Category Archives: Album Cover Art

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:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Talks Turkey

I saw this 1962 Dick Gregory album cover and laughed mightily. That struck me as an appropriate reaction to a comedy album:

I’ll throw you a bone by posting the whole damn album in two parts:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Songs Our Mummy Taught Us

You’re probably not surprised to hear that I picked this 1959 Halloween novelty album for its punny title. Bob McFadden was an interesting guy: he was best known as a voice-over actor for cartoons and commercials. He was the voice of Milton the Monster and Frankenberry among many others.

The And Dor on Songs Our Mummy Taught Us was folkie/poet/actor Rod McKuen. It’s unclear as to why McKuen used a pseudonym and I’m not interested enough to research it extensively. My hunch is that he was signed to another record label at the time.

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

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Dracula Cha-Cha-Cha

Halloween approaches so the next two editions of this feature will showcase Halloween album covers. I picked this one for the title:

Here’s the title track:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: The Words Don’t Fit The Picture

Sometimes I select an album cover because it’s odd. Hence this 1972 Willie Nelson album with a photograph by Jimmy Moore.

Here’s the title track:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Ginger Baker’s Air Force

Legendary Cream drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80.  You’re probably wondering why this isn’t an R.I.P. post. Here’s why:

If you don’t believe me, check out the 2012 documentary Beware of Mr. Baker.

Here’s Martin Sharp’s front gatefold  for Baker’s 1970 aerial extravaganza:

Here’s whole damn album via the YouTube:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Robert Hunter, R.I.P.

The Grateful Dead’s primary lyricist Robert Hunter died last week at the age of 78. He wrote all of the band’s lyrics until Bob Weir teamed up with John Perry Barlow.

Hunter refused to reveal what his lyrics meant; preferring to leave it up to the listeners imagination. In any event, his lyrics were ellipitical and even elusively allusive. They were perfect for the Grateful Dead:

“Well I ain’t often right but I’ve never been wrong
It seldom turns out the way it does in the song
Once in a while you get shown the light
In the strangest of places if you look at it right”

Hunter also had a long and interesting solo career. Here are the covers of his first two solo records:

Here’s Hunter’s second solo album in its entirety:

One of my favorite Garcia-Hunter songs is Ripple:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Roger and Out/Dang Me

Dr. A and I have been watching, and enjoying, Ken Burns’ County Music. One of the better stories in the film involves Roger Miller and how he decided to give up recording and focus on songwriting. But he gave it one more shot. Hence, the original title of this 1964 album: Roger and Out. It became a hit and was released with a new title: Dang Me.

Here’s the whole consarn album:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Ric Ocasek, R.I.P.

Ric Ocasek recorded 7 solo albums: I have half of them. They’re overlooked and underrated but they’re good. He is obviously better known as the quirky front man of the new wave supergroup The Cars.

Ric Ocasek died the other day at the age of 75 according to most sources. His passing is not in dispute but his age is: I’ve seen it listed at 70 as well. I suspect that he’d be fine with that. Ric Ocasek was always in on the joke. His ironic detachment is what made The Cars’ video catalog so special: he knew that what he was doing was ridiculous. Rock and Roll is supposed to be fun. The Cars were always fun.

Here are covers from solo albums released in 1991 and 1997:

Now that I’ve posted two solo album covers, I’m going to mess with you and post some videos by The Cars in no particular order. Like Ric Ocasek, I’m always in on the joke:

At long last a solo video from the Fireball Zone album:

Finally, if you like this feature, please throw a few bucks our way. Click on this link to donate to our annual fundraiser.

 

 

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Ol’ Yellow Eyes Is Back

I’m a slacker Star Trek fan. I don’t speak Klingon and I wasn’t aware that Brent Spiner had recorded an album of standards in 1991: Ol’ Yellow Eyes Is Back.

The album title is a play on Sinatra’s Ol’ Blue Eyes Is Back. Spiner’s eyes were yellow when he played Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation and subsequent movies.

The album cover is unremarkable. I picked it because of the punny title and Star Trek connection. The music is pretty darn good as well.

Here are some selected tracks:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Pedro Bell, R.I.P.

Pedro Bell’s cover artwork for George Clinton and his family of funk bands helped create their mythology. Bell called his art “scartoons,” I think of it as funk surrealism.

Pedro Bell died recently at the age of 69. The best tribute to an artist is to feature their work. Here are three of Bell’s album covers:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Filet Of Soul

For the second straight week, we have a contractual obligation album: Jan & Dean’s 1966 LP Filet Of Soul, which I selected for the punny title. The original record was rejected by the Liberty Records and was not released until 2017 as Filet Of Soul Redux.

Here are the covers side-by-side:

What I’ve heard of both albums is terrible so I’ll spare you any music. Some of the songs are available on the YouTube. I would have rejected the original masters as well. Ugh.

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Wooden Head

I disappeared down an internet rabbit hole and emerged not only unscathed but with an interesting cover. Wooden Head is best described as the Turtles contractual obligation album. They had broken up and owed their record label an album. The result was Wooden Head, which was a somewhat sketchy compilation album of out-takes and the like.

Frontmen Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan had left the band to work with Frank Zappa. Until Wooden Head was released in 1970, they were obliged to use a pseudonym, the Phlorescent Leech and Eddie; later shortened to Flo and Eddie.

The first time I saw the cover I immediately thought of the 1989 Crowded House album Woodface. Whether or not Nick Seymour’s cover was inspired by this one, is a mystery for the ages.

The cover was done by Kittyhawk Graphics aka DeanTorrence of Jan and Dean fame. It’s unclear if the Little Old Lady From Pasadena was involved.

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

 

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Denny McLain

I went down a YouTube rabbit hole and watched a pretty good documentary about Denny McLain. McLain was the last pitcher to win 30 games and won 2 Cy Young Awards. He was also a egenerate gambler and wannabe bookie. His pitching career flamed out by the age of 28. He also played a mean organ:

If you’re feeling like a lounge lizard, here’s the whole damn album:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Salome

There ain’t no femme more fatale than Salome. I posted Aubrey Beardsley’s take last Saturday. Let’s get operatic with a trio of covers for recordings of the Richard Strauss opera, Salome, whose libretto is a German translation of Oscar Wilde’s play. The aformentioned Beardsley illustration was done for the book of the play but not for the opera. The mind reels.

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Brother’s Keeper

Art Neville’s memorial service was yesterday, hence this week’s selection. Like most Neville Brothers studio albums Brother’s Keeper is a mixed bag. They were always at their best live but it has many highlights including Brother Jake and last week’s Odds & Sods theme song, River Of Life.

The cover art is brilliant. It’s by Alison Saar an African American artist from Los Angeles who is primarily a sculptor.

The back cover features a photograph by Larry Williams.

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

Album Cover Art Wednesday: The Button-Down Mind Of Bob Newhart

The Button-Down Mind Of Bob Newhart was a sensation when it was released in 1960. It firmly established Bob Newhart as one of comedy’s bright lights. It also won Newhart several Grammys.

The cover is not terribly distinguished. I’m mostly posting it because of the title. Bob Newhart is not the only one with a button-down mind. That describes Robert Muller as well. I’m not even sure if he loosens his tie before going to bed. I’m going to spend my day watching Bobby Three Sticks’ testimony and I’ll report back to y’all. Here’s hoping Gym Jordan says something that provokes the former head Feeb.

Dig the crazy diagram of Bob’s mind:

Here’s the opening track of the LP; much of which is unavailable on the YouTube.