On Thursday (January 7), the U.K.'s Royal Mail unveiled a series of 10 new stamps, honoring the most iconic album covers of the past 40 years.
The albums featured in the new series are the [artist id="515"]Rolling Stones[/artist]' Let It Bleed, [artist id="993"]Led Zeppelin[/artist]'s IV, [artist id="973"]David Bowie[/artist]'s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, [artist id="503245"]Mike Oldfield[/artist]'s Tubular Bells, [artist id="977"]The Clash[/artist]'s London Calling, [artist id="267"]New Order[/artist]'s Power, Corruption and Lies, [artist id="758"]Primal Scream[/artist]'s Screamadelica, [artist id="1118"]Pink Floyd[/artist]'s The Division Bell, [artist id="1041"]Blur[/artist]'s Parklife and — the most recent album on to make the cut — [artist id="1111141"]Coldplay[/artist]'s A Rush of Blood to the Head.
Meant to honor "the most potent graphic images of modern times, many of which have provided a visual soundtrack to people's lives," the series is the end result of a lengthy research process by the Royal Mail, who looked through thousands of album covers by British artists before deciding on the final list. And, during a Wednesday night BBC Radio broadcast, it was revealed that the queen herself actually approved each design.
Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page — who helped design the cover for IV — was on hand to celebrate the release of the stamps and recalled the mysterious nature of the album's iconic imagery.
"Almost 40 years after the album came out, nobody knows the old man who featured on the cover, nor the artist who painted him," he said. "That sort of sums up what we wanted to achieve with the album cover, which has remained both anonymous and enigmatic at the same time."
Of course, any great honor is befitting of an equally great contest, so, on the same day the stamps were made available to the general public, Coldplay decided to give one of their Rush of Blood stamps away. In a message on their official site, the band held a contest to send one lucky fan "a letter using a Coldplay stamp, postmarked with today's issue date."
"We visited our local post office earlier today and bought some of the Coldplay stamps," the message read. "Very nice they are too."