Sunday, October 27, 2019


Artist: Steven Hines Band
Album: It Takes So Long, But It's Worth Waiting For
Label: Tiger Lily
Catalog: TL-14021
Year: 1977
Genre: rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Concept: not listed
Cover art: not listed
Grade: ***** stars

You shouldn't be surprised to learn that a tax scam label that frequently obscured artists' identifies wouldn't bother giving credit to the individuals who provided the art that graced their album covers.  And that's the case with this release.on the late Morris Levy's infamous Tiger Lily label.

Like most Tiger Lily releases, this one isn't very good, but the Heinz ketchup inspired cover has always struck me as being cute and clever.  Maybe it's because I took a lot of marketing classes in college.  

Tuesday, October 22, 2019


Artist: Styx
Album Lady
Label: RCA Victor
Catalog: AQL1-3594
Year: 1980
Genre: rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Concept:  Joseph Stelmach - Roland Young
Cover drawing: Tim Clark
Grade: ***** stars

Sure, it bares more than a little influence to famed illustrator Arte, but I'm a big art deco fan and there's just something uplifting about Tim Clark's colorful, 1920s styled cover art for this 1980 reissue of what was originally released as "Styx II". How could you not like an album cover which featured a blond flapper and a guy driving a big, classic car?

Monday, October 14, 2019


Artist: Jimi Hendrix
Album Title:War Heroes
Label: Reprise
Catalog: MS 2103
Year: 1972
Genre: rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Concept: Ken Dyball - Doug Campbell 
Cover drawing: Paul Jansen
Grade: **** star

I'm not a super Hendrix fan, but there's something mesmerizing about the late Paul Jansen's hyper-realistic portrait of Hendrix.  (The album cover's actually better than the album.)

I grabbed a brief bio on Jansen:

Paul Jansen graduated from the Fine Arts Department with honors and a grant from the School of Visual Arts in the 1960s, after returning from Vietnam. After receiving postgraduate awards and scholarships such as to the renowned Skowhegan School with teachers Robert Indiana in 1969 Paul developed his unique technique and mastery of the line.
With mentors from such as Frank Stella, and Franz Kline along with George Maciunas the “Father of Soho” and founder of the Fluxus Movement, Paul termed his venue as a “3D Abstract Expressionist” with cartoonist flair.
Shortly thereafter, Paul served as Residence Artist at Jimi Hendrix’ Electric Lady Recording Studios in New York City. Jansen’s work appeared in Rolling Stone Magazine, The Village Voice and Playboy, and includes album cover designs for Jimi Hendrix War Heroes, and Loose Ends, and Henry McCullough’s Mind Your Own Business! Which was nominated for Album Cover of the Year Award, in London, England
Only 63, suffering from lung cancer, Jensen passed away in 2008.  His wife retains an interesting website devoted to the artist:  

Sunday, October 13, 2019


Artist: Head East
Album Title:Head East
Label: A&M
Catalog: SP 4680
Year: 1978
Genre: rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Concept: Michael Fink / Rod Dyer 
Cover photo: --
Grade: **** star

Maybe I love this one just because it's such a simply concept and one of the few orange colored covers I've ever seen?

Sunday, October 6, 2019


Artist: Four Tops
Album Title:Meeting of the Mind
Label: ABC Dunhill
Catalog: DSD 50166
Year: 1974
Genre: soul
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Concept: Peter Palombi
Cover photo: Peter Palombi
Grade: *** star

Even if you hadn't been aware The Four Tops had switched their corporate allegiances from Motown to ABC Dunhill, chances are the weird cover would have given you a clue.  Designed by Peter Palombi (his instantly recognizable, hper-realistic air brush stylings have been featured on dozens of album covers), it was hard to imagine Motown ever blessing the strange, slightly psychedelic cover art for this one.  Frankly, I still don't know what the concept was - maybe the four streams of bubbles were intended to reflect the Tops ?


Artist: Derringer
Album Title:Derringer
Label: Blue Sky
Catalog: FZ-34181
Year: 1976
Genre: rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Concept: Gerald Huerta
Cover photo: Don Hunstein
Construction: Nick Fasciano
Grade: * star

To be honest, there's nothing particular appalling about this album cover.  In fact, the only reason I picked it from the seemingly endless floor of "logo" covers, is the fact I happened to have a copy sitting on my desk.  I'm not sure how much Blue Sky paid for this strategic concept, but from an artistic standpoint, the results were simply bland and completely forgettable (which also happens to describe most of the music on this album).  As mentioned, the md-'70s saw a tidal way of these anonymous logo cover,  Dreck !!!