Saturday, August 31, 2013


Artist: The High Llamas
Album: Talahomi Way

Label: Drag City

Catalog: DC 469
Year: 2011
Art Designer: Jeremy Glogan
Photographer: not applicable
Grade: **** stars

As a big fan of modernist architecture (yes I subscribe to Atomic Ranch), Jeremy Glogan's cover drawing featuring a '60s-styled house was pretty stunning ...  wide glass walls; curved flat roof; kind of a dream house for folks who love the style.

Friday, August 30, 2013


Artist: The Move
Album: Looking In

Label: Capitol

Catalog: ST 658
Year: 1970
Art Designer: Graphicreaks
Photographer: not listed
Grade: **** stars

So as a guy who suffers from male pattern balding, I've always found this cover somewhat disconcerting.   It's a perspective I prefer not to think about - not that there's anything wrong with it; not that there's anything I can do about it.   Naturally Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood (co-leaders of The Move), had more hair than they knew what to do with ...   Personal feelings aside, it is a cool looking over.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Artist: Ry Cooder
Album: Ry Cooder

Label: Reprise

Catalog: MS 6402
Year: 1970
Art Designer: Ed Thrasher
Photographer: Franz Bez
Grade: **** stars

I remember laughing when I read the liner notes and saw that Cooder had thanked Airstream for use of a 1937 trailer ...   Parked on what I'm guessing where the Utah salt flats, Ed Thrasher's photo wasn't the most sophisticated thing you've ever seen, but the cool angle and the rising sun on the horizon did make forone eye catching cover ... 

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Artist: The Meters
Album: Trick Bag

Label: Reprise

Catalog: MS 0698
Year: 1976
Designer: Lockhart
Photographer: Johanna Van Zanwyk
Grade: **** stars

I'll readily admit that I bought this album as a dazed and confused 16 year old ...  I'd never heard of The Meters, but when I saw the large promotional poster in my local Penguin Feather record seller, I immediately located a copy of the LP (it was on sale - think it was $4.98).  I was all too happy to add this one to my growing collection of vinyl. I can remember spending way to much time staring at the cover (as did many of my friends). The fact it was a great set of New Orleans influenced funk only made it better.


Artist: The Staple Singers
Album: Will the Circle Be Unbroken?

Label: Vee Jay

Catalog: LP 5008
Year: 1969
Designer: not listed
Photographer: not listed
Grade: **** stars

By some odd coincidence I bought this album at a yard sale the same week Pops Staples died.  Not sure what that means in the overall scheme of things, but I've always thought it made for an interesting factoid.   Anyhow, I grew up with early/mid-'70s Staple Singers so anytime I stumble across something from their earlier catalog, I grab it. 

Clearly intended as a political and social statement, you certainly had to admit the shackle cover was arresting.  Hard to imagine anyone having the courage to slap something as controversial on an album cover in this politically correct environment.


Artist: Tyrone Davis
Album: Tyrone Davis' Greatest Hits

Label: Dakar

Catalog: DK 76902
Year: 1972
Designer: not listed
Photographer: not listed
Grade: **** stars

In the early 1970s the Brunswick/Dakar family of labels was encountering major financial difficulties and in an apparent effort to generate some quick cash, released a string of "Greatest Hits" packages, including this set by Tyrone Davis.   Brunswick/Dakar clearly didn't bother to spend much money on the artistic side of the enterprise given all of the albums featured the same basic design - a slew of "gold" records  splayed against a black backdrop with some very '70s font stylings.  I have to admit the anonymous design is so bad it actually grabs your attention ...

And for anyone interested, the album itself is quite good, collecting a slew of Davis' late-'60s and early-'70s hits and non-hits.   The guy certainly had a fantastic soul voice and I dare you to sit still through something as good as 'Turn Back the Hands of Time', or 'Can I Change My Mind'.

Friday, August 16, 2013


Artist: Three Dog Night
Album: Golden Bisquits

Label: Dunhill

Catalog: DSD-50098
Year: 1971
Designer: Peter Whorf
Photographer: Ed Caraeff
Grade: **** stars

So here's another one that makes you shake your head in wonder.  Released in 1971, "Golden Bisquits" was Three Dog Night's sixth album and their first "best of" compilation.   Supposedly the band was originally interested in releasing the set under the title "Dog Style", but ABC/Dunhill management were less than thrilled by the risqué title, opting for the more conventional "Golden Bisquits".   Ironically the original cover art proved equally problematic.   Featuring a photo taken by Ed Caraeff for the band's "It Ain't Easy" album, the original cover art featured the band in a relaxed, easy-going poise.   The only problem was the photo featured the band naked.  True, the soft focus and orange tint meant you couldn't really see anything, but it was pretty obvious Danny Hutton, Chuck Negron, Cory Wells and the rest of the band were enjoying a bit of nature.  Apparently afraid the cover would limit sales, ABC/Dunhill marketing management quickly rushed out a bland, repackaged version of the set.  And if you want to see what the replacement art looks like ...

Saturday, August 3, 2013


Artist: Asylum Choir
Album: Smash

Catalog: SRS 67107
Year: 1968
Designer: Lou Kimzey
Photographer: not applicable
Grade: **** stars


So the thing about this cover is the fact it was banned ...  Yeah, in 1968 American merchandisers apparently saw the toilet paper image as a major threat to the buying public, hence the refused to stock the LP.  Smash management found themselves having to quickly design an alternative (far blander) cover.  You can see a copy of the replacement cover to the left.   Today you have to laugh about it  ...  Boy were times different back then.  Come to think of it, the busy tile work on the wall was probably more offensive than the toilet paper (wonder if it was double ply?).