Friday, December 29, 2017


Album: The Temptations
Title: Wish It Would Rain
Label: Gordy
Catalog: 927
Year: 1968
Genre: soul
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Sleeve design: Motown
Concept: Motown
Cover photo: Motown
Grade: **** stars

This is one that I'd meant to add from the start of this blog.  The cover photo was certainly unusual for Motown which had a penchant for picturing their groups in sophisticated poses.  Here, sprawled across desert sands, The Temptations looked anything but sophisticated.  Unfortunately, Motown didn't believe in giving credits to photographers and design teams; this one simply credited the label.

Saturday, December 23, 2017


Album: Mott the Hoople
Title: Brain Capers
Label: Atlantic
Catalog: BSD 8304
Year: 1971
Genre: rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Sleeve design: Bizarre Damage
Concept: --
Cover photo: --
Grade: **** stars

For a long time this on my party play list and the thing I came to recognize is that even people who found Mott the Hoople irritating would pick up the cover and look it over.  Maybe it was simply the bright red cover, of the simplistic cover art.  Regardless, the cover attracted attention.

Saturday, November 25, 2017


Album: Peter Ivers
Title: Terminal Love
Label: Warner Brothers
Catalog: BS 2804
Year: 1976
Genre: new wave
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Sleeve design:--
Concept: --
Cover photo: --
Grade: **** stars

Peter Ivers is definitely an acquired taste.  This album even made Spotify's list of the 101 strangest albums ever released.  That aside the cover art is a hoot.  The photo perfectly captures the pain of love.

Sunday, November 19, 2017


Album: Al Green
Title: Livin' For You
Label: Hi
Catalog: ASHL 32082
Year: 1973
Genre: soul
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Sleeve design:Tom Daly
Concept: Farmlett, Barsanti & Wood Inc.
Cover photo: --
Grade: * stars

One of Al Green's classic, mid-'70s albums ...   Not one bad song on the set and it's packaged in something that looks like it was drawn by a stoned high school student looking to decorate his Chevy van.  You had to wonder what Green and Hi were thinking and what the album might have done commercially had it been presented in a slightly more elegant concept.


Artist: The Reds
Album: The Reds
Label: A&M
Catalog: SP-4772
Year: 1979
Genre: new wave
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Sleeve design:Amy Nagasawan
Concept: Amy Nagasawan
Cover photo: Tom Drahas
Grade: **** stars

Tons of new wave albums had striking covers and crappy music.  Philadelphia's The Reds debut album featured a striking cover and a decent set of new wave-ish tunes. That made for a winning combination all the way around.

Saturday, November 11, 2017


Artist: Frijid Pink
Album: Frijid Pink
Label: Parrot
Catalog: PAS 71033
Year: 1970
Genre: rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Sleeve design:Victor Kahn
Concept: Victor Kahn
Cover photo: Jeff Bailey
Grade: **** stars

Admittedly, the cover design showing band members Tom Beaudry (aka Kelly Green), Tom Harris, Richard Stevers, and Gary Lee Thompson) sitting on top of a monkey bar set wasn't all that original.  What makes this one stand out are the startling, day-glo colors.  The pink and black are almost retina burning, making for an album package that jumps out at you from a mile away.  

Sunday, July 2, 2017


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 know that in the mid and late-'70s 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


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


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:  

Sunday, May 7, 2017


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


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, No credits for artwork, or design concept, but there's a ton of information on the instrumentation.  I'm not sure anything else needs to be said about this cover.  

In case anyone is interested, the album can be heard on YouTube: 

Sunday, April 2, 2017


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


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


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


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:

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.