Category Archives: Album Cover Art

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Hey Fela

Another day, another punny title. The late Nigerian musician and political activist Fela Kuti had a long and storied recording career. His albums were known for their wildly creative cover art. Here’s a sampler via OkayAfrica.com:

Here’s a double dose of Fela and his band Egypt 80 live in 1984 and 1987:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: GRRR

I thought that Charlie Brown and I were the only ones who said GRRR. I had no idea that there was a 1966 Hugh Masekela album called that. Go figure.

Here are a couple of tracks from the album:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: McCoy Tyner

The ground-breaking jazz pianist McCoy Tyner died last week at the age of 81. Here’s a random sampler of his album covers:

Here’s the Nights Of Blues & Ballads album in two parts:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Early Warhol

Before Andy Warhol became a pop art superstar in the Sixties, he worked as a freelance commercial artist. Among his most interesting work in the Fifties were some jazz album covers. Here’s a sampler:

 

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Ash Wednesday Blues

It’s Ash Wednesday a day on which people atone for their Carnival sins. Hence this 2001 album by Anders Osborne featuring a cover photo by the great Herman Leonard.

Here’s the title track:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Violent Femmes

The word iconic is so overused that it drives me to iconoclasm, but sometimes it fits. That’s the case with cover of Violent Femmes eponymous (a word I love as much as I hate iconic) 1983 debut album.

The story of how the cover came to be is often told:

Billie Jo Campbell was discovered at age 3 while walking down a street in Los Angeles with her mother. A photographer approached, told the mother that Billie Jo was adorable, and asked if she wouldn’t mind her daughter appearing in a photo shoot at a house in Laurel Canyon. The mother—“a free spirit,” Billie Jo explained—promptly set up an appointment. They later learned that the shoot was for the cover of an album by an obscure acoustic-punk trio from Milwaukee about to release their debut. In the photo, barefoot Billie Jo wears a cute white dress and strains to peer inside a darkened house through a window. She had no idea that this was an apt metaphor for the band’s songs, which capture that precise moment when childhood innocence is corrupted by the obsessions of the adult world—sex, violence, perverted religiosity, and omnipresent death.

A long quote but well worth the space. Here’s the cover:

Here’s the whole damn album:

 

 

Album Cover Art Wednesday: The Magician’s Birthday

Despite their Dickensian name, I’ve never connected with Uriah Heep’s music. The cover of this 1972 album is by Roger Dean who is best known for his work with Yes. What’s not to like about that?

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Here’s the title track:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Crawfish Fiesta

Carnival is revving into high gear so my thoughts turned to this 1980 album by Henry Roeland Byrd aka Roy aka Professor Longhair aka Fess.

Here’s the whole damn album in the YouTube playlist format:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: In Japan

For many years, I thought of Buck Owens as the genial co-host of the cornball hickfest, Hee Haw. It wasn’t until I started listening to Dwight Yoakam, that I realized he was so much more. Thanks, Dwight.

Buck was a singer-songwriter with an edge; something that didn’t come across when he was trading jokes with Junior Samples, Grandpa Jones, and Goober. He was also a world traveler; hence this 1967 live album.

Yeah, I know. There’s an exclamation point in the title. Homey don’t play that and neither do I.

Here’s Buck and his Buckaroos doing the Tokyo Polka:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: The Cool Sound Of Albert Collins

Watching Trump’s lawyers lie with the Chief Justice seated behind them makes me want a cocktail. That’s where this 1965 album comes in.

Let’s have a drink with the Iceman:

Here’s the album via the YouTube playlist format. Bottoms up:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Seconds Of Pleaure

I featured Rockpile, the short lived power pop super group, a few weeks ago in the Saturday post. Seconds Of Pleasure is the only album released under that name and it’s a good un.

The playful cover of the original release was done by virtuoso graphic designer Barney Bubbles. Here’s the complete original package beginning with the front and back covers, concluding with the gatefold:

In the mood for some lagniappe? The cover of a 2004 re-release features a picture of the band looking grim.

Finally, the whole damn album in the You Tube playlist format:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: From Another World

I’m feeling terse this morning. It’s time for some Space Age Pop circa 1956:

Here’s the whole damn Sid Bass album:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: New Year With Guy Lombardo

I’m on the record as hating New Years Eve. It’s over as is the Decayed Decade. But it’s Wednesday so I made a seasonal selection. I still, however, refuse to wear a silly party hat. They look ridiculous on my size 8 head.

Before there was Ryan Seacrest, Anderson Cooper, Andy Cohen, and drunk Don Lemon, there was Guy Lombardo. Hell, Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Years Eve started as counter programming to Lombardo and his big band.

Here’s Lombardo’s final NYE performance:

Happy New Year from New Orleans. Hopefully, it will be a better year for all of us than 2019.

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Christmas With Louis

These covers are for 78’s or 45’s but they’re pure Louis Armstrong. Louis, Dr. A, Paul Drake, and I wish you a Merry Christmas or whatever else floats your boat.

This 1997 compilation cover didn’t make the cut but it has the essential holiday tunes from Louis as well some songs by his friends:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: More Weird Christmas Albums

The holidays are full of ritual and repetition so I thought I should show some holiday spirit, The world is full of weird Christmas album covers; it’s my duty to share them with you. Did I  just say duty? I meant pleasure.

To prove that I’m committed to the ritualistic nature of this post, I’m sticking with the side-by-side cover format from last week.

Let’s party like it’s 1976:

Let’s get even more retro with these album covers:

Finally, let’s celebrate the recent trade deal with our neighbors to the north and south:

That last cover makes me want to put on a fake mustache and party like Pancho Villa.

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Weird Christmas Albums

Merry Schiffmas. It’s time for some zany, kooky, and downright weird seasonal album covers. The abundance of kitsch is one of the things I like about Christmas.

Our first combination could be called Hung and the Hampster, which sounds like one of the worst bands ever assembled. It’s whatever the opposite of a super-band is called. A stupor band?

Our second pairing features young men doing weird stuff.

Finally, two artists you’ve actually heard of. It’s something of a cheat because they’re single covers but how could I pass on AC/DC and the Kinks?

Are you ready to rock?

Album Cover Art Wednesday: From Here To Eternally

This week we have dogeared  images via Discogs of a 1979 Spinners album. And what’s not to love about an album title that’s a pun on From Here To Eternity?

The front and back covers are hardcore sci-fi images by prolific illustrator Stephen Marchesi. That giant snake is stuff of nightmares.

Here’s the whole damn album via the YouTube playlist format:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Food Glorious Food

I’ve never repeated a post in this space before. It struck me that this post from May 16, 2018  perfect for the day before the most gluttonous day on the calendar. Besides, I’m feeling lazy:

These are dark days because of you know who doing you know what. It calls for comic relief that has bupkis to do with politics. I went in search of comic relief and found some goofy food oriented album covers at a “food culture” web site, Ateriet. That’s right, the food fight theme kinda sorta continues.

Initially, I thought the covers would feature yogurt or cheese since culture was involved. Instead they involve canned goods, Hawaiian food, and a space age weenie roast. Two of the covers are from obscure to me artists and the last one is one of the worst covers from a major band that I can think of. It flat-out sucks.

We begin with a soupy cover from the jazz pianist Roy Meriwether. I’m not sure why the table is set with a knife and fork. I don’t know about you, but I usually eat soup with a spoon. Perhaps jazz soup is different somehow.

The minute I saw the Gerhard Polt album, I nearly did a spit take. It turns out that Herr Polt is a well-known Bavarian satirist, which means that my reaction to the cover was appropriate. I almost made a joke about not knowing that there were German satirists but thought better  of it. What’s funnier than a head on a plate of food, after all?

Finally, Live It Up by CSN. What can I say about this cover? It looks like the Krewe of Spank’s dirty weiner drop game. I bet it was David Crosby’s idea: he’s full of them and it.

 

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Deguello

ZZ Top are one of the hairiest bands in rock and roll history. They became unlikely superstars in the MTV era but Degeuello predates their rocket to stardom. It was released in 1979 and  is one of many ZZ Top albums to have a Spanish language title.

The album’s Wikipedia entry describes the title as follows:

“Degüello” means “decapitation” or, idiomatically, when something is said to be done “a degüello”, it means “no quarter” (as in “no surrender to be given or accepted—a fight to the death”) in Spanish. It was also the title of a Moorish-origin bugle call used by the Mexican Army at the Battle of the AlamoTexas, in 1836.

I love it when history and blues rock merge. I nearly lost my head when I saw Bill Narum’s album cover:

If that cover looks familiar to you, it’s because I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide from Deguello was posted here on Monday..

Here’s the whole damn album in the YouTube playlist format:

 

 

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Ralph Steadman

Ralph Steadman is best known for illustrating Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He also did quite a few album covers over the years.

This Steadman sampler starts off fairly normal, then gets increasingly weird: