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Like Tinder for desperate people: Unsettlingly bad Europop record covers
01.23.2018
10:06 am
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I have a pet theory (I call him Malcolm, he likes having his tummy rubbed) that posits the suggestion that maybe vinyl declined all those years ago because there were so many shit covers around. It is possible. Too many shit covers meant people didn’t want their lack of taste in music to be seen by their cool friends, so sales dropped until downloads arrived when nobody knows what shit you’re listening to on your iPod.

I mean, we all have guilty secrets about music, you know, bands we’re not supposed to like but we always seem to find there’s just that one track that awful band did way back when that always hits the spot when we’re feeling all mushy inside or very, very drunk or just loved up on way too many eccies or even possibly having no fucking taste in music whatsoever. You know the kind of thing. If you don’t, well you haven’t been paying attention.

Having a sneaky little taste for something outré or déclassé or just fucking shit meant, back then at least, having to buy the goddam vinyl (there were no downloads then, kids, see above). This meant you would always have the unfortunate evidence of your guilty little pleasure on display for every fuckwit who browsed through your record collection and never let you live it down.

Which, by long way of a preamble, brings me to this fucking collection of shit covers from the 1970s and 1980s that were (somehow) available in Europe, well, primarily Holland, to be fair. Some of these covers look like the profile pics for would-be serial killers on Tinder. These are obviously the kind of covers made by foolhardy record execs who say things like “Who needs a designer, my son’s gotta camera, he can do it….” And you know what, he did.
 
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More tasteless record art, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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01.23.2018
10:06 am
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Bad, weird and just downright pervy album covers (NSFW)
11.24.2017
06:34 am
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Out there, somewhere, there’s bound to be an apology floating around the Internet from a near-retirement-age record designer fessin’ up to all the bad album covers he was responsible for back in the day when lines were a little more blurred. Now, this guy would tell you (if he could) that he has a lot of respect and admiration for all the hardworking people who design album covers and he’s truly horrified to find some of his worst work that he had honest-to-God deliberately forgotten about is now doing the rounds on the Internet.

Honestly, he really can’t remember ever doing any of these album covers and well, if he did, it must have been down to a tight deadline or a shitload of drugs or maybe perhaps both. However, he sincerely hopes these allegedly inappropriate album covers won’t be viewed as something representative of the kind of stuff he does now. He was much younger then.

Thankfully, due to all the sons of bitches who think it’s funny to share this guy’s shit, he has been encouraged to review his past history with some candor and examine his back catalog just in case there’s any more of this embarrassing shit out there.

Fortunately, for us, it looks like there is indeed plenty of creepy, weird, and downright inappropriate stuff still floating around out there.
 
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More strange and saucy album covers, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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11.24.2017
06:34 am
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Curiously-shaped die cut records from Grace Jones, The Cramps, Bowie and more
07.23.2015
02:28 pm
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Grace Jones Party Girl shaped 7
Grace Jones, “Party Girl” special remix on shaped 7” picture disc. B side: “White Collar Crime.” 1986
 
This post started out as a singular homage to German record label, Musical Tragedies and their super collectable line of saw blade-shaped 7” records. As it is often the way on the Internet, all it took was a few images in my browser to distract me from my “work.” And thanks to that distraction, I’m now able to share some pretty unique looking die cut shaped vinyl with you. Much of which I had no idea existed until now.
 
Blondie X Offender saw blade vinyl from Musical Tragedies - 2001
Blondie “X Offender” on saw blade shaped colored vinyl with center label picture image by Musical Tragedies (2001)
 
Pictured above is the A side of one of the saw blade-shaped records put out by Musical Tragedies. It features two tracks, “X Offender,” from the first Blondie record, Blondie, and a rare B side track from Bloodless Pharaohs, one of the first bands Stray Cat Brian Setzer ever recorded with back in the late 70’s. Other covet-worthy records in this post include the two-record 2004 release from DJ Shadow; DJ Shadow vs. Radiohead - “The Gloaming Mix” and DJ Shadow vs. Cage - “The Grand Ol’ Party Crash” (featuring the vocals of Jello Biafra). The shaped records themselves are in the image of two of the most vilified politicians of the last 25 years, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney. Holy shit!
 
DJ Shadow Vs. Cage ‎– The Grand Ol' Party Crash. Shaped vinyl record of Donald Rumsfeld
DJ Shadow “Donald The Merciless” 10” shaped picture disc with an image of the syphilitic face of ex US secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld. Track: “The Grand Ol’ Party Crash” with vocals by Jello Biafra. B-side: “Party Crash” instrumental
 
DJ Shadow Vs. Radiohead ‎– The Gloaming shaped vinyl record with image of Dick Cheney
DJ Shadow Vs. Radiohead ‎– The Gloaming shaped 10” shaped picture disc with an image of Dick Cheney. A/B sides feature Radiohead and Thom Yorke
 
As with colored vinyl, artistically shaped die cut colored records aren’t made to be played—and they don’t sound as good as straightforward black vinyl records. But WHO would actually dare to put a stylus on a shaped piece of rare vinyl featuring Poison Ivy of The Cramps holding a machine gun in a gold bikini? Not me, that’s for sure. Many images of waxy oddities that must be seen to be believed, follow.
 
The Cramps - Bikini Girls With Machine Guns shaped 7
The Cramps, “Bikini Girls With Machine Guns” 7” shaped picture discl. B- Side: “Jackyard Backoff” (1990)
 
The Cramps Bikini Girls With Machine Guns shaped vinyl record - Side B view
The Cramps, “Bikini Girls With Machine Guns” 7” vinyl picture disc, Side B view
 
Monty Python fishbowl 7
Monty Python Galaxy Song 7” shaped picture disc (1983). Side A: “Galaxy Song”/Side B: “Every Sperm Is Sacred”
 
David Bowie ‎– Underground 7
David Bowie “Underground” 7” shaped picture disc (1986). A/B-sides: “Underground” edit and instrumental
 
Many more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.23.2015
02:28 pm
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The savant who has the power to identify records simply by looking at the grooves
06.17.2015
09:05 am
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Yesterday Dangerous Minds brought you some incredible close-up electron microscope footage of a needle moving across the grooves of a record.

That footage jogged a fuzzy childhood memory of watching That’s Incredible!, a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not style program that aired on ABC from 1980-84, and seeing a man who could identify music simply by looking at the grooves on a record.

I had to consult the Internet to make sure I didn’t dream that up, but this man does in fact exist and his name is Dr. Arthur B. Lintgen.
 

 
A 1982 TIME article describes Dr. Lingten’s bizarre talent:

With the label and other identifying marks covered, of course… Lintgen simply holds a disc flat in front of him, turning it slightly this way and that and peering along its grooves through his thick glasses. After a few seconds he calmly announces, as the case may be, “Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring” or Strauss’s Atpine Symphony,” or “Janacek’s Sinfonietta.”

A passionate music buff and audiophile, Lintgen (pronounced Lint-jen) has been regaling friends with the stunt for five years, ever since being challenged at a party and finding, to his surprise, that he could do it.

Performing recently for a television crew from That’s Incredible! he scored 20 for 20 in a demonstration set up by Temple University Musicologist Stimson Carrow.

Lintgen, who has been called a savant, applies his encyclopedic knowledge of classical music to the “quiet” and “loud” portions of the disc, which show up as darker or lighter “grooves,” to make an educated guess as to what a particular piece might be. A 1981 New York Times article explains:

How does he do it? All is explainable—up to a point. First, Dr. Lintgen is a dedicated audiophile with an extensive knowledge of the record catalog past and present. He can identify only music that he knows, and he guarantees a high rate of success only in orchestral music ranging from Beethoven to the present.

“I have a knowledge of musical structure and of the literature,” he said. “And I can correlate this structure with what I see. Loud passages reflect light differently. In the grossest terms, they look silvery. Record companies spread the grooves in forte passages; they have a more jagged, saw-tooth look. Soft passages look blacker.

Acclaimed skeptic James Randi tested Lintgen and concluded,“certainly, Arthur Lintgen comes as close to (a real magician) as I ever hope so see!”

More on the strange talent of Arthur Lintgen after the jump…

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Posted by Christopher Bickel
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06.17.2015
09:05 am
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Sweet, sweet music: Meet the man who makes playable chocolate records
09.08.2014
08:28 am
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If you want to know how to make sweet, sweet music, then take a tip from Peter Lardong who created the world’s first chocolate record—the only disc that can be played and eaten. Herr Lardong from Berlin, Germany, came up with the idea of using chocolate to make discs after experimenting with ice cream, cheese, butter, beer, cola and sausages. Eventually the former brewery worker hit upon his own “special” mixture of chocolate which he melts, then pours onto a silicon mold of his favorite recordings. When the chocolate sets, the disc is removed and is ready to play or eat.
 
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Each chocolate record costs approximately $6 and can be played on a standard record player for up to twelve times before it wears out (no doubt ruining the stylus) and then has to be eaten.
 

 
H/T Voices of East Anglia
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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09.08.2014
08:28 am
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Talking stamps: Tiny vinyl record postage stamps that were playable, 1972
08.15.2014
01:50 pm
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Known as the “first talking stamps” in 1972, these tiny vinyl postage stamps from Bhutan were totally playable and when the needle was put on the record stamp you heard Bhutan’s national anthem and a capsule history of the nation. Talking stamps were thin plastic embossed records with removable back to expose the adhesive.

A pretty interesting concept, right? I’ve never seen one in the flesh, but from what I’m seeing on eBay, they’re highly collectable (an entire set is around $495.00) and even still legal for mailing use.

WFMU has a few samples of what these tiny vinyl stamps sound like. You can listen to them here.


 

 

 

 
via WFMU and Bhutan Today

Posted by Tara McGinley
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08.15.2014
01:50 pm
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‘Bone music’: Soviet-era bootleg records of banned rock and jazz pressed on X-ray plates
06.19.2014
12:43 pm
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What do you do if you’re living in the USSR in, say, 1957, and you’d like to press an illegal record of some banned rock and roll or jazz? Consumer tape recorders don’t exist, and in the USSR, vinyl is difficult to come by. How do you proceed?

One thing you might do is press your contraband beats into discarded X-rays. A police state does wonders for the sheer inventiveness of its citizens, does it not? Clever Russians eager to hear some liberating rock and roll would salvage exposed X-rays from hospital waste bins and archives and use them to make records.

In the 1946-1961 era, some ingenious Russians began recording banned bootlegged jazz, boogie woogie and rock ‘n’ roll on exposed X-ray film. The thick radiographs would be cut into discs of 23 to 25 centimeters in diameter; sometimes the records weren’t circular. But the exact shape didn’t matter so much, as long as the thing played.

“Usually it was the Western music they wanted to copy,” says Sergei Khrushchev, the son of Nikita Khrushchev. “Before the tape recorders they used the X-ray film of bones and recorded music on the bones, bone music.” As author Anya von Bremzen elaborates: “They would cut the X-ray into a crude circle with manicure scissors and use a cigarette to burn a hole. ... You’d have Elvis on the lungs, Duke Ellington on Aunt Masha’s brain scan—forbidden Western music captured on the interiors of Soviet citizens.”

I can’t wait until Record Store Day 2015, when limited edition X-ray releases will surely be some of the most sought-after purchases!
 
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Previously on DM:
Vintage X-ray ‘vinyl’ from Russia

 
via Vinyl of the Day
 

Posted by Martin Schneider
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06.19.2014
12:43 pm
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60s and 70s Asian album covers


 
David Greenfield has amassed a collection of records from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Japan which are all available for purchase online. I liked going through his collections from the 60s and 70s. It’s a great resource for loopy graphic design inspiration!
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Tara McGinley
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11.01.2011
01:25 pm
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Hey vinyl lovers: ‘Living Stereo’ introduced by RCA, 1958
07.11.2011
10:26 pm
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RCA Victor introduces “a miracle,” their Orthophonic, high-fidelity, home stereo sound system.

Bob Banks, one-time RCA Victor marketing manager of radio sales and their Victrola division, narrates this short film introducing the RCA’s new “living stereo” records and stereophonic hi-fi gear. The year was 1958, ground zero for the birth of the “space age bachelor pad” as my pal Byron Werner so famously dubbed it.

The demonstration utilizes left and right-hand sections of orchestra married together to create the fullness of “living stereo” and gives you a stereo stylus’s POV as it travels across a record groove (“a canyon of sound!”). If you are a vinyl fan, it’s pretty fun and informative.
 

 
Via Douglas Hovey

Posted by Richard Metzger
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07.11.2011
10:26 pm
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Famous people hanging out with their vinyl
06.10.2011
02:20 pm
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Bill Clinton (yes, I know this is photoshopped)
 
Famous faces and their record collections.


Patti Smith
 

Sophia Loren
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Tara McGinley
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06.10.2011
02:20 pm
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Odd photoshopped vintage LP sleeves
04.22.2011
03:58 pm
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These cleverly Photoshopped album covers are pretty funny. I had to do a double take because I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on… I think my favorite is “I Don’t Like Me Either.”

All images are from the devious and NSFW website Twisted Vintage.
 
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Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Gallery of defaced LP sleeves

Posted by Tara McGinley
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04.22.2011
03:58 pm
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GIF: Vinyl Makes Them Nervous
11.02.2010
01:10 pm
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Oh noes! I’m scared!
 
(via Das Kraftfuttermischwerk)

Posted by Tara McGinley
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11.02.2010
01:10 pm
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Have your ashes pressed into your favorite vinyl record when you die
08.27.2010
03:57 pm
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I’m going to have mine pressed into Eddie Murphy’s “Party All The Time.” From Wired UK:

Music lovers can now be immortalised when they die by having their ashes baked into vinyl records to leave behind for loved ones.

A UK company called And Vinyly is offering people the chance to press their ashes in a vinyl recording of their own voice, their favourite tunes or their last will and testament. Minimalist audiophiles might want to go for the simple option of having no tunes or voiceover, and simply pressing the ashes into the vinyl to result in pops and crackles.

Company presses your ashes into vinyl when you die

(via Nerdcore)

Posted by Tara McGinley
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08.27.2010
03:57 pm
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