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In case you were wondering how to spell Swordfishtrombones in Russian, here’s a counterfeit copy of the classic 1983 album by Tom Waits. The cover features a painted adaptation of the original artwork (not the slight variations), and the album’s sequence is changed a little, moving “Frank’s Wild Years” to open the second side. The sound quality is sort of poor, but the album is still pretty awesome.
We love the text on this old Columbia inner sleeve. And it’s only partly out of date.
HERE’S HOW RECORDS GIVE YOU MORE OF WHAT YOU WANT.
1. THEY’RE YOUR BEST ENTERTAINMENT BUY. Records give you top quality for less money than any other recorded form. Every album is a show in itself. And once you’ve paid the price of admission, you can hear it over and over.
2. THEY ALLOW SELECTIVITY OF SONGS AND TRACKS. With records its easy to pick out the songs you want to play, or to play again a particular song or side. All you have to do it lift the tone arm and place it where you want it. You can’t do this as easily with anything but a phonograph album.
3. THEY’RE CONVENIENT, AND EASY TO HANDLE. With the long-playing record you get what you want to hear, when you want to hear it. Everybody’s familiar with records, too. And you can go anywhere with them because they’re light and don’t take up space.
4. THEY’RE ATTRACTIVE, INFORMATIVE AND EASY TO STORE. Record albums are never out of place. Because of the aesthetic appeal of the jacket design, they’re beautifully at home in any living room or library. They’ve also got important information on the backs — about the artists, about the performances or about the program. And because they’re flat and not bulky, you can store hundreds in a minimum of space and still see every title.
5. THEY’LL GIVE YOU HOURS OF CONTINUOUS AND UNINTERRUPTED LISTENING PLEASURE. Just stack them up on your automatic changer and relax.
6. THEY’RE THE PROVEN MEDIUM. Long-playing phonograph records look the same now as when they were introduced in 1948, but there’s a world of difference. Countless refinements and developments have been made to perfect the long-playing record’s technical excellence and insure the best in sound reproduction and quality.
7. IF IT’S IN RECORDED FORM, YOU KNOW IT’LL BE AVAILABLE ON RECORDS. Everything’s on long-playing records these days … your favorite artists, shows comedy, movie soundtracks, concerts, drama, documented history, educational material .. you name it. This is not so with any other kind of recording.
8. THEY MAKE A GREAT GIFT. Because everybody you know loves music. And everyone owns a phonograph because it’s the musical instrument everyone knows how to play. Records are a gift that says a lot to the person you’re giving them to. And they keep on remembering.
AND REMEMBER … IT ALWAYS HAPPENS FIRST ON RECORDS.
Of course, one of the most famous is these is the so-called “Gigi cover.” Early copies of Pink Floyd’s Ummagumma depict a copy of the cast album. The picture is also a unique example of the droste effect (a repeating picture within a picture) because the band members change places with each iteration.
More often than not the albums which appear on albums are on shelves in the background. We like the idea of a passing glimpse at the collection of a favorite artist. It’s no surprise to us that Andre Previn’s shelves are far tidier than Roland Kirk’s.
We’ll bet it would have been a lot of fun to go record shopping with Roland Kirk or Leontyne Price. And Andre Previn, who incidentally composed the Gigi score seen in the Pink Floyd album above, can have any record he finds at Hymie’s on the house.
Take a close look at Santana’s Amigos and you’ll see a blue monkey holding a copy of their debut album — the monkey’s got good taste!
Another common way for records to appear on the covers of other records is when the performer poses in a record shop. Ernest Tubb is seen beaming before a rack of albums from his label-mates in his own record shop on the cover of this 1960 album. There are now two Ernest Tubbs’ Record Shop locations in Nashville, Tennessee — at the Music Valley Village location you can also see the Green Hornet, a 1964 Silver Eagle touring bus used by Tubb himself. It travelled over three million miles before being restored for display!
And Tom Petty is seen inside an un-named record shop on the cover of Hard Promises. To Petty’s left you can see the same sort of spinning 45 rack we have here in our shop — we would like very much to know where this shop is so we can go there and straighten up those singles!
Petty’s choice of setting is fitting, for Hard Promises was of course the album over which Petty fought MCA’s policy of “superstar pricing” (charging an extra dollar for top-selling artist). Olivia Newton John and Steely Dan gave in, but Petty was next in line and considered either not delivering the album to the label or titling it the standard price, $8.98, to protest the increase. As if we needed another reason to think Petty was a good dude.
Another album which fittingly features a record store on the cover is Entroducing…DJ Shadow, a highly influential (and enjoyable) album built around innovative samples. In the documentary Scratch, he returns to the record shop where he found most of the albums sampled on his 1996 debut album. He’d gone there for years before they let him look through the basement where albums were stacked everywhere under bare bulbs.
“Just being in here is a humbling experience for me,” he explains. “Because you’re looking through all these records and it’s sort of like a big pile of broken dreams.”