Two mid-seventies album covers (numbers 4 and 5 of 50 if you are keeping track) are symbolic of the multitude of album covers of the era. Frankly, it was difficult to settle on only two. But for now, I have chosen these particular ones to “represent.”
Released in 1976 and 1977 respectively, the Doobie Brothers, Takin’ it to the Streets, with lead singer Michael MacDonald brought a certain pop sound to the band’s former rock sound. Similarly, Jimmy Buffet’s Changes in Latitude – Changes in Attitude had that laid back, have-another-drink feel that placed the mythical Margaritaville at the fore.
That tune is so catchy. You can even find little children today who are able to belt out the chorus as though they are utterly familiar with the occasional pause required to search for their own lost shaker of salt. Whatever your thoughts might be of the music, these covers seem to define a certain model of jacket design of the era.
The Doobie Brothers cover, with its city street reflected in the sunglasses, draws you to open the cover where you’ll find a cityscape at dusk. The simple design features a head shot of each band member, a name printed along the bottom under each photo. On both the left and right columns are the song titles and names of featured musicians on each track.
In the lower right is the name and address for the International Fan Club. And yes kids, if you wanted to be a fan, you had to mail an actual letter in order to join, ask questions of band members, or to request photos.
The back is a shot of the entire band in Chinatown, standing in the middle of the street; the image itself looks amateurish as though there was no plan for the photo. It is an afterthought.
Jimmy Buffet’s album cover is not much more creative. A nautical, compass-like drawing on front lends itself well to the changes in latitudes theme, though it is rather boring.
His name, centered atop the compass is overdone and I wonder why anyone would use that font on an album cover that at the time, was pre-catapult to stardom. If you get past that and open the cover though, there’s plenty to check out inside.
It gives you the feeling that it’s time for fair-weather frolic in places where one can appreciate the outdoors.
These pictures make me want to pack my bags and head for someplace sunny.
The back is reserved for song titles and a closeup photo of a smiling Jimmy. It’s hard not to smile when you look at the photo though I suppose each of us has a different reason why we smile when we see it. Check it out…
See what I mean?