Album Cover Art Wednesday: The Tale Of The Giant Rat Of Sumatra

I had planned to post another cover until I listened to this album for the first time in many years on the YouTube. I’d already posted a Firesign LP cover, after all. I laughed so hard when listening to Firesign’s classic 1974 send up of Holmes and Watson that I changed my mind. Neil Young will have to wait until next week.

The Tale of the Giant Rat of Sumatra is primarily an affectionate parody of the Basil Rathbone-Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes film series of the 1930’s and ’40’s. It was one of the few times Rathbone played a hero. He’s best known as a hiss-provoking villain: Sir Guy Of Gisbourne, come on down. Bunny Bruce played true to type, portraying Watson as a bumbling, lovable upper class twit. Firesign’s Dr. Flotsam is thick and hard of hearing who incorrectly, and hilariously, transcribes the ravings of the brilliant but cocaine addled Hemlock Stones.

The puns are to die for in The Tale of the Giant Rat of Sumatra as is Bob Schulenberg’s cover, which resembles a Victorian era penny dreadful magazine:

Giant Rat


The back cover is a bit sketchy and hard to read in this scan:

Giant Rat back cover

Finally, here’s the LP. It’s highly recommended for all members of the pun community: