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 ...

Sunday, January 7, 2018

THE AMERICAN BREED - "THE AMERICAN BREED"















Album: The American Breed
Title: The American Breed
Label: Acta
Catalog: A 38002
Year: 1967
Genre: pop
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Sleeve design: not listed
Concept: not listed
Cover photo: not listed
Grade: * star

Fifty years after this album was released and you can see how much social outlooks have changed.  In this case surrounding a band with fake Indians, seemingly dyed in red, was probably a bad idea in 1967,   It's certainly not something you would dare do today,   

Friday, December 29, 2017

THE TEMPTATIONS - "WISH IT WOULD RAIN"















Album: The Temptations
Title: Wish It Would Rain
Label: Gordy
Catalog: 927
Year: 1968
Genre: soul
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Sleeve design: Motown
Concept: Motown
Cover photo: Motown
Grade: **** stars

This is one that I'd meant to add from the start of this blog.  The cover photo was certainly unusual for Motown which had a penchant for picturing their groups in sophisticated poses.  Here, sprawled across desert sands, The Temptations looked anything but sophisticated.  Unfortunately, Motown didn't believe in giving credits to photographers and design teams; this one simply credited the label.