaw and David Hockney
John Entwistle: Clive Barker, R. B. Kitaj, Howard Hodgkin and Patrick Caulfield
Kenney Jones: Peter Blake, Joe Tilson, Patrick Procktor and David Tindle
The Who — Face Dances 
We may return with a ‘solo’ version at some point, but for now I hope you have enjoyed this rogues gallery.
Thanks to all those who made suggestions for the exhibition, including (in this edition) Victim of the Fury (Cheap Trick), Arterrorist (sorry Quo didn’t make the cut), CB (Focus), Transfets (Matt Finish), and Geo. Raymond (XTC).
As a little archival post-script, a couple of bonus portraits from the series presenting vertical gatefold album sleeves. The first is for JDB.