« Back
The Guardians Greatest Ever Album Covers

By Thomas Casagranda

Date: 09-07-2012


From Miles Davis to Manic Street Preachers, six readers tell us about their favourite album sleeve art – what's yours?

Mati Klarwein the painter of the artwork, was a European Jewish refugee from Nazism, who studied with Dali. He also painted the sleeve for Santana's Abraxas, the rock equivalent of Bitches Brew.

What does the picture mean? Miles is stating that the roots of jazz, of blues, of rock and of civilisation began in Africa. It is also a unification between black and white, between rock and jazz. The thunder in the distance suggests the turbulence of the grooves within: this wasn't the mild fusion of Filles DE Kilimanjaro, or In A Silent Way, this was the way forward – the jazz-rock fusion thunder.

Ultimately, the sleeve matches the (new) Directions in Music by Miles Davis, in that the figures on the painting are embracing, staring into a technicoloured new future for jazz. It is saying that jazz can go into rock, and will do amazingly. What a pity then that by 1976 Miles's vision was diluted by smooth jazz, which was the knock-on effect of fusion.

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2012/jul/06/greatest-album-covers-readers-panel?newsfeed=true