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7 Reviews
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A visual history of pop music
45 RPM: A Visual History of the Seven-Inch Record celebrates a often overlooked, yet vital form of art, that of the seven inch sleeve. Not only are there more than 200 pictures display in this book, but an excellent history detailing the rise and fall of this format.
There are basically five main chapters starting with the 50's all the way to the 90's. Each chapter...
Published on January 14, 2004 by cookieman108

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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shoddy haphazard compilation with little to recommend it
Unfortunately, the first book to concentrate on 45 rpm Picture Sleeve art is a real disaster. It offers a random assortment of capriciously selected picture sleeves arranged by decade but with little other thought applied. It appears that the records included happened to be in the editor's collection the day they were photographed. This is a just a quickie nostalgia...
Published on March 19, 2003 by Stephen M. H. Braitman


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A visual history of pop music, January 14, 2004
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This review is from: 45 Rpm (Paperback)
45 RPM: A Visual History of the Seven-Inch Record celebrates a often overlooked, yet vital form of art, that of the seven inch sleeve. Not only are there more than 200 pictures display in this book, but an excellent history detailing the rise and fall of this format.
There are basically five main chapters starting with the 50's all the way to the 90's. Each chapter is preceded by a written piece authored by different individuals, ranging from a record collector, renown sleeve artists, a music journalist and a music critic. Each provides thoughful, authorative, and interesting insights into the period of time they are introducing.
The real meat is the pictures, and there are a lot of them. Some have complained that some of the pictures are of poor quality, with wear and age showing, but I felt that was part of the appeal of the book. To me, the use of sometimes worn sleeves created a natural representation of what someone's record collection might look like...I sort of felt like I was looking through a friend's record collection, or browsing through a vintage record store, rather than a book of reproduced sleeves. The artwork contained within is beautiful, thought provoking, outrageous, even shocking, but always entertaining.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating and Engaging Book, December 26, 2002
This review is from: 45 Rpm (Paperback)
This is a engaging and attractive book. The story of how the 45 developed is what made it so interesting to me. As the introduction points out:-
"The decades-long success of the 45-rpm single belies a turbulent history. In its infancy, the small disc was at the center of a fierce battle, a fight brimming with jealousy, greed and caustic recriminations. The culmination saw two rival record companies emerge victorious, with the fallout of their erstwhile battle etched deeply into the vinyl landscape of twentieth-century pop music culture."
The introduction places the battle between Columbia (who had perfected the LP in 1948 and RCA (who introduced the 45 in 1949) in historical context. There was much here that was news to me. The initial 45s were issued using a colour coded system: red for classical, midnight blue for light classics, green for country-western, yellow for children's music, sky blue for international, and cerise (orange) for R&B. Traditional black wax was kept for money-spinning pop. By 1952 all RCA records were black, apart from special promotional pressings.
Alongside the fascinating facts what makes the book attractive is the reproduction of covers. Chosen for their inventive design these are organised chronologically. A specialist introduces each decade in that period. There are over 200 designs - a treasure and source of ideas for anyone interested in design. For those who remember buying their first singles it also acts as a trigger to memory. It also makes it clear that single and album covers were one of the most important features of a genuine mass art.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shoddy haphazard compilation with little to recommend it, March 19, 2003
This review is from: 45 Rpm (Paperback)
Unfortunately, the first book to concentrate on 45 rpm Picture Sleeve art is a real disaster. It offers a random assortment of capriciously selected picture sleeves arranged by decade but with little other thought applied. It appears that the records included happened to be in the editor's collection the day they were photographed. This is a just a quickie nostalgia marketing device. It doesn't present a cohesive, coherent portrait of graphic design. It doesn't do record collectors any service, either. PLUS, many of the images are of poor quality sleeves, with bad ring wear, bent corners, writing, rips, etc. There's no excuse for not finding better condition copies of most of the very common items in this book. Obviously no one knowledgeable about records was consulted for this book. Expect it on the discount shelves and remaindered quite soon.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing., August 14, 2009
This review is from: 45 Rpm (Paperback)
I wish I could have leafed through this book before buying it. It is not a representative sampling of 45RPM sleeve art; it looks like a very personal selection of covers, and if your tastes happen to be different (as mine are) there's very little to appreciate in this book.

But worst of all, in my opinion, is that the older sleeves look like they were picked up in a junk store just the other day. Absolutely no restorative work was done on the pictures; they are faded, dirty, and worn, which is hardly representative of the way they should look. It just seems that nobody cared about doing a good job.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great pictures, Little Info, August 28, 2014
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This review is from: 45 Rpm (Paperback)
Nicely printed and a fun collection of sleeves, but with very little history or text. I was hoping for more information.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunningly visual survey of 7-inch 45 album sleeves, May 15, 2003
This review is from: 45 Rpm (Paperback)
45 RPM offers a stunningly visual survey of 7-inch 45 album sleeves. The chronological arrangement features over 200 albums from all genres of music, chosen for the innovative and appealing designs. Students of design will find 45 RPM draws some important links between the art and music worlds and those with a special nostaligia for the heyday of the 45 will delight in this visually impressive compendium.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No adaptor required, February 10, 2003
By 
D. Hartley (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 45 Rpm (Paperback)
There have been quite a few "album cover" collections assembled and published, but to my knowledge this is the first volume dedicated exclusively to the art of the 7" record jacket. If you are already scoffing at the use of the term "art", be advised that this collection includes original works by Pablo Picasso (no slouch, you know), Salvadore Dali and Keith Haring! As you browse through the decades, you realize that apart from establishing the 45 sleeve as a valid form of modern art, the sequentially arranged portfolio serves as a fascinating visual montage of the development of pop music, from pre-Elvis to post-punk. Informative, engaging guest essays by artists and music sleeve designers rounds off this very worthwhile package. Music geeks will want this on thier coffee table (if there's room!)
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45 Rpm
45 Rpm by Spencer Drate (Paperback - October 1, 2002)
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