"A crystal ball of record covers from my private collection. Enjoy!"
Archive / matmaitland.com / bigactive.com

Mark Colby ‘Serpentine Fire’ (1978) Design by Paula Scher and John Berg. Photography by John Paul Endress. You don’t really see cigarettes on record sleeves anymore, once upon a time it was a visual shortcut to sophistication, glamour and the romance of the silver-screen - David Bowie on the cover for ‘Young Americans’, Bryan Ferry on ‘Another Time Another Place’. This sleeve is a totally different take on it though, more of a still-life study which is sort of sexy and seedy at the same time, the use of the lipstick probably aims to suggest sex but I can’t quite decide whether she’s a stripper or a model! (Mat Maitland, Leopard Tree Dream)

The Pentagon ‘The Pentagon’ (1978) Design by Eiko Ishioka/Motoko Naruse. Illustration by Shigenari Ohnishi.  

Bernadette Peters ‘Now Playing’ (1981) Art Direction by Bob Osaki. Cover painting by Alberto Vargas. These cover paintings, along with the cover he did for The Cars ‘Candy-O’ and another for Bernadette Peters were the only images Vargas painted towards the end of his life (he died in 1982). He made his name painting WWII pin-up girls in the 40’s for Esquire magazine and is probably the most famous pin-up artist ever. I’m adding him to the ever growing (dream) list of artworks to own one day. (Mat Maitland, Leopard Tree Dream)

You can see more of his work here

Adam Makowicz ‘Winter Flowers’ (1978) Design by Milan Jaros. Photography by Pavel Vácha.  

Gato Barbieri ‘Tropico’ (1978) Art Direction by Roland Young. Photography by Bill King. Design by Chuck Beeson. This is not far off from one of my illustrations once you take away Gato himself from the picture. The sleeve was designed by the prolific Chuck Beeson who has featured on this blog before. I love the type on the back and the signature on the front. (Mat Maitland, Leopard Tree Dream)

Leon Redbone ‘Champagne Charlie’ (1978) Drawing by Leon Redbone. Lettering by Brad Kanawyer. Design by Eric Monson. Art Direction by John Cabalka. Yet another sleeve from 1978, it really seems to be a vintage year for this blog. The drawing on this sleeve (by Redbone himself) is pretty accomplished, the linework is almost like a neon sign. (Mat Maitland, Leopard Tree Dream)

Don Ellis ‘Live At Montreux’ (1978) Cover art by Joan Hall. Design by Lynn Dreese Breslin. 

Diana Ross ‘Touch Me In The Morning’ (1973) Design/Photography unknown. This photograph looks really contemporary to me but only because this style of photography from the 70’s has been echoed by a handful of photographers in the last few years. In fact, it really reminds me of some press shots (not the main sleeves) we did of Alison Goldfrapp for Seventh Tree which were almost identical in mood, shot by Serge Leblon a leading purveyor of dreamlike David Hamilton-esque fashion images. We’re about to shoot the new Goldfrapp record which is exciting but this time it’s a different world completely. (Mat Maitland, Leopard Tree Dream)

John Williams Octet ‘Year Of The Buffalo’ (1985) Cover drawing by Alisha Sufit. Design by Tony Williams. Artwork by Malcolm Walker. I got this cover recently, I love the drawing. It has a kind of Hockney feel to it with echoes of Matisse. The deep peach background and use of cyan type is also really great. (Mat Maitland, Leopard Tree Dream)

Blondie ‘(I’m always touched by your) Presence, Dear’ (1978) Design/Photography Unknown. I am slightly too young to have been into Blondie at the time, musically - and sexually! There’s no denying how iconic she was though and very much a prototype for many female pop stars to follow. This is a great cover. (Mat Maitland, Leopard Tree Dream)

Mink DeVille ‘Where Angels Fear To Tread’ (1983) Photography by Jay Berman.

Herbie Mann ‘Discotheque’ (1975) Design and Art Direction by Paula Bisacca. Photography by Robert Monroe. Typography by Richard Hernandez. Love the intriguing painterly feel to the photograph on this cover, reminds me of Allen Jones. Looks like the girl may have been pressed against glass. (Mat Maitland, Leopard Tree Dream)

Tatsuro Yamashita ‘Come Along 2’ (1984) Design by Masayuki Yano (Vitamin Studio). Illustration by Eizin Suzuki. I’ve waited a long time to receive this one as it’s from Japan but boy was it worth the wait! I’m in love with the illustrative style and scenes depicted on the front and back, both of which draw from a photorealist painting aesthetic. (Mat Maitland, Leopard Tree Dream)

The Cars ‘Candy O’ (1979) Art Direction and Design by Ron Coro and Johnny Lee. Cover painting by Alberto Vargas. This is a cover by probably one of the most famous pin-up artists Vargas. The Cars also worked with Peter Phillips on their ‘Heartbeat City’ record, it’s hard to pick between the two, they are both great covers (and artists). (Mat Maitland, Leopard Tree Dream) 

Pretty Things ‘Savage Eye’ (1975) Sleeve by Hipgnosis. I try to stay away from posting often seen classic sleeves on this blog as it just seems a bit boring, therefore I haven’t really posted many Hipgnosis covers, even though I love what they did. I hadn’t seen this one before though, my wife Jaja bought it for me the other day. Like a lot of their work it has an illustrative feel to the photography, probably due to the retouching techniques of the period. (Mat Maitland, Leopard Tree Dream)