This is a double dose version of our weekly blog – what I did yesterday and in honor of the Queen biopic success at Sunday’s Oscars. Above is our signed copy of A Night At The Opera LP (Elektra, 7E-1053, 12″ 33.3rpm, LP, gatefold sleeve, 1975). Here’s the ‘cast’ description of Mr. Mercury’s role on the album – “Freddy Mercury:vocals, vocals Bechstein Debauchery and more vocals.” Singers and piano players take note.
So thanks to Freddie, Brian, Roger and John for all the great music and teaching yet another generation to shout “Bismillah” (Arabic: bi = in; ism = name; Allah = God) as they embark on new endeavors.
AND sorry for the altered signatures, but we are trying to discourage forgeries in the internet-everything’s free and fake news world we live in. Then again this goes nicely with the Fred Steffin post below.
We’ve found at least 29 Fred Steffen illustrated record jackets, most of them : between 1942 – 1948; 10” LPs; for Mercury or their EmArcy subsiderary. All of them take a scattershot modernist approach – a knowing mix of art brut, abstract expressionism and surrealism. Hamp In Paris by Lionel Hampton is our favorite. Demonic, glowing. Absinthe driven. Maybe it’s because Hamp plays a wicked drum solo here. Long way from the viberaphone mellow that made him a safe choice for TV in the 50s.
But back to the unsafe Mr. Steffen. We placed the Sarah Vaughn nextdoor to show Fred’s mello side, but sure looks like a lot of voodoo surrounding Ms. Vaughn’s proud stare. One day I’ll show you Olé: South Of The Border With The Harmonicats.