I usually have a few random picture sleeve 7″ discs propped up on the desk which have taken my fancy when scouting through charity shops, so here is a batch I scanned recently and had fun researching. It’s stuff you wouldn’t pay over the odds for, but most of these were 50p or less and deserved rescuing.
Natalino Otto turned out this song for the San Remo music festival, with a striking vintage scratchy fashion style illustration on the sleeve of a lady relaxing with her record player providing background music and hunky feller wondering when his dinner will be ready. The great illustration is credited too but frustratingly I cannot make out the signature. The single came out in early 1963 while the cover artist also did this sleeve below for the same label, Telerecord, which singer Natalino apparently started himself in 1961. It ran through into the early 1970s, and the label design itself is quite smart too, so I will illustrate that as well.
The Nini Rosso / Isabella Iannetti 1965 EP below has two songs a side by each of the artists, but who won the battle of the cover stars? It’s not Nini, an Italian jazz trumpeter, but Isabella, an Italian female singer who went for a glam very blonde animal skin cover shoot here. Normally her sleeves feature more demure cover images and her natural hair colour too. Isabella’s career seems to have carried on through into the early 1970s, nearly all her records cut for the Durium label.
What a contrast!
The Panorama sleeve below could only be from France, a clue being the stylised circular poster display which are a common feature of the urban streetscape there. The photo is credited to Derly but I did not realise until I got it home that the cover is generic. There is a cut out in the top corner which shows the artists and song title, printed on a loose sheet inside, along with selected titles from the full panorama catalogue.
These singles date from around 1959 / 1960 and there seem to have been fifty or so with the same basic sleeve. To ring the changes, they swopped the colours about so you get blue, yellow and green backgrounds as well. From what I can work out the music is mostly covers of the recent French “hits of the month”. Panorama, which seems to have disappeared mid-1960s, also had a sort of matching series featuring the same model in what look suspiciously like prototype jeggings turning a roulette wheel, also shown below. Great fun, I am having to resist trying to buy some more in the set.
Lastly to Britain for an unusual Frank Sinatra sleeve. 99% of his releases show Frank himself, usually a photo, cheery or sad face, sometimes an illustration, cheery or sad face (no we’re not fans here!). But in this case, on one of several 4 track Sinatra EPs they issued (aimed at people whose budgets could not stretch to a full album), Fontana have gone for a girl on a couch instead. The titling is pretty naff, but otherwise it’s a nice sleeve and dates from 1961.