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Radiohead Artist Stanley Donwood’s Favorite Album Cover Is Not a Radiohead Album Cover

Even more surprising, it's a photograph and not a painting

If producer Nigel Godrich is considered by all to be the unofficial sixth member of Radiohead, then artist Stanley Donwood is no doubt the seventh. Not since Pink Floyd and Hipgnosis (and perhaps Pixies and Vaughan Oliver) has a band and an artist enjoyed such a fruitful marriage, with Donwood illustrating the front cover of every Radiohead release since The Bends, as well as Thom Yorke’s solo endeavors like Atoms for Peace’s Amok. Radiohead’s in-house artist has made dozens of unforgettable images, but in an interview with, we learn which album cover is Donwood’s favorite of all-time. Hint: It’s not Hail to the Thief.

“The cover of 20 Jazz Funk Greats by Throbbing Gristle,” Donwood reveals. While not exactly the result of paint on canvas, Donwood is obviously drawn to the juxtaposition of the scenic, innocuous front cover photo and the abrasive industrial music within must appeal to the artist. (20 Jazz Funk Greats is a nod to the Rolling Stones’ Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass) and so many similar album covers from that era.) We also learn from the Bonnaroo interview that Donwood first began seeing the bond between music and art thanks to the band Tubeway Army (thanks, Gary Numan!) and that his favorite color is “blue, but am very taken by fluorescent colors.” Finally, Donwood gives some love to artist Robert Rauschenberg, who also happens to be a Grammy-winning album designer.