Monday, December 22, 2014


Artist: Juicy Lucy
Album: Juicy Lucy
Label: ATCO
Catalog: SD 33-325
Year: 1969

Genre: rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Quantity: 1
Art Designer: not listed
Photography:  Peter Smith
Grade: * star

Ah, the infamous Juicy Lucy album cover ...   As a teenager I can remember this cover generating quite a stir amongst friends.   Today when I look at it I almost feel guilty. 
So here are the US and UK covers.  Clearly the US version is slightly more sedate.
US pressing
UK pressing
Clearly concerned about American consumer sensibilities ATCO management elected to give the album's US release somewhat toned down packaging.  The US cover was certainly racy for the late-1960s, though nowhere near as attention drawing as the UK original which featured a somewhat haggard looking exotic dance by the name of Zelda Plum spread out on a bed of fruit.  The funny thing is that what was clearly intended as an erotic cover came off as anything but ...  Personally I always felt bad for the fruit.  Seemed like a massive waste of good produce.  And you had to feel bad for Mr. Plus.  Hopefully she was paid a great deal of money and went on to enjoy a long and fruitful life.  Shame on the band for exhibiting such poor tastes.

Saturday, December 20, 2014


Artist: Caston & Majors
Album: Caston & Majors
Label: Motown
Catalog: M6 814S1
Year: 1974

Genre: soul
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Quantity: 1
Art Designer: Katrina Pettersson and Douglas Boyd Designs
Photography:  not applicable
Grade: **** star

Yeah, this die-cut, gatefold sleeve looks a bit like a high end Christmas card, but there's something very peaceful and charming about the cover art.  I guess the cut out was supposed to look like a bell, though the top part actually looks a little bit like a penis.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Artist: Sparks
Album: Angst In My Pants
Label: Atlantic
Catalog: SD 19347
Year: 1982

Genre: rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Quantity: 1
Art Designer: Larry Vigon / Ron Mael
Photography:  Eric Blum
Grade: * star

I can hear Sparks fans showering abuse on me, but you've got to admit there's something truly disturbing seeing Ron Mael in a wedding dress ...  This one's wrong on so many levels.

Sunday, November 30, 2014


Artist: Brian Eno
Album: Another Green World
Label: Island
Catalog: ILPS 9351
Year: 1975

Genre: progressive
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Quantity: 1
Art Designer: Tom Phillips
Photography:  not applicable
Grade: **** star

Okay, I'll readily admit the music on "Another Green World" is somewhat of an acquired taste, though the album has actually grown on me over the years.  The cover is was taken from a larger painting by Tom Phillips entitled After Raphael.  Painted in by Phillips in 1973, London's Tate gallery now owns the original.  

This is one of those album covers where I'm at a loss to explain why I find it so appealing.  Maybe it's the childlike simplicity of the work ?   My wife would tell you simpleton is an apt description for my personality and behavior, so maybe that's why I identify with the cover.

Saturday, November 29, 2014


Artist: Laura Nyro
Album: The First Songs
Label: Verve Forecast
Catalog: FTS 3020
Year: 1969

Genre: pop
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Quantity: 1
Art Designer: Murray Laden
Photography:  Murray Laden
Grade: **** star

Is Laura Nyro one of America's most famous unknowns ?   She's been elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Jackson Browne (whom she briefly dated), Alice Cooper, and Todd Rundgren are all massive fans.  She still has a legion of fans committed to spreading the word of Laura Nyro.  Sadly, only 49, she died of ovarian cancer in April 1997. 

I bought this album in high school; gave it a couple of spins and then filed it away thinking it wasn't particularly commercial, or enjoyable.   Shows you what a schmuck I was.  A rerelease of her 1967 debut "Laura Nyro More Than a New Discovery", the album's a classic (even if Nyro largely disowned it).   The cover is also stunning.   One of the best photos ever taken of Nyro.   She just beams happiness.

Sunday, November 9, 2014


Artist: Cal Tjader
Album: Soul Sauce
Label: Verve
Catalog: V 8614
Year: 1975

Genre: jazz
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Quantity: 1
Art Designer: Acy Lehman
Photography:  Murray Laden
Grade: **** star

Just like Bluenote album covers, there's something fascinating about mid-'60s Verve covers.  I'm not even a big Cal Tjarder fan, but I've spent way too much time staring at this album cover.   It isn't fancy.  It isn't a high concept piece of art.  It's just a fun and clever idea which should appeal to anyone who liked Tjader's Latin jazz stylings, or at least enjoyed a good plate of Latin food.


Artist: Les McCann
Album: Live at Bohemian Caverns - Washington, D.C.
Label: Limelight
Catalog: LS 86046
Year: 1967

Genre: jazz
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Quantity: 1
Art Designer: not listed
Photography:  not applicable
Grade: ***** star

There's just something stunning about his album cover.  It reflects a nifty blend of bright colors, a '60s mod feel, and  whatI suspect was a not-so-subtle slice of political commentary. 

I was eight years old when McCann recorded this album in Washington, D.C.'s Bohemooam Caverns (once again open and hosting shows).  Compared to today, the city was still very much a Southern enclave, meaning there were large sections of the community where someone like McCann was unwelcome.   I'm guess the Capitol dome on McCann's head was meant to highlight that disconnect.    Regardless of whether it was intended as a political statement, it made for a stunning cover.

Friday, October 24, 2014


Artist: Rory Gallagher
Album: Against the Grain
Label: Chrysalis
Catalog: CHR 1089
Year: 1975

Genre: blues-rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Quantity: 1
Art Designer: Eckford/Stimpson
Photography:  Dick Polack
Grade: **** star

If you're one of the luck people to know about Rory Gallagher, then you're almost certain to appreciate this album cover.  B.B, King may have Lucille, but Gallagher had this beat-to-hell Stratacaster and could he ever pull some amazing sounds out of the instrument.

Monday, October 20, 2014


Artist: NRBQ
Album: At Yankee Stadium
Label: Mercury
Catalog: SRM-1-7029
Year: 1979

Genre: rock
Grading; VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Quantity: 1
Art Designer/Photography:  unknown
Grade: **** star

C'mon, even if you're not a Yankees fan (which covers most of the world); geez, even if you're not a baseball fan, you've got to admit there's something iconic in a cover showing the interior of Yankee Stadium.  It's like NRBQ's music; there's just something all-American about the band.

Saturday, September 6, 2014


Artist: Chesapeake Juke Box Band
Album: Chesapeake Juke Box Band
Label: Greene Bottle
Catalog: GBS 1004
Year: 1972
Genre: pop
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP; gatefold sleeve
Quantity: 1
Art Designer/Photography:  unknown
Grade: **** star

The fact this one had a great jukebox cover was enough to attract my attention (yes, I have a Wurlitzer 2000 in my garage).  The fold out, gimmick cover was even cooler, to say nothing about the surprisingly enjoyable Beatles-esque music.   You can check out a review at:




Saturday, July 26, 2014


Artist: Tramline
Album: Somewhere Down the Line
Label: A&M
Catalog: SP 4208
Year: 1968

Genre: blues-rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Quantity: 1
Art Designer/Photography:  C.C.S. Advertising Associates LTD
Grade: **** star

Even though I have no idea where this photo as taken, I ride the Washington DC Metro system a lot, so this one rang a chord with me.   Decent mid-'60s English blues-rock album too boot.

Friday, July 4, 2014


Artist: Shocking Blue
Album: Ham
Label: Pink Elephant
Catalog: PE 877.038-G
Year: 1972
Art Designer/Photography:  unknown 
Grade: * star


Seriously ?   A slab of ham for an album cover ?    Admittedly, it was a delicious looking cut of meat, but ya' would have thought they could have come up with something a little more creative.   Maybe it was meant as a pro-Vegan statement ?   Doubt it.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Artist: Gasolin'
Album: Gasolin'
Label: CBS
Catalog: S 64685
Year: 1971
Art Designer:  Herge 
Grade: **** stars


Unless you happen to be a fan of TInTin, I doubt many Americans are familiar with the work of the late Belgian comic book illustrator Georges Prosper Remi (aka Herge).  I've always loved his unique style and as far as I know, this was the only album cover he ever did.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


Artist: Fleetwood Mac
Album: Bare Trees
Label: Reprise
Catalog: MS 2080
Year: 1972
Art Designer/Photo:  John McVie 
Grade: **** stars


Was this a high tech concept ?   No.  Was it particularly clever ?  No.   That said, there was just something immensely appealing with respect to this John McVie cover photo.   I can remember spending hours listening to the album (particularly Danny Kriran's 'Child of Mine' and Bob Welch's 'The Ghost' and I'll readily admit the cover art was a big part of the album's appeal - for anyone unfamiliar with the band's pre-Lindsey Buckingham/Stevie Nicks catalog, "Bare Trees" is a great place to start checking the band out.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Artist: The Byrds
Album: Byrdmaxniax
Label: Columbia
Catalog: KC 30640
Year: 1970
Art Designer: Mary Leonard (masks), Virginia Team and John Berg
Photography: Don Jim
Grade: **** stars


This is simply one of the most stunning covers in my record collection (though musically it's a middling Byrds offering).  I can still remember buying the album at a local Penguin Feather record/head shop (I was strictly interested in the records).    The inner sleeves show the process for making the face casts.  Doesn't look like McGuinn and company were having much fun.  Regardless, the glossy, space age result are just too cool !

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Artist: Barclay James Harvest
Album: Baby James Harvest
Label: Harvest
Catalog: SHSP 4023
Year: 1972
Art Designer: not listed
Photography: Julian Cottrell
Grade: **** stars


Their last studio album for Harvest Records, this one sat buried in the inventory stacks for years and only came back to my attention when someone bought it off the BadCatRecords website.   The baby-in-a-flower-pot cover was certainly eye catching in an obnoxious can't-we-be-cute fashion, but what makes me laugh about this one is the fact Hallmark and other greeting card companies have embraced the concept, creating hundreds of similarly styled cards and making untold millions in profits.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


Artist: Chick Corea
Album: Friends
Label: Polydor

Catalog: PD-1-6061
Year: 1978

Art Designer: Chick Corea
Photography: Stanley Gainsforth

Grade: **** stars

C'mon, how can you not love a cover that features the Smurfs.  Corea himself came up with the cover concept.   I'm guessing that having spent a great deal of time touring Europe, he became aware of the Smurfs franchise several years before they became popular in the US.   Interestingly Corea doesn't seem to have bothered getting legal rights to use the Pierre Culliford's characters for the cover.   That my explain why Polydor subsequently created an alternate cover for European releases of the album.   Perhaps comfortable they wouldn't get sued in the States, Polydor didn't bother re-packaging the US release.

For anyone curious, here's what the alternative cover looked like.