45 RPM: A Visual History of the Seven-Inch Record

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Spencer Drate
Princeton Architectural Press, Oct 25, 2002 - Architecture - 240 pages
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Singles, 45s, 7-inchers-they have many names, but come in only one package: a square of folded cardboard with a miniature poster on either side. The gold standard of Top 40 playlists for some four decades after their introduction in 1949, these small albums have long been the favorites of DJs and collectors, who prize them for their genius of small-scale graphic design.
45 RPM is the first ever collection of 7-inch sleeves. Organized chronologically, it juxtaposes more than 200 albums, from all genres of music, chosen for their inventive design. It includes albums by such legendary artists as Paul Anka, the Beatles, the Boston Pops, the Clash, Donovan, Dizzy Gillespie, Jerry Lee Lewis, Dean Martin, Curtis Mayfield, Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, the Ramones, REM, the Rolling Stones, the Sex Pistols, Frank Sinatra, Talking Heads, and many others.
Music historian Chuck Granata provides a general introduction to the history of the 45, its place in the music business, and the designers who created the covers.
Each decade of design is introduced by a specialist in that period: Eric Kohler on the 1950s, Spencer Drate on the 1960s, Roger Dean (designer of the acclaimed albums for the band Yes) on the 1970s, Bob Grossweiner on the 1980s, and Art Chantry on the 1990s and contemporary design.

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45 RPM

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In this visual history of the seven-inch record-or the 45, as it is also known-Drate is out to prove that one can judge something by its cover. A graphic artist for the music industry, he divides ... Read full review

Selected pages


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12

About the author (2002)

Eric Kohler lives in New York City and specializes in the music and design of the 40s. He has created CD covers for Blue Note, Sony, and others.

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