Welcome to another edition of Five Favourites where I share some excellent album covers which have brought me some measure of joy over the last few weeks. See below your fixe for November.

Fleetwood Mac – English Rose (1969)

An absolutely extraordinary cover. Of course this drag esque figure of a woman is the antithesis of an English Rose and is more reminiscent of one of Dr Evil’s goons in the first Austin Powers movie (“That’s a man, baby!”). But still, you have to admire the confidence Fleetwood Mac must have had to publish this in 1969.

Queen – News of the World (1977)

On the subject of frightening covers, see above this terrifying cover of a wonderful Queen album. The idea of a giant robot carrying the members of Queen, in full regalia, is just excellent. In fact, it is so scary that Family Guy included it in their episode Killer Queen. Brian used it to torture Stewie, who was deathly afraid of the cover!

Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band – Trout Mask Replica (1969)

By this point I suppose you believe this month’s covers are All Hallows Eve based, and subconsciously I may have chosen these to reflect the horror of my present mood. However I find that I write best when stimulated, by all extremes of emotion. Trout Master Replica is called at once (by proper Music Men (TM) who can appreciate such works) a masterpiece and a cursed album. I have not yet understood the attraction to this strange band but am always willing to be proven wrong. What a very strange album this is, but absolutely worth seeing.

King Crimson – In the Court of the Crimson King (1969)

I suppose this is quite similar to the first cover in some ways. They were contemporaneous. This is supposedly one of the best albums ever made but I don’t see it. In fact I’m minded to think the opposite but this is a matter of my current taste. I need to listen with open ears and make an objective decision – but when does one have the time to open their minds? Anyway, this is quote something, a shocking and nauseating meld of colours and emotions which leaves one open mouthed, shall we say?

Grace Jones – Slave to the Rhythm (1985)

I have hinted at this album cover in the inaugural Five Favourites in March but not written about it directly. Of course those of you in the know will remember this won AOTY in 2019, and I was so overwhelmed that I could not talk about it. The cover is something of a work of art for me. I read in Grace’s memoirs, ‘I’ll Never Write My Memoirs’, that Jean Paul Goude designed this cover to mimic the face Grace made at the moment she gave birth to their son Paulo Goude. It’s quite extraordinary and equally frightening. I have a framed sketch of this on my wall. Just sensational.

See you all next month!