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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.


 

Philippe Druillet album covers

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Docteur Faust (1971) by Igor Wakhévitch.

Philippe Druillet: album cover artist. As with John Martin, I’m surprised there aren’t more examples. Once again, Discogs.com proves incomplete so I’ve added a couple more including the first on this list, Docteur Faust. If you know of any others, please leave a comment.

Igor Wakhévitch’s berserk masterpiece is a cult item in this house, and something I’ve written about already. The cover art is the icing on an unclassifiable cake.

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Grail (1970) by Grail.

The cover is the opening page of The Wild Wind Isles, one of Druillet’s Lone Sloane stories. Produced by Rod Stewart; did you notice? “We are sailing…”

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Electric Ladyland (1975) by The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

A gatefold sleeve for a series of four Hendrix reissues on the Barclay label. The other covers were provided by Moebius, Jean Solé and an artist unidentified on the link above but it looks to me like the work of Philippe Caza.

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Black Sun (1978) by Black Sun.

Black suns are a regular feature of Druillet’s work (and mine, ahem) so the artist at least suits the title. The debut album of a short-lived French funk/soul group.

East/West (1980) by Richard Pinhas.

The French equivalent of Krautrock doesn’t have a name but Richard Pinhas is one of its leading practitioners. This is still my favourite among his solo works, not least because it’s more successfully musical than other albums which feature great slabs of guitar or synth doodling. In addition to a cover of David Bowie’s Sense Of Doubt there’s also science fiction author Norman Spinrad ranting through a vocoder on the opening and closing tracks. The great cover art is a page from Druillet’s 1980 adaptation of Flaubert’s Salammbô.

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K-Priss (1980) by Georges Grünblatt.

Druillet only provided the title design on this one, the photography being by P. Jelin. Georges Grünblatt was a member of French rock outfit Heldon. His only solo album includes fellow Heldon members Richard Pinhas, Patrick Gauthier, Francois Auger and Didier Batard.

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Neverending Destiny (1990) by Agressor.

A French death metal band. That orange Helvetica makes Cthulhu weep.

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DWW (1992) by Richard Pinhas.

A Pinhas compilation.

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Symposium Of Rebirth (1994) by Agressor.

A page from Druillet’s Yragael (1974) gets badly cropped. Pourquoi?

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La Ville Ainsi Soit-Il (1995) by Pierre Bachelet.

Light pop, apparently. Only in France would you find an album like this being embellished by an artist better known for apocalyptic Lovecraftian frenzy.

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La Nuit (1995) by Proton Burst.

A mini-album by a French band that not only features Druillet art inside and out but is based on the Druillet book, La Nuit (1976), that the artist called his darkest work.

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Metropolis (2002) by Art Zoyd.

French band Art Zoyd have been going since the late 60s, and are still active. This release is a concept album based on Fritz Lang’s film.

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Alexisstar Morphalite (2005) by Hidden.

The central image is a page adapted from Yragael.

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Yogsothery – Gate I : Chaosmogonic Rituals Of Fear (2010) by Various Artists.

One of the more apocalyptic moments from Yragael on the cover of a metal collection dedicated to HP Lovecraft. The CD packaging features Druillet artwork throughout.

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Qwartz 7 (2011) by Various Artists.

A compilation album promoting a French electronic music award. Druillet created a poster which is here cropped to form the CD cover.

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Cosmic Machine – A Voyage Across French Cosmic & Electronic Avantgarde (1970–1980) (2013) by Various Artists.

A great compilation album from the age of analogue synthesis that deserves its cover art.

Update: Added the Grail cover. Thanks to Lord Cornelius Plum for the tip.
Update 2: Added some recent covers by metal bands. Thanks to I, Voidhanger for the tip.
Update 3: Added the Cosmic Machine compilation.
Update 4: Added Art Zoyd.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The album covers archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Druillet’s vampires
Salammbô illustrated
Druillet meets Hodgson
The music of Igor Wakhévitch

 


 

Posted in {art}, {comics}, {design}, {electronica}, {illustrators}, {music}, {science fiction}.

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17 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by Nathalie (@spacedlaw)

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    Nice. I’d never seen most of these. Are you intending to make a book cover entry as well?

  2. #2 posted by Nick Hydra

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    “The French equivalent of Krautrock doesn’t have a name”
    May I suggest ‘Frogrock’? ‘Gaulbeat’? Something to do with Menhiers? (I’m struggling now).

  3. #3 posted by Alfie

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    That ‘Neverending Destiny’ album title text is probably the worst bit of ‘fuck it, drop it in’ design I’ve seen in a long time.

    His latest poster art is very reminiscent (to me anyway) of Brendan McCarthy

  4. #4 posted by John

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    Nathalie: I have considered looking for his book covers but the only one I can think of aside from his BD albums is a copy of The War of the Worlds I found a while back. Discogs makes the job of searching for records easier.

    Nick: I meant the style of music rather than any Gallic euphemism. There’s a number of older French artists like Heldon/Pinhas who stand outside the musical mainstream, Magma and their offshoots are the obvious example but you could also mention Bernard Szajner, Etron Fou Leloublan, Urban Sax, etc.

    Alfie: I agree about the similarity to McCarthy’s style.

  5. #5 posted by michelangelo

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    The blue face on the Qwartz totally looks like a Witkiewicz drawing.

  6. #6 posted by Wiley

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    An online friend of mine runs a small independent record label in Italy devoted mainly to extreme metal, but also stranger ambient music. One of his releases is a Lovecraft-tribute album that features ‘a lot’ of Druillet artwork, particularly from Yragrael Urm (if I am not misspelling that). http://www.i-voidhanger.com/chaosmogonic_rituals_of_fear.htm

    This is the only one I can think of that you haven’t mentioned already, and as has already been said, I haven’t heard of most of these.

  7. #7 posted by John

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    Druillet is the perfect choice for a Lovecraft tribute, he was the first artist who seemed to fully understand what Lovecraft was doing. I always rated Moebius as the boss when it came to technique but Druillet was the one I responded to viscerally for that reason.

  8. #8 posted by Nathalie (@spacedlaw)

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    He has a cover for an Italian SF book too.
    By the way, he shall be next weekend in Paris at Salon du Livre for a signing!

  9. #9 posted by Nathalie (@spacedlaw)

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    And so is Jodorowski…

  10. #10 posted by lord cornelius plum

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    He also did the cover for the German rock (not krautrock) band Grail
    http://www.discogs.com/Grail-Grail/release/1778812
    - although it looks like another badly cropped image from Yragael urm.
    As for books, he did covers for the french editions of Edgar Rice Burroughs mars books, some interior illustrations for AE Van Vogt and illustrated Dracula. And probably loads more too…
    I used to have that Black Sun album – bought because of the cover, of course. I expected (hoped) for wild prog or electronics but got disco instead. Id probably like it more now, but its long gone.

  11. #12 posted by John

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    Lord Cornelius Plum: Thanks! Shame about the obtrusive title. There’s a lot of ships in Yragael but the picture is actually one of the Lone Sloane stories.

    Nathalie: Thanks also, it’s odd seeing that page from Salammbô used on a book cover. I’ve just remembered having seen some really early Druillet covers for one of the French sf mags in the 1960s. The trouble is I forget now where I saw them… Also, Paris has all the best things!

  12. #13 posted by Nathalie ( @spacedlaw )

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    He would be on Metal Hurlant, of course, but also on Pilote.

  13. #14 posted by John

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    I remembered… They’re at that Noosfere site about French sf:

    http://www.noosfere.com/heberg/ericb33/Biblio.asp?RevNum=2226

    Shows how his distinctive style was established very early on. Also the Lovecraftian atmosphere.

  14. #15 posted by Evan

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    “Black suns,” eh? You rascal.

  15. #16 posted by I, Voidhanger

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    Cool that the “Yogsothery: Chaosmogonic Rituals Of Fear” album has got a mention. Here you can take a look at the entire CD layout, with images taken mostly from Yragael (with a couple coming from “Les 6 Voyages de Lone Sloane” and “Necronomicon”):
    http://www.i-voidhanger.com/yogsothery_artwork.htm

    There are 2 more albums with Druillet’s covers that need to be mentioned. One is “Alexisstar Morphalite” by the US progressive death/black metal band HIDDEN:
    http://www.metal-archives.com/albums/Hidden/Alexisstar_Morphalite/69503

    The other – and most important – one is “La Nuit” by French industrial metallers PROTON BURST:
    http://www.metal-archives.com/albums/Proton_Burst/La_Nuit/67254
    It’s of course a concept metal album adapted from “La Nuit”, probably Druillet’s best work. The booklet is full of images from the book, and the song lyrics quote the comic’s dialogues very often. It’s not a great metal album, but an interesting one for sure, and a must have for all Druillet’s lovers.

  16. #17 posted by John

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    Excellent, thanks! I’ve added those above. Good to know about the Proton Burst release, even Pinhas hasn’t gone as far as adapting a Druillet book.

 


 

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