Monday, December 28, 2015


Artist: The Yardbirds
Album: Live Featuring Jimmy Page
Label: Epic
Catalog: E 30615
Year: 1971
Genre: rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Quantity: 1
Cover Designer: not listed
Cover art: James Grashow
Grade: **** stars

One of rock's most infamous albums.  Epic Records has released "Live Yardbirds Featuring Jimmy Page" at least twice (once in 1971 and once in 1976).  Both times Page threatened legal action over the crappy sound quality and both times the album was quickly withdrawn.  Anyhow, I'm more interested in the cover art (if you've ever heard the album the sound quality is simply abysmal making it easy to see why Page threatened a lawsuit). 

The striking cover was designed by American sculpture/woodcut artist James Grashow.  Grashow had enjoyed a bit of earlier success having designed Jethro Tull's "Stand Up" album cover.

Today he's widely known for his work in cardboard...  seriously.  One of the most interesting documentaries I've recent scene was  entitled Cardboard Bernini, describing the creation, exhibition, decay, and destruction of an enormous Trevi Fountain inspired cardboard project he built.

Here's a link to Grashow's website:



Artist: Fairport Convention
Album: A Moveable Feast
Label: Island
Catalog: ILPS 9285
Year: 1974
Genre: folk-rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Quantity: 2
Cover Designer:  Fabio Nicoli
cover art: Graham Goodhall
Grade: **** stars

Goodhall's a complete unknown to me - good luck finding anything about the man online.  That said, how can you go wrong with a painting that features old cars and guitars ?  This one just makes me smile whenever I look at it.

Sunday, December 27, 2015


Artist: Ed Sanders
Album: Beer Cans On the Moon
Label: Reprise
Catalog: MS 2105
Year: 1972
Genre: satire
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Quantity: 1
Cover Designer:  Brendan Atkinson
cover art: Brendan Atkinson
Grade: **** stars

C'mon how could you not laugh at the album title and artwork ?    Geez, a pull tab Bud can ...  I can remember those.

Thursday, December 24, 2015


Artist: Hungry Tiger
Album: Hungry Tiger
Label: Magna Glide
Catalog: MGS 323112
Year: 1977
Genre: pop
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Quantity: 1
Cover Designer:  not listed
Photographer:  not listed
Grade: **** stars

The album's lukewarm commercial pop with a heavy emphasis on ballads.  The anonymous cover is actually better than the music.  Great subject, great colors ... almost has kind of an Andy Warhol feel to it.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Artist: Ry Cooder
Album: Ry Cooder
Label: Reprise
Catalog: 6402
Year: 1970
Genre: rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Quantity: 1
Cover Designer:  Ed Trasher
Photographer:  Frank Bez
Grade: **** stars

I had no idea Frank Bez had done so many magazine and album covers - Johnny Cash, Harry Chapin, etc.   Esquire did a nice interview with him at: Regardless, this cover of Ry Cooder on the El Mirage dry lake is just so cool.  And posing him in front of a 1937 Airstream trailer ...  

Sunday, December 20, 2015


Artist: Oingo Boingo
Album: Only a Lad
Label: IRS
Catalog: 14863-1
Year: 1981
Genre: rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Quantity: SOLD
Cover Designer:  Paul Mussa 
Artist:  Chris Hopkins
Grade: **** stars

I have a younger son who is a Boy Scout, so this one's got kind of a personal connection.  That said, I never quite got the concept which shows the character seemingly morphing from some sort of "creature" into a Scout.  Imagine a Norman Rockwell scene on meds.

I found a link to Hopkins' website where he actually mentions the cover: "I don't believe that I have painted anything particularly famous but I still receive email and other correspondence about the Styx "Paradise Theater" album cover art and cover art for Oingo Boingo's album "Only A Lad." I find this both funny and disturbing since I painted both of those 27 years ago and I hope that I have improved since then. However, lovers of old theatres and Styx fans really aren't interested in anything else that I've painted. I also did the theme art for Super Bowls 20, 21, and 23, and the movie marquee art for "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" and they're really well known."

For anyone interested, here's a link to his website:

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Artist: Traffic
Album: On the Road
Label: Island
Catalog: ISLA 2
Year: 1973
Genre: rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Quantity: 1
Cover Designer:  Ann Borthwick
Artist:  Ann Borthwick
Grade: **** stars

I knew who Traffic were when I bought this album, but have to admit it was one of the first albums I ever bought more for the packaging than the music.  Not that "On the Road" was bad - nah, just kind of long, plodding, and mid-'70s self-indulgent ...  On the other hand, Ann Borthwick's cover art was very cool in a detached, almost clinical fashion.  And Borthwick's a complete mystery to me - I've wasted a lot of time trying to locate some information on the artist.  Someone out there must has some insight into the woman ...

Sunday, December 13, 2015


Artist: Bruce Roberts
Album: Cool Fool
Label: Elektra
Catalog: 6E 262
Year: 1980
Genre: pop/disco
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Quantity: 1
Cover Designer:  Ron Coro
Illustration:  Laurie Pincus 
Grade: ** stars

Presenting Arthur Anderson and the big seven accounting firms' greatest hits ...   = )


Artist: Sutherland Brothers and Quiver
Album: Reach for the Sky
Label: Columbia
Catalog: PC 33982
Year: 1975
Genre: rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Quantity: 2
Cover Designer:  Roslav Szaybo
Photographer:  Roslav Szaybo
Grade: **** stars

Yes, Polish painter/designer Roslabv Szaybo's cover came dangerously close to Love Story territory, but I still love the piece.

Szaybo's designed some other classic rock album covers - you'll have to poke around the blog to find them.  Anyhow, here's the man's abbreviated bio:

Graduated in 1961 at Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, mentored by Wojciech Fangor and Henryk Tomaszewski.

In 1966 he moved to United Kingdom where he worked as an independent designer. Between 1968 and 1972 worked as an art director in advertising company Young & Rubicam. Between 1972 and 1988 he was signed as chief artistic director in CBS Records, where he designed over 2000 album covers, mostly for the classical music, but also for the artists like Elton John, Roy Orbison, Santana, Janis Joplin, The Clash and John Williams. During his work in the UK he was also designing posters for English theaters. Since his return to Poland in 1993 he had started a photography workshop at Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, and also became an artistic director at Czytelnik publishing house.


Saturday, December 12, 2015


Artist: Sandy Denny
Album: Denny
Label: A&M
Catalog: SP 4370
Year: 1972
Genre: rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Quantity: 1
Cover Designer: David Bailey
Photographer: David Bailey
Grade: ***** stars

I'll readily admit I'm not a gigantic fan of English folk-rock bands Like Fairport Convention, early Strawbs, and Steeleye Span, but I make an exception for the late Sandy Denny.  There's just something special in her voice - not to sound hyper-sensitive, but the woman could sing a phonebook listing and make you sit up and take notice. Her voice is instantly recognizable and she managed to pack so much emotion into a song, you just had to wonder how a young English woman could pull that trick off.  That's high praise from a guy from Alabama.  From what little I've read about her life, Denny was a tough, if highly troubled woman.  I've seen photos of her where she looked like she could take care of herself in any brawl.  I'm not sure you would have considered her beautiful in the traditional sense of the word, but then that's one of the things that makes the David Bailey album cover so stunning.  Not only did Bailey managed to capture a stunning picture of Denny (she really did look gorgeous), but she looked peaceful, relaxed, and comfortable on the album cover.  It made for a stunning cover.   

For anyone interested, the British National Portrait Gallery will sell you an unframed copy for about $20:



Artist: Flame
Album: Flame
Label: RCA Victor
Catalog: AFL1-2690
Year: 1978
Genre: rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Quantity: 1
Cover Designer: Lynn Goldsmith
Artist: Jean Paul Goude
Grade: * stars

I guess it's just a personal issue, but every time I see this cover it makes me shudder - nothing against the attractive and talented Marge Raymond, but there's just something very disconcerting about the cover showing her twisted like a pretzel.  


Tuesday, December 8, 2015


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Artist: Hotgun
Album: Hotgun
Label: Guinness
Catalog: GNS-36014
Year: 1977
Genre: rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Quantity: 1
Cover Designer: unknown
Artist: unknown
Grade: **** stars

It wasn't a particularly impressive tax scam release, but it had a fascinating history (which you can read at about at and the dayglo colored Andy Warhol-meets Roy Lichtenstein’s comic book-style cover was certainly eye catching.

Thursday, December 3, 2015


Artist: Nantucket
Album: Nantucket
Label: Epic
Catalog: JE 35353
Year: 1978

Genre: rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Quantity: 1
Cover Designer: Paula Scher
Artist: Robert Grossman
Grade: **** stars

Not only did it take me a couple of years to figure out how funny it was to name a Southern rock band Nantucket, but it took me even longer to appreciate Robert Grossman's funny cover.

It wasn't until I actually looked at the cover closely that I realized Grossman was responsible for dozens and dozens of magazine covers I'd seen over the years, let along dozens of album covers.

Here's a link to some of his work:

Here's a llnk to Grossman's website: