What are the coolest album covers of all time? That’s a question we’ve set out to answer in a story that will appear in American Photo — and in an expanded survey on this website — later this fall. While taking an unscientific poll, we’ve found no shortage of opinions about which album covers are the best and why. Just as music is a matter of personal taste, so is cover art. But everyone seems to agree that a handful of covers are True Classics. One of these is the image at left, from the 1965 album Whipped Cream & Other Delights, by Herb Alpert & the Tiajuana Brass.
The album came out in 1965, when sexy, frothy pictures on LP sleeves were already commonplace, but this one takes the cake. It was shot by photographer Jerry Wharf. We were delighted to discover a newspaper story on the lovely model, Dolores Erickson, now a 71-year-old painter in Longview, Washington. For the ’65 photo shoot, she wore a sheet slathered with shaving cream (real whipped cream couldn’t withstand the heat of studio lights); she recalled that she was pregnant at the time, which made her look more curvy and luminous. “I thought, ‘Just another job,'” recalled Erickson, who posed for 17 other album covers and countless beauty ads, as well as landing acting parts.