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Digital Subscriptions > Long Live Vinyl > Oct 2019 > #29 Smash Hits By Rodgers & Hart

#29 Smash Hits By Rodgers & Hart


Alex Steinweiss is widely credited as the man who invented the album cover. In 1939, he was a 23-year-old newly employed as art director of Columbia Records. Struck with the inspired idea that albums should no longer be hidden away in dull plain paper sleeves, he went in to see his bosses with a plan that would lead to records becoming the objects of visual desire they are today. A_ er getting the green light, the cheeky shoot for this 1940 78 took place at New York’s Imperial _ eatre, where as darkness fell Steinweiss convinced the owner to rearrange the venue signage to read ‘Smash Song Hits by Rodgers & Hart’, his photographer took the shot, and the _ rst album cover was born. Steinweiss’ expensive gamble paid o_ , with sales rising by 900 per cent a_ er the album cover was introduced. “I had such ambition that I was willing to go way beyond what the hell they paid me for,” he later recalled. “I wanted people to look at the artwork and hear the music.” Steinweiss went on to work for London, Decca and Everest Records, designing over 2,000 sleeves. His work was celebrated in a Taschen edition _ ttingly entitled Alex Steinweiss, _ e Inventor Of _ e Modern Album Cover.

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Issue 31 of Long Live Vinyl is now on sale! It was The Beatles' last stand and remains one of the greatest albums ever made. Issue 31 of Long Live Vinyl brings you the inside story of Abbey Road, including interviews with some of the key figures who were in the studio with the Fab Four back in 1969. You'll also find an in-depth look at the making of the amazing new 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition and an expert collector's guide. Elsewhere, our packed interviews section features chats with Ezra Furman, Metronomy, Hiss Golden Messenger and Fionn Regan about their new albums. We round up 40 Essential Southern Soul records you need to own, tell the story of the legendary Decca label on its 90th birthday and dig deep into the making of R.E.M.’s ninth album, Monster. If that's not enough, Long Live Vinyl has the most comprehensive range of album and hi-fi reviews anywhere on the newsstand, as we run the rule over new releases from Pixies, Bon Iver, Wilco, Blur and Liam Gallagher, as well as the awesome new AVID Ingenium P&P turntable. Long Live Vinyl is THE magazine for vinyl lovers. Pick up your copy today…