The albums you can judge by their cover thanks to Storm Thorgerson – the master of the record sleeve

He never played a note, but Storm Thorgerson left an indelible mark on the musical history of the 1970s. David Hepworth pays tribute.

The cover of the 12in long-playing album had the magical effect of making the record within the cover seem more important than it was.

It's this canvas, longingly gazed at through the window of the Spinning Disc, sported beneath the arm of the party-bound sixth former or twirled between the listless fingers of a long hair perched equidistant between his new Wharfedales, which provided the visual focus for an auditory experience and encouraged a surprising wave of visual literacy.

Generations of people who knew nothing about art nonetheless knew that Peter Blake designed Sgt Pepper, that Andy Warhol provided the banana on the first Velvet Underground LP, that Robert Frank's photographs adorn the Rolling Stones Exile On Main Street and that the painting on the cover of New Order's Power, Corruption & Lies is A Basket Of Roses by Henri Fantin-Latour.

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