Beautiful Tru-Sound

Al Goodman Porgy & Bess Gala records

London based Gala Records are poorly documented but began around 1958 as a budget label, and remained so through the Sixties.  Much of their recorded output seems to have been bought in from America, often along with the artwork. They were unashamedly low-price and their sleeves are always quite brash with very saturated colours.  This cover is a worth looking at though. Based on the central tenement set of the stage / film, it’s a combination of an impressionistic cartoon-like painted background and characters, with overlays of fabric and some half-tone images cut out from magazines. Over this the designers have laid lots of type, though the actual title gets rather lost placed where it is.
The sleeve does look very American (and the recording certainly is) and I can’t believe it wasn’t first issued there but I’ve not been able to find an original. The release is not dated, but the film which really brought the story to the public was issued in 1959 so this is likely to be very early Sixties.
The musical was enormously popular and as well as the official albums, there are lots of cover versions by 101 Strings, Hank Jones, Percy Faith and many more.

There is another Gala sleeve design for a Bullfighting album on the site.

About simon robinson

Having worked as a graphic designer in the music industry, mainly in the reissue sector, I now concentrate on the design and publication of books about popular culture - and even write some of them.
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