Jim McCrary, a former staff photographer for A&M Records who shot hundreds of album covers during his career, has died at the age of 72.
McCrary shot the iconic, cat-featuring image for Carole King’s 1971 album Tapestry, as well as over 300 other album covers, including for the debut album from the Flying Burrito Brothers, the Carpenters debut album, Offering/Ticket To Ride and Joe Cocker’s live album, Mad Dogs And Englishmen.
The LA Times reports that McCrary died on April 29 following complications from a chronic nervous system disorder at a hospital in Palo Alto, California.
Record producer Lou Adler said: “He was so important both to me and my artists. Conceptually, he always understood what the person was about and was able to photograph their personality. A perfect example of that is the Tapestry album…. The idea of having the cat, that brought a personal feeling to it.”
McCrary also shot Michael Jackson for his Off The Wall album, but the pictures ended up being scrapped as Jackson wasn’t happy with the way that he looked in the photos.