Monday, July 11, 2011

Groovy Venus: Miles Davis Big Fun record cover

We were very taken with this striking illustration from the cover of Miles Davis' 1974 album Big Fun and its statuesque cover girl.  For those bought up in the CD generation it is hard to explain the visual impact of the covers of 12" records in a store.  As a result, record companies strove to come up with attreactive covers to tempt buyers.  In the seventies pictures of women were not just used on pop, rock and jazz sleeves but classical ones as well.

The artist was a former flatmate of Davis', the cartoonist Corky McCoy.  He had first designed an album cover for his friend in 1972 with On the Corner which attracted some criticism due to its racial stereotyping blaxploitation cover. 

Nevertheless, he produced several other covers for Davis, including one for his In Concert album.  Although Big Fun includes his typical cartoon figures it is much stronger graphically than his other efforts and the front cover with the trumpet bell, girl and distinctive lettering against the blue background make for a fine composition.

This was a double album so the cover was a gatefold which revealed the rest of the design on the back.  Groovy!

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