Monday, January 20, 2020

BYRON LEE & THE DRAGONAIRES - "REGGAE SPLASHDOWN"

Artist: Byron Lee & the Dragonaires
Title: Reggae Splashdown
Label: Dynamic
Catalog: WSY 3322
Year: 1971
Genre: reggae
Cover Design: Roberts Design Group Ltd
Cover photo:  IPS - Apollo 12 Splash Down
Grade: **** star



Lee's kind of the James Last version of the reggae world.  In that role he's recorded dozens of album (most sporting cheesecake, pin-up covers), featuring reggae-fied version of popular pop, rock and soul songs.  For goodness sakes, this album has a reggae cover of a Jackson Five song, as well as George Harrson's 'My Sweet Lord'.  The guy's certainly not without talent, but his sound has always struck me as more Holiday Inn, than Bob Marley.  

Regardless of the merits of this album, I'm kind of a space nut, so the polarized colored cover of the Apollo 12 splashdown was kind of cool.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

LIME - "YOUR LOVE"

Artist: Lime
Title: Your Love
Label: Manta
Catalog: WLP-1026
Year: 1981
Genre: disco
Cover Design: Michael Gray
Cover photo:  Michael Gray
Grade: * star



Denis and Denyse Lepage were the faces of the Montreal-based duo Lime.  I'm not a big disco fan so I don't know a great deal about them, but based on a couple of their YouTube videos, I will say they deserve credit for showing that average looking (and talented) folks could enjoy some recognition on the music scene - well, at least in early-'80s Quebec.  Geez, who knew Quebec had an early-'80s disco scene?

The bizarre cover is what caught my attention.  Initially I thought the cover art featured one of the strangest looking guys I'd ever seen dressed in drag.  It's actually a heavily made-up Denyse.  Curiously, the liner notes credited Denyse's make-up artists, as well as the folks responsible for the bizarre outfit she was wearing.  Elsewhere, Denyse's sheer blouse displayed a little more of her anatomy than one might have expected.  

Anyone curious about the pair can find them lip-synching the title track at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5QbB3-p4pw  

Let me warn everyone that Denyse's shrill, little girl voice and Denis' flat delivery make for an acquired taste.

PETER LANG - "THE STRANGE THING AT THE NURSERY WINDOW"

Artist: Peter Lang
Title: The Strange Thing at the Nursery Window
Label: Takoma
Catalog: C 1034
Year: 1973
Genre: folk
Cover Design: Pat Finnerty
Cover photo:  not applicable
Grade: **** stars


I'm not a gigantic fan of acoustic guitar work, but I'll make an exception for the likes of Peter Lang, John Fahey and Leo Kottke.

Even if you're not a fan of the music, there's something fascinating about Pat Finnerty's weird-as-hell cover.  I've looked around the internet for some information on the album title and cover art with nothing to show for my efforts ...

By the way, check out Finnerty's artwork for John Fahey's "America" album - it's even stranger ...  

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

KOSSOFF KIRKE TETSU RABBIT - "KOSSOFF KIRKE TETSU RABBIT"

Artist: Kossoff Kirke Tetsu Rabbit
Title: Kossoff  Kirke Tetsu Rabbit
Label: Capitol
Catalog: SMAS 8329
Year: 1972
Genre: rock
Cover Design: CCS
Cover photo:  not applicable
Grade: * star

As a big Free fan, I've always liked this pseudo-Free release - it's basically the Free line-up sans front man/lead singer Paul Rogers.  Ironically, the cover seems to have been designed to ensure minimal sales.  It's almost as if the Island marketing folks decided to come up with the blandest packaging the could imagine in order to make sure the collection quickly migrated to cutout bins.  You can almost picture Rogers laughing at the this effort.  Shame, since the collection offered up some pretty good blues-rock - the instrumental 'Just In the Box' is a great showcase for Kossoff's sterling lead guitar.

KOKOMO - "RISE AND SHINE"

Artist: Kokomo
Title: Rise and Shine
Label: Columbia
Catalog: KC 34031
Year: 1975
Genre: rock
Cover Design: Art Design
Cover photo:  not applicable
Grade: *** stars

If you've looked at any of the entries  in this blog you'll notice my tastes  tend to  run to the sophomoric.  And here's another example of that  character defect.  Can't say I liked the adult  contemporary tunes on this album very much, but the Canadian pressing at least had a nice cover that makes me smile.

The fact I'm writing this on the first day of the new year when much of the population  looks like the rooster on the album cover, only makes it even funnier.

DADDY COOL - "TEENAGE HEAVEN"

Artist: Daddy Cool
Title: Teenage Heaven
Label: Reprise
Catalog: MS-2088
Year: 1972
Genre: rock
Cover Design: Ed Thrasher
Cover photo:  David Williardson
Grade: ***** stars


Yes, this is one of those albums I bought strictly for the cover, though the music isn't half bad - read the BadCatrecords review.  Illustrator Williardson went on to major fame as an artist riding on Mickey Mouse's coattails (Google him), but this is simply a classic album cover.

http://davidwillardson.com/index.html

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

THE KINKS - "THE KINKS PRESENT SCHOOLBOYS IN DISGRACE"

Artist: The Kinks
Title: The Kinks Present Schoolboys In Discrace
Label: RCA Victor
Catalog: LPL1-5102
Year: 1975
Genre: rock
Cover Design: Pat Doyle
Cover photo:  Mickey Finn
Grade: ***** stars

My wife and friends will tell you I have the sophistication and sense of humor of a 12 year old. I won't argue the point.  Fart jokes still make me laugh.  And that probably explains why I think this cover is so funny.  Admittedly Mickey Finn's cover illustration is not the most sophisticated concept you've ever encountered and it probably fails by today's hypersensitive set of PC rules.  Still, the cover makes me smile.