The Concert For Bangladesh (album) - Album Artwork

Album Artwork

The album's packaging was designed by Camouflage Productions partners Tom Wilkes and Barry Feinstein, the same team responsible for All Things Must Pass, rock music's first boxed triple album. Along with Alan Pariser, both Wilkes and Feinstein had taken stills photographs at Madison Square Garden, at the soundcheck on 31 July and during the concerts the next day, the results filling the 64-page full-colour booklet accompanying the original album. Also used as the Concert for Bangladesh movie poster, the album-cover photograph – the "haunting" image of a malnourished young child sitting naked behind a wide, empty food bowl, author Bruce Spizer writes – was a still taken from news agency film footage and airbrushed extensively by Wilkes. Having created the provocative, headline-filled picture sleeve for Harrison's "Bangla Desh" single earlier in the year, Wilkes was keen to capture "real human compassion" in this cover and poster image.

The booklet's back-cover picture showed an open guitar case filled with food and medical supplies, below a copy of the cheque for the Madison Square Garden box-office takings. Wilkes intended this image to convey a sense of hope, signifying the completion of the task that the participants had set out to achieve for the refugees from East Pakistan.

The three vinyl LPs and booklet were housed inside a deep orange-coloured box. The 1991 CD release placed the cover photo on a white background, however, replicating the front of the original album booklet. As commentators noted in 1991, the necessary downsizing to CD dimensions meant that much of the effectiveness of the booklet photography was lost, not least because the contents had also been trimmed down to just 36 pages.

Further changes to Camouflage's design concept occurred for the 2005 CD remaster and DVD release. In 1971, Capitol executives had been concerned that the cover image was too "depressing" and uncommercial, according to Jon Taplin, who served as production manager at the Madison Square concerts; Harrison had been resolute, however, and so Wilkes's design was used. In October 2005, four years after Harrison's death, the remastered Concert for Bangladesh releases appeared with a photo of him on the cover, although the special-edition DVD retained the original image.

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