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