Sleeve Artists: Ed Thrasher

By swagski swagski
updated over 9 years ago

WELCOME TO "SLEEVE ARTISTS"
(Please scroll down to the Sleeve Image History if you wish to skip this intro & the artist profile).

Whilst this Discogs site is dedicated to the art of music, I believe the importance of the art of graphic imagery in music should not be overlooked. In many instances the sleeve art of a recording reflects the nature and attitude of society prevalent at the time of its release. It also needs to capture the essence of the artist upon the release, arranging its shapes and orchestrating its colours to reach the eyes in silent communication. Once upon a time, the possession and tactile joy of a vinyl album sleeve was like having a child's security blanket. It's content proof that other people out there understood the crazy stuff that you were listening to. Often, the art content would distill and become a recognisable icon for the future of the performer. A leitmotif that would go beyond the days when a band simply wrote their name on the drum kit.

My intention is to create a series of lists, prefixed "Sleeve Artists:". These lists will, initially, be confined to early/seminal graphic artists creating 'hand-worked' art, rather than later photographers or computer/CGI illustrators. I shall attempt to provide a broad Profile on each artist, adding to it as I uncover their album histories. Albums will be added to the Image List chronologically as I come across them, together with any relative info in the text area. I shall also maintain a set of links to other sleeve artist's work in Discogs (found as a footnote, below the Profile).

This is certainly not intended as a definitive guide to the artist or their works. It's simply an aid to their enjoyment & governed by the Database. Any info you have, or pointers to missing items, or complaints etc., is welcome.


The Sleeve Art Of Ed Thrasher
Born: Edward Lee Thrasher Jr.
1932, Glendale, California, USA.
Died: 5th August 2006, Big Bear Lake, California, USA. Aged 74.

Thrasher was a multi-talented creative, who's immense body of work helped to shape the image of rock and popular music through the 'free-loving' 1960's and into the organized musical presentation & commercialism of the 1970's. Although an accomplished artist & photographer, Thrasher's greatest skill was that of a true Art Director, having the vision and insight to commission photographers, typographers and illustrators for album sleeves that would become as memorable as the works within.

After serving in the US Navy during the war in Korea the young Thrasher returned to LA and enrolled in the Trade Tech College to study art & illustration. He then joined the art department at Capitol Records as an assistant, aged 25. There he eventually became an art director and developed his skills as a photographer.

In 1964 he moved to Warner Brothers and became head art director in the music division. It was here that his vision and imagination really kicked in, working among a diverse roster of top performers. One of his tasks included working with architect Quincy Jones on the design for the Company's building at 3300 Warner Boulevard, LA. At Warners the Thrasher photographs of Frank Sinatra occupied many album sleeves and it was Thrasher who coined the album title "Ol' Blue Eyes Is Back".

When Thrasher finally left Warners his portfolio of celebrity photography was vast. He formed an advertising company, Ed Thrasher & Associates, creating memorable film posters, music promotions and album sleeves. During his career Thrasher gained over a dozen nominations for the Grammy Award in Album Design. In 1974 he, and co-art director Christopher Whorf, won the Grammy for best package design with the Mason Proffit album “Come & Gone.”

Thrasher was married to actress Linda Gray for 22 years, which ended in divorce. They had two children, a son and a daughter. Thrasher died of cancer at his home in Bear Lake.

Other Sleeve Artists:
Sleeve Artists: Barney Bubbles (The work of Colin Fulcher).
Sleeve Artists: Gary Panter (Under construction)
Sleeve Artists: Martin Sharp ('Oz' & Whitaker) Including Robert Whitaker
& other sleeve artists relating to Sharp's 'Oz' magazine
Sleeve Artists: Cal Schenkel (Under construction, but operating)
Sleeve Artists: Ed Thrasher (Under construction, but operating)
Sleeve Artists: Of West Coast Bands 1967-1970 (Under construction)

  1. Frank Sinatra - Strangers In The Night

    (NOTE: The following image history is still under construction.
    Full credits/comments to be added)


    1966
    Photography & art direction by Thrasher

  2. Nancy Sinatra - Boots

    1966
    Photography & art direction by Thrasher

  3. Frank Sinatra - The World We Knew

    1967
    Art direction Ed Thrasher.
    Cover illustration by Bernie Fuchs.
    Cover notes by Stan Cornyn.

  4. The Electric Prunes - Underground

    1967
    Art direction by Ed Thrasher.
    Photography by Tom Tucker.

  5. The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band - Part One

    1967
    Art direction Ed Thrasher.
    Illustration by Charles E. White III

  6. The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band - Vol. 2

    1967
    Art direction by Ed Thrasher

  7. The Association (2) - Greatest Hits!

    1967
    Art direction by Ed Thrasher

  8. The Beau Brummels - Triangle

    1967
    Art direction by Ed Thrasher

  9. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Are You Experienced?

    36 For Sale from $8.00

    1967
    Art & design by Ed Thrasher.

  10. Joni Mitchell - Song To A Seagull

    6 For Sale from $3.70

    1968
    Art direction by Thrasher.
    Cover illustration by Joni Mitchell.
    Photo by Mark Roth.

  11. The Association (2) - Birthday

    1968
    Art direction by Ed Thrasher

  12. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Electric Ladyland

    1968
    US album: Packaging design & Art direction by Ed Thrasher

  13. The Electric Prunes - Release Of An Oath

    1968
    Art direction Ed Thrasher.
    Photography by Sid Avery

  14. Van Morrison - Astral Weeks

    1968
    Design Ed Thrasher
    Photo Joel Brodsky

  15. Eric Andersen (2) - Avalanche

    46 For Sale from $1.75

    1968
    Art direction by Ed Thrasher.
    Cover art by Eve Babitz.

  16. Bill Cosby - Hooray For The Salvation Army Band!

    1968
    Artwork & photo Ed Thrasher.

  17. Petula Clark - The Other Man's Grass Is Always Greener

    21 For Sale from $2.49

    1968 (awaiting image)
    Art direction

  18. The Vogues - Memories

    56 For Sale from $0.60

    1969
    Art direction & cover photography Ed Thrasher.
    Additional photo Ken Kim.

  19. Arlo Guthrie - Running Down The Road

    75 For Sale from $0.89

    1969
    Art direction by Thrasher.
    Photo by Henry Diltz.

  20. Tiny Tim - Tiny Tim's 2nd Album

    28 For Sale from $4.00

    1969
    Art direction by Ed Thrasher

  21. Joni Mitchell - Clouds

    1969
    Art direction Ed Thrasher.
    Illustration (self-portrait) by Joni Mitchell