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The Clash, Pink Floyd get British royal stamp of approval

Agnes Teh for CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page launches 10 iconic album covers stamps for the Royal Mail
  • One of the 10 selected albums was Led Zeppelin's "IV" which Page helped design
  • Final list of 10 emerged after trawling through thousands of album covers

(CNN) -- After the gloom of December's postal strikes, Britain's Royal Mail has started the new year in the right tune with the launch of 10 stamps which feature iconic album covers.

And who better than guitar shaman Jimmy Page to give it the official stamp of approval? The Led Zeppelin guitarist launched the new set of stamps in London which went on sale Thursday.

The special New Year stamps feature classic album sleeves from the last four decades.

One of the 10 selected albums was Led Zeppelin's 32 million-selling album, "IV," which Page helped design. It shows a painting of an unknown faggot-bearing man which is said to have been found by Robert Plant in a Reading junk shop. It is not known who the painter was.

"Almost 40 years after the album came out, nobody knows the old man who featured on the cover, nor the artist who painted him," said Page in a media statement released by Royal Mail.

"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," he added.

Video: Iconic album cover stamps

It was after extensive research into lists and polls and trawling through thousands of album covers that the final list of 10 was agreed upon, the Royal Mail said.

They added that key factors in choosing the covers were the art and album design and not necessarily the music.

"For decades, the album sleeve has been the canvas for some of the most imaginative graphic artists in the world, and this issue celebrates this unique art form and some of its greatest examples," said Juliette Edgar, Head of Special Stamps at Royal Mail in the statement.

Other chosen album covers include The Rolling Stones' 1969 album "Let It Bleed," which features a cake on the cover baked by a then unknown Delia Smith, Pennie Smith's photography for The Clash's "London Calling" and a bent chrome pipe on the cover of Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells."