The 300,000th album cover was uploaded to the AAX gallery yesterday. The milestone took place at 2:57 p.m. PDT when AAX contributor retrogroove_art posted a scan of the 1981 LP Physical by Olivia Newton-John.
Thanks to everyone who has contributed high quality album cover art to the gallery. You have helped make Album Art Exchange the best source for album art on the Internet.
When a young friend recently ask me why the cover for Olivia Newton-John’s 1981 album Physical (below) looks quite a bit like that for Madonna’s 1986 album True Blue (right), I knew that it was time for another Album Art Flashback. There’s an obvious reason for the similarity. Both photographs were taken by the late fashion photographer and pop culture icon Herb Ritts. Ritts later directed music videos for Madonna, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears and several other notable artists. He passed away in December 2002.
The art director for Physical was George Osaki. Ritts took the photos on the beach in in Honolulu, Hawaii. The image of Newton-John in profile that was used for the cover continued onto the back of the album, showing the singer splashing in the water. In addition to the photograph on the cover, Ritts shot the poster that was included with the LP (right).
The packaging for Madonna’s True Blue used a similar concept. A poster of an uncropped image that included Madonna’s bare shoulder and a leather jacket was included with the LP. What I find interesting is that even though the album covers are only separated by five years, the Madonna cover has a timeless quality that is missing for Physical. The 1980s workout headband and the wet shift dress give Newton-John a very dated look. Madonna would not look out of place at a trendy nightclub wearing her outfit today.