Book Reviews

THE ALBUM COVER ART OF SOUNDTRACKS

By • Aug 24th, 2000 •

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Produced in Germany this, ‘The world’s first coffee-table book devoted to the fascinating design of soundtrack albums’, is a one-foot square paperback book featuring 128 pages of full colour plates of some 300 soundtrack covers, 60 of which are printed only slightly smaller than the original album size, covering the work of graphic artists such as the aforementioned Saul Bass, Jack Davis, Bob Peak, Maurice Binder, David Stone Martin, Frank Frazetta, and photographers Richard Avedon, Bert Stern and Bill Claxton to name but a few.

The book also chronicles the film work of no less than 96 composers.

This is a terrific book and one that I can flick through again and again. There’s hardly any text, just the designs, and these are quite rightly allowed to speak for themselves without any need for any accompanying scholarly and opinionated analysis. They’re grouped together in styles that reflect entire eras and remind us of how underrated the work is of these talented artists, and how the graphic symbols of so many films have been subliminally etched onto our brains. I own many of these album covers, and that’s all they were – album covers, but now I see them in a totally new light – as master classes in marketing and design.

The book is worth it just to read the now sadly late Saul Bass’s resume. That man had talent, as had everyone represented by the cover art featured in this book.

No self-respecting movie buff should be without it.

BOOK INFORMATION:
Edited and Introduction by Frank Jastfelder & Stefan Kassel
Foreword by Saul Bass
ISBN 3-283-00330-0

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