• The new Carpenters recording with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is now available. Use this link to order, and help us out at the same time. Thank you!

Album Cover Art

Status
Not open for further replies.

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Morning Opens Quietly...
Thread Starter
I always got the impression that Richard was the not crazy about having his picture takin.

Do you think it was a joint effort between Richard & Karen about who approved the final artwork for each album cover?

I think that Horizon's is one of the neatest covers with both Richard & Karen. It's like there standing there but each one has there own personality. Karen really looks awesome.

Do you think it was Karen that approved the covert art? Or did the A & M label have more to do with it than the artist?

...who is late for work & stayed up past his bedtime reviewing all his 45 Mono promos last night, online....
 

Brasil_Nut

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Chris-An Ordinary Fool said:
I always got the impression that Richard was the not crazy about having his picture takin.

Do you think it was a joint effort between Richard & Karen about who approved the final artwork for each album cover?
From Bob Thomas' book on the Carpenters, it seems you are correct in that Richard, who always wanted Karen up front, didn't appear to enjoy having his picture taken. With time, however, he came to realize that he and Karen were a team - they were the Carpenters - so he placed equality on both of them. I mean to say, he took a more active role. They were always photographed as a team.

I don't know (I'll bet Harry does), whether they had direct say over the finished product, photo-wise. I do know that Richard raised on heck of a fuss over the original first Lp cover art - the one with the sunflower. He wasn't thrilled with Close To You, either. To him, they appeared dowdy and ridiculous, sitting on the rocks, water splashing at them with each and every wave that came in. According to Thomas, Richard griped about these covers for years.

Jon...the "Brasil Nut"
 

thestitch

Member
Jon, I'm not at all familiar with the book you mentioned about the Carpenters. Could you tell us more about it?

Marilyn
online, and watching the snow flurries :mad:
 

Jeff

Well-Known Member
Time to put in my two cents...Aside from the HORIZON photo sessions (which happened to 'resemble' Karen's actual likeness) I find that some of the KAREN CARPENTER l.p. solo sessions photos to be quite striking! I wonder if Karen chose the cover of the album when it was completed in 1980 or did Richard sift thru and decide on the final artwork?

Basking in a warm Spring day...

Jeff
 

Brasil_Nut

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
thestitch said:
Jon, I'm not at all familiar with the book you mentioned about the Carpenters. Could you tell us more about it?

Marilyn
online, and watching the snow flurries :mad:
I apologize...the author is Ray Coleman. The book is called "The Carpenters" and it's sensational. Well done and well thought out, though some have panned its content. I've read it a couple of times. Sorry for the error. :oops:
 

thestitch

Member
That's OK, Jon. We'll only give you 20 lashes with a wet noodle!! :D I am familiar with the Coleman book, and agree 100%. It's a great book!! Thanks for the speedy reply.

Marilyn
online, watching it snow HARDER!!!
 

Brasil_Nut

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
thestitch said:
That's OK, Jon. We'll only give you 20 lashes with a wet noodle!! :D I am familiar with the Coleman book, and agree 100%. It's a great book!! Thanks for the speedy reply.

Marilyn
online, watching it snow HARDER!!!
Marilyn,

You know, being a flight attendant, I can hop a plane to warm weather at any time. I do, however, live in Los Gatos, California. Although it's cloudy and sprinkling here and there, the weekend was an oasis of balmy temps and soft breezes. I'll stay where I am for the day...it's supposed to warm up again tomorrow.

And, thanks for your understanding about the Carpenters book. I'm no genius when it comes to the Carpenters, but do enjoy their music. Also find their story fascinating. I'd rather leave Carpenters info to those who really know what they're talking about, like Harry - he's in the know. :)

My interest lies mainly with Mendes and any incarnation of his Brasil groups. Though I've always wondered if Sergio and Richard ever "talked shop" in the early days of the Carpenters career. It would be interesting to know.

Jon...the "Admittedly-Challenged Carpenters Nut" :shock:
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
According to a very good Rolling Stone article, Richard (especially) and Karen hated being told to "smile!" all the time for their pictures. That's why they're not smiling on the NOW AND THEN cover....the photographer asked them to drive by their house, and then objected "You're not smiling!" to which Richard replied, "Well, I don't smile when I drive."

Richard's theory was the publicity dept. did not know how to handle a brother-sister act.

I would bet that up until NOW AND THEN, the group had almost zero input as to how their covers would look. Once they got more "clout," they could do what they wanted. Notice how they're not smiling on HORIZON, either, and then with PASSAGE and SINGLES they didn't appear on the front cover at all. Then their fortunes started to decline, and I'm sure some "suit" told them they should start smiling again...which led to the smiley covers of A KIND OF HUSH and MADE IN AMERICA.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Morning Opens Quietly...
Thread Starter
Was Horizons the first & only LP Cover to NOT feature the Carpenters Name on the cover?

I feel that Passages really needed a picture of them, for so reason I have never cared for that cover art. It's nice but it's missing something.
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
Horizon was the first and only with the name on the front cover. From what I have picked up over the years, it was a mistake in pressing, but an attempt to put a clear logo on the sealed plastic covering was a temporary fix. Then, some were released with the printed logo, without the back sleeve, then just left off on CD packages.

Others...correct me if I have mixed up anything.

Craig
 

Rudy

ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ
Staff member
Site Admin
Brasil_Nut said:
I apologize...the author is Ray Coleman. The book is called "The Carpenters" and it's sensational. Well done and well thought out, though some have panned its content. I've read it a couple of times. Sorry for the error. :oops:
Ray Coleman has written or co-authored some excellent books. He acts more as a messenger than an interpreter of the facts, which is why I prefer his treatment of John Lennon in his book Lennon over a couple of the other Beatles' books I've read. Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones) was assisted by Coleman in writing his Stone Alone book--it is an eye opener, not so much for any strangeness going on, but more into the crazy (not fun, but crazy as in hectic) lives the Stones lived during their early years, being swept along in a huge wave that they had no control over. They capture the mood of that era quite well.

Carpenters were well served by the Coleman treatment. A lot of the book relies on quotes, and a good portion of it is actually dedicated to trying to understand and come to terms with Anorexia Nervosa. While any book is prone to error, a lot of Coleman's books are based on actual quotes from those surrounding the subject of the book. Some may not care for the truth, but hey, when you're quoting someone firsthand, the truth comes out "warts and all". :confused: Filtered through those who experienced it.

My most recent Coleman book I read was the Phil Collins bio. Unfortunately Coleman passed away during the final stages of writing this one, but his widow helped complete it. He has a good knack of uncovering little-known facts without turning the story into tabloid fodder or sensationalizing anything. If someone else has an opposing view, he'll quote it, but will leave it at that. I go out of my way to find and read Coleman's works.

I thought he would have been ideal for writing a Herb Alpert bio or A&M history book (which by nature would cover a lot of Herb and Jerry's own lives).
 

Brasil_Nut

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Rudy said:
Ray Coleman has written or co-authored some excellent books...They capture the mood of that era quite well...

...Carpenters were well served by the Coleman treatment. A lot of the book relies on quotes, While any book is prone to error, a lot of Coleman's books are based on actual quotes from those surrounding the subject of the book...Some may not care for the truth, but hey, when you're quoting someone firsthand, the truth comes out...

...He has a good knack of uncovering little-known facts without turning the story into tabloid fodder or sensationalizing anything...I go out of my way to find and read Coleman's works.
Neil,

Like Bob Thomas, Coleman does, indeed, serve his subjects well. It stands to reason that any story told within the confines of quotation will - and can - lead to error. Of course, the story is objective because everyone has their own version of what happened, when it happened and how it happened. You're so right.

Also, like Thomas, Coleman's ability to uncover little-known facts makes for fascinating reading. I also go out of my way to find his books - and (surprise!) - those of Bob Thomas. Thomas' biography of Walt Disney is written in the same manner as Coleman's book on the Carpenters - thus the error in my original post.

Jon...the "Brasil Nut"
 

Rudy

ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ
Staff member
Site Admin
I've started to learn which writers are good, and which aren't. The one Beatles book I read, The Love You Make, had what seemed to be a lot of juicy tidbits in it...but upon reading other books, I realized the authors were just interpreting events as they wanted to call them. Coleman's Lennon book set the record straight on a couple of things, and also didn't attempt to guess at others for which there were no known witnesses or facts.

But regardless, I like reading biographies. I've already read one Led Zeppelin bio, and want to find another good one. Joe Jackson's self-penned A Cure For Gravity is a great read of JJ's early years...and hilarious. Another good read is Warner Bros. executive Stan Cornyn (which Mac here turned me on to)...a "can't put it down" account of WEA's rise(s) to fame, and subequent flame-outs. The bios of Chuck Jones and Mel Blanc were good also, as was Moe Howard's autiobiography of the Three Stooges.

And I also read fantasy and sci-fi....what a combination! :)
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Morning Opens Quietly...
Thread Starter
Craig, so you are saying that Horizons Lp should have had the name on the front cover? So you think that was a mistake at pressing? Or was this Karen & Richards decision for their name not to be on the cover? I would think that Richard worked so hard up to that point in getting the Carpenters name where it was, why would he opt not to have it on the cover? How could a mistake like that happen? If it was a mistake.

So then would it be possible to find the Horizons lp with the Carpenters name imprinted & then some without it?
 

davidgra

Active Member
Howdy.

I've got three different HORIZONS LPs, but none has the Carpenters' logo actually printed on the cover.

The original cover has the flap that folds over the top. The Carpenters' logo is printed on the flap, so that it can be seen from the front when the flap is open or from the back when the flap is closed.

The second version I have also has the flap, but it has a clear plasic sticker pasted in the upper left-hand corner of the front cover. The Carpenters' logo is printed in white on the sticker, with the word HORIZONS printed much smaller beneath the logo.
Then there's the later pressing of the LP which does NOT have the flap. It's exactly the same as the first cover otherwise -- no logo, no album title on the cover. However, since it's missing the flap, the Carpenters' logo doesn't appear anywhere on the outside.

David
 

mr J.

Active Member
Jeff-the front cover that was supposed to be used for Karen's solo album in 1980 wound up on the front cover of VOICE OF THE HEART.The back cover intended for the 1980 solo album was never used,but was featured in PEOPLE magazine-February 1983 cover story(full 8x10).This photo features Karen in the same white sweatsuit curled up on the purple sofa.(actually this picture was used on one of the jackets of the Japanese ANTHOLOGY 4-LP set .Unfortunately,it wasn't reproduced on the ANHOLOGY CD version.If anyone happens to come across a vinyl copy of ANTHOLOGY,buy it.This picture(in full color) is worth the price alone!The shots that were used for the 1996 solo release were from a totally different photo session.Incidentally,I always thought the LOVELINES cover was horrible.That picture looks like a bad outtake from the cover of 25 Anniversary CLASSICS.The album covers from 1975-1985 were the very best.(HORIZON thru YESTERDAY ONCE MORE)
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
so you are saying that Horizons Lp should have had the name on the front cover? So you think that was a mistake at pressing?
It was not a mistake. The cover was printed without the name for artistic reasons. The sticker was placed on the cover for marketing purposes, to show that it was indeed a CARPENTERS album, but when the listeners removed the shrinkwrap at home, they were left with a nice clean photo with no "logo" in the way.

Lots of covers were (and still are) done this way, although the Carpenters were probably the most "mainstream" act to do it.

In later pressings, they started printing the logo directly on the cover in order to avoid the expense of including the sticker.
 

Rudy

ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ
Staff member
Site Admin
Stupidity 101: I picked up the first four Peter Gabriel CDs in "mini LP" format from the UK. Got them for $12.99 each. The LPs originally had "peter gabriel" on the cover in a modern, rounded font. The mini-LPs don't even have that...just the original photo.

The solution for the UK was a sticker on the plastic overwrap. Well...a batch got recalled where someone in packaging put the stickers right on the covers. As luck would have it, those are the ones I got. :confused: No big problem with that, since a little rubber cement thinner would loosen those up without hurting the paper. But just a little amusing *and* annoying.

Complicates things somewhat because his first four albums were simply titled peter gabriel...so for some buyers, the stickers needed to be on there. But the real PG fans really know these by the cover art and the music...which sort of supports PG's argument that albums really don't need titles. :) While he did give his last couple of albums titles, you'll notice that they are all two-letter names, each one reusing one of the letters of the previous album: So, Us and Up.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top Bottom