A treasure trove of original illustrations inspired by great albums is hidden in the archives of a Boulder, CO record club. Vinyl Me, Please (VMP), a group of vinylheads who, "believe in the power of the album as an art form," mail a monthly custom-pressed record with extras like posters, stickers, and custom cocktail recipes. With every package, VMP asks an artist to create a custom artwork inspired by the album. October's was Lemon of Pink by The Books, for which New Jersey-based artist William 'Zoe' FitzGerald created a metallic print with glitchy haunted house vibes.
"Vinyl as a medium is a constant reminder of the interplay between the visual and musical parts of an album in creating a unique piece of art. In finding a visual artist each month we're looking not only for an aesthetic that matches the music, but also the ability of the artist to capture the album in a new light," Cameron Schaefer, head of music and label relations at VMP, tells The Creators Project. "Whether it be simply reinterpreting existing album art or creating something less specific and referential, we are ardent believers in the ability of visual elements to create a new context for listening."
Commissioning art pairings isn't the only way people are elevating records. Other groups and artists around the world have filled vinyl with trippy fluids, encased albums in concrete, and slapped a tortilla on a turntable. But since VMP highlight essential records as well as emerging musicians, they're sitting on a pile of art artifacts adding to the annals of rock n roll history. Black Sabbath's Paranoid gets a death spiral, Weezer's Pinkerton gets a girl who appears to be half skeleton, Beck's Odelay gets a sun-eyed clover, and that's just the beginning. Check out our favorite selects from VMP's collection below.
Black Sabbath - Paranoid
Weezer - Pinkerton
Beck - Odelay
Fugees - The Score
Hot Chip - In Our Heads
Wilco - A.M.
Big Bill Broonzy - Sings Folk Songs
Wells Fargo - Watch Out
Four Tet - Pink
The Books - Lemon of Pink
Learn more about Vinyl Me, Please on their website. To receive The Books' Lemon of Pink, sign up before November 15.