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Review: Classic Rock Covers by Michael Ochs

johnriley1uk

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Review: Classic Rock Covers by Michael Ochs

26 Jun 2021 2:57PM   Views : 571 Unique : 385

Published as part of the Taschen Icons series, which is well worth collecting as there is some incredible art and incredible photography throughout, this book shows illustrations of LP record covers from the 1950s onwards. It covers the corny 1950s and 1960s, with highly stylised and improbable images of the singers and groups, to the iconic images of later years, when record covers became ever more art and began to have ideas above and beyond their place in life. Classic Rock Covers by Michael Ochs is published by Taschen (ISBN 3-8228-5540-5, 2001, 192pp) and is a joyous look back at some very fine memories. Whether or not our own favourites are covered is something else!
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The subject of record (or CD) covers was at the front of my mind as I've just taken delivery of Frankie Valli's new CD "A Touch of Jazz", the album he's been promising to do for the past forty years or more, and it's taken till he is 87 years old to get around to it. I was musing on the cover art compared to where he started in the early 1950s, so here we go and we can have a look at one from the book, the 1956 Four Lovers LP "Joyride", typical of its day, with a young Frankie Valli on the left, singing and playing cocktail drums (stand up drums). He was 22 years old there.
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By the time the group had morphed into The Four Seasons, here in 1962 is the Sherry album, Frankie bottom left at 28 years old.
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By 1969, we have a multi-gatefold and the first of these types of designs, stolen by others who get their pictures in the book, but this one doesn't. Frankie in protest mode at 35 years old.
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Life is getting tougher by 1985, so a 51 year old Frankie is projecting his Sopranos persona?
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And then we get more stylish again as an 87 year old Frankie still makes new recordings and the cover art is actually, I think, pretty good photography.
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So record covers are not just throwaway items, and I think they can be art, so well worth a look into books like Classic Rock Covers.

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