Saturday, July 17, 2010

Alice Cooper

I remember Alice Cooper in the early to mid 1970s when I went to high school. This guy was every mother's nightmare. He was this ghoulish apparition with running makeup and an evil stage show that borrowed from everyone from Judy Garland to Marcel Marceau to the performance magicians (you know, those that cut a woman in half) from an earlier age.

Vincent Furnier could be called one of the first performance artists, and the rock world started to take notice when the band Alice Cooper morphed and became the performer Alice Cooper.

Cooper racked up a number of hit records during the 1970s, but by the 1980s, he was as current as 78 rpm record. For awhile he acknowledged this fact, even going new wave in the early 1980s.

But in 1986, he went back to his old ways, and "He's Back (The Man Behind the Mask)" is as much about Alice Cooper as it is about Jason, the iconic murder in the "Friday the 13th" movie series, of which this is the title song to "Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives." The B side is from some un-named concert.

Since the mid-1980s, Cooper has never looked back. He has the occasional hit record, aligned himself with the heavy metal big hair bands in the 1990s, and today puts on about the same show as he has been putting on for the past 40 years or so.

And having witnessed one of these shows, nobody does it like--or better than--Alice Cooper.

Alice Cooper - He's Back (The Man Behind the Mask).mp3
Alice Cooper - Billion Dollar Babies.mp3

Continental Miniatures

Here is an odd one-off that actually charted in the Hot 100 at No. 90 in 1978.

The single takes two of the best songs of the British Invasion--Dusty Springfield's "Stay Awhile" and the Dave Clark Five"s "Glad All Over"--and tries to bring them into the then-current sound of the late 1970s.

The band is named after a TV show that aired in some markets in the 1960s that features Italian singers doing their hits. Well, this is this band's lone chart hit, so it kind of makes sense.

Continental Miniatures - Stay Awhile.mp3
Continental Miniatures - Glad All Over.mp3

Phil Collins

To me at least, it is hard to believe that Phil Collins was one of the most popular recording artists in the world in the mid-1980s and early 1990s.

He scored seven No. 1 hits as a solo performer during that period, as well as numerous hits with his band Genesis (plenty of their picture sleeves coming up sometime down the line.

"Sussudio" is one of the best of his No. 1 singles. It has a catchy beat, but it sounds like a song from a different era, which it is.

I kind of liked his grittier songs a little better than this one, but this is the only one I have a picture sleeve of, so here it is.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Jimmy Cliff and Elvis Costello and the Attractions/Jimmy Cliff

Take one of the kings of reggae and match him with one of the kings of power punk and I guess this is what you get.

This was a one-off single to promote the film "Club Paradise." The B side is all Jimmy Cliff, and that is why I have this listed separately from my massive Elvis Costello picture sleeve section, which will be posted sometime in the next few weeks.

Jimmy Cliff and Elvis Costello and the Attractions - Seven-Day Weekend.mp3
Jimmy Cliff - Brightest Star.mp3


The Clash were one of the most popular punk bands to come out of England in the 1970s. However, they had to soften their tone a bit to gain notoriety--and record sales--in the U.S.

Extremely political in their early recordings, the band released a monumental album, "London Calling" which hit a nerve with the American public after a few years of lessened record sales here as opposed to in Europe.

But the band really became popular here when the muted the politics and played up the pop aspects of their music.

Here is my collection of Clash sleeves, some from the U.S. and the others from Europe. Notice that there were two U.S. sleeves for "Should I Stay Or Should I Go," and they are both found here. Also, the "Cost of Living" EP opens up to a spread which is too long to display here.

All told, the Clash went from ultra-political music to tunes that made them one of the top singles bands in the early 1980s.

Clash - Tommy Gun.mp3
Clash - 1-2, Crush On You.mp3

Dick Clark

Dick Clark is the quintessential teenager. He hosted American Bandstand for years, and became forever linked with the music he helped to popularize.

In the late 1950s, a few extended play disks were offered with the current hits of the day. Rather than display pictures of the acts on the sleeves, Clark's mug was put on each one--his face was one of the most well known in America at the time.

Clark does not appear on these disks.

Here are the sleeves that I have plus a sampling of the music on these disks.

Billy and Lillie - La Dee Dah.mp3
Frankie Avalon - De De Dinah.mp3

They Got Me!

If you are looking for the David Bowie/Pat Metheny picture sleeve, you won't find it here anymore, and here is why:

Blogger has been notified, according to the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), that certain content in your blog is alleged to infringe upon the copyrights of others. As a result, we have reset the post(s) to "draft" status. (If we did not do so, we would be subject to a claim of copyright infringement, regardless of its merits. The URL(s) of the allegedly infringing post(s) may be found at the end of this message.) This means your post - and any images, links or other content - is not gone. You may edit the post to remove the offending content and republish, at which point the post in question will be visible to your readers again.

A bit of background: the DMCA is a United States copyright law that provides guidelines for online service provider liability in case of copyright infringement. If you believe you have the rights to post the content at issue here, you can file a counter-claim. For more information on our DMCA policy, including how to file a counter-claim, please see

The notice that we received from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and the record companies it represents, with any personally identifying information removed, will be posted online by a service called Chilling Effects at We do this in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Please note that it may take Chilling Effects up to several weeks to post the notice online at the link provided.

The IFPI is a trade association that represents over 1,400 major and independent record companies in the US and internationally who create,

The Blogger Team

Note: I did not know that posting a picture sleeve that has been out of print for years was illegal. Why they jumped on this one is anyone's guess, but I have to abide by the rules, so it has been permanently removed.

Thanks to the Blogger Team for alerting me to this situation.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Dave Clark Five

The Dave Clark Five was one of the most successful British Invasion bands. For a few years, they were one step below the Beatles in popularity.

That's right. All the history books that list the Rolling Stones and Who as next in popularity are wrong. Dead wrong.

The DC5 were probably the best singles band of the bunch, right up there with the Beatles from 1964-1967 or so. In the U.S., they charted 24 singles, they were on The Ed Sullivan Show more times than any other male rock band, and they also had numerous hit albums. They also had their own movie, and they were pretty much ubiquitous during those years--they were on TV, in the movies, on concert stages and on the radio constantly.

When psychedelia hit, the music was changing, and although the changes in their music were there, they were pretty subtle, and U.S. audiences moved onto other things. However, in their native England, they became huge, and had a number of hits after the watershed years.

Although rarely, if ever, shrouded in controversy during their hit years, they have been encased in controversies in the intervening years. Band leader, drummer, singer and songwriter Dave Clark has only allowed a sparse number of cuts to be released on CD, and after years of no releases, he has finally allowed tracks to be released on iTunes.

After a firestorm of controversy, they were finally enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame two years ago. However, lead singer and keyboardist Mike Smith and and sax player Dennis Payton passed on prior to their induction.

To this day, they remain something of an enigma. Who played on their records? What was the relationhip between the band and Clark? Who wrote the tunes?

All of these controversies can't overshadow the music, which is short, direct, and foot stomping rock and roll at its best.

Epic released a number of picture sleeves to their singles during their heyday, and most are basically the same on each side. There are some exceptions, notably "Please Tell Me Why", which reached No. 28 on the American charts, and was backed with "Look Before You Leap", which reached No. 101 on the Bubbling Under charts. This is one of the few instances where a definitive "A" side was not chosen for one of their singles.

I have also included two rarities here. One is a European EP that I have which includes "Poison Ivy," which to my knowledge was never released in the U.S. The other is a cardboard record promo from their film "Having a Wild Weekend."

Dave Clark Five - Please Tell Me Why.mp3
Dave Clark Five - Look Before You Leap.mp3


avandia lawsuit