Welcome to the February 2022 edition of Five Favourites. My thanks again to Nick for pressing me to do this originally many moons ago. See below five album covers which have been, in Stephen Fry’s words “intriguing me rather“.

Hugh Maskela – Trumpet Africaine (1962)

There’s something marvellous about 23 year old Hugh taking up the full cover with a symmetrical shot of him playing the trumpet. The framing is beautiful, the instrument is magnificent. The cover is telling the viewer what they can expect from the album, a talented young man, playing the trumpet. Superb, in my view.

Ted Nugent – Cat Scratch Fever (1977)

If you feel like googling this afterwards, I suggest using the artist’s name to avoid some disturbing images of havoc wrought by our feline friends. This cover is excellent. It shows one’s internal emotions after being attacked by a cat, which causes initial pain, but then being reminded of this betrayal by itching in the place we have been struck. I can relate to Mr Nugent on many levels, though my hair has never been that long or frizzy.

Kraftwerk – Computer World (1981)

This truly magnificent album is covered by a three coloured, minimalist feast. I love the contrasting colours, the four teletext Germans and the grey of the computer. This cover does not hint at the magnificence of the album which is to follow.

Face Value – Phil Collins (1981)

In 2016, the beloved artist, formerly of Genesis, re-released his albums in a suite called ‘take a look at me now’. I have included both as they are quite extraordinary, both. This was and remains a searingly honest cover which lives up to its title. The notable similarity in the 2016 cover is Collins’ eyes, and his piercing gaze. A great cover.

Shakara – Fela Kuti and the Afrika 70 (1972)

I have kept this hilarious cover for the last. Here, Fela has put together a group of topless women to create an aerial outline of Afrika and the number 70, with him, speedoed, gleefully at the centre of the 0. Woke feminist politics aside, this is quintessentially Fela and he must have had the greatest time planning and orchestrating this cover. If nothing else, it is a lot of fun, which we could all use more of.

See you next month.