Archive for the ‘Album cover art’ Category

Great covers: Herb Alpert – Whipped Cream and Other Delights

May 12th, 2009 9 comments

I cheerfully admit that I like this album cover for all the wrong reasons. The picture is not exactly, to use the dreaded and misleading term, “politically correct” (less so in an age when the troubling terminology of bukkake is gaining mainstream currency). The woman is objectified, of course. The whipped cream is not supposed to guarantee her modesty, and, in the mind of the male heterosexual beholder, it is not meant to be removed by such conventional means as a cloth. The model”s come-hither look and suggestive lick of her finger communicate as much. So the reader will have to believe me when I claim that my attraction to the cover relates only and exclusively to the very attractive typeface. Read more…

Great covers: The Mamas and the Papas – If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears

May 6th, 2009 8 comments

In this series of album covers I would hang up on my wall, I previously featured the artwork of Dexys Midnight Runners” Searching For The Young Soul Rebel album, which features a defiant looking Belfast lad named Anthony O”Shaughnessy. A couple of weeks ago, Anthony commented on that post, which marks the first time the subject of a post (who was not a fellow blogger) responded to something published here.  Let”s see if Michelle Philips leaves a comment to this post. If she doesn”t, you are more than invited to do so”¦ Read more…

Cover art: The Smiths – Hatful Of Hollow (1984)

February 24th, 2009 1 comment

The Smiths released their debut LP, and seven months later a compilation. How”s that for audacity?  Hatful Of Hollow included singles, their b-sides and BBC session versions of songs from the eponymous debut album (and, it must be said, the BBC session tracks are not all superior). It was just the first of several albums featuring repackaged Smiths material (The World Won”t Listen, Louder Than Bombs etc) Read more…

Great covers: Dexys – Searching For The Young Soul Rebels

February 18th, 2009 18 comments

Although Dexys Midnight Runners drew their influences widely, the debut album Searching For The Young Soul Rebels sounded like nothing before it. Certainly Kevin Rowland’s voice was unique, and his lyrics never far from idiosyncratic. Although Rowland took time with his songs, eschewing radio-friendly abbreviations in favour of giving songs the treatment he thought they deserved, the sound was nervous and insistently impatient. The cover articulated the record’s atmosphere of agitation. The green-tinted cover photo communicated a sense of chaos, confusion and commotion.

Chaos, confusion and commotion were exactly at work in the scene the image captured. It was taken in a Catholic neighbourhood of Belfast in 1971. The British government had just announced that “suspects” could be indiscriminately detained without trial at Her Majesty’s pleasure, leading to people fleeing their homes in panic (other versions of the event speak of evictions). Among them was Anthony O’Shaughnessy and his brothers, seen in the photo which was first published to illustrate a news report in London’s Evening Standard. While the guy in the denim jacket urgently leads a boy away, Anthony defiantly stares into the camera. In the midst of a tense buzz, he looks detached, almost cool.

Emerging from the trauma of such upheaval, and the longer agony of The Troubles, one might expect O’Shaughnessy to be a bitter man. Apparently not: now in his early 50s, he is evidently a man of peace ready to forgive those who were on the other side.

The Dexys cover appeared without O’Shaughnessy’s knowledge. Legend has it that some time later he turned up at a Dexys gig with a big cardboard cut-out picture of himself.

[Edit: Anthony has responded to this post in the comments section. Thanks, Anthony.]


More album covers

Great covers: The Clash – London Calling (1979)

January 26th, 2009 4 comments

I cannot claim to be highly original when I big up the cover of The Clash’s 1979 London Calling double-album. It appears to features in every list of best cover art in rock. Still, the series is about my favourite covers, the kind of LP sleeves I’d display on my wall. If my taste coincides with received wisdom, who am I to rebel against universal acclaim. Unlike the previous covers I discussed, the musical content of this one leaves me mostly cold. Oh, I do realise the significance and applaud the righteousness and all that. But I”m not a great Clash fan, and the album– hmmm…well, I don’t hate it. Read more…

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Great covers: Donald Fagen – The Nightfly (1982)

January 15th, 2009 11 comments

The cover of The Nightfly is my default answer when the question of favourite LP sleeves comes up. I”m not sure whether it actually is my favourite (how can there be just one anyway), but it is not a false answer either. Read more…

Great covers: Johnny Cash – American Recordings (1994)

January 2nd, 2009 6 comments

A new year, and a new series. Here I plan to visit album covers which I like. I have no idea if they are the best ever “” an entirely subjective game anyway “” but the featured covers will have made some kind of impression on me. To limit things further, I think I”ll feature only cover art of albums I actually own. We kick things off with Johnny Cash. Read more…