50 Iconic Album Covers: The Fascinating Stories Behind The Sleeves

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The Smiths – Meat Is Murder: The original photo of this soldier, Marine Corporal Michael Wynn, was taken in 1967. He had the words “Make war not love” inscribed on his helmet. It was used as the image for Emile de Antonio’s doc ‘In the Year of the Pig’ in 1968, but The Smiths changed the wording to “Meat is Murder” for their ’85 album. Wynn is reportedly still alive and living in Australia.
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Amy Winehouse – Back To Black: Amy arrived four hours late to this shoot, having been partying all night at her friend’s wedding. Shot in a black room at photographer Mischa Richter’s house in Kendal Rise, which had blackboard paint on the cupboards, this was the last shot of the day, with early evening light streaming through a bay window to the right. It was the last time Richter saw Amy.
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Nirvana – Nevermind: Conceived after Cobain and Grohl watched a program on water births, the iconic sleeve was eventually shot in a public swimming pool with three-month-old baby Spencer Eldon. When concerns regarding the image showing the baby’s penis were raised, Cobain suggested a sticker saying “If you’re offended by this, you must be a closet paedophile”. Photo: Press
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Radiohead – Kid A: “The overarching idea of the mountains was that they were these landscapes of power, the idea of tower blocks and pyramids,” says sleeve artist Stanley Donwood. He and Yorke – under the Tchock alias he uses when making art – were also inspired by a photograph of the war in Kosovo, which ended in 1999.
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Portishead – Dummy: A still from the 10-minute short film ‘To Kill A Dead Man’, a spy movie homage starring Barrow as a rooftop assassin and Gibbons as the distraught wife of the man he’s contracted to kill. Photo: Press

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