Another die-cut notable. Procol Harum’s 1971 album (name it) – guitar manifesto-man Robin Trower’s last with the group. He had made his mark, though. Earlier, the gritty Hammond B3 had challenged the electric guitar’s rock supremacy in hits like “Whiter Shade of Pale” in the late 60’s and early 70’s (think Three Dog Night’s “Try a Little Tenderness,” early Seger, and anything by Lee Michaels), but alas, Hendrix and the horde continued to rule in the end.

Procol Harum Broken Barricades

Seen by themselves, the die-cut holes look like the shape of something that would come out of your nose (below). But s’okay.

Procol Harum Broken Barricades inside

Played on a early 70’s “Mister Hit.”

Unitra Mister Hit Record Player

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Ah, la Musette. Petite phono.Amusette Record Player


The music from this gang is cool again. Actually, it never stopped being so. Group updated its name every year.

Sergio Mendes Brasil ‘66 Fool on the Hill

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Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti

Bill (his extensive blog is Rock-of-Ages) encouraged me to haul out more elaborate Zep efforts. So…


What’s the name of the infamous 1975 Led Zeppelin double album, with all the little windows on both sides of the cover? It’s actually 36 different album covers for the price of one…that’s the number of front and back cover combinations you can make by inserting the two inner sleeves and a light cardboard insert (each with people in the windows, printed on both sides). Lots of famous folks, and the Zeppelin boys…profiles, in drag, etc.

Kind of like an interactive Sgt. Peppers cover. Those were the days when they spared no expense for a top-selling rock act.

The buildings pictured are located at 96 and 98 St. Mark’s Place in New York City.

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In print advertising, they say that a direct mailer or a brochure that has a tactile factor, or that gives you something to do with your hands, has “thingness.”

Hmmm. Consider the Rolling Stones 1971 classic Sticky Fingers…with the Andy Warhol cover. Something to play with. Definitely a “thing.” The famous working zipper…the one that tended to dent the album cover on top of it during shipping. The album that many modest record store owners refused to display (not particularly a family-oriented concept).

My wife didn’t buy many rock n ‘roll albums back in those days, but I love her just a little bit more because she captured one of zipper covers….obviously an important part of any die-cut album cover collection.
Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers Zipper

Stones fans from the early 70s may well have been listening to their LPs on this sharp Panasonic SG-999D turntable/receiver/ amp.

To see this album cover and many other famous ones get violent, check out the 2-minute romp through rock history Battle of the Album Covers on YouTube.

Panasonic SG-999D ’60s AM-FM record player

Tone arm toothbrush

My mother-in-law demonstrates how a nice lightweight tone arm, no longer pokin’ them record grooves, can be outfitted to caress the gums, help remove plaque, and prevent gingivitis.

From aural to oral….so to speak. You can tell she’s enjoying herself.

Got any other ideas for recycling old record player parts?

Arvin Record Player

Arvin Radio-Phonograph – complete with curves.

Also check out Bob Vinyl’s Whole Lotta Album Covers blog. Some great outrageous finds.

Family Bandstand Die Cut Album Cover

Here’s the album by “Family” that followed in 1972: Bandstand. Die cuts included a window (TV screen) and the beveled top corners of the cover and the inner sleeve.

Family die-cut album cover phonograph

Family Fearless Die Cut Album Cover

The 12X12 art space for LP album covers was a good format for creative die cut and multi-page creations. The 1971 album by the UK prog rock group “Family” presented (pre-digital) morphing faces of the band members on sequential step-cut pages. The music itself is unremarkable (except for a baritone-anchored a cappella ditty called “Larf and Sing”), but the cover is rather cool.

Automotive Look Voice of Music 920 Steelman BSR Tone Arm

The tone arm on this 1953 Voice of Music record player (left), as well as this 50’s Steelman BSR record player arm (right), have curvy “hood and fender” appeal. Both are standing by for those Sinatra platters, or some hot BeBop to inspire that horizontal ShBoom up in the guest bedroom.


Joni Mitchell Mingus

This evolutionary singer/songwriting artist paid homage to an ailing jazz great (bassist, bandleader) in her1979 album named after him. 6-page album cover. Jaco updates the bass in the band.

My thanks for the Voice of Music player photo from a great site for radios and phonographs: Radiophile.

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Disco-Tech Pre-Digital

April 5, 2007

Light-up Record Player Disco

Every 10-year-old girl that was growing up in the 70s, pre-digital, had to have a disco flashing-light record player…I think.

Here’s my tribute. At home, I’ve got a fragile little plastic phono pulsating away, with flashing colored lights, suspended in mid-air, mid-leap, as it were. Flanked by “Flashdance” on the left, “Fame” on the right.


Then there’s the most famous of disco records. How deep is your make-up? How high the platforms? One glance and you’ve guessed this one. And to think this innocent lad would end up in Pulp Fiction.

Saturday Night Fever

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Elegant Tone Arm 1940s

This smart three-piece tone arm ensemble, with stainless conduit bridging two brightly-finished, gem-like sections, is sheer elegance. Matching stainless record-changer supports.

Mothers of Invention - Uncle Meat


Edgard Varèse, big dada, and 50’s doo-wop were among the influences for this band’s leader. This was a double album with eclectic arrangements, and free-form jazz. And a semi-famous question asked of a saxophonist trying out for the band: “What can you do that’s fantastic?”