The National Portrait Gallery in London is to display the photo from the cover of Kate Tempest’s album. But it’s not the only cover portrait that deserves to be exhibited – here are some of our favourites
Elvis Costello – This Year’s Model (1978)
Elvis turns the camera back on the world, and really doesn’t like what he sees – a faultless image. Photographer Chris Grabin has said: “Alongside a powerful stereo I kept a large record collection at my Camden Studio, and artists would choose music they enjoyed or were interested in for their sessions. Just as we were about to start shooting, Elvis asked me if I had Hotel California by the Eagles, and could I play it. I was puzzled by his choice – until he told me that he loathed the record, but wanted to look really pissed off and angry in the shots!”
PJ Harvey – Rid of Me (1993)
Rid of Me’s cover is the result of a combination of serendipity and deliberation – the photo was taken by Maria Mochnacz, in her bathroom – a space so small there was no room for Mochnacz to look through her viewfinder. The picture was taken in darkness, and Harvey is captured by flash, swinging her hair through the air. Striking and dynamic (and topless) without conforming to any of the industry demands for women to be sexualised – it’s a startling piece of work.
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