Rodgers & Hart – Smash Song Hits

Analog Apartment made a post yesterday about Alex Steinweiss, the designer considered to be the inventor of record covers. The image above, an album of hits recorded by Rodgers & Hart, is said to be the very first illustrated album cover. Undependent has more detailed images of the whole package. Supposedly every record before this was packaged in a plain cardboard or paper sleeve. Steinweiss became the first art director for Columbia Records in 1939 and continued to design covers through 1973 before he retired from the field to devote himself to painting.

Analog Apartment also mentioned that there is a book of his work available (above), which I’d oddly never picked up although I’ve noticed the book hundreds of times in stores. Interestingly, one particular Amazon customer review contests that Steinweiss wasn’t exactly the first to create an illustrated album cover and mentions a series of covers by Decca Records at least six years before Steinweiss, as well as children’s albums by RCA Bluebird. So I’m not sure how accurate the “inventor of the record cover” statement is, but the quality of Steinweiss’ design work stands either way.

Alex Steinweiss
Rodgers & Hart
For The Record @ Amazon.com
Analog Apartment

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