Sleeveface Photos – The 20 Most Striking LP Cover Art Shots

January 26th, 2023 by Gregory de Richemont

What are Sleeveface Photos?

Sleeveface Photos, also known as LP Portraits, is a picture meme in which a vinyl record sleeve is placed in front of one’s face and a profile shot is taken, revealing a “hybrid face” of the subject and the artwork featured on the record cover

This practice became a real phenomenon from 2007 to 2008, and what is left today is thousands of photos available on different online platforms

­­Along the years, I have collected the ones I came across and that I found remarkable

So today, I’m sharing the 20 best sleeveface photos we’ve chosen with a few friends from among these incredible images:

John Cassavetes – Staccato

Sleeveface Photos

Credit: Anny Celsi, Nelson Bragg, and Ivan Pyzow

Garfunkel – Angel Clare

Art Garfunkel Sleeveface - Record Jacquet Illusion

Picture: Christophe Gowans

Electric Light Orchestra – Discovery

Album Cover Over Face Art

Credit: Christophe Gowans

Freddy Mercury – Mr. Bad Guy

Sleeveface Photos - Freddy Mercury

Picture: unknown

James Taylor – Never Die Young

Sleeveface Photos - Dog

Credit: André Bonsanto, Grazieli Eurich, Fabio Ansolin, Mauricio Toczek, Maicon Ambrosio and Gabriel Junqueira (Unicentro, Brazil)

David Bowie – Low

Sleeveface Photos - David Bowie

Picture: Hannes Mauerer

Miles Davis – Miles Davis (Amiga)

Miles Davis Sleeveface - Album Cover Art Illusion

CreditKálmán Tünde

The Best of Bill Withers

Office Sleeveface - The Art of Sleevefacing Bill Withers

Picture: Kommunikation Lohnzich

Madonna – True Blue

Sleeveface Photos - Madonna

Credit: Luise Peeck

La Roux – I’m Not Your Toy

La Roux - I'm Not Your Toy Sleeveface

Picture: Marcio Reverbcity

The Very Best of Elton John

Elton john - Funny Record Sleeve Art

Credit: Matthias and Mrs K

Harry Belafonte – An Evening With Belafonte

Harry Belafonte Sleeveface - Vinyl Record Cover Trick

Picture: Nathan Rosen & Jeanne Azzerone

Françoise Hardy – Françoise Hardy

Sleeveface Francoise Hardy - The Art of Sleevefacing with Vinyl Record Artwork

Credit: Pat Póvoa

John Farnham – Whispering Jack

Picture: Paul and Sonia Child

Charlie Rich – Behind Closed Doors

Best Sleevefaces Selection - Charlie Rich

Credit: Pete Willocks

Nancy & Lee – Nancy & Lee

Best Album Cover Art - Sleevefacing - Nancy & Lee

Picture: Quint Kik & Eric Walet

Mireille Mathieu – Bonjour Mireille

Best Sleeveface Selection - Mireille Mathieu

Credit: Richard Matera

Udo Lindenberg – Daumen Im Wind

Picture: Till Hogrefe & Tanja Brinker

Frank Zappa – Sheik Yerbouti

Vinyl Record Sleeve Fun - The Art of Sleevefacing - Frank Zappa

Credit: Tom & Paul Reas

Ramones – End Of The Century

Best Sleeveface - Album Cover Art Illusion - Ramones

Picture: Víctor Cabezas, Manolo Martínez, Facundo Ramone, and Michael Ramone

Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A-Changin’

Best of Sleeveface - Bob Dylan

Credit: William Petrovic

More about the Sleeveface phenomenon:

Welsh DJ Carl Morris invented the name “Sleeveface” in April 2007, when photos were taken of him and his friends holding record covers to their faces while DJing at a bar in Cardiff, UK

Then, his friend John Rostron placed the photographs online and started a Facebook group, and it quickly became viral

The precise origin of the concept, however, is unknown. Prior to the release of Sleeveface, Swedish filmmaker Daniel Eskils posted multiple sleeveface-style pictures on the Waxidermy forum in 2006

The act of covering one’s face with an album cover has previously been seen in album covers, with the oldest example being the cover art of John Hiatt’s 1979 album “Slug Face” where he is pictured holding a sleeve in front of his face. A similar concept was employed for Huey Lewis and the News’ 1982 album “Picture This,” as well as cover art collages by visual artist Christian Marclay, whose work dates back to the early 1990s

The phenomena of sleevefacing quickly attracted the attention of mainstream media sources and influential tech blogs such as BBC, and The Guardian, among others, in late January 2008. The craze spread to photo-sharing groups and social networking sites such as Flickr. The official Flickr group has over 4,000 photo entries as of January 2023


The end of the Sleeveface fad:

In late 2008, John Rostron and Carl Morris released the book “Sleeveface: Be the Vinyl”, which features a collection of sleeveface photos from around the world

According to Wired Magazine, the book’s distribution sparked some anxiety about the commercialization of a common culture

Besides this commercial attempt, one can browse thousands of sleeveface photos on their official website

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    Gregory de Richemont

    If you like this post, feel free to share it! This blog is about love for music & analog sound, and is meant to be resourceful and interesting for people along their audiophile journey