Saul Bass album covers

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Frank Sinatra Conducts Tone Poems Of Color (1956).

The great designer and filmmaker Saul Bass is the subject of renewed attention with the publication this month of Saul Bass: A Life In Film & Design by Jennifer Bass and Pat Kirkham, the first comprehensive examination of the man’s work. A post at AnOther has an extract from Martin Scorsese’s foreword, and also a small selection of designs from the book among which was this tremendous Sinatra album cover that I’d not seen before. The album was a limited edition release in which a number of Sinatra’s composer friends produced pieces of music based on colour-themed poems by Norman Sickel. Sinatra had appeared in Otto Preminger’s The Man With the Golden Arm the year before, the film for which Saul Bass designed a title sequence and a poster that’s probably more visible (and imitated) these days than the film itself. (The arm from the poster is the main graphic on the cover of the new book.) Bass designed the posters, titles and ads for many other Preminger films, more than for any other director. A number of those films had soundtrack albums, of course, as did other films featuring Bass’s work. Usually the poster design was adapted for the album sleeve (something you can see at this Flickr set) but the Sinatra album had me wondering whether there were more albums with Saul Bass covers that aren’t film spin-offs.

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Freedom Is Frightening (1973) by Stomu Yamash’ta’s East Wind.

Searching around turned up a few more surprises: two covers a decade apart for Japanese jazz musician Stomu Yamashta, and a one-off for The Smithereens who were audacious enough to ask for a cover design in 1991, right at the time when Bass’s work was being noticed again thanks to Martin Scorsese. Outside of the soundtrack albums this seems to be all there is—unless you know better. As for Mr Scorsese, the Telegraph had more of his foreword from the new monograph. And speaking of books, here’s another Bass link: Henri’s Walk to Paris, a children’s picture book that I wish someone had bought me in the 1960s.

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Sea And Sky (1984) by Stomu Yamashta.

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Blow Up (1991) by The Smithereens.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The album covers archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Pablo Ferro on YouTube

Weekend links 81

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Black Cat on a Chair (1850–1860) by Andrew L Von Wittkamp.

• “A little bit of acid, lots of weed, and too much Castaneda and I was ready to move from the magical realm of Middle Earth into a world that was much stranger than any involving hairy dwarves and white wizards…” Too Much to Dream by Peter Bebergal, “a psychedelic American boyhood”.

This year’s Booker prize isn’t about the power of the new – there’s no experiment with form or strangeness of imagination. The winner may get on the bedside tables of middle England, but that’s not as important as changing the way that even one person dreams.

Jeanette Winterson throws the cat among the pigeons.

• 50 Watts continues to show us things you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere: illustrations by TagliaMani from a new edition of Les Chants de Maldoror, and War Is a Verb, collages by Allan Kausch.

• Don’t go in the swimming pool! Coilhouse directs us to Fantasy: music by French outfit DyE with a weird and nasty animation by Jérémie Périn.

• Ace album cover designer and photographic Surrealist Storm Thorgerson is having another exhibition at IG Gallery, London.

The Art of Leo and Diane Dillon, an art and illustration archive.

John Turturro reads a short story by Italo Calvino.

Spaceport America by Foster + Partners.

Your Body of Work by Olafur Eliasson.

Wonder-Cat cures all ailments.

Blogging Moby-Dick.

Krazy Kat (1927) by Frankie Trumbauer & His Orchestra with Bix and Lang | Pussy Cat Dues (1959) by Charles Mingus | Katzenmusik 5 (1979) by Michael Rother | Big Electric Cat (1982) by Adrian Belew | Purrfect (1996) by Funki Porcini.

Weekend links: Hodgson edition

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Masters of Terror, Vol 1, Corgi Books, 1977. No illustrator credited.

It was all happening this week so there’s a lot to get through. Are you ready? Deep breath…

For ye Hogge doth be of ye outer Monstrous Ones, nor shall any human come nigh him nor continue meddling when ye hear his voice, for in ye earlier life upon the world did the Hogge have power, and shall again in ye end.

The Hog (c. 1910) by William Hope Hodgson.

• “The Hog is Hodgson’s most nakedly Jungian setpiece; fetid waves of archetypes sweep repeatedly against the thin walls of quotidian reality.” Thus Iain Sinclair, writing in a 1991 afterword to Carnaki the Ghost-Finder which I highly recommend to both Hodgson and Sinclair enthusiasts. China Miéville dissected Hodgson’s Hog on Wednesday and a few hours later a student protest in London turned into an assault on the Tory HQ. Coincidence? Here at {feuilleton} we only offer the facts, it’s up to you to join the dots. M John Harrison approved. Of the protest, that is, not the raising of Porcine Malevolence from the Gulfs Beyond, although he might approve of that as well.

• Further Hodgsonia: Science of The Night Land: Dying Suns and Earth Energy while for real devotees there’s Andy Robertson’s Night Land site.

• “Amplifying the vibrations of the ether” for a view “beyond the limits of ordinary life”: The Fugitive Futurist (1924), a remarkable short film at the BFI’s YouTube channel in which Trafalgar Square is flooded, a monorail crosses Tower Bridge and a dirigible takes to the air over the Houses of Parliament. Also Trafalgar Square Riot (1913), a newsreel with suffragettes at the centre of a civil disturbance. Some of the critics of Wednesday’s events seem to have forgotten that women gained the vote in this country only after repeatedly smashing windows and causing trouble.

• Related to the above: How to Hex a Corporation at Arthur magazine. And let’s not forget Hakim Bey’s Occult Assault on Institutions.

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Cover illustration by Ian Miller (1972). The other great cover for THOTB was by Ed Emshwiller in 1962.

The wanderings of the Narrator’s spirit through limitless light-years of cosmic space and Kalpas of eternity, and its witnessing of the solar system’s final destruction, constitute something almost unique in standard literature.

HP Lovecraft reviewing Hodgson’s The House on the Borderland in Supernatural Horror in Literature.

• Lovecraft has long cast a shadow over Hodgson’s fevered visions even though words of praise like those above have done much to keep the earlier writer’s work in print. I’ve been talking for years about doing a series of illustrations for The House on the Borderland and may yet make good on that threat; never say never. Meanwhile, Rick Poyner returned to Design Observer this week pondering the challenge of non-Euclidean architecture in What does HP Lovecraft look like?

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Druillet illustrates Hodgson (1971).

• In his latest piece of Barney Bubbles detective work, Paul Gorman discovered the identity of BB’s first design employer, the alluded to but never named Michael Tucker. More surprising for me than the Robert Brownjohn connection is that there’s now a tenuous link between Barney Bubbles and William Gerhardi.

777 classical music album covers from the collection of Dr Horst Scherg. Related: The Golden Age of Wacky Classical LP Covers — Westminster Gold and the Westminster Gold discography.

Chez Fini: Little Augury looks at the work and workplaces (and cats!) of the marvellous Leonor Fini.

• There’s yet more Lovecraft (and much else besides) in Nomad Codes, a new book from Erik Davis.

• The Irrepressibles: “They’re scared of what we’re going to do next”.

• New Scientist asks Is this evidence that we can see the future?

Of Electricity And Water: A Thomas Dolby Interview.

Jarvis Cocker talks to Brian Eno.

Fuck Yeah, Gay Vintage

Hog Callin’ Blues (1962) by Charles Mingus. Play loud and often.

Weekend links 36

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Mervyn Peake’s Caterpillar from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland finds itself used to promote High Society, an exhibition at the Wellcome Collection devoted to the long history of human drug-taking. There’s more about the exhibition here and also an accompanying book by Mike Jay from Thames & Hudson. Related: The Most Dangerous Drug:

A group of British drug experts gathered by the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD) rated alcohol higher than most or all of the other drugs for health damage, mortality, impairment of mental functioning, accidental injury, economic cost, loss of relationships, and negative impact on community.

• Unless the magazine Man, Myth & Magic was advertised on TV in 1970 (and I suspect it would have been) Austin Osman Spare’s work has never been seen on British television, certainly not in any detail or with a credit to the artist. This week the BBC finally paid him some attention with a brief spot on The Culture Show as a result of the Fallen Visionary exhibition which is still running (until November 14) in London. Alan Moore, Fulgur‘s Robert Ansell and others attempt to summarise Spare’s career in seven minutes.

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Neil Fujita designs: Mingus Ah Um (1959) and The Godfather (1969).

• RIP graphic designer Neil Fujita. Related:

“By taking the “G” and extending it to the “D,” I created a house for “God.” The way the word was designed was part of the logo and so was the type design. So when Paramount Pictures does a film version or Random House, which bought out the book from Putnam, does another Godfather book, I still get a design credit. In fact, before the first Godfather film opened in New York I saw a huge billboard going up in Times Square with my design on it. I actually got them to stop work on it until we were able to come to an agreement.” Waxing Chromatic: An Interview with S. Neil Fujita

French SF illustration. Related: Where did science fiction come from? A primer on the pulps, a feature by Jess Nevins with some of the craziest covers you’ll see this month.

• Gay-bashers in 1970s San Francisco had to beware the wrath of the Lavender Panthers.

• More Marian Bantjes as she discusses her work in an audio interview.

Music from Saharan cellphones.

Origami Beauty Shots.

Krautrock.com

Better Git It In Your Soul (1959) by Charles Mingus.