Ralph Steadman record covers

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Informal Jazz (1956) by Elmo Hope Sextet.

Yesterday’s post made me realise I’d never looked to see how many album covers Ralph Steadman might have designed or illustrated. A quick delve into Discogs revealed the following haul, a couple of which I own on CD. Steadman has worked in a wide range of media but I didn’t know his album work went back into the 1950s. The style of the early sleeves is markedly different to the angry, splattery creations that made his name, and without a signature you’d be unlikely to recognise the artist.

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Conception (1956) by Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Lee Konitz, Sonny Rollins, Zoot Sims.

Artists known for their work outside the music world tend to have pre-existing art used on record sleeves but Steadman is unusual in creating so much cover art afresh. In light of this I’ve omitted the CD insert for a dramatisation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas which repeats the drawing familiar from many of the paperback editions.

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4 Altos (1957) by Phil Woods, Gene Quill, Sahib Shihab, Hal Stein.

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Back Country Suite For Piano, Bass And Drums (1959) by Mose Allison.

Continue reading “Ralph Steadman record covers”

Listen to the Colour of Your Dreams: Part Three

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Continuing the psychedelic mega-mix based on Jon Savage’s list of “100 mind-expanding masterpieces” (see this post). The third of the six mixes is the final visit to the UK, with songs from the years 1967 to 1969. As before, the selections from the Savage 100 are in bold, and I’ve added a few notes about my additions or amendments.

By late 1968 different musical trends were becoming apparent in pop music, all of which would develop into distinct movements of their own in the 1970s. Some of the strands are evident here, notably heavy rock, progressive rock, and the first stirrings of electronic music. Savage didn’t include any electronic songs in his UK listing but I had to have something from White Noise, an obscure group at the time whose first album, An Electric Storm, has since proved very influential. That album is infused with the psychedelic spirit, especially on Your Hidden Dreams, one of the many songs of the period that conflates dreams with drug experiences. An earlier version of this mix did include Your Hidden Dreams but I’ve ended up going with Love Without Sound, the first piece the group recorded.

The most surprising entry in all six mixes is probably the song by Cilla Black, an artist whose name seldom (if ever) appears in discussions of psychedelia. This was a discovery via another list for Mojo magazine compiled by Rob Chapman, a collection of novelty hits, comedy songs (Dick Shawn’s Love Power from The Producers), and various obscurities. Cilla’s song was included for featuring yet more lyrics that may or may not be about drugs. The faux-Arabian arrangement is by George Martin. If I ever track down all of Chapman’s songs I may upload them as well.

UK Psychedelia, Part Three by Feuilleton on Mixcloud

The Rolling Stones — 2000 Light Years From Home (The Stones at their most cosmic.)
The Nice — Flower King Of Flies (The Savage 100 has Diamond Hard Blue Apples Of The Moon, a B-side that’s also very badly recorded, hence this substitute.)
Status Quo — Pictures Of Matchstick Men
Big Boy Pete — Cold Turkey
The Pretty Things — Talkin’ About The Good Times (Another marvellous single from a group at the peak of their powers.)
Julie Driscoll with Brian Auger and The Trinity — This Wheel’s On Fire (Julie Driscoll also did a great cover of Donovan’s Season Of The Witch. This gets included for the modish phasing and for being the theme song for Absolutely Fabulous on which Driscoll also sings.)
Nirvana (UK) — Rainbow Chaser
The Rokes — When The Wind Arises (An English band recording for the Italian market.)
Boeing Duveen & The Beautiful Soup — Which Dreamed It? (Hank Wangford in an earlier guise. A Lewis Carroll poem set to music, this was the dreamy B-side of the group’s Jabberwocky single.)
The Mirror — Faster Than Light
Fairport Convention — It’s Alright Ma, It’s Only Witchcraft
The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown — Fire
Pink Floyd — Jugband Blues
Cilla Black — Abyssinian Secret
The Jimi Hendrix Experience — 1983 (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)
White Noise — Love Without Sound
The Apple — The Other Side
Kaleidoscope (UK) — Faintly Blowing
Jason Crest — Black Mass (A Satanic obscurity that pre-empts Black Sabbath by several months.)
The Open Mind — Magic Potion (By late 1969 it was much too late to still be writing drug songs but that’s what you have here. The heavy riff points to the future.)
Blind Faith — Can’t Find My Way Home

Previously on { feuilleton }
Listen to the Colour of Your Dreams: Part Two
Listen to the Colour of Your Dreams: Part One
What Is A Happening?
My White Bicycle
Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake
Tomorrow Never Knows
The Dukes declare it’s 25 O’Clock!
A splendid time is guaranteed for all

Weekend links 10

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One of a number of vintage ads and ephemeral items at this Flickr set.

• From 1971: The Anthony Balch/William Burroughs/Jan Herman video experiment.

• The NYT reports on World on a Wire, a neglected science fiction drama by Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

• “While some of the technology industry’s brightest minds were inventing the first PCs and developing groundbreaking software, they were also feeding their heads with LSD.”

• The archive of author and illustrator Mervyn Peake has been acquired by the British Library for £410,000.

• Thames & Hudson are publishing I Wonder, a book by the wonderful Marian Bantjes, later in the year. Her site has a preview. I want.

• The gays: It’s election season in the UK so My Gay Vote looks at how the three main parties have supported LGBT issues. (No data for the graphs, however.) Is theatre finally glad to be gay? Yet more Tumblrs: I heart skinny boys & Cute boys with cats.

• Trend-spotter, “svengali”, Situationist and the man who named the Sex Pistols: RIP Malcolm McLaren. The Guardian ran a number of memorial pages. Related: Anarchy in Gardenstown.

• Dublin’s One City, One Book choice for April 2010 is The Picture of Dorian Gray.

The Catastrophist: Christopher Hitchens on JG Ballard.

Steampunk Taxidermy by Lisa Black.

• LIFE looks back at Aleister Crowley.

• Groovy songs of the week: Julie Driscoll (with Brian Auger & The Trinity), a pair of songs by Bob Dylan—This Wheel’s On Fire—and Donovan—Season Of The Witch—and sets which look like a collaboration between Verner Panton and Marcel Duchamp. Amazing.