Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of record covers from the golden age of LPs


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November, 2011

Psych-out

“With Love – A Pot Of Flowers”  (1967)  To cash-in on the popularity of the San Francisco music scene, Mainstream records collected some singles by Bay Area groups The Other Side, Euphoria, Harbinger Complex and The Wildflower from labels Garage and Psychedelic Folkrock.   An early collection and interesting time capsule from the summer of love that captures the sound of the Bay Area underground.  Recently reissued with additional tracks.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (42 votes, average: 3.29 out of 5)
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Mellita, domi adsum.

“Hit Melodies in Latin”  RCA Victor Japan

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (61 votes, average: 4.30 out of 5)
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You got the Sylvers

The Sylvers  MGM/Pride (1972)  Here we have The Sylvers self titled Debut Album.

Often unfairly dismissed as Jackson Five imitators, the Memphis born and bred Sylvers were an extension of that city’s soul tradition.  Jonathon, Edmund, Angie, Leon, Charmaine, Olympia-Ann, James, Ricky, Pat and youngest brother Foster were taken under Jerry Butler’s wing after latching on to the MGM subsidiary Pride.  Butler produced their debut album, which notched two top 10 hits with “Fool’s Paradise” and “Wish I Could Talk To You.”  These two songs were typical of the first phase of the Sylvers, where they tackled material much more sophisticated than the Jackson Five. The initial success landed them on the cover of teen magazines like Right On for what seemed like the rest of the decade.

In 1973, the label put out a solo Foster Sylvers LP, hoping to catch on with the same teen audience that supported Michael Jackson’s early solo records.  This album is now legendary for “Misdemeanor,” a bouncy groove that has been sampled several times. 

The Sylvers’ biggest hits came after they moved to the Capitol label.   There, they were paired with Freddie Perren and Keni St. Lewis, who provided the lightweight material that returned them to the charts after a couple of lean years.   “Hot Line” and “Boogie Fever” capitalized on a frothy disco-soul sound that was best described by one of their singles: cotton candy.

The group eventually outgrew titles like “High School Dance” and began to explore their writing capabilities on New Horizons.  It was pretty much a shock to everybody when the released the hardcore funk of “Don’t Stop Get Off” as the lead track to Forever Yours.  This was perhaps their most satisfying LP, as they demonstrated the skills to do disco (“Come Dance With Me,” straight soul (“Swept For You Baby,” written by Smokey Robinson) and ballads in the title tune.

From that peak Casablanca put them in the care of Giorgio Moroder, Donna Summer’s producer.  Coming off the strength of Forever Yours, the Euro-flavored Disco Fever was a disappointment.  It would be their last recording for Casablanca.

Leon Sylvers, who had been working behind the scenes since the first Sylvers record, made a name for himself as the primary producer for Solar Records in the early 1980s, putting his knowledge to work on hits by Shalamar and Dynasty.   Edmund and Foster also worked as producers, most notably on the early Janet Jackson albums. 

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (38 votes, average: 3.47 out of 5)
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Cash only

Johnny Cash EP on London Records (UK)  An early Sun recording with “I Walk the Line”  (1958)

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (50 votes, average: 3.70 out of 5)
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Uncovered

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (135 votes, average: 4.65 out of 5)
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Coupes upside your head

The Deuce Coupes  The Shut Downs  (I’m not sure whether the group here is The Deuce Coupes or the Shut Downs.)  Crown Records  A budget label that specialized in hot rod releases, this one features studio session man Jerry Cole, sax solos, some anonymous vocals and racing engines.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (42 votes, average: 2.81 out of 5)
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Mama, I’m sorry!

Another Laff Records adult comedy routine from The Johnny Otis Show featuring Mantan Moreland and Livingood  “That Ain’t My Finger!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (149 votes, average: 3.48 out of 5)
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Bitch’s brew?

Patti Stewart and the Fellas  “30 Party Songs”   Planet Records (New Zealand)

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (47 votes, average: 3.70 out of 5)
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Chinese characters

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (58 votes, average: 3.67 out of 5)
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A gender bender from down under

“The Fabulous Mr. Noel McKay” on Viking Records and “Bold ‘n Blue”  (Recorded Live at MoJo’s Nitespot in Auckland, New Zealand)  Calendar Records (New Zealand)

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (45 votes, average: 3.02 out of 5)
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