The album cover is dead, Peter Saville famously declared, killed by the iPod and MP3 generation. Fortunately, Saville, the creator of celebrated covers for artists as varied as Joy Division, Roxy Music, Peter Gabriel and Pulp, was hotter on his album art than his predictions. News of its demise has been greatly exaggerated, judging by the contenders in the 2012 Art Vinyl competition.
The art form, which, in the past, has attracted talents ranging from Andy Warhol to Sir Peter Blake, is as alive and thriving as the music it showcases. Art, photography and graphic designs are represented in the 50 covers selected for this year's competition, the winner of which will be announced this Thursday in London.
Previous winners have included Klaxons' Surfing the Void, with its playful image of a cat in a spacesuit, Thom Yorke's The Eraser from Radiohead's regular designer Dan Rickwood, together with work from the 16th-century Dutch artist Pieter Bruegel, which featured on the cover of The Fleet Foxes' self-titled LP.
This year's contenders include covers from Madonna's MDNA, Keane's Strangeland, The Beach Boys, the Swedish rock band The Hives as well as individual artists such as Paul Weller and Jack White.
Andrew Heeps, Art Vinyl gallery owner and organiser, said: "For seven years, we have championed the diverse and vibrant creative styles that still exist in record cover art and design. This year, we hope to gather the most opinions on sleeve design ever recorded, many of which have provided a visual soundtrack to 2012.
"Having an international award like this always throws up a few surprises."
Which is your favourite cover?
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