The Art of Shusei Nagaoka: Electric Light Orchestra’s Out of the Blue (1977)

Nagaoka Out of the Blue 1977-1

Nagaoka Out of the Blue 1977-2

Nagaoka Out of the Blue 1977-3

Nagaoka Out of the Blue 1977-4

Shusei Nagaoka (1936-2015) was responsible for much of the shimmering and gorgeous sci-fi art of the 1970s and 1980s, a sampling of which can be seen at Pink Tentacle. The fourth image appeared on the interior of the LP, and shows the command center located under the ELO logo on the cover. Much like my obsession with dead astronaut art, I’m fascinated by renderings of spaceships, especially spaceship interiors, especially command centers. These pieces tell us quite a bit about how space travel and future life were perceived at the time. Nagaoka here plays on the similarities between records and flying saucers: all is color and warmth and shiny surfaces, a meandering jukebox with warp drive in a laser light show universe.

If you see either volume of The Works of Shusei Nagaoka for a reasonable price, grab it up.

(Some images via Pink Tentacle and First Draft)

4 Responses to “The Art of Shusei Nagaoka: Electric Light Orchestra’s <em>Out of the Blue</em> (1977)”


  1. 1 narvo January 9, 2016 at 5:17 am

    Oh man. I never had the album, but I had a few friends that did, thanks to their older siblings. This was one of those album covers which I could spend hours looking at, just to get lost in the details.

    A few months ago I started looking for this album on Ebay and what not …I missed one that went for about $10…the rest of them are like $40+! Darnit…

  2. 2 Tom January 9, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    I found this album at a garage sale this past summer. Great album. As for space-themed album covers, I always liked the Boston album covers. I’m not sure who did the art for those, but each appear to be done by a different artist.


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