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Album Artwork - The Backstories

Throughout his career, Eric Clapton has taken an active role in designing the packaging for his albums working with many different artists, photographers and graphic designers. 

DISRAELI GEARS (CREAM)
Martin Sharp created the psychedelic artwork. Sharp, an Australian pop artist, moved to London in the late 1960s. In addition to creating album covers, he is also well known for designing concert posters (Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Donovan) and his covers, cartoons and illustrations which were a central feature of Oz magazine. At the time Disraeli Gears was recorded, Eric and artist Phillipe Mora shared Sharp’s Chelsea studio with him. The collage created by Sharp on the album’s back cover includes photos of Cream shot in the Kings Road, London and at Ben Nevis in Scotland. He also wrote the lyrics for Tales of Brave Ulysses, one of the tracks on the album. 

WHEELS OF FIRE (CREAM)
Martin Sharp designed the cover art for this album as well and received the New York Art Director’s prize for Best Album Design / 1969 for it. 

BLIND FAITH (BLIND FAITH)
Eric Clapton’s friend, Bob Ciderman, painted the image that appears on the cover. When the album was initially released, the artwork was withdrawn in several countries (including the U.S.) due to its controversial subject matter of a nude young girl holding a phallic-looking silver airplane / spaceship. The object is supposed to symbolize both sexuality and futuristic approach to music and life.

LAYLA AND OTHER ASSORTED LOVE SONGS (DEREK & THE DOMINOS)
The liner notes say, “Cover painting by Frandsen-DeSchomberg with thanks to his son, Emile, for the abuse of his house.” The artist’s full name is Emile Theodore Frandsen de Schomberg. For more information, visit the artists’ official website at www.peintre-emile-frandsen.com. The site is in French and English.

THERE’S ONE IN EVERY CROWD (ERIC CLAPTON)
The interior of the gatefold sleeve contains a sketch by Eric Clapton. The back photograph of Eric was taken by Robert Ellis.

BEHIND THE SUN (ERIC CLAPTON)
Larry Vigon executed the paintings on the front and back covers. Vigon also did the cover art for the Counting Crows album, August and Everything After. A photograph of Eric taken by Pattie Clapton (his wife at the time) is in the interior.

CROSSROADS (ERIC CLAPTON)
Ronnie Wood (Jeff Beck Group, The Faces, Rolling Stones) is also a well-known visual artist. He executed the front cover portrait of Eric Clapton based on a photograph in the archive of Star File Photo Agency in New York City.  (Star File ceased business operations in 2006).

24 NIGHTS (ERIC CLAPTON)
Sir Peter Blake did the cover art and sketches that appear on the interior of the booklet. Blake is most famous for executing the album cover for The Beatles’ Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. Blake also worked with Clapton on the book, 24 Nights, from Genesis Publications which details Eric’s record record-breaking run at the Royal Albert Hall. The men worked together again in 2004 for Eric Clapton’s CD, Me And Mr. Johnson.

FROM THE CRADLE (ERIC CLAPTON)
Eric Clapton took the cover photo for his 1994 studio album of blues covers, From The Cradle. It depicts the light coming in under his front gate. He also hand-lettered the album title and the quote on the inside front cover.

PILGRIM (ERIC CLAPTON)
Eric Clapton conceived the packaging for Pilgrim, but Japanese manga and anime artist, Yushiyuki Sadamoto, executed his idea. Sadamoto is best-known as the character designer of the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion and as the author of its manga adaptation. He has also done character designs for the .hack game franchise, Nadia, FLCL, Diebuster, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and Summer Wars. Alpha, a collection of his illustrations, has also been published.

ME & MR JOHNSON (ERIC CLAPTON)
Sir Peter Blake painted the image of Eric Clapton and Robert Johnson that appears on the cover. Blake worked from a series of photographs taken of Eric rather than paint Eric from life.

OLD SOCK (ERIC CLAPTON)
Both the front and back cover portraits were "selfies" taken by EC of himself with his iPhone. All of the interior images were also taken by Eric.

THE BREEZE: AN APPRECIATION OF JJ CALE (ERIC CLAPTON & FRIENDS)
Throughout his career, Eric Clapton has taken an active role in designing the packaging for his albums working with many different artists, photographers and graphic designers. It was no different with Eric Clapton & Friends’ The Breeze (An Appreciation of JJ Cale). During recording sessions in Los Angeles in 2013, Eric conceptualized JJ's face in the clouds for the album cover. To execute his idea, he reached out to well-known manga artist and anime character designer, Yushiyuki Sadamoto. Eric previously worked with Sadamoto for the cover of his 13th studio album, Pilgrim (1998). Sadamoto is best-known as the character designer of the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion and as the author of its manga adaptation. He has also done character designs for the .hack game franchise, Nadia, FLCL, Diebuster, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and Summer Wars. Alpha, a collection of his illustrations, has also been published.

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