Album Cover of the Week: Frank Zappa, Over-Nite Sensation

It took a long time before I had the nerve to finally dive into the deep, deep well that is Frank Zappa’s discography. And for me, the album that hooked me to his delightful weirdness was 1973’s Over-Nite Sensation. It’s a bizarre mix of music that is by and large straightforward and experimental at the same time. Zappa truly was a colossal talent and is missed.

And just like the music therein, the cover of Over-Nite Sensation is absolutely packed with fun details. Because there are so many of them, I’ve included an extra-large foldout version of the cover. Click for a larger version.

Frank Zappa, Over-Nite Sensation (1973)

So we’ve got an electric hand reaching into a painting of Frank Zappa’s dressing room for a cigarette. There’s some sort of figure in white rising out of a crack in a table, and in the upper left on the wall is what looks like an old San Francisco 49ers logo. In the room are packages from McDonald’s and Bob’s Big Boy. There’s an old pair of underwear next to a rotten orange, some stage passes for Zappa and the Mothers.

Oh, and there’s a two-headed guy sitting on the bed about to… ah hell, I don’t know what’s going on here, but it’s cool.

Anyway, the illustration credit goes to David McMacken, whose name is on the little plaque at the bottom of the painting. Some of McMacken’s other credits include Kansas’ Leftoverture, the Beach BoysFriends, and Journey’s Raised on Radio (logo design).

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