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On the Record: Anton Corbijn's Album Art

Updated July 30, 2010

In anticipation of the release of the George Clooney hitman movie The American, Nick Dawson looks at the famous record covers shot by the film’s director, Anton Corbijn.

Slide 1: Introduction
Slide 2:  Steely Dan – Greatest Hits (1978)
Slide 3: Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band – Ice Cream for Crow (1982)
Slide 4: U2 – War (1983)
Slide 5: U2 – The Joshua Tree (1987)
Slide 6: Herbert Grönemeyer – What's All This (1988)
Slide 7: Depeche Mode – 101 (1989)
Slide 8: R.E.M. – Automatic for the People (1992)
Slide 9: Sophie Zelmani – Love Affair (2003)
Slide 10: The Killers – Sam's Town (2006)
Slide 1: Introduction

Slide 1: Introduction

As well as being the director of The American, Anton Corbijn is one of the most lauded contemporary photographers and a man who is perpetually pursued by musicians desperate to have him take their picture. In the documentary Shadow Play: The Making of Anton Corbijn, R.E.M.’s lead singer Michael Stipe attempts to sum up Corbijn’s special appeal as a photographer, and notes that “a lot of people have gone to Anton to help them figure out what it is exactly they want to look like, if they want to project a new idea or image onto themselves.” Indeed, as you will see in the following slideshow about the photographs Corbijn has taken for musicians over the years, his album images have not just made already cool rockers look even cooler but have more importantly added new facets to the these artists’ music which has propelled them to much greater success.