Strange To Your Ears?

Another monochrome cover following on from the White Noise sleeve. Frustratingly the designer of this unusual audio album cover is not given, although I suspect they did sign the art off on the front – but poor cropping means this is clipped off all the versions I have checked!  If you have a version where this didn’t happen do let me know.  It was sent in as a thrift shop find by Chris Meloche who also sent me a bit of detail:

Jim Fassett started as a broadcaster on WBZ Boston in the 1920s. He eventually moved to New York where he took a position with CBS Radio. In the 1950s, he hosted a radio programme which highlighted his interest in the manipulation of sound on tape. The programme was called Strange to Your Ears and some of the results of that show became the basis of this LP. 

Over the course of the album, Fassett plays weird and other-worldy sounds which he then proceeds to deconstruct revealing the original sound source. There are sound sources like roosters crowing and babies crying. 

The LP which came out in 1953 seems to have been directed at educational  audiences, and was also issued in America as a three 7″ disc set in the same art.

The sleeve uses the sort of illustrations you would expect to see in a children’s book of the era, and then places these around the large title type.  A bunch of speech balloons with the title in smaller alternate typefaces are also added, and the overall result is really nicely balanced, and looks neat in just black and white. Whether this was a cost saving measure on Columbia’s part or not I don’t know.

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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