Sunday, 20 April 2014

When Music Meets Art - Fabulous Cover Art From Music For Pleasure

Best Of The Bossa Novas - Duncan Lamont
I'm indebted to fellow tweeter and blogger James Gent for sharing some of his Music For Pleasure album covers from his collection with me earlier this week.

As many of you are probably aware Music For Pleasure budget priced albums were mainly sold through Woolworths and other high street stores from the 1960s through to the 1990s and contained a broad selection of music styles.

Constellation - An Introduction To Essential Stereo
Many of these albums turn up in charity shops today and while some people may disregard these releases as not very important they do have a certain charm and collectible in their own right from interesting if not unusual compilations through to exciting album covers.

Music From The Sensational Hair - The Jason Ryder Sound
Certainly many of the MFP albums from the 60s and the 70s weren't afraid of peddling a degree of eye candy on their album covers in order to sell cover version albums. The label's Hot Hits albums were already doing this successfully and a few examples here including Music From The Sensational Hair and Non Stop Pepsi Party continue the trend.
Non Stop Pepsi Party - Denny Wright and The Hustlers
Similarly, themes albums by Geoff Love and His Orchestra are remembered as affectionately for their striking artwork covers as they are for Love's frequently differing approach to the themes he covered.

This theme followed through on album artwork with blatant plagiarism of film poster art (see Big Terror Themes) via getting slapped wrists from James Bond producers for not getting permission to use actors likenesses on a Bond homage album to virtually rejigging familiar images on Star Wars and Other Space Themes to a degree that they are so wrong they are actually still quite good.
Star Wars and Other Space Themes -
Geoff Love & His Orchestra
Then there's Music For Pleasure's liaisons with stereo sound, with a variety of albums featuring a cavalcade of artists that bore no relation to each other, but at 72p in 1971 nobody really cared when it came to proving how great your new stereo system was to your pals.
Stereo Galaxy - A New World of Quality Sound
Well known chart acts of a few years previous also got a new lease of life via MFP. In the mid 1960s recording artists such as The Temperance Seven, Billy J Kramer and The Dakotas and Adam Faith all had albums out on MFP giving people the chance to buy albums they might have missed a few years previously.
The Temperance Seven
So there we are, a general overview of a few great album covers highlighting The Art of MFP. Of course the covers themselves speak louder than any words I can write about them and that should always be the case, particularly as these examples prove the pleasure wasn't always just in the music...
Big Terror Movie Themes - Geoff Love and His Orchestra
If you have any interesting album covers be they from the Music For Pleasure series or others please don't hesitate to get in touch!

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