Thursday, May 14, 2020


Artist: Brainbox
Title: Brainbox
Label: Poptones
Catalog: 5C054.24082
Year: 1969
Genre: blues-rock
Art Direction: Jacques Bontje
Cover art:  Jacques Bontje
Grade: **** stars

I remember seeing a copy of this album in a Brussels, Belgium record store (back when they existed), and coming this close to buying it.  I didn't know anything about the band, though I did recognize Jan Akkerman's name, rather the cool cover captured by attention.  There's just something fascinating about DUtch artist Jacques Bontje's beehive styled structure on the cover.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020


Artist: Cosmic Rough Riders
Title: Enjoy the Melodic Sunshine
Label: Poptones
Catalog: MC5014LP
Year: 2001
Genre: psych
Art Direction: Jake Rickwood
Cover art:  Jake Rickwood
Grade: ***** stars

Okay, it was released in 2001, but the packaging just screamed 1967 ...  And the album is one of my favorite recent discoveries.  Literally one of those rare albums where there wasn't a single bad song on the collection.  More about them on the BadCatRecords website:

Sunday, March 29, 2020


Artist: West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title: A Child's Guide To Good & Evil
Label: Reprise
Catalog: RS 6208
Year: 1968
Genre: psych
Art Direction: Ed Thrasher
Cover photo:  John von Hamersveldt
Grade: ***** stars

There are thousands and thousands of psychedelic album covers out there.  This one easily gets into my top-10 list.  It lacks the rainbow of colors typical of psychedelic offerings, but that might be part of what makes this such a great cover.

Baltimore's John von Hamersveldt is probably best known for designing The Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour", but over a career starting in the mid-'60s, he's designed 300+ covers, including The Stones' "Exile On Main Street", The Jefferson Airplane's "Crown of Creation" and The Beach Boy's "WIld Honey".  All are stunning, but this may be my favorite.

Here's a link to von Hamersveldt's website:


Artist: Milt Jackson
Title: Sunflower
Label: CTI
Catalog: CTI 6024
Year: 1972
Genre: jazz
Art Direction: Bob Coano
Cover photo:  Peter Turner
Grade: **** stars

Maybe because I just saw the film Jamanji 2, this cover came to my mind.  I'm not at zoologist, but I'm guessing those are ostriches on the cover?  No matter, the late Peter Turner's image of the heads silhouetted against the sun made for a stunning cover.

Turner was responsible for dozens and dozens of albums covers; most for the CTI jazz label.  There's even a book featuring his work and a fascinating website devoted to his work:

Tuesday, March 24, 2020


Artist: various artists
Title: A Very Special Christmas
Label: A&M
Catalog: SP-3911
Year: 1987
Genre: rock
Art Direction: Keith Haring
Cover art:  Keith Haring
Grade: ***** stars

Even if you are not into art, there's a good chance you've seen the work of the late Keith Haring.  I don't know what you would call it ...  Grafitti?  Pop art?  Street Art?  To me it really doesn't matter since there's something charming and uplifting in the simple, almost child-like Christmas themed cover he provided for this 1987 charity album intended for the Special Olympics.

There's a ton of Haring information on the web.  A good place to start is the Wikipedia link on the artist:

Saturday, March 14, 2020


Artist: Pat Travers
Title: Radio Active
Label: Polydor
Catalog: PD-1-6313
Year: 1981
Genre: rock
Art Direction: Bob Heimall
Cover art:  Digital Effects
Grade: **** stars

I'll make these comments short and to the point - I love the unusual color contrast effects.  Very '80s !!!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020


Artist: Larry Coryell / Alphonse Mouzon
Title: Back Together Again
Label: Atlantic
Catalog: SD18220
Year: 1977
Genre: jazz
Art Direction: Bob Defrin
Cover art:  Roger Huyssen
Grade: **** stars

Okay, the jazzy tunes don't do much for my ears, but Roger Huyssen's playful cover always makes me smile.  The man's responsible for a dazzling array of commercial art including commercials  (he's worked for Coke and M&M),movies, as well as designng over 50 album covers. Most are for jazz artists, but there are some exceptions,  including a couple of the iconic Boston LPs and James Brown's "Sex Machine Today".

He has an interesting website at: