Album Covers #26: Cheesecake in lieu of Artist
Newsflash: That's not Carl Dobkins, Jr. on the cover. In fact, I'll wager Mr. Dobkins has never even met the girl. Bottom line: the record company had to choose between Dobkins and cleavage for his cover.... and, well, they went with cleavage. You see, unless you were a pop sensation like Elvis or The Beatles you might want to consider sticking some cheesecake on your LP cover rather than your own unrecognizable mug.
Don't get me wrong, Carl Dobkins, Jr. was a dapper looking gentleman, and he did appear on some covers. However, artists who didn't have face recognition (generally the EZ Listening variety) more often than not went with cheesecake in lieu of a personal portrait. For instance, Ray Connif put out a motherload of LPs, and I swear all of them had an anonymous chick on the cover.... I have no idea what Ray looks like and I own ten of his records.
After all, sometimes it just made damn good sense. Take for instance the record above: what were they supposed to do - put a picture of a cello on the cover? Instead, they got a stoned hippie to unbutton her shirt. Well done.
The ultimate funk cheesecake is undoubtedly the Ohio Players Honey LP; however, Sun's 1978 album ain't too shabby. Sun has the distinction of having my favorite song titles: "Slamm Dunk the Ffunk".
You got to give ole Louis Corchia credit - it takes guts to try and make the accordion sexy. She looks really uncomfortable using it as a headrest, though. Someone get this gal a pillow!
The Hammond Organ was notorious for its cheesecake album covers. Let's face it, no one wants to see some dude straddling a Hammond. What do people want to see? Harry Stoneham's answer: a topless chick.
Ye Gods! Even marching band music isn't spared the cheesecake treatment! This band is composed of a dame wearing basically a Playboy bunny outfit. And how about that baton girl? Look at her big beautiful epaulets!
Okay, I get it. Not need to put Tony Mottola on the cover - it's far more sensible to use a busty broad instead. But why does she have to wear Mickey Mouse gloves?
Never you mind that Mongo Santamaria is a legendary musician, an icon in the Afro-Cuban music scene.... .let's get a girl to shake dat ass and put it on his record cover. After all, isn't the Fourth Law of Thermodynamics "Booty = $$$"?....... No? I'll see myself out.
It's covers like this that give cheesecake a bad reputation. Rather than try and come up with something creative, original or artistic, we toss all imagination to the curb in favor of a naked chick with an umbrella. Far be it from me to complain about nudity, but it just seems like it was not only used in lieu of the artist, it was also used in lieu of creativity.
Once that zebra roamed proudly upon the African plains.... only to wind up as a rug on a Hammond Organ record. Funny how things turn out.
Percy Faith is the godfather of Easy Listening music. This album came out in 1971 and said to the world, "You think Herb Alpert is the king of cheesecake covers? Herb Alpert can kiss my Canadian ass!"
Charlie was a four man group, none named Charlie. From their second album onward they used only pictures of female models for their covers. The album above started the trend; it was like Charlie was proclaiming to the world, "You think Roxy Music is the king of cheesecake covers? Roxy Music can kiss our lily white British asses!" .
Whatever you may think of cheesecake, whether you approve or disapprove, you have to admit that any album containing the theme from Shaft demands a hot babe on the cover. Unfortunately, it's followed by a song by Cher, utterly nullifying its mojo.
And finally, I've posted this next one before, but by God it deserves another moment in the limelight. This is not so much cheesecake as it is mildly disturbing. I don't really have an answer for what exactly they were going for with this one. Regardless, it's a beaut.