Album Cover Album The Second Volume

Compiled by Roger Dean and David Howells

Dragon’s World / Jan. 1982 / 978-0090895724

This second volume surveying album sleeve art followed the popularity of the first which went up to 1977. This edition covers the years from 1977 to 1982 when it was published and contains 500 sleeves across 160 album size pages. As the spreads show, this means some covers get a single page, others are four to a page. It was edited by Storm Thorgerson, Roger Dean and David Howells, along with a couple more researchers from publishers Dragon’s World. The copy I found, complete with a little fading on the front edge where it has been in the sun a while, was published as a hardback by The Book Club Associates and has worn fairly well (my copy of Volume One is a paperback and falling apart!).

The sleeves are roughly divided up into musical categories each with a short introduction and the end result is a very impressive collection of covers, which happen to co-oincide with the zenith of sleeve design. The CD format was in development and would launch just a couple of years later, and bring about drastic changes in the industry and packaging.

There will inevitably be choices some will argue over but by and large it’s a great selection and takes up much less room on your shelf than 500 sleeves would! I find it useful to pick up and just remind yourself from time to time why this form of design continues to prove so interesting fifty years after buying my first LP.
I did not realise that there are SIX books in the series, although you do wonder if the later ones keep up the same standard. They turn up rarely second hand so maybe didn’t sell so well.

Review of Volume One