Archive for the Album Art Category

Now Playing #34

Posted in Album Art, Music, Now Playing with tags on October 25, 2014 by Dylan Thomas Hayden


Born Salvatore Massaro on this day in 1902, Eddie Lang was the first great guitarist in jazz, and among the earliest guitar heroes in the history of popular music. A virtuoso on his instrument, Lang and his violinist partner brought classical chops to their music and pioneered an influential form of chamber jazz that would be so successfully imitated by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli as to nearly eclipse their own reputations. Lang died tragically at the age of 30 but fortunately for music lovers he was a prolific recording artist as soloist, sideman and freelance session player and his superb musicianship is well documented. Highlights include his solo recordings, which feature his own charming compositions and extreme virtuosity; his many small group recordings with hot jazz stars like Clarence Williams, Bix Beiderbecke, King Oliver and of course Joe Venuti; and his brilliant duets with Lonnie Johnson, probably his only equal at the time. What he might have accomplished had he lived into the age of bebop and electrification can hardly be imagined.

Now Playing #33

Posted in Album Art, Music, Now Playing with tags , , on October 20, 2014 by Dylan Thomas Hayden


It’s nearly ten years since the death of hip hop’s holy fool, and close to twenty since, with the assistance of his Wu-Tang colleagues, he dropped his first album, one of the maddest and baddest records of all time, in any genre. A bizarre collage of gritty beats, freakish sounds, filthy anecdotes and deranged rants it is unique and inimitable and always gets my head nodding while raising a smile. Here are the original album art and another Blue Note influenced re-styling by Logan Walters.

Now Playing #32

Posted in Album Art, Music, Now Playing with tags , on October 19, 2014 by Dylan Thomas Hayden


Not the real cover art of this classic album, but a re-imagining in the style of Blue Note Records by Logan Walters.

Now Playing #31

Posted in Album Art, Music, Now Playing with tags , , on October 19, 2014 by Dylan Thomas Hayden


Or, you can’t judge a book by its cover, for this fantastically ugly album sleeve conceals a superb compilation of classic musique concrète by Pierre Schaeffer and his associates of the Groupe de Recherches Musicales. I use the word classic advisedly, as this once radical and challenging music now comprises an identifiable historic style, the soundtrack of postwar utopianism, when national governments were willing, usually through their public broadcasting organisations, to lavishly subsidize such artistic experiment. If only Candide Records had spent a little more on their graphic design!

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Now Playing #29

Posted in Album Art, Music, Now Playing with tags , on October 17, 2014 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

Son House, Death Letter, 1965

Now Playing #28

Posted in Album Art, Music, Now Playing with tags , on July 27, 2014 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

Albums That Made Me

Posted in Album Art, Music with tags , on December 21, 2013 by Dylan Thomas Hayden




Thanks to my own dear mother, my tiny mind was permanently warped at a worryingly early age by repeated listening to those first three Mothers albums. They remain firm favourites to this day, particularly We’re Only In It For the Money, one of the most brilliant albums of all time. An avant-garde, through-composed suite mixing parodic rock with musique concrète it astutely and ruthlessly summed up and satirized the hippie phenomenon, foreshadowing the movement’s disillusioned collapse at Altamont and Kent State in the process. Flower Power sucks indeed.

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