Sunday, September 29, 2019


Artist: Hawkwind
Album Title:Road Hawks
Label: United Artists
Catalog: UAK 29919
Year: 1975
Genre: space rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Concept: Barney Bubbles
Cover photo: not applicable
Grade: **** stars

I guess it's funny I own this album since I'm not a big Hawkwind/space rock fan.  In fact, I've probably only played this album three or four times in the 30 years I've owned it.  That said, I'm a big fan of the late English graphic artist Barney Bubbles who was the inspiration for this cover. 

Bubbles had previously designed a tour poster for Hawkwind and the band were so enamored with the work, they elected to adopted it for their 1975 album "Road Hawks". 

It may not be the prettiest cover I've ever encountered, but I just love the work's art deco feel.  

Rather than spending a lot of time on Bubbles' sad and troubled career, anyone interested can start with a nice career overview on Wikipedia:

Sunday, September 22, 2019


Artist: Screamin Jay Hawkins
Album Title: ... What That Is!
Label: Philips
Catalog: PHS 600-319
Year: 1969
Genre: soul
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Sleeve design: not listed
Concept: not listed
Cover photo: Dunstan Pereira
Grade: * star

Admittedly the late  Screamin Jay Hawkins was an unusual character, but this album cover is simply something else.  How many artists would subject themselves to something like this?  Seriously?  What was Hawkins' record label thinking?  "Yeah, we'll put him in a coffin (with a close-up shot on the back cover) and sell a million copies ..."

Maybe it was meant to be quirky, but at least to my eyes the result was merely gruesome.

Saturday, September 21, 2019


Artist: Eric Burdon and the Animals
Album Title: Eric Is Here
Label: MGM
Catalog: SE 4433
Year: 1967
Genre: rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Sleeve design: Acy Lehman
Concept: Nancy Reiner
Cover photo: not applicable
Grade: * star

Ouch - where do you even start?  I'm guessing that while the rest of the band may have been a little upset with Eric Burdon hogging the media spotlight and effectively taking over The Animals nameplate, in the wake of this horrible album cover, they might have been a little less upset knowing their pictures were plastered on the cover.  

Not that I am particularly artsy, but you can't help but think that if this had been submitted as a 9th grade art project, you might have recommended a do-over.

Sunday, September 8, 2019


Artist: Judi Pulver
Album Title: Pulver Rising
Label: MGM
Catalog: SE 4904
Year: 1973
Genre: pop
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Sleeve design: Jimmy Wachtel - Sandro Botticelli
Concept: Jimmy Wachtel
Cover photo: Lorrie Sullivan - Jimmy Wachtel
Grade: **** stars

When I stumbled across this album at a community yard sale, I had no idea who Judi Pulver was.  That said, the Sandro Botticelli inspired cover certainly caught my attention.  

There are a bunch of Pulver clips out on YouTube and buried in one of them were some comments from Ms. Pulver herself: "As for the towel, Jimmy Wachtel, Waddy's brother, who was a brilliant graphic artist, did the album cover - a hand-colored version of the Boticelli's venus rising from the ocean on the 1/2 shell. It can be found in Michael Ochs Tashen's book of best album cover art of all time! As for the towel, that's another great story!"

Sadly she didn't go on to describe that story - I may have to reach out to her someday for the rest of the story. By the way, I have a copy of the Tashen book ("1,000 Record Covers" and this one is there.

Ms. Pulver is still active in music (though she pays her ills as a journalist - she works for Variety as their Music Advertising Director.

The album's not bad. Pulver had one helluva a voice - deep and powerful. Kind of reminded me of a classy Janis Joplin who could stay in tune. I'll have to put a review of the album up on the BadCatRecords website.