The Insta-Account Charting Colourful Record Sleeves Through the Decades

Grace Jones, Island LifeVia @pyramidrecords

@pyramidrecords – run by the owner of the San Francisco music store of the same name – is a nostalgic look back at supreme records, and their cover artwork, from years gone by

“I grew up with a record player in my home, so it just seemed like a nice intersection of my interests: music, art, style,” says Bobby McCole, owner of San Francisco haunt Pyramid Records, and the man behind the store’s Instagram account of the same name, @pyramidrecords, which offers a daily dose of memorable vintage record sleeves. Falling somewhere between moodboard and suggested playlist (McCole often recommends particular tracks in the caption, or offers obscure facts about the albums), the feed reminds its almost 9,000 followers of the seminal cover artwork created by the likes of Andy Warhol, RuPaul, Jean Cocteau and Yoko Ono.

The account places most focus on the compelling and graphic imagery of the 70s, 80s and 90s, and its pleasing colour palette is made up of bright yellows, dusty pinks and the slightly fading blue and purples of vintage sleeves – the combined effect making for a satisfying scroll. “Pyramid’s page holds up to examination,” says McCole. “There’s usually an overall colour story going on, and other thematic visual cues. I even scroll through myself sometimes!”

Typically favouring an abundance of colour and an artistic freedom that we rarely see on album artwork today, favourites from the feed include Grace Jones’ Island Life (1985) – the athletic cover of which established the distinctive identity Jones is still known for – and Pale Saints’ Half Life (1990), where warmer tones and trippy imagery are reflective of the psychedelic guitar and entrancing vocals heard on the EP. “It’s hard to narrow it down,” says McCole, “but an eternal favourite for me is New Order’s Power, Corruption and Lies.”

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