Music fans don’t have the same relationship with album art that we once did. The nearly kite-size mass of double-gatefold vinyl shrunk down to tea cozy-esque compact discs long ago, and then finally to the thumbnail imprint in the corner of your smart device. While some standout covers still do emerge from time to time, not physically handling them with each listen takes away some of the involvement. But if there’s a shortage on beloved new cover art, at least we can now examine some of the old stuff in a new way.
An artist who goes by the handle Harvezt has created a series on Flickr called The Dark Side of the Covers. The images within pull off the nifty trick of revitalizing familiar album art by showing what it would look like from the opposite angle. While some of these are pure reversals–the famous sine waves on Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures look nearly identical–others cleverly incorporate speculative imagery. The Beatles, for instance, are revealed to be standing on a mountain housing a giant apple, one of their favorite symbols, on the Yellow Submarine cover, and there’s now a stairway to heaven lurking in the backdrop of Led Zeppelin’s IV.
There are album covers that can’t be improved upon, and some of the changes here are unnecessary. Seeing the Nevermind baby’s buttcrack is kind of a cute joke, but not so much the gun that now floats just out of his reach. Of course other covers, like Master of Puppets by Metallica, just look rad no matter what angle.
Check out more of the backsides of album covers in the slides above.
H/t to Dangerous Minds