Tag: album covers

Album Cover of the Week: Jefferson Starship, Red Octopus

Album Cover of the Week: Jefferson Starship, Red Octopus

Album Cover of the Week, Music
As '70s AOR goes, Jefferson Starship's Red Octopus is pretty good. Not fantastic, but really solid stuff. But what I really dig about it is the album cover. It comes in a few variations, which we'll look at together. First up is an original issue from the band's own Grunt Records imprint (catalog number BFL1-0999). It has a sort of embossed look to it, as the material for the band and album names shimmers based on the light source. Same goes for the "red octopus," which is a heart with eight legs. Non-U.S. editions of the album have the same layout as the original, but ditch the gold leaf effect in favor of a straight red and yellow color scheme. Here's a specimen from the U.K. (Grunt FTR 2002). I have to say I prefer this scheme over the fancier one. It's a very striking arrange
Top 10 Jackie Gleason Album Covers

Top 10 Jackie Gleason Album Covers

Album Cover of the Week, Music
I've already written about the musical career of the Great One, Jackie Gleason, as well as talked about one of my favorite Gleason album covers (Music for Lovers Only). I thought I'd go ahead and dedicate an entire album cover gallery drawn from Gleason's catalog of mid-century orchestral pop -- aka mood music. So here's a collection of my ten favorite Jackie Gleason album covers, drawn from his extensive Capitol Records run (nearly 60 LPs, including soundtracks and compilations, from the early '50s through the early '70s). These all come from the first ten years of his catalog, and I think you'll see why. #1. Music for Lovers Only (1952) #2. Lonesome Echo (1955) This was Gleason's fifth #1 album, and the artwork was by the legendary Salvador Dali. He described the concept of t...
Album Cover of the Week: Journey, Look into the Future

Album Cover of the Week: Journey, Look into the Future

Album Cover of the Week, Music
Once upon a time, there was a Journey that was not massively successful. I speak of course about the band's first three albums -- which were certainly harder and more progressive than later material, but were nonetheless not very popular. So for this entry let's look at one of those three albums, and the one with the weirdest cover -- 1976's Look into the Future. So it looks like we've got a little bit of an MC Escher thing going on here, but less complex. It does fit with the vibe of Look into the Future, however, which is definitely more progressive and jazzy than the band would become after Steve Perry joined. Journey, which was a five-piece outfit for their first album, lost rhythm guitarist George Tickner and was reduced to a quartet. The four band members, shown here as
Album Cover of the Week: Pink Floyd, Obscured by Clouds

Album Cover of the Week: Pink Floyd, Obscured by Clouds

Album Cover of the Week, Music
For a long time I thought of Pink Floyd's Obscured by Clouds as little more than the album that came before The Dark Side of the Moon. And while it certainly doesn't nearly measure up to the latter, it has its own charms -- not the least of which is its album cover. For reasons unknown to me, this is actually an intentionally out-of-focus photograph of a man in a tree -- not, in fact, clouds. The sleeve design is by Hipgnosis, who of course designed several other Floyd albums throughout the years. I really like this one because it suits the rather hazy nature of some of Obscured by Clouds. The album was intended originally to be the soundtrack for a French film called La Vallée (The Valley). When Pink Floyd later had a falling out with the film company, they decided to call their
I Love You, Internet: Peter Criss Is Matlock, 1978 Solo Album Style

I Love You, Internet: Peter Criss Is Matlock, 1978 Solo Album Style

Internet
Man, I want to find the person who drew this and shake his or her hand. Because Andy Griffith as Matlock as Peter Criss from the front of his 1978 Kiss solo album is inspired. For reference, here's the original. Genius. They even nailed the classic Kiss font. Update: Chet Loggins, the creator of this fine work of art, has stepped forward! See the comment section below.
Album Cover of the Week: The Vancouver Canucks, Hockey — With a Little Help from Your Friends

Album Cover of the Week: The Vancouver Canucks, Hockey — With a Little Help from Your Friends

Album Cover of the Week, Music
That's right, the NHL is back! I thought I'd dedicate this week's album cover post to a hockey-related LP, but I quickly found that there simply aren't that many out there. There are plenty of covers with a football or baseball theme, but not so much hockey. What I did find was this curio from the mid-1970s. It's the 1975 LP from the Vancouver Canucks, Hockey -- With a Little Help from Your Friends. This is just great, whether you love hockey, vintage logos, or funky and weird albums. This isn't a music album, so don't go expecting the '70s hockey equivalent of "Super Bowl Shuffle." This is a mostly spoken word record, featuring playing advice and tips from Canuck players such as Don Lever, Rick Blight, Bob Dailey, Dennis Ververgaert, Curt Ridley, Harold Snepsts, Phil Maloney, an
Sammy Sosa — Pinterest Sensation, Music Star!

Sammy Sosa — Pinterest Sensation, Music Star!

Funny Stuff
In case you haven't already seen, Sammy Sosa -- former Major League Baseball star, bat corker, and Hall of Fame wannabe -- has undertaken a bizarre strategy for improving his public image. And by that I mean he's not only Tweeting, he has a Pinterest page. But rather than use Pinterest for its intended purpose -- sharing pictures of food and kicky shoes -- he's published nothing but posed portraits of himself. To compound the oddness, every photo bears an identical description: "Sammy Sosa. Yes, I'm the real Sammy Sosa, and this is my Pinterest." In looking at Sosa's pinned photos, featuring him posing uncomfortably either in a snappy blue suit or mustard yellow sweater, I was struck by how much some of the photos looked like the cover to a never-released album of lounge music or easy l...
Album Cover of the Week: Martha and the Vandellas, Heat Wave

Album Cover of the Week: Martha and the Vandellas, Heat Wave

Album Cover of the Week, Music
Christmas is over, and we're almost into that part of winter where you think it's never going to end and you're already tired of it being dark by 5pm. So let's turn up the heat with this slice of vintage R&B -- from 1963, it's Heat Wave from Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, first released on the Gordy Records division of Motown. This is the biggest image scan I could find, although it's not of the original album. That can be identified by the Gordy label that should be on the lower left. Design-wise, Heat Wave is pretty uncomplicated but it's very appealing all the same. The white dresses (and gloves!) of the ladies strike a brilliant contrast with the flames. Design and photography credit go to Bernard Yeszin, who worked a number of other Motown album covers in the early '60...
Music from the Worst Album Covers — Merry Christmas & Happy New Year with the Mom and Dads

Music from the Worst Album Covers — Merry Christmas & Happy New Year with the Mom and Dads

Album Cover of the Week, Music
We’ve all seen at least one article showing the worst album covers of all-time. But what about the music inside? Should you judge an album by its horrible cover? Well in this series, we’re going to find out. Today we examine Merry Christmas & Happy New Year by The Mom and Dads. I'll say this much for the 1972 holiday album Merry Christmas & Happy New Year by the Mom and Dads -- if ever there was a Christmas album that sounded exactly like you would expect it to, this is it. I'm not going to sit here and judge whether or not that's a positive thing; I'm just throwing it out there as a heads up of sorts. Yes, that's the actual group on the cover. We've got (l to r) Quentin Ratliff (saxophone), Harold Hendren (drums), Doris A. Crow (piano), and Leslie Welch (accordion) l