Wednesday, October 24, 2018

THE ROLLINGS STONES "METAMORPHOSIS"












Artist: Rolling Stones
Album Title: Metamorphosis
Label: Abkco
Catalog: ANA 1
Year: 1975
Genre: rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Sleeve design: Al Steckler and Richard Roth
Concept: Glenn Ross
Cover photo: not applicable
Grade: * star

Admittedly the band had nothing to do with the release of 1975's "Metamorphosis" (other than trying to stop former manager Abkco label owner Allen Klein from being released).  Nevertheless, the combination of what appeared to be band mugshots (prime mid-'70s Stones may have been one of rock's most talented bands, but they certainly were not one of the most photogenic) with an array of insects, didn't make for the most attractive album cover I've ever seen.

Add to that, the track line-up of outtakes and alternative versions of previously released songs wasn't particularly inspiring.


Sunday, September 9, 2018

THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHER - "RE-BIRTH"












Artist: Righteous Brothers
Album Title: Re-Birth
Label: Verve
Catalog: V6 5076
Year: 1969
Genre: rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Sleeve design: Michel Mendel
Concept: not applicable
Cover photo: not applicable
Grade: * star

Um, not sure what to say about the artwork gracing their "comeback" LP.  It was certainly eye-catching, but not in a good way which may have been part of the reason the set did little commercially.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

DIRE STRAITS - MAKING MOVIES











Artist: Dire Straits
Album Title: Making Movies
Label: Warner Brothers
Catalog: BSK 3180
Year: 1980
Genre: rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Sleeve design: Neil Terk
Concept: Neil Terk
Cover photo: not applicable
Grade: * star

About all I can say about this one is zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Come to think of it, with the exception of ... well I can't think of an exception, that describes most of the songs on the album.

THE MODERN JAZZ QUARTER - "PLASTIC DREAMS"














Artist: The Modern Jazz Quartet
Album Title:: Plastic Dreams
Genre: jazz
Company: Atlantic
Catalog; SD 1589
Year: 1971
Country/State: US
Grade: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Comment: gatefold sleeve
Rating: ** stars


My wife happened to see this album sitting on my desk and had a massive fit - what it that?  I have to agree.  Rather tasteless.  The fact it came out in 1971 makes it no less tasteless ...    Guess I'm kind of surprised that early 1970s retailers would have carried this one.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

THE VELVET UNDERGROUND - "LOADED"















Artist: The Velvet Underground
Album Title: Loaded
Label: Cotillion
Catalog: SD 9034
Year: 1970
Genre: rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Sleeve design: Stanislaw Zagorski
Concept: Stanislaw Zagorski
Cover photo: not applicable
Grade: **** stars

Stanislaw Zagorski was a Polish born graphic designer and illustrator living in New York City.  Starting in the early 1960s he began designing album covers for various jazz albums.  


Not sure how he got the job for the Velvet Underground cover, but overlooking the typo "Dowtown" versus "Downtown", it's a great design.  There's an online quote for the man talking about the LP: "The New York subways reminded me of a giant monster." 

There's a nice article on the artist at: http://culture.pl/en/article/lps-designed-in-pl









Monday, January 29, 2018

THE DUKES OF THE STRATOSPHEAR - "25 O'CLOCK"
















Album: The Dukes of the Straosphear
Title: 25 O'Clock
Label: Virgin
Catalog: WOW 1
Year: 1985
Genre: psych
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Sleeve design: Andy Partridge i(aka Sr John Johns)
Concept: Andy Partridge (aka Sr John Johns)
Cover photo: no applicable
Grade: **** stars

Andy Patridge and the rest of XTC are responsible for recording the best '60s album ever recorded in the '80s.  Add to that, the psychedelic cover art on this six track, mini-LP was equally stunning.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

HOLLY AND THE ITALIANS - "THE RIGHT TO BE ITALIAN"














Album: Holly and the Italians
Title: The Right To Be Italian
Label: Epic / Virgin
Catalog: BFE 37539
Year: 1981
Genre: pop
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Sleeve design: not listed
Concept: not listed
Cover photo: Lynn Goldsmith
Grade: **** stars

I'm hard pressed to explain my affection for this one - maybe something to do with the album's strange mix of '60s girl group, power-pop and new wave/punk influences?  Maybe something do do with the Holly Beth Vincent in a pink prom dress cover ...