Total Records

In 2017, c/o Berlin presented the exhibition "Total Records", which invited viewers to embark on a visual journey through time.


Word-renowned photographers have made pop-music history with their album covers, contributing to the interplay between music and photography.

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Four men on a crosswalk, a monk engulfed in flames, a baby swimming underwater after a one-dollar bill, a pair of tight jeans with a zipper, a silkscreen print of a yellow banana, a burning man shaking hands with another man – all these images have left deep impressions on generations of music fans. What would an album be without its cover?


Nothing but a nameless, interchangeable black vinyl disc. It's the picture on the cover that gives congenial visual representation to the music and the artist: It conveys identity and style, leaves open diverse possibilities for identification, and it also serves as a banal tool of advertising. An album's value is often as closely associated wit the image on the cover as it is with the musical recording itself.

© c/o Berlin Foundation

Photos: Nils Baum