Britain’s Royal Mail is honoring both art and music with the launch of 10 stamps that feature iconic album covers from the past four decades. Speaking at the launch of the stamps at London’s Rough Trade West on January 7th, Jimmy Page revealed the irony behind Led Zeppelin’s iconic ‘IV’ album cover. “Almost 40 years after the album came out, nobody knows the old man who featured on the cover, nor the artist who painted him,” he said. “That sort of sums up what we wanted to achieve with the album cover, which has remained both anonymous and enigmatic at the same time.”
Royal Mail agreed upon the final list after going through thousands of album covers, lists, and polls. The decision was based on the art and album design, not necessarily music. “For decades, the album sleeve has been the canvas for some of the most imaginative graphic artists in the world, and this issue celebrates this unique art form and some of its greatest examples,” said Juliette Edgard, Head of Special Stamps at Royal Mail.
The chosen album covers include The Rolling Stones 1969 album Let It Bleed, Led Zeppelin’s 1971 album Led Zeppelin IV, David Bowie’s 1972 album The Rise and Fall Of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, Mike Oldfield’s 1973 album Tubular Bells, The Clash’s 1979 album London Calling, New Order’s 1983 album Power, Corruption and Lies, Primal Scream’s 1991 album Screamadelica, Pink Floyd’s 1994 album The Division Bell, Blur’s 1994 album Parklife, and Coldplay’s 2002 album A Rush of Blood to the Head.
For decades the album sleeve has been the canvas for some of the most imaginative graphic artists worldwide. The U.K. stamp issue acknowledges this unique art form and celebrates some of the greatest examples used by UK musical artists.