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Musical mysteries: the unlikely album cover stars who became modern pop enigmas

As the old man on Led Zeppelin’s fourth album artwork is identified, we take a look at albums that are as famous for the faces on their sleeves as their music When I was young, I was entranced by the mysterious figures who appeared on the sleeves of vinyl albums. Where did Roxy Music find its inexhaustible supply of glamorous women? Who was the weather-beaten fisher on the front of the Cure’s Standing on a Beach and how did he know the Cure? Like many children, I assumed that the nine celebrities on the sleeve of Band on the Run by Paul McCartney and Wings – including Michael Parkinson, comedian Kenny Lynch and Liberal MP Clement Freud – represented the actual line-up of Wings, which would have made for a challenging studio environment. In the Google era, one can answer these questions in seconds. Roxy Music knew a lot of models, and Bryan Ferry dated half of them. The fisher (retired) was called John Button. (“The man featured on the album cover was not a member of the Cure,” Wikipedia helpfully notes.) Parkinson did not play with Wings. Some mysteries, however, have proved harder to solve. Continue reading...

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