The Road To Ruin (1970) by John & Beverley Martyn. Art: Un Semaine de Bonté (1934).
Having already looked at cover art featuring the work of Salvador Dalí and René Magritte, a similar post for Max Ernst seemed inevitable. I did search for Ernst cover art after the Dalí post but at the time there were fewer examples. As usual there may be more than these since Discogs is the main search tool and they (or the albums) don’t always credit the artists. Despite having several books of Ernst’s work I’ve not been able to identify all the artwork so the Ernst-heads out there are welcome to fill in the gaps.
The Road To Ruin was John Martyn’s fourth album, and the second he recorded with wife Beverley. I’m surprised that this is the earliest example, I’d have expected a classical album or two to have predated it.
Martinu’s Symphony No. 6 (Fantaisies Symphoniques) / Vorisek’s Symphony In D Major (1971); New Philharmonia Orchestra, Michael Bialoguski. Art: Bottled Moon (1955).
Bluebeard’s Castle by Béla Bartók (1976); Tatiana Troyanos, Siegmund Nimsgern, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Pierre Boulez. Art: The Eye of Silence (1943–44).
Bluebeard’s Castle is my favourite opera, and The Eye of Silence is my favourite Ernst painting, so this is a dream conjunction even if the match doesn’t work as well as it did for the cover of The Crystal World by JG Ballard. One to seek out.
Continue reading “Max Ernst album covers”
A gust, a storme, a spoute, a loume gaile, an eddy wind, a flake of wind, a Turnado.
Captain John Smith from An Accidence, or the Pathway to Experience Necessary for all Young Seamen (1626).
In an age of storm chasers and increasingly spectacular photos, Lucille Handberg’s celebrated picture may seem undramatic, but for the moment this is still the most celebrated tornado photo to date. I knew the picture from an early age thanks to its appearance in a children’s encyclopedia. When Deep Purple’s Stormbringer album appeared in 1974 (below) that imperilled barn, and the shape of the twister, was immediately recognisable.
Lucille Handberg took her famous photo on 8th July, 1927 as the tornado passed by Jasper, Minnesota. It’s a surprise to see from the account in The Milwaukee Sentinel that there’s at least one other picture. I tried searching for a larger image of the second photo but photo libraries still control its reproduction. The copy above is from an account of the tornado here.
Continue reading “Tornadoes”
Aladdin Sane (1973). Cover photo by Brian Duffy who died this week.
• Among the obituaries this week: artist Louise Bourgeois; poet and partner of Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky; film director Joseph Strick, a man who dared to film James Joyce’s Ulysses; photographer Brian Duffy.
• The dustbin of art history: “Why is so much contemporary art awful? We’re living through the death throes of the modernist project—and this isn’t the first time that greatness has collapsed into decadence.” Admirable sentiments but galleries and dealers have far too much invested in the corrupt edifice to let it collapse any time soon.
• Edinburgh film festival to screen ‘lost and forgotten’ British movies including the director’s cut of Jerry Cornelius film The Final Programme.
Delectable Bawdville burlesque boy Chris “Go-Go” Harder. Via EVB who have more pics.
• Homobody by Rio Safari, “a scrappy diy zine about queerness”. Obliquely related: Lizzy the Lezzie, animations at the Sundance Channel.
• Richard Norris aka Time and Space Machine puts together a psychedelic mixtape for FACT. Fab stuff.
• Diamanda Galás has a message for critics: “Stick to reviewing plant life and leave the Witches alone.”
• Brion Gysin: Dream Machine will be the first US survey of Gysin’s work in NYC next month.
• Geeta Dayal’s study of Another Green World by Brian Eno reviewed at Ballardian.
• For type-heads: font anatomy wallpaper by Sigurdur Armannsson.
• If it was my home: visualising the BP oil disaster.
• Antony Gormley’s Breathing Room III.
• The Paris Review has a new blog.
• Bizarre juxtaposition of the week: John Martyn’s sublime Small Hours with, er… The Clangers.
John Martyn on stage in 1975 with ubiquitous spliff.
Given a choice, I’d probably pick his 1977 opus, One World, as a favourite although everything he did in the 1970s is worth hearing. Great songs and great collaborators, especially bassist Danny Thompson. His use of echo and volume pedal to extend the range of his guitar gave him a unique sound, closer to Manuel Göttsching’s Inventions for Electric Guitar than anything in the folk world where he started out. The last song on One World is the marvellous nocturnal ballad Small Hours which features a muted drum machine, a Steve Winwood keyboard solo, and flock of Canadian geese. There’s a great live performance of that here.