Rock for the mail

David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust”, the Rolling Stones’ “Let It Bleed”, New Order’s “Power, Corruption and Lies” and Coldplay’s “A Rush of Blood to the Head”.

This is a special treat because just 12 special stamps sets are produced per year: “The thing about stamps is that they are 1-inch works of art,” said Philip Parker, the Head of Stamp Policy for Royal Mail to Rolling Stones magazine. “And thinking about this we thought that the old 12-inch vinyl cover is a great work of art. We thought putting them on stamps would be a great way to celebrate this art form.” The selection process was hard and rigorous. Artists and music journalists were involved in the election.

A lot of covers were rejected, some reasons were that the images could be misinterpreted or disturbing like Pinkfloyd’s “Wish you Were Here”. Others because didn’t fit well in the size of a stamp like “Dark Side of the Moon”, the most famous Pink Floyd cover. “It was too black,” said Parker. “The stamps also have to do their function. They can’t just look good. If a stamp is too dark our machines will reject it.”

Even the Queen had to give the royal approval for the printing of the stamps: “I wouldn’t be surprised if she knew the majority of the bands.” parker said.

The series of stamps is in line with other design-themed stamps such as Europe and America’s “Masters of Modern Architecture” series, Canada’s famous designers, and comic book characters.

David Bowie and the Clash’s Paul Simon would be the only individuals not part of the royal family to be portrayed in a stamp.

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