In July of this year, our long-term client, The Absolute Sound magazine, turned 50. First published by Harry Pearson in 1973, it was a 5 x 8 saddle stitched booklet, printed on not the greatest paper. Harry's editorial style seemed to be - from my non-audiophile perspective - a mix of the deeply technical, and stream of consciousness form of writing. Deeply intellectual, going against all the notions of what a traditional magazine's editorial structure "should " be, and coming across as highly personal - despite being a magazine about metal boxes for playing music - Harry and TAS created their own whole new aesthetic, and a place where, pre-internet, audiophiles and manufacturers could communicate with each other.
One particularly outstanding aspect of TAS back then was the cover art work. Harry Pearson would commission some insane (by today's often boring newsstand standards) artwork for covers. Early TAS covers were illustrated by Gary Viskupic of Newsday (where Harry worked at the time), and later by Robbii Wesson. Viskupic also created the TAS logo after the first three issues sold out, and reprints were required to keep up with demand - allowing them the opportunity to add a color cover and logo to the reprinted issue 1.
Today, The Absolute Sound is owned and operated by Tom Martin, with a very long-term, and semi-famous editorial team, including Robert Harley, Jonathan Valin, Neil Gader, Michael Fremer, and more. See below for some of those amazing TAS covers we mentioned, and click here to see the 50th anniversary cover illustrated by Ian Keltie. We've also included the contents page from the 50th anniversary issue, which contains some incredible photos of the TAS staff from back in the day (and one of us with some goat friends in our studio that we managed to sneak in). The covers come from various sources, so image reproduction may vary.