The third edition of the Cedric Suggests 5 Album Favourites is here, and not a moment too soon. Below find 5 of my favourite covers from albums I have been enjoying throughout the month.

Love – Forever Changes 1967

You’ll be aware that I reviewed Forever Changes to be album of the month in March. This was premature of course, it should be album of the year. But that small regret aside, the cover is superbly cool, featuring all members of this diverse band together, in trippy multicolour, in the shape of a heart. Now tell me that’s not excellent. I imagine those enjoying the full psychological and visual effects of the Summer of Love will have spent many an hour transfixed by this cover.

Betty Davis – They Say I’m Different 1974

Betty Davis is a funk monster of indescribable talent. This record is in the running for album of the year, it is steeped in filth and wonder, but we are not here to speak about the music. The cover is excellent, bearing in mind this is 1974, and Ms Davis is featuring a terrific futuristic funk look which borders on drag. Her long glass pseudo chopsticks are also marvellous. And of course who does not love a furry boot? The cover projects the image of a formidable woman who marries her weird with grace and unrelenting originality. One need only listen to the album to be confirmed in this view. Did I mention she was married to Miles Davis?

As legend has it, Miles grew jealous of Betty’s friendship with Hendrix (which Miles allegedly suspected may have been more than that), but Betty’s place in the middle of this intersection of geniuses apparently resulted in more than just divorce filings. By popular account, it was Betty who turned Miles on to Sly and Jimi, which in turn may have been the catalyst for Miles’ most radical musical evolution: the still awe-inspiring Bitches Brew, released in 1970, a year after his separation from Betty. Pitchfork

Camel – Mirage 1974

Nimrodel… I’ll say no more. Playing this for my father ended up with him introducing me to Marillion, for which I am eternally grateful. This cover for me is really excellent and worthy of framing. Aside from being considered one of the greatest prog albums of all time, the cover is so much fun. It is based on the logo for Camel Cigarettes, much loved at the time by GIs and consumed by gangsters in Hollywood movies.

The Original Cleanhead – Eddie ‘Cleanhead’ Vincent 1969

Blues mastermind Eddie Vincent was likely saddened by his very clean head, but he did not fail to capitalise on it. Men often think baldness makes them less desirable but Eddie rallies against this idea, in his Cleanhead Blues describing exactly why he is bald:

If it wasn’t for you women I’d have my curly locks today
If it wasn’t for you women I’d have my curly locks today
But I’ve been hugged kissed and petted
Till all my hair was rubbed away

So there you have it! The album is spectacular of course but the cover is also worth your attention. We have an awful lot to thank Flying Dutchman for (Super Black Blues for example), so I am not mad at this commercialisation of cover art. The text is subtle and understated and the whole thing is on Eddie’s very bald head. I just find the whole affair wonderful.

Grace Jones – Nightclubbing 1981

Another Jean Paul Goude masterpiece of photography. This is one of my favourite Grace covers. The obsidian skin, matched only by the beautifully dark Armani tailored suit and precision haircut. The only bright spark in this cover is the cigarette Grace is smoking (perhaps echoed in Goude’s later Grace cover of Hurricane). The red eyes and lips, the piercing gaze and the lazer cut hairstyle all make up for an extraordinary, Other and striking cover.