Friday, July 6, 2018

Album Covers, Superheroes, Science Fiction, Astounding and The Beatles

Music: an international loved form of artist expression.
With today’s high-tech, instant access world of song down loads, CDs and phone music apps, more types of music are being heard than ever before.

Having recently retired as a high school teacher I used to have interesting conversations with my students.
Often they would ask me what type of music I listened to when I was their age.

I would answer them and somewhere in the conversation I would mention 45 records and record albums.
To which I would receive a blank stare.

“What are 45s and record albums?”

I would reply, “Think of them as large CDs that break and scratch easily.”  That answer usually satisfied them.
During the conversation I would also mention how important album art was to the recognition and popularity of a particular album.

Of course with today’s packaged music the artwork is so minuscule that it hardly seems worth the effort.
Jason Draper and Flame Tree Publishing understand and appreciate album cover art.

In their wonderful, full-color, oversize paperback, A Brief History Of Album Covers, they look at the most recognized album cover art from the 1950s upward.

Talk about a trip down Memory Lane!  Looking though its pages I spotted so many albums from my youth and familiarized myself with more modern classic.  All the photos are accompanied by informative, historical text that really brings the artwork to life.

I have a whole new appreciation for the masterminds behind famous album covers.

Superhero movies are all the rage nowadays.  Spiderman, Iron Man, Superman, Justice League, Batman, The Avengers-the list goes on and on.

But superhero movies have been around almost since the dawn of film-making,

Sterilized adventures of stalwart heroes like Batman, Superman, Captain America and others proliferated doing the WWII years.  Decades afterward superhero movies cropped up on a regular basis.

In, The Fantastic Chronicle Of Movie Posters Superheroes readers are given a first-hand, guided tour of the posters that made the superhero movies, courtesy of Russ Thorne.

The posters have evolved a lot over the years-reflecting the times they were released in.  From pulp fiction movies to the modern blockbusters each movie is featured complete with poster, detailed text and some surprising unknown and little known facts and statistics.

What a fun read and fascinating historical journey! 

The Fantastic Chronicle Of Movie Poster Science Fiction, as written and compiled by Dave Golder, does much the same thing with science fiction movie posters. 

Science fiction films originated in the Silent Era, with such memorable films as Metropolis and Things To Come.

In this interesting, page-turner classic films range from the black and white era with such films as Them, Forbidden Plane and other Cold War Era films to space operas like 2001: A Space Odyssey evolving into such films as Star Wars, Alien and the more sophisticated brain teasers prevalent in the 21st Century.

Each classic film (old or new) is spotlighted and  accompanied by descriptions of the movies represented, the time eras they were produced in and filmed in and the undying popularity of genre.

Speaking of sconce fiction—writers Dave Godler, Jess Nevins, Russ Thorne and Sarah Dobbs have combined their impressive research and writing skills to produce The Astounding Illustrated History Of Science Fiction.

Every conceivable type of popular culture print and film media that dabbled in science fiction is represented from movies, art, comics, pulps, fiction, fantasy and horror.

WOW!  I got tired just flipping through its pages!

What a great collection of archival black and white and color art and photos!  My eyes are dazzled!

My mind is reeling from the engrossing text that held more than its fair share of surprises, revelations and fascinating facts and historical significance.

This glorious, hard-bound book is the definitive guide to all things science fiction and is destined to become the highlight of my science fiction library.

More than just a dry compilation of facts, the book is totally reader-friendly and holds your attention with the turn of every page.

The Beatles-by far my favorite Rock and Roll group.  

From their initially British Invasion to the United States where I first saw them on the Ed Sullivan show to their breakup barely a half decade later I listened to all of their songs and continued to enjoy the band members’ solo career years after their split-up.

Hugh Fielder obviously loves The Beatles as much as I and others do.  He has written and compiled a Fab Four photo homage entitled The Beatles Forever that chronicles their rise to fame and fortune and eventual separation.

Each year of the band’s career is spotlighted, examined and discusses their record hits.

It’s an up-close-and-personal examination of the most influential Rock and Rock band in history.  It will take a proud place in my Beatles library.