Soul Jazz Books have published a visual history of the Disco era’s record sleeves.
A record buyer since the late 70’s, Dutchman ‘Disco’ Patrick Lejeune now boasts a collection of more than 7,000 vinyls from one of the 20th century’s most celebrated musical eras. Rather than let them all gather dust, he’s generously collated 2,000 of the most interesting sleeves from his treasure trove for use in a new book, put together in tandem with fellow afficionado Patrick Vogt. Entitled ‘Disco: An Encyclopedic Guide to the cover art of disco records’, the book is the companion piece to a similarly exhaustive album, ‘Disco: A Fine Selection of Independent Disco‘ – which was also released by Soul Jazz. Featuring hundreds of full size record covers and 350 12″ sleeve designs, the book explores the music, industry and culture surrounding Disco from a visual perspective. Interviewed in The Independent, Lejeune explains how certain trends within the artwork featured reflect the development of the genre as a whole. “From 1977 to 1980, you see a growing [development] in the covers, with photos of women dancing, not the artist any more…they have the atmosphere of the disco – you see a girl jumping in sportswear and dancing”.
Featuring interviews with key players in the scene such as Mel Cheren (West End Records), Henry Stone (TK Records), Ken Cayre (Salsoul), Marvin Schlachter (Prelude), the book also contains histories, biographies and discographies of the major Disco record companies – as well as sections on roller disco, 12 inch sleeves and a scrapbook of disco ads.
Check out some of the sleeves featured below.
‘Disco: An Encyclopedic Guide to the cover art of disco records’ is out now on Soul Jazz. Buy it here.