Artful albums #6: Ian Beck – Focus “Live at the Rainbow”

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Born in Hove (next to Brighton in Sussex on the south coast of the UK) in 1947, Ian Beck studied Illustration and Graphic Design under the tutorage of Raymond Briggs at Brighton College of Art where he graduated in 1968. In his music industry years, he’s mostly known for the design of Elton John’s ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”. However, I personally prefer the work for this classic from Focus from 1973. Technically a gatefold, I love the way the unassuming cover opens up to reveal this thing of beauty…

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The Rainbow Theatre started life in 1930 as the Astoria cinema in London’s Finsbury Park area. It remained a cinema until 1971 although, during the 1960s, it had also been used as one of London’s most popular music venues under the name of ‘The Rainbow’. It was here that Jimi Hendrix famously set his Fender Stratocaster alight at a gig in March 1967. Focus recorded this album there on Saturday 5 May 1973.

For more about Ian Beck – check out his WordPress page – http://ianbeck.wordpress.com

And watch the Jemtunes blogpage for more about the Rainbow theatre – new series coming soon.

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Artful albums #5: Terry Kemble – Toby Jugs for Dr Feelgood’s ‘Let it Roll’

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(from L to R) John Sparks, Gypie Mayo, Lee Brilleaux, The Big Figure)

 

Dr Feelgood released ‘Let it roll’ in 1979. Amongst the merchandise and memorabilia produced by United Artists at the launch were a set of Toby Jugs depicting the busts of each of the band at the time.  Designed by Terry Kemble, only 40 sets were ever produced, hence their now very sought after and collectible status.

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I’ve been unable to find out anything about Terry Kemble other than a credit for the Toby Jugs design on the album cover. So if any bloggers out there know more, I’d be really interested to hear from you. Add your comments below.

 

Artful Albums #4: Roger Glover – Machine Head (1972)

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Roger Glover, the bassist with Deep Purple, conceived, designed and photographed the gatefold sleeve for the 1972 release of ‘Machine Head’  on the Purple label, a subsidiary of EMI. A machine head is the tuner or head gear of a stringed instrument, hence the blurred image of Roger Glover’s bass machine head on the back cover.

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Written and recorded in Montreux, Switzerland, in December 1971, the inner gatefold features mugshots of everyone who worked on the album’s recording, production and post-production. If you look carefully, you’ll see a picture (top right-hand corner) of the fire at the casino taken from across the water of lake Geneva, the inspiration of course for ‘Smoke on the Water’.

Roger Glover continues with his photography and painting and, in October 2010, hosted his first solo exhibition – “Happy Silence” – at the k-8 e.V. Galerie in Cologne.

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Artful Albums #2: Peter Blake – Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)

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This is my original 1967 version of Sgt Peppers. Hardly mint but highly treasured, still playable, complete with original cutouts insert and one of the surviving pressings with the rude John Lennon slogan about doing something like Superman which you can only hear by playing the run-off groove backwards on side 2.

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The Sgt Pepper’s cover was conceived by pop artist Peter Blake and his designer wife, Jann Haworth. With the fab four taking centre stage and surrounded by 80 life-size full colour cardboard cutouts and 4 life-size wax dummies borrowed from Madame Tussauds, the set was then photographed by Michael Cooper. It’s arguably the most famous album sleeve of all time.

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The cardboard cutouts insert, signed by Peter Blake & Jann Haworth includes a moustache, a picture card, stripes, badges and a stand-up Beatles motif.

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Of the 88 figures used for the album’s front cover, some remain unknown. However, here are the 61 I know about. I’m reasonably confident that the numbers relate to the above outlines, but don’t hold me to it!

  1. Sri Yukteswar – a well known yogi of the era
  2. Aleister Crowley – Black magician (died 1947)
  3. Mae West – Actress & film star (died 1980)
  4. Lenny Bruce – American comedian  (died 1966)
  5. Karlheinz Stockhausen – German composer & theorist (died 2007)
  6. W C Fields – American music hall and film comedian (died 1946)
  7. Carl Gustav Jung – Swiss psychologist (died 1961)
  8. Edgar Allan Poe – American poet (1809-1849)
  9. Fred Astaire – dancer (died 1987)
  10. Richard M Merkin – Artist (died 2009)
  11. Binnie Barnes – British film actress (died 1998)
  12. Huntz Hall – American film star (died 1999)
  13. Simon Rodia – Folk artist (died 1965)
  14. Bob Dylan (born 1941)
  15. Aubrey Beardsley – British artist (died 1898)
  16. Sir Robert Peel – British prime minister in 1834 & 1841 (died 1850)
  17. Aldous Huxley – British novelist (died 1963)
  18. Terry Southern – American author (died 1995)
  19. Tony Curtis – American actor (died 2010)
  20. Wallace Borman – Los Angeles artist (died 1976)
  21. Tommy Handley – British radio comedian (died 1949)
  22. Marilyn Monroe – actress (died 1962)
  23. William Burroughs – American novelist (died 1997)
  24. Unknown
  25. Richard Lindler – New York artist (died 1978)
  26. Oliver Hardy – American comedian (died 1957)
  27. Karl Marx – German founder of communism  (died 1883)
  28. H G Wells – British author (died 1946)
  29. Sri Paramahansa Yogananda – a yogi (died 1952)
  30. Unknown
  31. Stuart Sutcliffe – original member of the Beatles (died 1962)
  32. Unknown
  33. Dylan Thomas – Welsh poet (died 1953)
  34. Dion Di Mucci – American pop singer who formed the Belmonts in 1958 (born 1939)
  35. Dr David Livingstone – explorer (died 1873)
  36. Stan Laurel – comedian (died 1965)
  37. G B Shaw – Irish playwright (died 1965)
  38. Julie Adams – American actress (born 1926)
  39. Max Miller – British music hall star (died 1963)
  40. Unknown
  41. Marlon Brando – American actor (died 2004)
  42. Tom Mix – film star (died 1940)
  43. Oscar Wilde – Irish dramatist (died 1900)
  44. Tyrone Power – American film star (died 1958)
  45. Larry Bell – British painter (born 1939)
  46. Jonny Weissmuller – American actor (died 1984)
  47. Stephen Crane – American novelist (died 1900)
  48. Issy Bonn – Comedian (died 1977)
  49. Albert Stubbins – ex-Liverpool footballer (died 2002)
  50. Unknown
  51. Albert Einstein – German/American physicist (died 1955)
  52. Lewis Carroll – creator of ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ (died 1898)
  53. T E Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia) (died 1935)
  54. Sonny Liston – world heavyweight boxing champion (died 1971)
  55. George Harrison in wax
  56. John Lennon in wax
  57. Ringo Starr in wax
  58. Paul McCartney in wax
  59. Unknown
  60. John Lennon (died 1980)
  61. Ringo Starr (born 1940)
  62. Paul McCartney (born 1942)
  63. George Harrison (died 2001)
  64. Bobby Breen – British dance band singer (died 1972)
  65. Marlene Dietrich – film star (died 1992)
  66. Unknown
  67. Diana Dors – film star and 1950s sex symbol (died 1984)
  68. Shirley Temple – actress (died 2014)

Artful Albums #1: Dave Fairbrother Roe, RA – Olias of Sunhillow

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Today sees the start of a new mini-series for Jemtunes – ‘Artful Albums’ – and I’m kicking things off with the design for the debut studio album ‘Olias of Sunhillow’ by Jon Anderson released on Atlantic Records in 1976. Illustrated by Dave Fairbrother Roe, RA, the album tells the story of an alien race and their journey to a new world because of a volcanic catastrophe. Olias designs a glider (the Moorglade Mover) which is piloted by his friend Ranyart to fly the people of Sunhillow to their new home.

The album itself (and I’m talking about the original vinyl version here) is what is known as a ‘gatefold’. This one has an inner page containing more of Mr Roe’s artwork and more of the story of Sunhillow. The illustrative theme extends to the inner sleeve and the label on the record itself.

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Sadly Dave Fairbrother Roe lost a long battle with cancer and passed away in July 2013. However, there remains a webpage showcasing some of his work here. And there’s a massive amount more about the Olias of Sonhillow album itself on this WordPress blogsite.