After about 10 minutes of (deep) internet searching, I discovered that my copy of Simon & Garfunkel’s Sounds of Silence is a second pressing (of the three initial pressings). My copy is the last to feature the Tiger Beat magazine in Art’s jacket pocket. This would be airbrushed out on the third and subsequent pressings. Mine is also a German release, acquired at a storewide going-out-of-business sale some 15 years ago. Copyright states a release date of 1972, some 7 years after the album’s initial release. This doesn’t mean too much, other than now I want to bury myself in Bookends, my personal favorite.
Since we were recently talking about it, have a look as the showcased albums from the Time Records Series 2000 collection, and count the number of percussion-based titles: Percussion on Stage, Percussion Espanol, Gypsy Strings and Percussion, and Concert Percussion for Orchestra. Four. I count four. Command Records knew it had a revolutionary and timeless release with Persuasive Percussion, which is further evidenced by its competitors, in this case Time Records and their Series 2000 team, trying at great lengths to cash in.
I was strikingly unaware, back in some foggy 1998 day, that my purchase of Don McLean’s American Pie was actually an abridged version of the original album. Often one to overlook the tiny print, this glaring indicator is now unmissable on the back sleeve, and stands as a reminder that one should always at least attempt to scan the fine print.
Nothing too exciting here except for the backside of Enoch Light and His Orchestra’s Far Away Places Volume 2. The layout is a bit wonky, what, with 90 degree angles being thrown out the window, but Command Records did a pretty decent job of offering a ton of info while not seeming any bit overwhelming. That Stereo 35mm logo, though…
A Good Ground was released in 2005 and, as far as I can tell, was the first studio album released on vinyl by Brooklyn indie Gods, Oxford Collapse. Though not as pleasing to the ear as 2006’s Remember the Night Parties (my first introduction to the band), Ground is solid angst music, heavy on rhythmic glee. These guys were really good. It’s just too bad the rest of the world didn’t think so.
In randomly admiring the back cover to the 1984 Mystic Records comp, Mystic Sampler #1, I noticed a few key things. I present them in no particular or chronological order. 1) Discogs doesn’t have an entry for Slamulation, the comp album on which the original Suicidal Tendencies line-up released their early track, I Saw Your Mommy (also featured here). 2) There is a red vinyl version of Mystic Sampler #1 (Wantlisted). 3) The cover art to the Mystic Records cover compilation is the only advertised record NOT featured on this back sleeve. The only cover without a cover, is an album about covers.
Everyone knows the iconic cover to Elvis Presley’s debut LP, but what few may recognize, outside of those who own, is its subtle back cover. Released on RCA in 1956, I present to you, for the first time on this site, Elvis Presley’s debut self titled back cover art. Disregard the purple pen scribbles.
Aside from Double Plaidinum, these five albums were Lagwagon’s discography for this young listener (some 17 embarrassing years ago), which makes this exclusive box set (limited to 519 copies), all the more exceptional. Have a look, then a listen, then hunt one down online. Released by Fat Wreck Chords back in 2011, she comes with a bonus reissue of the band’s first 7″… worth the price of admission by itself. Happy hunting, kids, and happy Friday!
In 1971, some long, 45 years ago, B.B. King kicked off his UK tour with the release of B.B. King in London. Featuring Steve Winwood and Ringo Starr (among several other all-stars), BBKiL (as nobody calls it) sits alone in the busied library as the only B.B. King album in the collection. Heartbreaking, I know, and definitely something to be rectified.
I had the pleasure of obtaining a UK original of The Clash’s debut album, neatly titled The Clash a few years back. Of course, there is an alternate tracklist on the UK version that differs slightly from the Canadian and US versions, and since both of those versions came out a full two years after this 1977 original, this UK version is strongly considered the only true full-length debut from the band. For those of you into such things, there you have it. For those of you who aren’t, you can show yourselves out.
Majestic and righteous, all in one cohesive and awe-inspiring logo. File under Album Ass, or best logo of all time. On a side note, mainly because I don’t yet own it on vinyl, but how much does “fresh meat” in Underworld’s stellar Mmm, Skyscraper, I Love You sound like “Presley” during the line, “Elvis, fresh meat, a little whip cream?” Intentional? I’d say, yeah! Happy Monday.
Without question, (yet still, arguably), the WORST back cover to any major album release of any, and all time. Now, there is certainly room for judgment and viable speculation, but k’mon! No track listings… no suggestive band photos… no credits… no nothing! “Look within” I suppose was the point, as well it should have been, but once that (now obvious) objective has been made, the art for Zeppelin II’s album ass is forever implanted (ass humor) in Groove history, or at the very least, made known to the casual passers by in a leisurely, and nonthreatening manner.
Thinking of remodeling your lackluster bedroom? Why not try some punk-infused industrial goodness, aka LARD?! Math lesson: 101. Q: Dead Kennedys + Ministry = ??? A: LARD! I can throw a stone, hell, SEVERAL stones, MULTIPLE times, at everyone I know, and I won’t find ANYONE who’s into this band. Sounds like I need a new group of friends, does it not? Truth and honesty shoved down your throat with not so much as a chaser… let the LARD begin…
Released in 1966, or so I’m told, The Yardbirds Greatest Hits captures many of the band’s early British Invasion, blues rock chart toppers into one, neat, cohesive package. But we’re not focusing on this Epic Records release today for its global importance, but instead, for its previous owner’s lamenting admiration for the band.
As can be clearly seen from the five, strategically placed abnormalities on the back cover, this record’s original owner had this, and likely other albums displayed on a wall somewhere, likely in some dingy, smoke-soaked den of excess and euphoria (I like to think somewhere off the Fox River in rural Wisconsin). Five individually places strips of tape were all that was needed to hoist up this audio treasure, which was likely a decent conversation starter for 1966 hoods to drop out and over analyze over. Don’t Bogart that tape, my friend!
Everybody’s working for the weekend. This couldn’t be anywhere closer to the truth. This, and truth, are skin to skin here… touching… connecting, and letting onlookers know, that what is right, is indeed right. Everybody IS working for the weekend. That’s when we can get all our shit done. Haircuts? Oil changes? Taking the kids to get their throats cultured? Everybody works for the proverbial weekend, and for me, that weekend starts tomorrow. Happy holidays, kiddos! Christmas, for The Groove, begins tomorrow.
Famous covers are not unlike priceless pieces of contemporary art (be that yesterday’s contemporary, or today’s). Very seldom, however, does an album’s backside (album ass?) get its proper notoriety. Subtle yet compelling posterior album art often goes unnoticed, as is the case with the poem featured on the back of Van Morrison’s 1968 classic Astral Weeks. Displayed here is a composition by the man, with no title, and no indication of its inspiration. I dig its almost throwaway inclusion on Astral Weeks, taking up such invaluable real estate, and it has inspired me to look much more closely to the array of hidden treasures just an album flip away.