With Very Lynn’s 100th birthday making the news recently, I thought I would pull out one of her sleeves from the ST33 archive. I picked this one, If I Am Dreaming (“twelve tender romantic ballads”), as a great example of the very luxurious looking early full colour Decca LK series sleeves of the Fifties. Sadly the cover photograph is not credited, but is very much of the time; Vera (looking a little Barabara Stanwyck!) posed in a padded armchair beside an old-fashioned looking fireplace, the lighting replacing the firelight. I have no real experience of how colour transparencies of this size were separated into CMYK and layered with the typography, or how the resultant film negatives were prepared for litho printing in 1956 when this album was first released, except that it was mostly done by hand and eye. The flourishes on her name, and the handful of stars just add that extra touch of sparkle to the end result.
Decca had begun laminating sleeves by this time, which adds a nice gloss to the cover although this does become brittle with age and can peel. The album was issued a couple of years later on London in America in a matt cover. Vera is backed by the Roland Shaw Orchestra, who 15 years later were doing stirring album renditions of James Bond themes for a living.
The record bag shows this copy was sold by Kennys, one of Sheffield’s long running second hand record stores, in 1993 for the princely sum of £1, as they wrote this all out neatly in pencil.
There are more pages of early UK Decca sleeves on the site including this nice set of sleeves on the LK series.