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Gatefold issue of rock band Queen's Made in Heaven CD. Made-in-Heaven-CD-Gatefold.jpg
Gatefold issue of rock band Queen's Made in Heaven CD.

A gatefold cover or gatefold LP is a form of packaging for LP records which became popular in the mid-1960s. A gatefold cover, when folded, is the same size as a standard LP cover (i.e. a 12½ inch, or 32.7 centimetre, square). The larger gatefold cover provided a means of including artwork, liner notes, and/or song lyrics which would otherwise not have fit on a standard record cover. It became famous as an extension of progressive rock, as the expansive, transient gatefolds by artists such as Roger Dean, H. R. Giger, or Hipgnosis became associated with concept albums.


Gatefold sleeves were also frequently used when an album contained more than one record, with Bob Dylan's 1966 double album Blonde on Blonde being the first multi-LP album to be released in a gatefold. Typically, double albums would feature one disc in each half of the cover, with larger albums either placing multiple LPs in one or both sleeves or using larger gatefolds. While some multi-LP releases (particularly those released during the vinyl record's market dormancy from 1988 to 2007) would either package the discs in a simple sleeve or sandwich the records between two cards and shrinkwrap, the prominence of gatefold for multi-LP albums led it to become the most common form of packaging for them.

Starting in the early 1950s, RCA used gatefold packaging for some of their deluxe 45 RPM single releases, such as Nat King Cole's 8-song "Unforgettable" EP with two 45s, released in 1952. Gatefold packaging for LPs was popularized in the late 1950s by band leader and stereophonic studio recording pioneer Enoch Light, so he could fit liner notes he had written describing the sounds in each song on the album sleeve. Disagreement exists as to the identity of the first gatefold LP packaging used with a traditional 33⅓ LP. [1]

In recent years, the LP gatefold has been adapted to package CDs without a jewelcase.

Original use of the term

The left and right panel of a gate-folded sheet open like a double gate. Gate-fold.svg
The left and right panel of a gate-folded sheet open like a double gate.

In the printing industry, the term gate fold or gatefold means a document folding method that uses two parallel folds to create six panels; the left and right panels are half the width of the center panels and fold inward to meet in the middle without overlapping. [2] :353 [3] [4]

See also

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<i>Back from the Grave, Volume 6</i>

Back from the Grave, Volume 6 (LP) is the sixth installment in the Back from the Grave series of garage rock compilations assembled by Tim Warren of Crypt Records. It was released in 1986. In keeping with all of the entries in the series, and as indicated in the subheading which reads "17 Loud Unpsychedelic Wild Mid-60s Garage Punkers," this collection generally excludes psychedelic, folk rock, and pop-influenced material in favor of basic primitive rock and roll, usually consisting of songs displaying the rawer and more aggressive side of the genre often characterized by the use of fuzztone-distorted guitars and rough vocals. The packaging features well-researched liner notes written by Tim Warren which convey basic information about each song and group, such as origin, recording date, and biographical sketches, usually written in a conversational style that includes occasional slang, anecdotes, humorous asides. The liner notes are noticeably opinionated, sometimes engaging in tongue-in-cheek insults directed at other genres of music. The packaging also includes photographs of the bands, and the front cover features a highly satirical cartoon by Mort Todd which depicts the customarily vengeful deeds of revivified zombies, but this time, in a version of the future based on a retro-vision from the past, replete with flying saucers, these defiantly "earthly" creatures have taken Crypt records' makeshift fighter-plane for a joyride into orbit for the purpose of not-so-safely depositing their "musically heterodox" victims into the outer reaches of space.


  1. "What was the first gatefold pop or rock LP?". Steve Hoffman Music Forums. 2003. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  2. Clair, Kate (2005). A typographic workbook: a primer to history, techniques, and artistry (2nd ed.). Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley. ISBN   9781118399880.
  3. Beaty, Keith. "Printing Lingo: What is a Gatefold?". Archived from the original on 2021-06-20. Retrieved 2022-07-28.
  4. "What you need to know about gate fold leaflets". Archived from the original on 2021-05-06. Retrieved 30 July 2022.