Like so many of the covers released by the Rolling Stones, 1976?s Made In The Shade was designed to provoke thought and define a point of view.
The Stones opinion of their own stature was made clear by the defiantly disinterested woman facing away from the viewer, her eyes and ears covered by over-sized reflective sunglasses and world-isolating headphones. “We love you, but we don’t need you,” it seems they are saying. “In fact, we may not even love you. We’ll keep you guessing.”
The androgyny of the subject extends the “keep ‘em guessing” message. She has the shape of a woman but the muscles and haircut of a man. Lastly, the cover highlight the Stones constant experimentation. The androgynous crossing of the lines made famous by Jagger and his pals Bowie and Reed is a subtle undertone to the overall design
Made In The Shade was a fitting title for this, the Stones very first compilation album. Indeed they had “made it” and the Epyptian-style script says it was more than local interest. They were worldwide.
Brad Benedict and Linda Barton’s wonderful book, Phonographics, credits Christian Piper as the artist but the internet reveals nothing about who he was (or who the was model for the painting).
Could have been Angie Bowie? Fitting it would have been as Made In The Shade included the song “Angie,” still one of the Stones most reliable hits.