Thursday, January 29, 2015

Commodores: "All the Great Hits"

Released in 1982,
this was the Commodores' thirteenth (13th) album.

As advertised, this includes "all the great hits,"

Read more about the Commodores HERE.

Art Direction: Johnny Lee
Photography: Ron Slenzak
Project Manager: Suzee Wendy Ikeda

Imperials: "Heed the Call"

Released in 1979,
this was the Imperials' twenty-seventh (27th) album.

The Imperials were (are!) a gospel institution.
Together for over fifty years,
they have had personnel changes over that span,
but they are still going strong.
Their latest recording: "Still Standing" (2010).

"Heed the Call" includes several enjoyable, inspirational tracks.
The musical style - like the suits in the back cover photo - reflects the time.

Read more about the Imperials HERE.

Cover Illustration: David Gaadt, The Graphic Truth
Back Cover Photo: Goss Photography

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bruce Hornsby and the Range: "The Way It Is"

Released in 1986,
this is Bruce Hornsby and the Range's debut album.

Bruce Hornsby's delicious piano skills (and his voice) are front and center here.
The entire album is worth a good, repeated listen.
It includes these hit songs:

Read more about Bruce Hornsby HERE.

Art Direction and Design: Ted Raess
Art Consultant: Kathy Hornsby
Photography: Aaron Rapoport
Inner Sleeve Photo: Robert Llewellyn

The Honeydrippers: "Volume One"

Released in 1984,
this EP is The Honeydrippers'
only recording.



The Honeydrippers could be considered
a "supergroup."
Their line-up included Robert Plant, Jimmy Page,
Jeff Beck, Nile Rodgers, Paul Shaffer, and Brian Setzer.

Read more about The Honeydrippers HERE.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Rita Coolidge: "Anytime... Anywhere"

Released in 1977,
this is Rita Coolidge's sixth (6th) album.

Among other great tracks,
this album includes

Read more about Rita Coolidge HERE.

Art Direction: Roland Young
Album Design: Chuck Beeson
Photography: Dick Zimmerman
Production Assistant: Ellen Vogt 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Frankie Carle: "Sunrise Serenade"

Released in 1967
by Harmony Records
(a division of Columbia).

Frankie Carle was a well-known pianist and bandleader,
"Sunrise Serenade" was his signature tune,
which reached No. 1 in 1938.

Read more about Frankie Carle HERE.

Cover photo: Abe J. Surovell

Sandy Nelson: "drums and more drums!"

Released in 1968
by Sunset Records,
under the category "budget compilation."

This is a great LP to have
because it includes Sandy Nelson's top hits,
"Let There Be Drums," "And Then There Were Drums,"
and "Day Drumming."
AND it features enjoyable covers
of other major songs such as
"All Shook Up," "Splish Splash," "Be Bop Baby,"
and "No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach's In)"

I couldn't find this album on YouTube,
but here is his signature

Read more about Sandy Nelson HERE.

Art Direction: Woody Woodward
Design: Gabor Halmos
Cover Photography: George Whiteman

Friday, January 23, 2015

Roy Clark: "The Everlovin' Soul of Roy Clark"

Released in 1969,
this is Roy Clark's tenth (10th) album.

Contains covers of a surprising range of songs,
from pop to country to gospel,
including a beautiful rendition of:

Read more about Roy Clark HERE.

Art Direction: Christopher Whorf and Paula Bard
Photography: Bernard Nagler and Don Peterson
Liner Notes: Charlie Williams

Jackson Browne: "Late for the Sky"

Released in 1974,
this is Jackson Browne's third (3rd) album.

His unmistakable style abundantly evident
in every track of this recording.

Listen to the full album:

Read more about Jackson Browne HERE.

Front cover photograph and package design: Bob Seidermann
Front cover lettering: Rick Griffin
Back cover photograph: Henry Diltz
Cover concept: Jackson Browne

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Trini Lopez: "LIVE at PJ's"

Released in 1963,
this is Trini Lopez's debut album.

This album arrived at the height of the popularity
of folk music, and before the arrival of the Beatles'
in the USA.

Listen to a great medley from this recording HERE.

Read more about Trini Lopez HERE.

Cover Photo: Marko
Liner Notes: Mike Connolly

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Mark-Almond (eponymous debut)

Released in 1971,
this is Mark-Almond's debut recording.

A British band that incorporates jazz sax and flute
with piano-driven rock,
mostly mellow, but they have their raucous moments.

Listen to the entire album HERE.

Read more about Mark-Almond HERE.

Cover photo: Richard Dunkley
Cover concept and design: Ian Latimer

Chicago: "III"

Released in 1971,
the was Chicago's third (3rd) album,
and their third consecutive double album
of new material in less than two years.

Filled with great tracks, of course,


Read more about Chicago HERE.

Album Design: John Berg
Flag Sewn by Natalie Williams
Photographed by Sandy Speiser
Lettering by Melanie Marder and Annette Kawecki

Barbra Streisand: "Simply Streisand"

Released in 1967,
this is Barbra Streisand's ninth (9th) album.

Beautiful, heartfelt renditions of classic
torch and show tunes, such as:

Read more about Barbra Streisand HERE.

Cover Photo: James Moore

Friday, January 16, 2015

Bread: "Manna"

Released in 1970,
this is Bread's third (3rd) album.

The very definition of "soft rock,"
they demonstrate that categorization
to the hilt on this album
with their mega-hit

Read more about Bread HERE.

Cover Concept, Design, Photography, & Art Direction: Robert J. Heimall

[NOTE: I could have retouched this photo to 'remove' what is visible through those 'windows,' 
but what fun would that be?]

April Wine: "The Nature of the Beast"

Released in 1981,
this was April Wine's ninth (9th) LP.

Formed in 1969, this Canadian rock band managed moderate success
in the '70s and '80s.
They are still doing shows today.

From this album,
the most commercially successful track
was the love ballad:

Read more about April Wine HERE.

Design and Concept: Bob Lemm, Promotivations
Cover Photos: Andrzej Duvel
Coordination: Virginia Duvel

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Nick Gilder: "City Nights"

Released in 1978,
this is Nick Gilder's most successful album.

Includes the hit "Hot Child in the City,"
and of course several less known
but enjoyable tracks,

Photography and Concept: Julius Bates
Design: David Allen

Friday, January 9, 2015

Neil Diamond: "Hot August Night"

Released in 1972,
this was Neil Diamond's tenth (10th) album,
his second live album.

This double album remains one of Neil Diamond's
most successful recordings.

Whatever your personal opinion of Neil Diamond,
based on your musical tastes,
he is indisputably among the greatest
singer/songwriters of the late 20th century.

In case you need to remind yourself,
or hear it for the first time,
here is the entire recording:

Read more about Neil Diamond HERE.

Photography: Ed Caraeff and Tom Bert (Peggy Jo Studios)
Art Direction: George Osaki
Liner Notes: Karen Shearer

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Blood, Sweat & Tears: "3"

Released in 1970,
this was Blood, Sweat & Tears' (surprise!) third (3rd) album.

This recording was not received so enthusiastically
by reviewers, but it did contain a couple of hits:

A cover of Carole King's "Hi-De-Ho"
and David Clayton Thomas' "Lucretia MacEvil."

Oh, and this:

Read more about Blood, Sweat & Tears HERE.

Album Design: John Berg
Cover Photo: Lee Friedlander
Other Photos: Fred Lombardi and Melissa Katz

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Michael Bolton: "Michael Bolton"

Released in 1983,
this was actually Michael Bolton's third (3rd) studio LP.
This was his first recording with Columbia,
and his first recording using his stage name.
His previous recordings had been under his
given name - Michael Bolotin.

So, for all you music snobs out there
who 'sniff' and look askance
at this artist,
I say, "Give him a chance."
Take a closer look at his story
and his credits.

Before he made it big as an 'easy listening'
soul ballad singer,
Michael had some success as a rock star...

From this album - watch and listen:

The hair is pretty amazing, though, right?

Read more about Michael Bolton HERE.

Design: Allen Weinberg
Photography: David Kennedy

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Michael Omartian: "Adam Again"

Released in 1976,
this is Michael Omartian's second (2nd) solo album.

It is thematic; essentially a mini rock opera.

As always, the music and the production quality
are excellent.  The band credits read like a Who's Who
of '70s session stars:
Ernie Watts
Paul Hubinon
Dean Parks
Lee Ritenour
Larry Carlton
Ed Greene
Victor Feldman
Richard Bennett
Wilton Felder
David Hungate
Scott Edwards

Here is a taste:

Read more about Michael Omartian HERE.

Photography: Harry Langdon

Friday, January 2, 2015

Jethro Tull: "Stand Up"

Released in 1969,
this was Jethro Tull's second (2nd) album.

This is a terrific album musically. 
Among the excellent blues-rock tracks
wrapped in Ian Anderson's lead vocals and flute playing,
it also includes the classically recognizable track "Bouree."

Click below to listen to the entire album (highly recommended!):

The fantastic album cover art is the work of James Grashow.

Note pictures of the pop-up gatefold below.

Read more about Jethro Tull HERE.

Design: Terry Ellis and John Williams
Woodcuts: Jimmy Grashow