2016 — SOME ALBUM COVERS*

* ARRIVING AT VINYL CONNECTION THIS YEAR

Continuing an end-of-year tradition by sharing ten album covers that made an impression.

Electronic music, particularly that made on analogue instruments, remains a favourite genre at Vinyl Connection. There have been a few releases that have made an impression, particularly this fascinating archival release by Suzanne Ciani. The cover art, part brown paper poster, part schematic, suits the music perfectly; retro music released in 2016. A wonderful bonus in the LP was a stapled copy of Ms Ciani’s report to the funding body who supported her musical creation.

Suzanne Ciani Buchla

Covers featuring vintage synths don’t come any better than Moogmemory, the fabulous 2016 album by Matthew Bourne reviewed earlier in the year. Check out the post for more images.

Matthew Bourne Moogmemory

Talking electronica (and reviews, and interviews with the artist), the cover of the 2016 All India Radio album, The Slow Light, was colourful and hypnotic. That Martin Kennedy tracked down artist Victor Atkins and requested something akin to his cover for Miles Davis’s Miles in the Sky, adds just a little more magic (more images in the post).

All India Radio - slow light

Colour is a feature of the art of Vinyl Connection favourite, Mati Klarwein. In all likelihood I would buy any LP graced by Mati’s work. The Joe Beck album below was known to me for decades, so to find a copy in good knick was exciting. The music’s pretty good too. Gently funky jazz-rock, featuring David Sanborn (pre-smooth) and Steve Kahn on second guitar.

Joe Beck Mati Klarwein

I’ve been threatening to post an article on the wonderful album art of the Australian World Record Club for ages. But I keep thinking, ‘when I find a few more classic covers…’ with the result that nothing, as yet, has eventuated. Here are a couple of ‘classical’ albums from the 60s WRC output that demonstrate the class and creativity of the design team.

WRC schubert

WRC Brahms

I’m sure that you, dear reader, are just as fascinated by album cover art as I am and have at least as many books on the subject as reside on the VC bookshelves. That being the case, you’ll have noticed that some covers appear repeatedly in these coffee-table sized picture-books. Here is an album I bought it features in at least two books, and because Victim of the Fury loves Ronnie Montrose (type that name into Vic’s Search field and enjoy). I wonder why this one keeps getting compiled?

Montrose - Jump On It

‘I saw it in a book’ is a very fine reason for buying a record, I’m sure you’ll agree. So I expect nothing but encouragement from the stands when I tell you that I am actively looking for a fourth copy of Ian Dury and the Blockheads’ Do It Yourself. ‘I saw it in a DIY wallpaper catalogue’. Not that I’m trying to collect all 27 variations, of course…

Ian Dury - Do It Yourself

A well-done retro album cover is a very fine thing. And few have surpassed Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music by Hawkwind. Paying homage to the twenties US pulp SF magazine seems an obvious visual play for the British Captains of Space, and they did a fine job. The inner sleeve and insert continuing the theme adds stardust to the cosmic cake.

Hawkwind - Astounding Sounds LP

Hawkdwind Astounding Sounds

amazing-stories-vol-1-no-8

Others have been beguiled by tales phantastic. The CD (1991) is by Australian band The Revelators (featuring Joe Camilleri).

Hawkwind - Revelators

A love affair with vinyl packaging is all very well, but many of the more exotic numbers are deuced difficult to photograph. Still, receiving Anexxus Quam’s 1970 album Osmose as part of a brilliant birthday package from Ms Connection was such a thrill I simply had to give it a shot. I’d read about the legendary ‘pyramid’ cover years ago, but never seen one. And the CD doesn’t do anything special. Then Wah Wah Records re-released it recently, and on deep scarlet vinyl to boot. If I put a blunt razor-blade in the cover, will it become sharper I wonder?

img_1709

Annexus Quam - Osmose pyramid

*

The feature image is another classic WRC selection: Claudine Longet (remember her from The Party?) singing in her uniquely French way. A seasonal cover for northern hemisphere friends.

Claudine Longet - Love is Blue WRC****

16 comments

  1. aussiebyrdbrother · · Reply

    Some great choices, Bruce, especially love the Annexus Quam album, a bit like Floyd if they were a jazz -rock band….going to dig it out for a spin tomorrow morning!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers Michael. Sounds like you might be working? Whatever, hope you have a peaceful and satisfying Christmas/NY.

      Like

  2. Aces, Bruce. Always a fascinating collection of album art presented.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Scott. Sorry about the paucity of headless corpses and flesh-eating zombies. But merry christmas anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Oops! Too much Seasonal spirit, Michael. A bleary glance suggested your lil’ picture was Scott from Heavy Metal Overload. Wrong!
      So sorry. Unless, of course, you are into gory metal album covers, in which case, carry on.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Some great covers there, Bruce. Really fascinated by that Annexus Quam one, though I’m really quite fond of that Moogmemory cover!

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    1. It’s a fine line between genius and potty. Still not sure where that Annexus Quam sits, but very glad to have it to share. I do quite like the music – cosmic jam krautrock rather like the Amon Duul I albums.

      Like

  4. Great to see the Montrose make it through the VC taste filters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But I knew it wouldn’t penetrate the bastion of all things tasteful that is 1537.
      Yet what with the Flash album and now this, things are getting rather, er, seedy round here aren’t they?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I recommend 2 Cliff Richard LPs to be taken thrice daily until your bestial urgings subside.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Hey, you could do one of those Lego album cover quiz things like Mike L, but with naughty bits!
      Wonder what the prize would be?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. That ‘cosmic cake’ one is both a terrific cover & terrific desrciption of said cover!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Muchas gracias for the mention, VC. I’m especially jazzed that I got my shout out for what is clearly the classiest of this year’s offerings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I was channelling 1537’s vibe. Not that that in any way detracts from your excellent words.

      Like

  7. I’d send you my ‘DIY’ album but my son ‘Big Earl’ stole it. I’ll keep my eyes open for another few copies and ship them off. Some goods finds. I get to enjoy your gems without putting any work in.

    Like

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