Sunday, September 6, 2009

Classic Album Cover Art

Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonelt Hearts Club Band

Obviously, Sgt. pepper is an one of the most recognized covers of all time, and for good reason. Many, many man/woman hours and thought went into the creation and concept of this iconic cover art.

The cover of Sgt. Pepper's was designed by Peter Blake and put together by Blake and Jann Haworth, who diligently combed through hundreds of photos for months before the photo shoot. The photo was taken by Michael Cooper at Chelsea Manor Photographic Studios on March 30, 1967. Many of the people pictured in the cover were personal heroes of the Beatles or people they admired. However, this was not some photoshop cut, crop and paste creation, these were actual cardboard cutouts of the people and were painstakenly positioned for the shoot.

Who is pictured on the cover:

1. Sri Yukteswar (Indian Guru)
2. Aleister Crowley (black magician)
3. Mae West
4. Lenny Bruce
5. Stockhausen (modern German composer)
6. W.C. Fields
7. Carl Jung (psychologist)
8. Edgar Allen Poe
9. Fred Astaire
10. Merkin (American artist)
12. Huntz Hall (Bowery Boy)
13. Simon Rodia (creater of Watts Towers)
14. Bob Dylan
15. Aubrey Beardsly (Victorian artist)
16. Sir Robert Peel (Police pioneer)
17. Aldous Huxley (philosopher)
18. Dylan Thomas (Welsh poet)
19. Terry Southern (author)
20. Dion (American pop singer)
21. Tony Curtis
22. Wallace Berman (Los Angeles artist)
23. Tommy Handley (wartime comedian)
24. Marilyn Monroe
25. William Buroughs (author)
26. Mahavatar Babaji (Indian Guru)
27. Stan Laurel
28. Richard Lindner (New York artist)
29. Oliver Hardy
30. Karl Marx
31. H.G. Wells
32. Paramhansa Yogananda (Indian Guru)
33. Stuart Sutcliffe
35. Max Muller
37. Marlon Brando
38. Tom Mix (cowboy film star)
39. Oscar Wilde
40. Tyrone Power
41. Larry Bell (modern painter)
42. Dr. Livingstone
43. Johnny Weissmuller (Tarzan)
44. Stephen Crane (American writer)
45. Issy Bonn (comedian)
46. George Bernard Shaw
47. Albert Stubbins (Liverpool footballer)
49. Lahiri Mahasaya (Indian Guru)
50. Lewis Carol
51. Sonny Liston (boxer)
52 - 55. The Beatles (in wax)
57. Marlene Dietrich
58. Diana Dors
59. Shirley Temple
60. Bobby Breen (singing prodigy)
61. T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia)

Sgt. Pepper Notes:

Adolf Hitler, Mahatma Gandhi, and Jesus Christ were requested by Lennon, but ultimately they were left out, even though a cutout of Hitler was in fact made.

The collage created legal worries for EMI's legal department, which had to contact the people who were still living to obtain their permission. Mae West initially refused — famously asking "What would I be doing in a lonely hearts club?" — but she relented after the Beatles sent her a personal letter. Actor Leo Gorcey requested payment for inclusion on the cover, so his image was removed. An image of Mohandas Gandhi was also removed at the request of EMI (it was airbrushed out), who had a branch in India and were fearful that it might cause offence there.

Originally, the group had wanted the album to include a package with badges, pencils and other small Sgt. Pepper goodies but this proved far too costly to realize. Instead, the album came with a page of cardboard cut-outs carrying the description:

The inner sleeve SGT. PEPPER CUT-OUTS

2.Picture Card
5.Stand Up

The special inner sleeve, included in the early pressings of the LP, featured a psychedelic pattern designed by the Fool.

The album project was nominated for seven Grammy Awards on the 1968 ceremony, receiving four of them, including Album of the Year, becoming the first rock/pop album to receive the prize.

The album entered the UK Albums Chart on June 3, 1967 and has remained there for a total of 201 weeks as of 2007. In the USA the album stayed in the Billboard 200 chart for an amazing 175 weeks.

In 2003, it was one of 50 recordings chosen by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry.

And the accolades will keep piling up as new generations of album cover art fans enjoy this iconic cover art.

Rock/Pop Tidbits

The Association were turned down by every major label who heard their first album, which included the future number one smash, "Cherish".

Antoine "Fats" Domino and his wife Rosemary have eight children, all of whom have names that start with "A".

The same studio musicians who had just helped Bob Dylan record "Like A Rolling Stone" were asked by producer Tom Wilson to stay in the studio for one more song. He then recorded the electric guitar, bass and drums that were to be added to Paul Simon's voice and acoustic guitar. The result was the 1966 number one hit, "Sounds Of Silence."

Stevie Wonder wrote "Isn't She Lovely" for his daughter Aisha Zakia. The names mean strength and intelligence in an African language.

Brenda Lee graduated from high school in Hollywood, having already earned 12 top ten records.

Herman's Hermits recorded "Mrs. Brown, You've Got A Lovely Daughter" as an album filler, never intending it for release as a single. After an American DJ started giving it airplay, MGM issued it as a 45 and it became the group's third Billboard number one hit in a row.

Paul Revere and The Raiders' first chart entry, "Like Long Hair" was based on Sergei Rachmaninoff's "Prelude in C-Sharp Minor", written in 1897.

The longest title of a US number one record belongs to a Dutch studio group called Stars On 45. Although their medley was simply known as "Stars On 45" in most parts of the world, the US single had a 41 word title: "Intro Venus / Sugar Sugar / No Reply / I'll Be Back / Drive My Car / Do You Want To Know A Secret / We Can Work It Out / I Should Have Known Better / Nowhere Man / You're Going To Lose That Girl / Stars On 45."

Performance contracts for the band Van Halen stipulated that they be provided with a supply of M&Ms at every show, but all of the brown ones had to be removed.

In 1964, an acoustics expert from New South Wales University measured the noise level during a Beatles' concert at 112 decibels. That's between 10 and 20 decibels higher than a Boeing 707 jet flying at 2,000 feet.

Doors guitarist Robby Krieger once said about lead singer Jim Morrison: "I loved the guy when he was straight. I disliked him immensely when he was drunk."

In 1956, a Protestant minister in Greenwich Village, New York said about Elvis Presley's music; "I don't think youth wants this sort of thing. It is the result of the letdown that follows every war."

Darlene Love, who sang lead vocals on The Crystals hits "He's A Rebel" and "He's Sure The Boy I Love", played Danny Glover’s wife in all four Lethal Weapon movies.

Harry Elston, co-founder of The Friends Of Distinction, used to work as a limousine driver for The Temptations.

Mercury Records released The Platters' "Twilight Time" on both 78 RPM and 45 RPM discs. The song went to number one in the U.S. in April, 1958 and sold one and a half million copies, of which 98.2 percent were 45s. By that June, Mercury became the first major record label to announce that it would stop producing 78s, effective immediately.

After Gene Simmons of KISS graduated form Richmond College, he became a school teacher. This career move was short-lived however, as he quit to form KISS. Why? “I wanted to kill those little pricks,” he said.

Before Glen Campbell had a successful solo career, he was a studio musician who played lead guitar on The Beach Boys' "Dance, Dance, Dance" and Frank Sinatra's "Strangers In The Night".

David Rose, who led his orchestra to Billboard's number one position with "The Stripper" in July, 1962, was a prolific composer of television theme songs in the 1950s. At one point, there were 22 TV shows on the air using his music. He later went on to win Emmy Awards for the theme for "Bonanza", and "An Evening With Fred Astaire", as well as writing music for "Little House On The Prarie" and "Highway To Heaven".

Music News & Notes

Alt-Country Rockers Cross Canadian Ragweed Release New Album This Week

Alt-country rockers Cross Canadian Ragweed have just released their new album, Happiness and All the Other Things, this week. Hailing from Yukon, Oklahoma, the quartet has been a staple of the live circuit since their start in the late 1990s. Although not a household name in the mainstream rock world yet, Cross Canadian Ragweed have already built a huge and loyal fanbase through their gritty live shows. They’ve also long-been celebrated by the music press with USA Today gushing, “This ferociously rocking band is one of the better-kept secrets around…As usual, their best stuff is so good you wonder why more people aren’t noticing…”

Ragweed’s utterly natural Southwestern rock style abounds on Happiness and All The Other Things. The 12-track opus opens with a one/two punch/kiss combo that sets the band’s wide parameters: The fiercely rocking road tale “51 Pieces” followed by a sweet taste of the Texas Hill Country springtime on “Blue Bonnets,” whose sparse and lovely arrangement features harmonium by Joe Hardy (the star recording engineer who mixed the album) and dobro by noted musician and producer Lloyd Maines (also the father of Dixie Chick Natalie Maines). The band will be out throughout the rest of the year and well into 2010 promoting the record.

Alice Cooper told that he is concerned about the state of American rock. "I heard the title Vampire Weekend and I thought, 'Oh, man, that's gonna be great. I gotta see it and there are these guys with little Gap T-shirts on and I'm going, 'What happened to the balls in rock 'n' roll? Why are American bands so wimpy?'"


More Beatles Sets Coming

Amazon has posted the following on its website in reference to the Beatles in Mono box set. "The manufacturer has informed us that they will be producing additional mono box sets due to high demand. While the mono box set will still remain a limited production item, it will no longer be limited to 10,000 copies for the U.S. market, as originally reported."

Radio stations across the country will be breaking from their normal programming on Wednesday to celebrate the reissue of the Beatles' catalog and the release of the Rock Band game. WRXP in New York are sending Matt Pinfield and Leslie Fram to Abbey Studios in London to broadcast the Wednesday edition to their show. Other stations will have big giveaways, Beatles blocks and other promotions.


Mick & Keith Reliving Old Times

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have been in the studio reviewing outtakes and unreleased material from the Rolling Stones' 1972 album Exile on Mainstreet. It's all leading up to the first archival/deluxe release of the band's career.

Richards told Rolling Stone, "There's new songs on there, stuff we've forgotten about. Mick and I were looking at each other like, 'Ah, did we do that?'"

Vinyl Collective Restocks

Stop by and add some great vinyl records to your collection!

ALL ìAllroy Sezî LP
ALL ìAllroy’s Revengeî LP
BLACK FLAG “Everything Went Black” dbl LP
BLACK FLAG “Six Pack” 7?
DESCENDENTS “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” LP
HUSKER DU “Land Speed Record” LP
HUSKER DU “Zen Arcade” dbl LP
MINUTEMEN “Ballot Result” dbl LP
MINUTEMEN “Double Nickels” dbl LP
MINUTEMEN “What Makes A Man Start Fires” LP
HEALTH “Get Color” LP
POLVO “In Prism” LP

The Beatles for sale (yet again)

Jasper Hamill

The Beatles’ musical legacy has been so guarded from the tumult of the modern music industry that their songs aren’t even available on iTunes.

But on Wednesday the Fab Four will be thrust into the 21st century with the release of The Beatles: Rock Band, a video game that will allow players to control eerily accurate computer-generated marionettes of the group, tap along to their hits using replicas of their signature instruments fitted with five brightly coloured buttons and even attempt to sing the famous four-part harmonies.

It will feature 45 of the band’s songs – a first for a game – and will tell the story of the Beatles, starting off with gigs at the Cavern Club, following the group through their epochal shows at Shea Stadium or Budokan in Japan and then ending with the famous swan-song performance on top of the Apple headquarters in London.

The game will even capture the psychedelic sessions that gave birth to Sergeant Pepper, with the walls of Abbey Road studios melting away to reveal a series of trippy “dreamscapes” designed to reflect the strange themes of the music.

Incredibly, the notoriously sensitive fan community have taken the game to their hearts, with some Beatles aficionados reportedly bursting into tears at the sight of the band back from the dead and in full fettle – if the player’s good enough, of course. Even Yoko’s happy with the result.

But who could blame her? Music games have broken records for computer games sales, with Guitar Hero, a game where players strap on a tiny guitar and rock out to hoary rock hits, selling 5.5 million copies worldwide since its 2005 release and becoming the first game to earn over $1 billion.

read the rest here:

My Opinion

Went to eBay yesterday to look around. I saw 2,223,754 results found for vinyl records with over 44,000 pages to look through under the "Buy It Now" category.

I think people ought to get off the 'vinyl record train' who have no clue as to what they are doing. I saw so many overpriced records, do people really think they can sell a Barry Manilow LP for $10? Are some of the items really 'rare' or is that just a given? I mean, c'mon, don't put that word by some old Johnny Mathis records. I think they should limit the use of that word somehow, I mean every record isn't 'rare' or 'hard to find.' Goodness, if this is true, then I have a whole crateful or two of 'rare, hard to find' records sitting in my basement waiting to go to Goodwill.

Come to think of it, I will just stay away from eBay and buy my records from reputable vinyl record dealers who know what they are doing - instead of the non-informed sellers who want to strike it rich selling overpriced vinyl. At least then, maybe I can find a rare record priced correctly. And don't get me started about the grading or mis-grading that is a very common occurance.

Now I know why it has been a month or so since I last went there, it's just plain silly. I also have a good indication why a lot of Power Sellers I know are packing up shop and going elsewhere, it nothing but a big-oversized conglomerated mess full of inexperienced sellers.

Here's an interesting video amde a few months back when everyone was realizing, hey vinyl records are selling again!

Record Profits – Vinyl On Track To Make A Recession Comeback