There are no design credits for the early sleeves (I assume they had an in-house studio) or for the photographers. Most, if not all, of the sleeve photographs on this page were obviously specially commissioned, such as the Stereo Parade (V/Artists / Polydor 237 001 : 1959) cover. Here each woman has a sash – tied with an overlarge bow – that has the name of one of the Orchestra leaders who recorded for Polydor.
One suspects the in most cases the art director gave the photographer a brief, used the most appropriate slide, and kept the other for possible future use. The cover girl on Molidendo Cafe (Hugo Blanco / Polydor 46 409) and That Latin Feeling (Bert Kaempfert & Orchestra / Polydor 237 633) are clearly the same, from a photo session on a Latin theme. Love Letters (Horst Wende & Orchestra / Polydor 237 521 : 1961) is a very stagey shot; knickerbocker glory (goodness knows how that translates in German), teddy bear, perfume and photograph to hand, our cover girl is busy penning her al fresco love letter. In contrast, the sultry temptress on the front of Tango Notturno (Alfred Hause & Orchestra / Polydor 46 344) is poised, hair piled up and exotic cheroot in hand, dressed to kill in a low-cut evening gown and pearls.
Melodies With Memories (Charlie McKenzie / Polydor 46 303 : 1960) features a large fabric studio backdrop, which makes a curious contrast with the rather overlit girl in the baby-doll nightdress.
On a train-spottery note, the 46 000 series was the original mono sequence, 237 000 the stereo series.
There is also a first page of early German Polydor easy listening sleeves on the site. The Polydor label and logo design is also covered.