The orchestral strains of Stravinsky’s Firebird ease into a smooth wash of synthesiser chords as the musicians take their places. A caped Rick Wakeman strokes the keyboard producing those electronic strings. Bill Bruford sits at a Simmons electronic drum kit, dressed for judo. Steve Howe is wearing a silky, brightly hued shirt while Jon Anderson, […]

The 1980s are often remembered as the time of synth pop, but—in Australia, at least—this is misleading. The land Downunder brought forth excellent, world class guitar based bands… the maturing sound of Midnight Oil, the power pop exuberance of Hoodoo Gurus and the introspective guitar rock of The Church. Formed in Sydney, The Church released […]

In 1769, the Royal Academy of Art in London held its first Summer Exhibition of contemporary art.  Between 26 April and 27 May, 14,008 visitors took in 136 works by 54 artists, including Thomas Gainsborough and Joshua Reynolds.  The Exhibition has been held every year since, even during World War II.   Leaping forwards to […]

Welcome to the final part of this meandering series of album covers featuring what we will loosely call portraits of the band. Once again we’ll begin in the 1960s, with an all-time favourite. I love the way artist/designer Bernard Yeszin utilised the television image of The Monkees (Davey’s shirt, Mike’s beanie) to create an engaging […]

More album cover art with an emphasis on art. Here are ten record covers with portraits of the artist. Some are from the Vinyl Connection collection, a couple were sourced from the internet. Several were suggested in the comments section of the initial post and are gratefully included. Let’s continue the pattern of starting with […]

Quintessentially Sixties in its technicolour glory, The Beatles 1968 animated film holds up very well due to the sheer vivacity of the artwork. Directed by George Dunning, Time magazine labelled it “a smash”, observing that the film “delighted adolescents and aesthetes alike”. The album was released in January 1969, by which time it was somewhat […]

From the time TheBeatles opted to use Klaus Voorman’s charming portraits of the fab four on their seminal 1966 album, bands have commissioned visual artists to represent themselves on their musical offerings. Here is a selection. * With graphics by Linda Guymon and Art Direction by Richard Roth, this 1975 compilation of Rolling Stones ‘Rarities’ […]

GLASTONBURY FAYRE In Vinyl Connection’s 2015 end-of-year report the category of “Most Ridiculous Purchase” was won by the 3 LP set allegedly documenting the 1971 rock festival, Glastonbury Fayre. The following points were offered as explanation. A triple live album (Vinyl Connection’s obsession with these beasts is well documented) The 1972 original is unbelievably rare. (VC […]

When I first wrote about Space Rock: An Interstellar Traveler’s Guide half a decade ago, this is how I began: This recent release ticks all the wrong boxes: CD not vinyl, yet another compilation, probably too much of a good thing, odd-shaped package impossible to file… yet Space Rock: An Interstellar Traveler’s Guide is my CD of […]

JOHN LEE HOOKER — NEVER GET OUT OF THESE BLUES ALIVE Exploring an idea he returned to with great success on The Healer (1989), John Lee Hooker invites several guests to join him on this album, including Van Morrison and Elvin Bishop. This See For Miles CD re-issue is a strange beast, including a track […]