10 ALBUM COVERS WITH ARTIST PORTRAITS

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 out of step with The Beatles themselves. It is classed, however, as their tenth album and contains one side of top quality songs (including two by George Harrison) while George Martin’s excellent score occupies Side B.

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Released in August 2021, this extensive collection of Beach Boys material from the albums mentioned on the cover shows a strong Yellow Submarine influence in the artwork. Nothin’ wrong with that, is there?

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After Mick Abrahams departed Jethro Tull rather acrimoniously, he formed Blodwyn Pig. This is their secondย  and final (contemporaneous) album, from 1970. The artwork is credited to John Williams.

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As the mighty Leaf Hound featured in the 1971 COUNTDOWN we won’t repeat ourselves here, simply noting that the excellent cover art is attributed to Leaf Hound.

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By the time of the 1979 LP Frenzy, Phil Judd, co-founder and painter of the debut album’s cover art, had departed the band. The contrast between the zany images of the first three albums and this prosaic portrait is striking. Art and design by Raewyn Turner.

This was the second Enz appearance by Tim Finn’s brother Neil. He contributed two songs, co-written with Finn-the-elder.

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Until CB directed me to this alternate cover of The Band’s covers album Moondog Matinee, I was unaware that my plain black sleeve, adorned only by faux neon letters, was not the only one. Now I want a copy of this version.

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Many love Traffic’s final album (from their initial phase) but I’m not a huge fan. It’s a bit like the cover art (uncredited); earthbound and tangled in briars. Released in 1974.

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The third studio album by Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow was released in 1978. The hairy mound of musicians was drawn by Debbie Hall.

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A much wittier drawing was created by The Who’s bass player John Entwistle for their 1978 LP The Who By Numbers. This is the second second-hand copy I’ve owned, the first sitting in the collection for several years before I realised some bastard had joined the dots.

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There is much to love about Jethro Tull’s 1969 album Stand Up. The gorgeous woodcut with its leprechaun-like caricatures of the band is an excellent starting place. Its’ genesis, the notes in the gatefold tell us, “was based on ideas from Terry Ellis and John Williams and printed from woodcuts by New York graphic artist, Jimmy Grashow.

Talking of the gatefold, this is one of my favourite pop-ups, ever.

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This post is the direct result of input from VC readers, in particular JDB, Arterrorist, Victim Of The Fury, and Cincinnati Babyhead. As well as making excellent suggestions, they inspired further archeology at home, resulting in a simple 8 album post inexorably transforming into a four part series. Serves you right.

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Favourites from this lot?

34 comments

  1. As with you I was totally unaware of the portrait cover of The Band’s Moondog Matinee. I’d love to see one in the flesh (as it were).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s now on my list too!

      Like

  2. getsomeactionnow · · Reply

    Big fan of Leaf Hound.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You bet. Great album.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I do like that rusty tin shed with Split Enz. Possibly it’s because rust red is burnt into the Ausie psyche.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really does shout “Oz!” though it was probably posed for and painted in New Zealand!

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      1. Yes, it passed through my mind that it may be an NZ scene.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Many great covers here. “Yellow Submarine”, “The Who By Numbers”, “Long Live Rock & Roll” and “Stand Up” are my favorite. And, yes, that pop-up gatefold of the Jethro Tull album is really cool!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pop-ups are fun. I think Roger Dean’s cover/gatefold for the Badger LP is my all time favourite.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yellow Submarine, of course. Great post. I hope you’ll do a few more on the same theme.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Further instalments are, as they say, Geo. R, ‘in press’. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Man, that Jethro Tull is another reminder of how my CD copy just doesn’t cut it….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a beauty, isn’t it Graham? A tribute to the vinyl age. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh nice, I’m curious what you come up with in other posts in the series ๐Ÿ™‚
    Frankly, I’ve just bought Traffic’s “Where the eagle flies” and I must say I’m as much in love with the music as with the cover art ๐Ÿ™‚
    Some other suggestions (if you haven’t picked it yet): Aerosmith “Draw the line”, Alice cooper “Welcome to my nightmare”, Hendrix “Axis bold as love”, Grateful Dead “Anthem of the sun” – probably the most sophisticated of the lot ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great selection, Arterrorist! I particularly like the Aerosmith… might have to work that in somewhere!
      If we return for a series on ‘solo’ portraits, the Alice Cooper will be right there in the mix. As for the Dead, I’d never even realised that the faces were intended to be the band, so thanks for that intel!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One more suggestion: Status Quo “Quo” . I think it’s quite a nice one ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, that’s a good one.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Never seen that Split Enz cover before. They were big business in Canada as was Crowded House.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, it’s well known Canadians have excellent taste. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Glancing at Discogs, it does appear that ‘Frenzy’ got a release in Canada a couple of years after the fact. Look like the same cover, so you might pick it up! Good album, btw.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the heads up Sir!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I have to say the Tull is my favorite: I love the intricacies of the woodcut, particularly on the inside of the gatefold. But I do love the ‘technicolour glory’ of Yellow Submarine, too. Love the them; ready for more! (And thank you for the hat tip!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Meant to say love the *theme*….still waking up on the east coast of the US… ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Mine too. A little nod to Albrecht Dรผrer, don’t you think?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes!! Can’t believe you said that!…I *almost* said that very thing. Great minds…

        Liked by 1 person

  10. That ” some bastard” inspired me to finally connect the dots. I was wondering what that was all about. I love Woods on Dream Gerrard. The groove gets me on that one. I think Ill take ‘Walking In the Wind’ for a stroll. Beautiful day here. Later fella. Love the posts and anticipate what else you have up your sleeve.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Neat idea well-executed!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Appreciate the work of finding these – Tull Stand Up was always a fave cover/gatefold.

    Like

  13. kingclover · · Reply

    I love this whole series you did . So many fantastic ones, and some of them are just beautiful. I would love to have some of these, especially the Jethro Tull pop-up . I love novelty album covers, from the ’70s when there were so many great ones like that one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you and welcome! Yes, I share a love of the vinyl artefact from ‘the first vinyl era’. Pop-ups are fabulous and fun. Just really hard to photograph! But perhaps you’ve inspired me to have a crack at a pop-up post. ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Like

      1. kingclover · · Reply

        Are there really any other pop-up ones? I’ve never seen them. You could also do a novelty cover post with all the cool novelty covers of the 70s like the Alice Cooper album that came in the cardboard mailing container or the Billion Dollar Babies that came with the fake money and everything. Or all the albums with cutouts in the cover like the led Zeppelin ones. Led Zeppelin 3 with the rotating picture wheel. And covers that were cut into different shapes. There was a lot of cool ones. 3D covers.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yep, all fine ideas. And most of those LPs are in the VC collection, so we’ll see what unfolds…

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