What is Sleevefacing?

Admit it: you really miss the days of those old vinyl albums. First came CDs and all that wonderful album cover art got shrunk down so small that you practically need a magnifying glass to see Edgar Allan Poe peeking out from the top of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. And then, as if the shrinkage of your favorite album cover art wasn’t bad enough, now most people listen to music on an iPod and even if there is any cover art available it has gotten way too small for active Americans to see. Vinyl album covers were on the verge of being an almost totally forgotten art form until some clever people arrived at what might be termed a not so stupid human trick.

This wacky new internet fad is called Sleevefacing and it may just be enough to bring back some of those wonderful album covers you remember. Finally, an internet fad that is tailor made for active Americans who never took the time to toss out their albums. You just knew they’d come back into fashion, didn’t you? A lesson that needs to be learned over and over again: throw nothing away, because eventually everything is rediscovered, often for a brand new purpose. What is sleevefacing? Nothing more complex, yet nothing more fraught with unlimited potential for artistic expression, than taking an album cover and cleverly integrating it into your surroundings.

The possibilities for this actually rather clever stupid human trick is endless. A visit to SleeveFace.com reveals just a small example of how far some people have taken this idea. It can be as simple as wearing a shirt similar to the one Johnny Mathis wears on the cover of one his albums and placing it in perfect proximity over your face, or it can be as complex as covering your face with one album and another area of the body with another album. Some of those taking part in this wacky new fad go all out in their attempt to wear the same clothes and create the same background that is found on the album. And don’t go thinking that only photographs of stars from Frank Sinatra to Elvis Presley to Elton John to Justin Timberlake are finding their faces attached to the bodies of stranger. One particularly creative sleevefacer manage to pull off an almost seamless recreation of a portrait of Mozart on a classical musical album.

Nearly everyone over the age of 40 has got at least a small collection of vinyl albums stacked away somewhere. You may have forgotten your albums up in the attic, or you may have yours stacked in the corner of the garage waiting for your next yard sale. The point is you probably have more vinyl than any teenager or twentysomething or thirtysomething you know. Why not dig out your favorite album covers and leap into the fun and wacky world of sleevefacing?