Artists and designers reinterpret and reimagine existing album covers

AndrewKolb_33.3show.jpg 33.3 is an art show of album covers, reimagined and reinterpreted by artists and designers. I like Andrew Kolb's remake of the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds album cover. I'm now using it as the album art in my iTunes library. (Amazon sells the 27-track MP3 album of Pet Sounds that was reissued in 1996 -- on the 30th anniversary of the original release of the album -- for $9.49.)
At one point I was going to re-imagine The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band but then thought "Why do that when I could interpret the album that INSPIRED it?!?" I mean, who inspires the Beatles?! Frig The Beach Boys are cool.
My other favorites include Brent Couchman's design for Surfer Blood's "Astro Coast" record and Luke Bott's version of The Smiths' "The Queen Is Dead."

33.3 Art Show


  1. Some neat ideas there, but most look like a graphic designer’s attempt at a portfolio. Not sure why these need to be “re-imagined”, (other than an academic exercise.) In almost every case, the original is magnitudes better, but that’s just my opinion.

  2. Well, Michael B and NorhillJohn pretty much articulated my view, but with better SuperArticulosity. This 33.3 display looks like a bland collection of every style that’s currently hip in contemporary commercial design/illustration.

    It’s boring, disappointing and ultimately disrespectful to the artists and albums represented. Good or great design is determined by its ability to express the essence of what it reflects.

  3. Most, if not all, of the artists featured hail from NE Iowa – which is neat in my opinion, but probably will only lead to increased sniffing and snobbery from the other commenters.

  4. The Pet Sounds cover is the only one that seems a real improvement. But it really is! Should be made official.

  5. Underwhelming and soul-less, especially when compared to the originals.

    These pieces (as well as the ever-so-popular movie poster redesigns we see constantly) always remind me of certain design students I had in class who, no matter the assignment, insisted in hammering their personal “style” into the project, no matter whether it made sense or not, like the proverbial square peg in the round hole. Invariably, the results may have been pretty, but they rarely worked.

  6. That Pet Sounds cover is 100% better than the original, once you take off the nostalgia filter that might tell you otherwise. I love the fact that the entire band is just standing there while Brian is the only one actually doing something. How perfectly symbolic of the album itself. The only thing that might have made it better is if Mike Love was shaped a bit more like a penis.

    The Surfer Blood cover is brilliant, and far better than the original. It reminds me of the Sketches of Spain cover art.

    IMO, of course.

  7. Mixed bag of work, but overall seems like everyone was having fun–which seems to be the point of the show. No sure why the people commenting here feel the need to drag personal issues from school into it…feelings of inadequacy perhaps? Let’s see your portfolios if they’re so stunning and soulful.

  8. hipsters… this is just a fun, little project… we’re not trying to change the fucking world…

    1. Well, when you do something like this you really open yourself up to intense criticism from semi-anonymous internet people. Because let’s be honest – if this had just been a show of random design (album cover concepts or other types of design, but not specific re-imaginings of any existing album or existing design), it wouldn’t be linked to from boingboing, and few people would be interested.

      That’s not to say the design skills on display aren’t good – for the most part they are – but be reinterpreting or re-doing artwork which many people hold near and dear to their hearts, you have to expect that people will rip you apart if they don’t like it.

      I agree that the Pet Sounds one is great. I never felt that the original cover was anything too special. Haha, they’re feeding goats… whatever. This version is playful and incorporates many subtle design elements (like as someone mentioned, only Brian Wilson actually doing anything – clever interpretation!)

      I definitely do not like the one for The Queen is Dead. One of my favorite albums. I love the design of a queen this guy did. But the two do not mix. That artwork has nothing to do with the lyrical, musical, or emotional content of the album, and symbolizes nothing (at least, nothing relevant). The original cover (a still from a French film I believe) is stunningly evocative, considering how simple it is, and echos the content of the album very well, in my mind anyway.

      Reminds me of an internet discussion I read one time, years ago, where someone was disappointed with the album cover for Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks. They thought there was so much room for creativity there, just from the title – for example, why couldn’t there be a train track, and blood on it? I mean seriously, ugh… the actual cover is a classic, evocative and simple, much like The Queen is Dead.

  9. One of the artists in this show named Adam Weller took a photograph from Danny Lyon, author of The Bikeriders and looked like he just photo-shopped some filters over it. Worst of all, Mr. Weller went on to try and pass the image as something he created by himself. When I emailed the artist about this fact he did not respond. This is so incredibly lame and The Detroit Cobras suck anyway.

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