Cheesecake Gallery


The art of ‘cheesecake’ sleeve design has been well documented elsewhere. For a good introduction with plenty of further links, check this post at Retrospace. We’ve already featured a few here, and I’m sure there will be many more in the future, but for now here’s a further handful I pulled off my shelves that I haven’t seen anywhere else online (although I’m sure they’re already out there somewhere!) – just a small personal tribute to this particular niche area of retro-kitch nonsense, and also a tribute to those gallant ladies who laid their dignity on the line back in the day…






…and finally an all-time favourite – not just one, but six scantily-clad beauties, posing for this collection from the BBC’s occasional ‘Best Of Top Of The Pops’ series.  This is not a photo of Pan’s People – they were from an earlier time. Actually, I think it’s Legs & Co.,  the dance-troupe who succeeded them in the late-70s. Not as hot as Hot Gossip, but I seem to recall they were very watchable at the time.



Average White Band – Warmer Communications


I only really knew A.W.B. for their hit “Let’s Go Round Again”, so was quite chuffed to come across their 1978 album “Warmer Communicatons” last week. It’s a bloody good listen, too…even if it’s basically just a more commercial sounding Funkadelic rip-off made by bearded Scottish whities. Apart from drummer Steve Ferrone, of course. This clean-cut black hunk is trying his best to look relaxed in the photo, but if I was him I’d be a bit nervous surrounded by that lot with nothing but a white towel to protect his modesty, especially as guitarist Onnie McIntyre is getting all touchy-feely…


I can’t actually work-out who this sleeve is meant to appeal to…men? women? gay? straight? the average white? hydro-eroticists? Everybody?!?

My interpretation of the scenario is that there are two women, both with lesbian tendencies (notice how one is passing the soap to the other in the main photo), but they’re using the photo of A.W.B. as an aid to mutual masturbation. Or maybe I’m just a sick fuck with an over-active imagination. But this is afterall the band who incorporated a woman’s arse into their logo, so we can assume they were a filthy bunch o’ wankers themselves!


Holiday in South America (Allegro ALL-767)

Holiday in South America 1965

A snapshot of South America from the always reliable Allegro label.  Giving a peek back in time, when the streets were filled with pretty girls, saddled up on donkeys, red-painted-toes, cheery smile just dying to serenade you with sweet Latin grooves – as you gorge yourself on fruit.

A classic from 1965 – and a repeat player today….


Memories of Steam – Kenneth Granville Attwood



Time to bring it all down baby – all that Latin stuff is wearing the carpet out – not to mention if I keep up all this wigging-out to Bossa-grooves -the old ticka will for sure pack up on me ..

So where next on this journey into musty-sleeved-sound – well nothing better to get grounded than a pristine vinyl copy (the sleeve is however a tad tattered) of this 1970 Hallmark-Pickwick release of master recordist K. G. Attwood documenting the dying days of the steam-locomotive in various parts of England – most being recorded between 1968-9.  Whilst other mind-experimenters-of-sound were locked in dark studios – fiddlng with reverse-tape-echo, spring-reverbs and the like – Attwood was positioned at some station or crossing – armed with some damn tasty equipment (here we go tech nerds: UHER 4200 recorder, Sennheiser MD 421 / AKG D224 microphones) – he has captured in mind-shattering stereo – some absolutely outstanding field-recordings of a time long past.  I know I know – all sounds like my fetish with the bird recording stuff – but – I love a good sounding – non-processed recording of outdoor sounds – and this is such a beast …  hop on board and ride ……

Picked this up in Crewkerne, Somerset this afternoon – been playing it all day since – scares the 3 year-old in the house to bits …. and on head-phones is a quite an out-of-body experience  (really)…. 

Time to stick on Last Train to Trancentral (KLF008R) by the KLF and go for the train-spotters mix from hell …   If you see it – grab it – you know it makes sense !!


Los Bandidos – It’s Bossa Nova!


Similar to the previous post, this one comes from the earlier half of the 60s. Not so much ‘less accomplished’, more like aspiring to be a proper, authentic latin jazz album, without any of the show-biz pizazz of later records. The sleeve is incredibly boring, it’s true, but the sleeve notes on the back are quite informative…



Brazilian Jazz BOSSA NOVA Sonido de Marco Rizo

Marco Rizo - Bossa NOva

A less polished affair than the previously posted Duncan Lamont platter.  Coming a good 8 years earlier in 1962 – it is good to compare how both players tackle versions of Desafinado and One Note Samba – this disc comes across as a much more staid affair – but is pretty damn groovy all the same.  In particular Pianologue is damn excellent stuff in a laid-back-bossa-fashion.

A corker of a release on the ever-interesting PYE Golden Guinea label.

Nice to see this log swinging to a latin groove at the moment – time to shake things up with some OI-Punk I suppose !!

Bossa Nova - Marco Rizo


Chaquito And The Quedo Brass


I’ll buy any record featuring a sixties blond in bikini and sling-backs on the cover, but thankfully on this occasion the music contained within is pretty sexy too. According to the sleeve notes, “it was Chaquito who scooped the [latin] market in no uncertain manner, [his] fresh and fascinating arrangements that were copied by many other would-be latin bandleaders”. So this mysterious Englishman was a pioneer and innovator of the latin genre? These are the sort of facts you cannot glean from the established historical texts!


Norrie Paramor’s Shadows In Latin


The Shadows were a firm favourite of mine as a youngster…I still remember how I’d get a funny tingling sensation of excitement listening to my parents’ 7″ of “Apache”. On my 7th Birthday, I was given The Shadows 20 Golden Greats – the first record I ever called my own, and of course I still have it on the shelves here somewhere.

Just the idea of a latin tribute to The Shads sounds cool, but then one day I walk into a charity shop and discover that there really was such a thing – naturally I snapped it up. The fact that the whole thing was put together by Norrie Paramor (The Shads’ recording manager) gives the whole project a certain prestige, and two of the songs featured here, including “Frightened City”, were written by him in the first place.

Paramor covers many established classics from the Shads’ repertoire, including the aforementioned “Apache”, plus “F.B.I”, “Foot Tapper” and “Shindig”, but also tackles several less well-known b-sides, translating them into the various latin styles popular at the time, which isn’t such a great leap as many of the original arrangements had quite an exotic flavour in the rhythm department anyway. The main difference of course is the absence of Hank Marvin’s distinctive electric twang, replaced by an arsenal of brass, woodwind, organ…and is that tubular bells I hear on “Apache”? Nice!


best of bossa novas – Duncan Lamont

Best of Bossa Nova - Duncan Lamont

Tasty tasty tasty – a very nice buy today for a cool 50-new-english-pennies.  Duncan Lamont in fine fine style on this 1970 MFP release.  Big fat upright bass, swinging-rythm-sticks, a nice alto-sax and some fine playing on the old ivories – all arranged superbly in an improv-jazz style – at times quite funky indeed !

To quote the notes – “Eight leading musicians, each an artist in his own right, each recognized for his own particular style and technique, have joined forces under a common banner – namely that of Bossa Nova“.

A call-to arms it would appear from the old-jazzers…   Forget the Rockers-n-Teds from the 50s, the Kool-Aid-wig-out-kids of the 60s, Punks (blaaahhh) – and don’t even bother mentioning Accciiiiiddddddd … The REAL REVOLUTION sure as hell was not televised, but emerged writhing from mono-players across land – “induing a feeling of complete harmony and relaxation – a state of mind which few other forms of music can help to attain”. – YEAH !

Best of Bossa Nova - Duncan Lamont


Hammond Excitement – Brian Dee

Hammond Excitement - Brain Dee

A surprisingly cool-sounding Hammond collection, played by Brian back in 1975.  Some nice covers, some quite funky even – this being due to a quite excellent un-name-checked session drummer – who drives things along in fine fashion.  At times it heads in the cheesy-pre-sets direction – but on Misty and Light My Fire – the arrangements drag the LP back from bottomless pits that most of these Hammond collection wallow in.

The cover being an acid-fried picture of semi-nakedness is of course completely fine !