Amoeblog

Exotic Ten-Inch LPs of Eastern Europe (...and a few others)

Posted by Rick Frystak, May 23, 2016 01:34am | Post a Comment

Through the years of collecting and working with vinyl, I've always been enchanted with attractive, forward-thinking album artwork and design. I can still say that to this day I will still buy a record because of its stunning artwork, without regard for the content. These records are wonderfully tactile, touchable things with graphic design that stands out, screams out to be held and admired, displayed or even framed, in addition to being nurtured in one's carefully curated collection.

In 2012, Amoeba bought a record collection in New York (it's here) that contained some absolute gems of 1950's record cover design on 10-inch Long Play (LP) discs.. I stashed some of the most interesting designs as I went through the collection for us to peruse here. Conceived shortly after the 7-inch Extra Play (EP) era, these covers virtually attack one's visual senses, created in such a way by these labels as to literally command a person to pick the thing up! Imagine a record store back then displaying these gems next to a rather austere Perry Como record!  

Never have I encountered more captivating packaging than these 10-inch "Long Players" from eastern Europe, mostly on the Supraphon (Czech) or Melodiya (Russia) labels. The paper quality feels absolutely sublime on the fingers, and some of these covers are actually stitched together! Just holding these records sends me back in time to my Czech brothers-in-music! These are true mid-century iconic designs.

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Custom Record Store and Label Sleeves From Over The World

Posted by Rick Frystak, April 16, 2014 11:45am | Post a Comment

Promoting one's logo and style has always been a concern if not a priority of any creative business, especially the music business. To have your record store or record label's graphic sensibility out in the world is like a tag, a notice that, "we exist righteously", and "take a look at us, we are cool and you want to be part of this!". What better way to do this than to attach your graphics onto the outside of an LP's inner sleeve living in eternity with the record snugly inside. Or, to have the store's bag carried out onto the street by your loyal customers with your logo beaming out at the universe. Now that's promotion, or perhaps simply an affirmation of being in the moment.

Here is a 10-year collection of various record store and record label's logo and graphic style across the eras, mostly committed to an LP's inner sleeve, and some retail shopping bags inclusive, logos singing raucously or whispering of the quality within. With trends and budgets shifting moment to moment, this collection becomes a small guide to the attraction of it for everyman's taste. What do folks think will look good? How will they remember our business?  As I deal with old record collections and their ephemera daily, it's always a wonderful gift to have an exotic sleeve pop up from accross the country, or even the world. Records have always been a universally traded entertainment, and it's becoming more so by the month now. 

So, this Record Store Day, sit back and find your favorites within the trove of typographical time. Just browsing these photos fills me with hope.

Click on any image to start a slideshow.

Photographs of sleeves and bags by RICK FRYSTAK

The Beauty of LP Cover Art, Bob Dylan's Influential Film Clip, Reid Miles' Blue Note Cover Art, The 50 Worst Album Covers + More

Posted by Billyjam, March 29, 2010 01:37pm | Post a Comment

While recently checking out the video below by the Audio Bullys (the UK duo whose third album Higher Than The Eiffel arrives in Amoeba tomorrow) for their great 2008 single-only release "Gimme That Punk" in which they display countless classic album covers (including The Clash, The Doors, The Kinks, The Sex Pistols Jamie ReidSex Pistols) it further reminded me of why I love (and miss) LPs and their glorious 12" by 12" cover art work so much. This is why I always look forward to checking out new (and always themed) LP cover art posts here by The Gone World Amoeblogger Mr Chadwick and any record or LP cover art gallery shows like the ones at very top and lower points of this blog, courtesy of Siemon Allen Records, whose current exhibit Records (South African Edition) just ended yesterday at the Johannesburg Art Fair. 

The Audio Bullys' video reminded me of another UK musical duo's video from recent years, dan le sac VS scroobius pip's 2007 video for their hit single "Thou Shalt always Kill," in which they also flip through various classic album covers as they dismiss their respective makers as being "just a band." This music video style, utilized by both this pair and the Audio Bullys, of displaying and then tossing on the ground the LP covers that are referenced in their lyrics is directly derived from the film footage of Bob Dylan's Bringing It All Back Home album track "Subterranean Homesick Blues" in which Dylan is filmed tossing large cue cards with key words from the song's lyrics.

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