Category Archives: Album Cover Art

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Birthday

The Association were never cool. They were the sort of band who usually wore a uniform when playing live: often white suits and white shoes. They looked like Louisiana legislators in the summertime.

The psychedelic cover for their 1968 album Birthday was an attempt to be cool.

In lieu of the album, here’s a compilation of the Association’s appearances on The Smothers Brothers Show. The brothers were not only cool, they were hip. The Association were not but their intricate harmonies are to die for.

 

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Ringo

After the Bearles broke up, Ringo Starr wanted a hit album. In 1973, he got one with the help of producer Richard Perry and his former bandmates.

Here’s the whole damn album via Spotify:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Stolen Moments

Inspired by the last Saturday Odds & Sods, I slid John Hiatt’s Stolen Moments into the CD player for first time in several years. I hadn’t forgotten how good the album is but I’d forgotten who did the cover photography, Robert Frank.

Frank was a legendary photographer and filmmaker who came to national attention in 1958 with his book, The Americans. It was a photo essay with text by Jack Kerouac. The book became an instant classic.

I’m not sure how Frank wound up shooting pictures of John Hiatt in 1990, but the originals are now in the Robert Frank collection at the National Gallery of Art. In a word: fancy.

Here’s the whole damn album via Spotify:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Merry Christmas … Have A Nice Life

I’m on the record as not caring for most Christmas music. One Christmas album I *do* like has a bad title and a cheesy cover but the contents are damn good: Merry Christmas…Have A Nice Life by Cyndi Lauper. I refuse to include the happy face but I forgive her for it.

Not only is Ms. Lauper one of the finest singers in creation, she wrote a bunch of swell songs for this 1998 album. I wonder, however, if her Santa is sober. You never can tell.

 Here’s the whole damn album via Spotify:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Christmas Is 4 Ever

Even though I prefer CDs to vinyl, I rarely post a CD cover in this space. The best thing about LPs are the covers. This 2006 album by the great funk bassist Bootsy Collins is an exception to the rule. I live for exceptions to the rule. I find them exceptional.

The whole package is swell but I’m sticking to the Bootsy in a snow globe cover because I’m feeling lazy. For the rest, get thee to Discogs.

Here’s the whole damn album via the YouTube:

 

 

 

 

Album Cover Art Wednesday: A Very Special Christmas

A Very Special Christmas was released in 1987. It’s the first of a series of holiday albums benefitting the Special Olympics. It’s noteworthy for cover art by the late, great Keith Haring.

Here’s the whole damn album.

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Father Christmas

Yeah, I know. This is a single cover but it’s the Kinks, dammit. I’m still trying to uphold my blogger’s creed: there’s a Kinks song for every occasion.

I wasn’t able to find out who did the artwork but it’s pretty darn swell:

Father Ch

Here’s the single in two videos:

The B-Side rocks almost as hard:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Clear Impetuous Morning

I usually like to post food-related album covers the day before Thanksgiving. I went searching and wound up having breakfast with Jason & the Scorchers. I passed on the petrol.

Here’s the whole damn album via Spotify:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Alice Cooper’s Greatest Hits

I rarely use compilation album covers in this feature. This is perhaps the greatest greatest hits album cover of all-time. The band Alice Cooper had played its last note, frontman Vincent Furiner took his stage name and forged a successful solo career.

The artwork is by Drew Struzan and was inspired by gangster movies. The LP was in the gatefold format. I’m posting the front cover and one of the inside panels. They’re the best and most interesting of the foursome. The package allows one to play spot the movie star.

Here’s the whole damn album via Spotify:

 

Album Cover Art Wednesday: O Lucky Man

The O Lucky Man soundtrack has a much simpler cover than I usually post in this space. Since I’ve always loved both the music and Lindsay Anderson’s film, I’m going there anyway.

Here’s the whole damn album via Spotify:

Finally, here’s the trailer for the movie:

 

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Wake Up, America

In addition to being a rabble-rouser who was one of the Chicago 7, Abbie Hoffman fancied himself a standup comedian. He was pretty good as didactic political comedians go.

Wake Up, America is Hoffman’s only album. Being on the lam for six years makes it hard to perform and record your act.

The artwork is by Peter Bramley. It’s heavily influenced by R Crumb. It’s okay: Crumb got his own movie and Bramley did not. So it goes.

Here’s the whole damn album via YouTube:

My favorite Abbie Hoffman moment was when Pete Townshend kicked him off the stage at Woodstock. Pete was in the right. Hoffman interrupted the Who’s set:

I could not find video of the incident. So it goes.

Album Cover Art Wednesday: It Ain’t Easy

I began this journey with the post in which I published an old letter to the editor by Linda Coney. I used Three Dog Night’s version of Mama Told Me Not To Come as a framing device. The song comes from It Ain’t Easy; its cover features a gaudy Sixties room with gaudy wallpaper. I was hooked and decided to use it in this space.

Little did I know that the original album artwork had been rejected because it was so controversial. Three Dog Night? Controversial? Who knew?

It Ain’t Easy was supposed to be The Wizards Of Orange. The cover featured Three Dog Night naked but with the naughty bits obscured. The original cover later resurfaced on a CD reissue.

I’d never heard of this mishigas. Obviously, I need to brush up on my pop-rock trivia.

We begin with the gaudy room cover:

Here’s the naked cover:

That’s so orange that I want a mimosa. Chuck Negron naked has driven me to drink but not a Negroni.

The album is not quite as juicy as that story but it’s a good one. Here it is via Spotify:

 

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Last Time Around

Buffalo Springfield were like a comet: briefly sighted, never forgotten. 1968’s Last Time Around is their last official studio album before Stills, Young, Furay, and Messina went on to other projects and greater glory.

I’ve always loved this cover because it perfectly captures Neil Young’s restless spirit. He’s always looking for the next challenge, which is what makes him a difficult band mate and a great solo artist.

I couldn’t find any artwork credits but suffice it to say that it’s swell:

Thanks to Sgt. Pepper and We’re Only In It For The Money, everyone in those days was into photo montages. This one was on the back cover:

Here’s the whole damn album:

 

Album Cover Art Wednesday: The Great Debates 1960

They used to put everything on records. This recording of the Kennedy-Nixon debates is also one of the first double albums I’ve ever heard of.

This was an obvious selection for October 7, 2020 as Kamala Harris is debating Mike Liar Liar Pence On Fire this evening. I wish they weren’t going to be in the same room but there will be some sort of plexiglass divider between the candidates. I suspect Karen Pence would like them in separate rooms but not because of the pandemic. Karens have gotta Karen.

I don’t usually post covers that are both dog eared and have some sort of frame but these are hard to find. The image is still pretty darn swell.

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Dinah Washington

Dinah Washington née Ruth Lee Jones had a short, tragic life.  She was married 8 time and was a prolific recording artist until her death in 1963 at the age of 39. Sounds like a blues singer to me, y’all.

I’ve picked two album covers from 1962 and 1963 respectively that depict two sides of The Queen:

Here’s Back To The Blues via Spotify:

 

 

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Back Together Again

The album title is somewhat ironic. Guitarist Larry Coryell and Drummer Alphonse Mouzon played together in The Eleventh House, which broke up a mere two years earlier. This 1977 album is Jazz fusion at its brashest and loudest.

The cover was designed by Bob Defrin who was then the design honcho at Atlantic Records. He went on to work with AC/DC for many years designing their album covers and stage sets. Talk about brash and loud.

I almost eggspected Vincent Price as Egghead to show up.

Here’s the whole damn album via Spotify.

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Stop The World- I Want To Get Off

Stop The World- I Want To Get Off is a title for our times. The stage show premiered on London’s West End in 1961. It told the story of a young man’s rise from lowly tea boy to rich dude. The setting was a circus; every time something bad happened to the lead character, he said “Stop the world.” Disappointed that it’s not about the apocalypse? Audiences in the Sixties were not.

On to the covers, we have the original Broadway cast album and the 1966 movie soundtrack album:

There was a 1978 revival of the show on Broadway.  Here’s the revival soundtrack starring Sammy Davis Jr:

 

 

Album Cover Art Wednesday: The Gilded Palace Of Sin

I’ve always thought that the Flying Burrito Brothers had one of the worst band names ever. But their 1969 debut album has one of the best titles ever: The Gilded Palace Of Sin. Not a bad short-term trade-off. I do, however, like burritos.

Gram Parsons was the Pied Piper of Country Rock. When he left the Byrds, Chris Hillman soon followed. As his subsequent career proved.  Hillman was more of a country guy than a rocker. Parsons was always restless and left the Flying Burrito Brothers  after only recording two albums with them. I told you he was restless. A restless guy in a Nudie suit.

The Gilded Palace Of Sin was where it all began:

Here’s the whole damn album via Spotify:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Way Out West

Other than the opening track being Johnny Mercer’s I’m An Old Cowhand, I have no idea why photographer William Claxton had Jazz sax great Sonny Rollins pose in cowboy mufti. Sonny *was* something of a musical gunslinger. Otherwise the cover of this 1957 album makes no sense whatsoever. Of course, some of the best and worst things in life make no sense.

Here’s the whole damn album:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Thriller!

I cannot believe I used an exclamation point in the post title. I feel unclean. I perpetrated this heinous act to make it clear that the cover in question is not the 1984 Michael Jackson album but a 1973 album by the Bay Area funk-soul-rock band Cold Blood.

Cold Blood never broke through to a national audience, but I saw them several times and they never disappointed live, especially their charsmatic lead singer Lydia Pense. That’s Pense with an S; no relation to Trump’s sycophantic Veep.

The cover is by George Hunter aka Globe Propaganda. I picked it to make our readers think that Pulp Fiction Thursday came a day early. This is the age of confusion, after all.

I was pleasantly surprised to find Cold Blood on Spotify. Here’s the whole damn album: