Stereo Spectacular

French photographer Michel Laguens knew how to take a glamorous sleeve photograph. He began work as a photographer after serving during WW2 and built up a library of material which he saw might work for record labels, who quickly saw it as a good source of “off the peg” images which saved them the trouble of organising their own photoshoots.  His photos appeared on many French EPs and albums around Europe. Here Polydor in Holland have featured an image of a woman’s head and shoulders sprayed gold (this may have been influenced by the famous scene from the Bond Goldfinger film in 1964) , with a wig similarly coloured, against an out of focus golden glitter backdrop.  Stereo Spectacular Volume 7 was issued  in 1971, compiled from their easy listening catalogue and issued (in different sleeves and titles – in Belgium as Hi Fi Stereo For The Millions Volume 2 for example) in several countries. Despite the text overkill, this was after all designed as an impulse budget buy, the image still remains powerful and very much of the period.

An image from the same photo shoot was chosen by Hallmark for one of their Top Of The Poppers session records, a collection of Beatles cover versions, again in 1971 (above).  They went for a more direct frame of the woman looking straight at the camera.  This in turn was tweaked by the New Zealand label (below) who wanted to push the Beatles angle more strongly, buyer beware!

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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