Cover versions


Design by Peter Whorf Graphics.

Another album cover post, and one I’ve wanted to do for a while. Parody covers are a curious sub-genre of sleeve design, and this post was prompted in part by an email from Easy On The Eye books alerting me to the publication this month of Covered, a collection of cover parodies compiled by Jan Bellekens. Hundreds of different examples are featured, many of them by artists few people will have heard of, the parody cover having always been a good way for unknowns to grab some attention on the back (or should that be the front?) of the very famous.

Some covers inspire more parodies than others. One of my favourites is the perennial inspiration provided by Whipped Cream & Other Delights, Herb Alpert’s hugely popular 1965 album whose cover by Peter Whorf Graphics may now be more well-known than the music it packaged. Dolores Erickson was the model, the “cream” was foam, and the modish typography shows (as did the hand-drawn title on Rubber Soul) that the trend for fluid lettering styles slightly preceded the psychedelic explosion. My mother had a copy of this album so the sleeve was the first album cover to make a memorable impression; my sister and I always thought it slightly “rude” since Ms. Erickson is obviously naked under her cream.


Sour Cream & Other Delights (1966) by The Frivolous Five.

The success of the design can be gauged by how swiftly the parodies followed, and how they show no sign of abating, the most recent one below being from 2008. The selections here are among the better examples, there are many more to be found. Needless to say, Jan Bellekens’ book makes note of this lineage. Covered can be ordered direct from Easy On The Eye.


Spaghetti Sauce & Other Delights (1967) by Pat Cooper.

Continue reading “Cover versions”

Weekend links 86


Salammbô by Alastair (Hans Henning Voigt) from Harry Crosby‘s Red Skeletons (1927). Dover published a new collection of Alastair’s drawings in September.

A Taste of Honey showed working-class women from a working-class woman’s point of view, had a gay man as a central and sympathetic figure, and a black character who was neither idealised nor a racial stereotype.” RIP Shelagh Delaney. Related: Shelagh Delaney’s Salford (1960), directed by Ken Russell, and all 47 minutes (!) of The White Bus (1967), Lindsay Anderson’s strange, pre-If…. short, written by Shelagh Delaney, filmed in and around Manchester.

Since birth I’ve craved all things psychedelic, the energy and beauty of it. The pleasure… […] But in the US the exploration of consciousness and its powers—or really any curiosity about anything at all—is actively discouraged, because the system is so corrupt that it depends on people being virtually unconscious all the time. Burroughs cracked that code long ago. Spirituality here equals money; no one seems to be able to think, never mind explore their own consciousness.

Laurie Weeks: Making Magic Out of the Real

• Ian Albinson shows us The Title Design of Saul Bass while Ace Jet 170 has a copy of the new Bass monograph.

Kris Kool (1970) at 50 Watts, Philip Caza’s lurid, erotic, psychedelic comic strip.


Götz Krafft by EM Lilien from a collection at Flickr.

Serious Listeners: The Strange and Frightening World of Coil.

The Octopus Chronicles, a new blog at Scientific American.

• We now live in a world where there are Ghost Box badges.

Kilian Eng interviewed at Sci-Fi-O-Rama.

Dalí Planet


A Taste of Honey (1962) by Acker Bilk | A Taste of Honey (1965) by Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass | A Taste of Honey (Moog version) (1969) by Martin Denny.