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- Posted on Dec 13th 2009 1:00PM by David Chiu
On Jan. 7, Royal Mail, Britain's postal service, will be issuing a series of 10 stamps commemorating classic album covers from the last 40 years. According to a Royal Mail press release, the stamps were chosen solely for their art design based on the input of British music editors, design writers and graphic designers. In addition to the album cover art, each stamp depicts a portion of a vinyl record coming out of the sleeve.
"For decades the album sleeve has been the canvas for some of the most imaginative graphic artists in the world," Julietta Edgar, the Royal Mail's head of special stamps, said in a statement, "and this issue celebrates this unique art form and some of its greatest examples."
The selection of the Clash's 'London Calling' is especially gratifying to Sam Lowry, the son of the late Ray Lowry, who designed the album cover. "I think if he was still alive today, my father would be happy to have it used in this way," Lowry tells Spinner. "He would relish in the thought of sticking a stamp on a envelope and posting it. He would probably post as many letters as possible just so he could use more of these stamps."
The cover for 'London Calling,' with a photograph by Pennie Smith, was inspired by Elvis Presley's 1956 self-titled album. "Quite simply, it's a great album cover," Lowry says. "The photo captures a brilliant time in music and the vibrant colours of the lettering makes you have to look twice at it. And also because of where the design was taken from, any rock and roll fan knows it is a direct steal from Elvis' 'rock and roll' album sleeve."
Asked what he plans to do with the stamps, Lowry also adds that he may put the stamps in a frame for safekeeping. "Another addition to my father's many achievements," he says.
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Here is the full list of albums that will be featured on the stamps:
- The Rolling Stones' 'Let It Bleed' (1969)
- Led Zeppelin's untitled fourth album (1971)
- David Bowie's 'The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars' (1972)
- Mike Oldfield's 'Tubular Bells' (1973)
- The Clash's 'London Calling' (1979)
- New Order's 'Power, Corruption and Lies' (1983)
- Primal Scream's 'Screamdelica' (1991)
- Pink Floyd's 'The Division Bell' (1994)
- Blur's 'Parklife' (1994)
- Coldplay's 'A Rush of Blood to the Head' (2002)