Recent Additions

Kate Bush - Hounds of Love

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The fifth studio album from Kate Bush was the Hounds of Love. Released in 1985 it was preceded with the single ‘Running Up That Hill‘, which peaked in the charts at number 3. The first side comprised of other tracks which were all destined to be hits including ‘Hounds of Love‘, ‘Cloudbusting‘ and ‘Big Sky‘. The second side of the album was a concept piece entitled ‘The Ninth Wave‘ focusing on a person adrift at sea.

Musically the album incorporated a lot of traditional instrumentation all set off by the Fairlight synthesizer as well as a great sample of Mr Meek the medium, from the classic horror ‘Night of the Demon‘ on the intro to the titular track.

Big news at the moment, Kate Bush has just returned to the live stage with a huge run of shows at the Hammmersmith Apollo in London were she last performed some 30 years ago. Enjoy this felt pen version of her lounging with her two hounds on the cover.

 

 

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The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds

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The eleventh album from the American rock band The Beach Boys was entitled Pet Sounds.

Released through Capitol records in May 1966 it is heavily considered to be one of the most influential recording made. Featuring the tracks ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ , ‘I Know There’s an Answer’ and ‘God Only Knows’, Brian Wilson had quit touring with the band to focus on recording and writing the material. With interwoven harmonies and a dazzling array of instruments, Pet Sounds signposted a new generation of rock fans and musicians into a more progressive sound.

The photo shoot for the sleeve was while the group visited San Diego Zoo and sees them feeding a selection of goats.

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Queen - News of the World

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Queen‘s sixth studio album ‘News of the World‘ arrived in 1977 and included the classic tracks ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘We Are The Champions’, ‘Get Down, Make Love’, ‘Sheer Heart Attack’ and ‘Spread Your Wings’.

Produced by the band themselves the cover was a reworked Astounding Stories cover by artist Frank Kelly Freas. Seen by Queen drummer Roger Taylor who contacted the artist and asked if it could be adapted for the cover art, it depicts a robot holding the bodies of the band members.

Receiving mixed reviews at the time, some critics cited the band for moving away from their progressive rock roots to a more commercial sound, whilst others embraced this expanded sound, heralding the ascent of the band to the world of arena rock.

 

 

 

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Bob Dylan - The Freewheelin Bob Dylan

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The second studio album from Mr Zimmerman, ‘The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan’ was released in 1963. Taken cues from stories of the time focusing on civil rights Dylan uses the album to wiled his own lyrics to the traditional folk tunes, departing from his first album which was mainly cover versions.

Kicking of with his take on the Peter,Paul and Mary hit ‘Blowin In The Wind‘ the album includes some of his finest and well known songs. “Girl from the North Country”, “Masters of War“, “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” and “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” have all earned places in the music hall fame, the album took Dylan into the position of a spokesperson for the generation.

Promoting the album with radio and concert appearances he turned up at Monterey Folk Festival and duetted with Joan Baez, who at the height of her fame added extra prominence to Bob Dylan’s name and songs. It also heralded the start of their romance, which became one of the most celebrated love affairs of the era.

The album cover features a photograph of Dylan with Suze Rotolo, taken by Don Hunstein at the corner of Jones Street and West 4th Street in the West Village, New York City, close to the apartment where the couple lived at the time. Dylan later acknowledged her strong influence on his music and art during that period. The iconic image has been parodied and honoured in many a fashion and here’s my own addition to that list.

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Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska

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The sixth studio album from Bruce Springsteen, Nebraska is a more stripped back work. Originally intended to be demos for the next E-Street band record, Bruce decided to release them himself and it remains one of the most highly regarded albums in his catalogue. With sparse instrumentation throughout and sombre songs it deals with the ordinary blue collar workers, depicted in many Springsteen songs reaching various turning points in life.

With the cuts State Trooper, Highway Patrolman and the opener Nebraska focusing on criminal tales and the albums closer, Reason To Believe offering salvation, it’s a rewarding, if difficult listen. Steve Earle covered State Trooper and The National included a cover of Mansion on the Hill on their Virginia EP.

The cover depicts a view from an auto-mobile, going down an open road, which captures the mood of the record. Here in felt pen.

 

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The Streets - Original Pirate Material

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Lock down your aeriel. Mike Skinner burst onto the music scene in 202 with what is still regarded as a classic slice of London life. A far cry from the britpop posturing of the era, Original Pirate Material from The Streets, spoke to folks not only in the capital but all across the UK.

Mixing up Garage and Hip Hop with Skinner’s raps, the album begins with the pulsing string and beat intro of ‘Turn The Page’ before launching into  ‘Has It Come To This’. Honest and eloquent throughout, Mike Skinner to the blueprint of this album through a five album career, ultimately ending in a similar way to it’s beginnings. A document of the time, the cover shows a council block at night and is as good a representation as any of the many vignettes and lives inside the album.

In felt pen, of course.

 

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Herbie Hancock - Head Hunters

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US Jazz master, Herbie Hancock dropped Head Hunters in 1973 as his twelfth studio album. Forming a new band for the occasion, it featured a tight rhythm and blues orientated rhythm section and saw him opt out of guitar altogether, replacing it with clavinet, a defining sound on the album.

Comprising of four tracks Chameleon, Watermelon Man, Sly and Vein Melter, it’s regarded as a spearhead album in the Jazz-Funk-Fusion genre and has been added to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress as a ‘culturally, historically or aesthetically important’ sound recording of the 20th century.

Crazy album with a crazy cover to boot, here in the felt pen style.

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Janes Addiction - Ritual De Lo Habitual

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señores y señoras
nosotros tenemos más influencia con sus hijos que tu tiene
pero los queremos…
creado y regado de Los Angeles
Juana’s Adicción!

And there it begins, the second full studio album from Los Angeles act Jane’s Addiction broke out into a riotous start after that spoken intro into the track ‘Stop!

Formed around the maverick Perry Farrell along with guitarist Dave Navarro, drummer Stephen Perkins and bassist Eric Avery, they took elements of rock, punk, glam metal (definitely in the threads) and alternative sounds and created a heady brew. Pop sing-along single ‘Been Caught Stealing‘ is one of the finest songs about shop-lifting ever written and featured an ingenious video of a master at their craft, stuffing pineapples into a  fake woman suit. That and a be-stockinged Farrell mooning and dancing in the supermarket aisles, it was a MTV smash. The albums centre piece was Three Days, a spiralling epic encapsulating dazzlingly rock outs with sombre ‘Cocteau Twins‘ style ambient passages.

Wrapped in a cover depicting Farrell, girlfriend and muse Casey Niccoli and the late Xiola Blue, it caused a bit of a stir, in part of some misplaced rabbit fur. Following up the similarly controversial cover for the 1988 album ‘Nothing’s Shocking‘ it ended up been replaced with plain packaging and a copy of the First Amendment advocating freedom of speech in some markets.

I don’t believe anything they did after this stands up as well as this record from 1990, it opened up a whole new wave of cross genre acts. Here it is in felt pen.

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Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here

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From 1975, the ninth album by Pink Floyd was Wish You Were Here.  Centred around the bands tribute to Syd Barrett, the track Shine On You Crazy Diamond is heralded as one of the bands best. The album also sees guest vocal duties from Roy Harper on the track Have a Cigar and backing vocals by The Blackberries on  Shine On.

Tracks came together on the bands previous tour and touch on the subjects of absence, the music business and the aforementioned Syd Barrett.

Regular Pink Floyd artistic collaborator Storm Thorgerson  was at the helm for the albums distinctive cover, with the flaming chap shaking hands, shot at the Warner Brothers studio complex in California.

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Prodigy - Music For The Jilted Generation

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Second studio album from The Prodigy, Music For The Jilted Generation saw them taking their rave blueprint and getting the beats in. Ahead of their genre busting Fat Of The Land smasher which followed, the ground work is definitely put down on this one.

Released in 1994 Liam Howlett and company banged a bus load of samples into the album which featured tracks like ‘Their Law’ with PWEI, ‘Posion’ and the big hits ‘No Good (Start The Dance)’ and the swampy ‘Voodoo People’.

The landscape around them was already changing with big beat, rave, house, techno, chill out and trip hop all being added to the melting pot. Considered a modern classic now, this is a pretty solid selection, the cover here, as ever rendered in felt pen.

 

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