Sunday, July 2, 2017

THE L.A. FOUR - "GOING HOME"


Artist: The L.A. Four
Album: Going Home
Label: East Wind
Catalog: EW 1000
Year: 1977
Genre: jazz
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Sleeve design: Heyglow Kabayashi
Cover photo: Taishi Hirokawa - Brad Elterman
Grade: **** stars



I that iknow that in the mid and late-'70s know these guys (guitarist Laurindo Almeida, bassist Ray Brown, drummer Shelly Manne and sax player Bus Shank), were quite popular in jazz circles.  Judging by this album, their work is certainly relaxing, but not particularly my style.  That said, the Taishi Hirokawa album cover was stunning. Judge for yourself ...

Monday, June 5, 2017

NEKTAR - "DOWN TO EARTH"


Artist: Nektar
Album: Down To Earth
Label: Passport
Catalog: PPSD 98005
Year: 1974
Genre: progressive
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Sleeve design:Pierre Tubbs
Cover photo: Bryce Attewell
Grade: **** stars



This was the first used LP I ever bought and the late Roye Albrighton was the first musician who ever stumbled across one of the BadCatRecords reviews I'd put out there and took the time to send me an email. He was funny and insightful and took some of my criticisms in good nature. All that aside, there's something about Bryce Attewell's cover photo that just perfectly grabbed that mid-'70s zeitgeist (always wanted to use that work in a review).  Yeah, maybe there was a little bit of The Who's "Magic Bus" in the concept, but other than that, these guys just looked like a stoned German and English band.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

SAVOY BROWN - "LION'S SHARE"


Artist: Savoy Brown
Album: Lion's Share
Label: Parrot
Catalog: XPAS 71057
Year: 1972
Genre: blues-rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Sleeve design:Glenn ROss for QUeens Litho
Cover art: Peter Cross
Grade: **** stars



Okay, I know it was released in the early-'70s, but this one just screams '60s British style to my eyes.  Cross has done a lot of Anthony Phillips' album covers.  He has a web presence at: https://petercrossart.com/  

Sunday, May 7, 2017

DOOBIE BROTHERS - "BEST OF THE DOOBIES"


Artist: The Doobie Brothers
Album: Best of the Doobie Brothers
Label:Warner Brothers
Catalog: BSK 3112
Year: 1976
Genre: rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Sleeve design: Bruce Steinberg
Cover photo: Bruce Steinberg
Grade: ***** stars



Wow, I wonder how much time I spent listening to the Doobies while I was in high school and college.  I can clearly remember running cross country practices with them playing on my little portable cassette player.  Anyhow, one of the '70s classic FM bands turn in a classic "best of" abum with a cover that combines my affection for diners and jukeboxes.   Near perfect in my narrow worldview.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

ENOCH LIGHT - "PRESENTS SPACED OUT"


Artist: Enoch Light
Album: Presents Spaced Out
Label: Project 3
Catalog: PR 5043SD
Year: 1969
Genre: pop
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Sleeve design: not listed
Cover photo: not listed
Grade: **** stars




Classic time piece.  Project 3's marketing department seems to have splurged on this cover concept.  What's a roll of tin foil cost?  $2.00?  Showcasing a cute red head cloaked in tin foil bikini and go-go boots, I'm not sure anything else needs to be said about this cover.  

Sunday, April 2, 2017

BOBBY WOMACK - "PIECES"


Artist: Bobby Womack
Album: Pieces
Label: Columbia
Catalog: JC 35083
Year: 1978
Genre: soul
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Sleeve design: Lanning Stern - Nancy Donald
Cover photo: Sam Emerson
Grade: * star



Great album including duets with David Ruffin ('Trust Your Heart') and Candi Staton ('Stop Before We Start'), but the cover ...   Seriously bad.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

JOHN ENTWISTLE - "SMASH YOUR HEAD AGAINST THE WALL"


Artist: John Entwistle
Album: Smash Your Head Against the Wall
Label: Decca
Catalog: DL 79183
Year: 1971
Genre: rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Sleeve design: Graham Hughes and John Entwistle
Cover photo: Graham Hughes
Grade: * star



The late John Enwistle was known for his dark, dry sense of humor so I'm guessing the cover photo was meant to be funny.  That said, the combination of Entwistle wearing death mask superimposed over an x-ray taken from a dying man was simply gory and ghastly.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

THE ELECTRIC PRUNES - "RELEASE OF AN OATH"


Artist: The Electric Prunes
Album: Release of An Oath
Label: Reprise
Catalog: RS 6318
Year: 1969
Genre: progressive
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Sleeve design: Ed Thrasher
Cover photo: Sid Avery
Grade: **** stars



Yeah, it was credited to The Electric Prunes, but for all intents and purposes this was a David Axelrod release.  And it's a fascinating album.  The album's secular nature means it won't appeal to everyone and the Sid Avery cover photo is going to have the same effect.  Interestingly it took me years to figure out the hands were open in praise.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

WHITE NOISE - "AN ELECTRIC STORM"


Artist: White Noise
Album: An Electric Storm
Label: Island
Catalog: ILPS-9099
Year: 1969
Genre: progressive
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Sleeve design: not listed
Cover art: not listed
Grade: **** stars



Cool cover for a completely strange album.  I won't go into the details - there are plenty of on-line reviews, including the BadCatRecords overview at: http://badcatrecords.com/BadCat/WHITEnoise.htm

The cover was based of a silkscreen by some forgotten art student.  The group originally intended for the cover to be luminous, but  based on cost, Island Records killed the concept.