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Peer Gynt by Edvard Grieg Suite No. 1 performed by the Cromwell Symphony Orchestra and Suite No. 2 performed by the Sussex Symphony Orchestra Camden Records A budget label with what looks like a Jim Flora illustration. Jon Henry is credited on the bottom front cover, but perhaps he art directed? Looking for a Flora expert (Irwin Chusid are you there?)
“Great Scott” The Bobby Scott Trio featuring Whitey Mitchell, bass and Bill Bradley, drums Bethlehem Records (1954) Design and illustration (in the style of David Stone Martin) by the legendary Burt Goldblatt. Liner notes by the great Ira Gitler ,(whom I’ve had the pleasure to meet and spend time with over the past 25 years). I love that after looking at records for more than 40 years (daily), that I can still find one like this that I’ve never seen!
Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention Weasels Ripped My Flesh Warner Bros. Records Released in 1970, WRMF is the second posthumous Mothers album released after the band disbanded in 1969. In contrast to its predecessor, Brunt Weenie Sandwich, which predominately focused on studio recordings of tightly arranged compositions, this album largely consists of live recordings and features more improvisation.
Neon Park was working as a poster artist with The Family Dog, a San Francisco design group, when he got a call from Frank Zappa asking him to come down to Los Angeles. Zappa had seen the drawings Park had done for a group called Dancing Food and wanted him to paint the jacket for the next Mothers of Invention record, Weasels Ripped My Flesh. At their meeting, Zappa showed Park a magazine cover. “It was one of those men’s magazines, like Saga,” says Park. “The cover story was ‘Weasels Ripped My Flesh,’ and it was the adventure of a guy, naked to the waist, who was in water. The water was swarming with weasels, and they were all kind of climbing on him and biting him. So Frank said, ‘This is it. What can you do that’s worse than this?’ And the rest is history.”
Park’s painting, for which he was paid $250, almost didn’t see the light of day. Zappa butted heads with Warner Bros. over its suitability for release. “Evidently,” says Park, “there was quite a confrontation that occurred over this cover. It wasn’t up to their standards.” Even after Warner Bros. finally consented to use it, there were problems. “The printer was greatly offended,” says Park. “The girl who worked for him, his assistant, she wouldn’t touch the painting. She wouldn’t pick it up with her hands.” Zappa and Park, meanwhile, were tickled silly by the brouhaha: “I was greatly amused by the cover, and so was Frank,” says Park. “I mean, we giggled a lot.”
And/or courtesy of lp cover lover Rejean …
Queen’s 1977 album News of the World was inspired by this cover from the October 1953 edition of Astounding Science Fiction magazine (later called Analog) to illustrate the story The Gulf Between by Tom Godwin:
The robot killing the man was likened to a child injuring a bug and looking up at his parents saying “what have I done?” The caption for the image was “Please… fix it, Daddy?” The artist of the original piece, Frank Kelly Freas, painted the album cover based on his original work. It features Freddie Mercury and Brian May dead in the robot’s giant hand, while Roger Taylor and bassist John Deacon plummet to the ground. It’s definitely one of Queen’s most identifiable album covers, which also contained the hits “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions.”
Artist Frank Kelly Freas was involved in the science fiction field from 1950, until his death in 2005. He painted everything from pieces for NASA, to book covers, to magazine covers, to buxom beauties as nose art on fighter planes to Mad Magazine, and even the covers for the GURPS books for Lensman and Planet Krishna. He won numerous awards, and was often hailed of “The Dean of Science Fiction Artists.” You can check out his awards, browse his art, and even buy pieces of his work at his website, which is chock full of information including a brief documentary by his wife Laura. Check out his book “The Art of Science Fiction”.