Tag: Capitol Records

Album Cover of the Week: Jonah Jones, I Dig Chicks

Album Cover of the Week: Jonah Jones, I Dig Chicks

Album Cover of the Week
I Dig Chicks (Capitol Records ST/T 1193, 1959) is more properly billed to the Jonah Jones Quartet, but I'm not about to quibble. This cover is at once way too on the nose and supremely clever. I don't have a photography or graphic design credit for the front cover, so if you know who is responsible for this beauty let me know. As far as the personnel on the record, Jonah Jones gets vocal and trumpet credits but I haven't been able to ID the other musicians. Here is the album description from the back cover: "For those who appreciate the finer things in life, gentleman Jonah Jones supplies words and music for an album filled with songs about man's favorite hobby: Chicks! The now famous Jonah Jones style is thoroughly in evidence throughout this album. As he sails through these
Dig This Beatles Help! Motorized Promotional Display (Capitol, 1965)

Dig This Beatles Help! Motorized Promotional Display (Capitol, 1965)

Auction Finds
From the heady days of Beatlemania comes this outstanding piece of music retail history. It's a motorized display produced by Capitol Records to promote the Beatles' new Help! album and movie. It's basically nothing more than a two-foot by two-foot box with a set of cardboard hands that pops out, but because it's the Beatles it automatically becomes cool. Let's check it out: If you want to see this neat little promo item in action, check out this video:
Album Cover of the Week: The Bob Seger System, Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man

Album Cover of the Week: The Bob Seger System, Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man

Album Cover of the Week, Music
Shortly before he became one of the top heartland rock acts of the 1970s and '80s, and a few decades before "Like a Rock" guaranteed that he would never have to work again, Bob Seger released a pretty great and eclectic debut LP in April 1969. Ramblin' Gamblin' Man was issued by Capitol Records (ST 172) under the group name The Bob Seger System, one of three records that group recorded for the label. You might be wondering what that lovely portrait of a young lady in blue standing on an ice shelf has to do with the album title. Fortunately Seger explains on the back cover: The title of this album up until three days ago was "Tales Of Lucy Blue". At that time I realized that Lucy Blue is Ramblin' Gamblin' Man. Thank you Doctor Fine! I have no idea what he's talking about either...
Sunday Jazz: The Cannonball Adderley Quintet, “Walk Tall”

Sunday Jazz: The Cannonball Adderley Quintet, “Walk Tall”

Music, Sunday Jazz
One of the things I've always loved about Cannonball Adderley's approach to jazz is how he seamlessly infused elements of R&B and (later) soul into his arrangements. While he could play straight hard bop with the best of them, I think his best output comes from his willingness to expand and experiment. And so this week I want to highlight a song from Cannonball's his first album of the 1970s, Country Preacher (Capitol Records SKAO-404, 1970). It was recorded live in Chicago in October 1969. After a fiery introduction by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Adderley's quintet -- Cannonball on alto sax, Nat Adderley on cornet, Joe Zawinul on piano, Walter Booker on bass, and Roy McCurdy on drums -- busts out a greasy funk-inspired groove on "Walk Tall." This brilliant mix of late '60s funk and...
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: Jackie Gleason, Music for Lovers Only

Album Cover of the Week: Jackie Gleason, Music for Lovers Only

Album Cover of the Week, Music
Last month I reviewed a new CD reissue of Jackie Gleason's Music for Lovers Only album at Popdose. I meant to feature the album cover as part of this series but got distracted by something bright and shiny. So let's look at it now! Beautiful, ain't she? While many of Gleason's albums of "mood music" from the '50s and '60s tried to recreate the same feel, I think this is still the best of the bunch. Put another way, there is absolutely no doubt as to what the music on this record will sound like, even if you were totally unfamiliar with Gleason's style of orchestral pop.
Sunday Jazz: First Cosins Jazz Ensemble, ‘For the Cos of Jazz’

Sunday Jazz: First Cosins Jazz Ensemble, ‘For the Cos of Jazz’

Music, Sunday Jazz
This album has been making the rounds on jazz .mp3 blogs for quite a few years, but I like it so much I feel compelled to share it myself. It's called For the Cos of Jazz, and it was recorded by a group called the First Cosins Jazz Ensemble. As far as I can tell the group was a one-off project put together just for this album. As the name of the group and album might hint, Bill Cosby was a major figure in putting this together -- which makes sense, as he was pretty involved in the music world in the '60s and '70s in addition to his acting and stand-up comedy career. Indeed, Cosby is listed as a musical consultant and co-arranger on the record. Musically, For the Cos of Jazz is pretty typical of the jazz/funk that was popular in the mid-to-late '70s. It brings to mind one of my favori...
CD Giveaway: Frank Sinatra, Sinatra: Best of the Best

CD Giveaway: Frank Sinatra, Sinatra: Best of the Best

Music
Ring-a-ding-ding, Sinatra fans! It's time for yet another exciting CD giveaway, and this time it's the latest greatest hits compilation from Ol' Blue Eyes himself. I know what you're thinking -- do we really need another Frank Sinatra compilation? Well listen here pally, Sinatra: Best of the Best ain't just any Frank CD. This is the deluxe 2-disc version featuring a rare Seattle concert from the Chairman of the Board. So get ready to swing my friends, because I'm giving away one deluxe, 2-CD version of Sinatra: Best of the Best. To win your very own copy, simply Over the next two weeks you can enter to win a copy by simply liking the Man in the Gray Flannel Suit Facebook page and then posting your favorite Frank song. That's it. So don't be a Harvey, and enter today! From the offi
Album review: The Decemberists – The King is Dead

Album review: The Decemberists – The King is Dead

Music
The term progressive can have rather dangerous effects on music. For starters it makes the typical music fan cringe with ideas of long-winded guitar solos and lyrics about gnomes fighting dragons. Second, it can cause musicians to try to make albums that actually match those ideas. When coupled with other words like “19th century sea-faring folk ballads” it has to be questioned whether anyone would even bother listening. And yet here we are witnessing the sixth studio album from the Decemberists more than a decade into their career. After having built a sizable following with what seems like a rather niche take on indie rock, perhaps it is those potential trappings that forced Colin Meloy and company’s hand towards taking a more stripped-down and straightforward approach on The King is