Colour Me Canadian: DIY

Just when Zero to 180 thought it had exhausted all the “you-be-the-artist” album cover possibilities (i.e., connect-the-dots, color-your-own) Canadian contributor, We Willy, shocked this fellow North American by referencing a fairly obscure Canadian cover that masterfully straddles the line between the two do-it-yourself genres:

Discogs.com says LP released in 1969 — web link below, however, says 1964

Bette Graham LP-a

Could this one long-playing release, Colour Me “Canadian, be — as Discogs.com seems to indicateBette Graham‘s entire recording output?   I am impressed to see that Graham has written all but one of the songs on the album, but is it fair to presume that she is the creative director behind this crackerjack album cover?

And should we be concerned about the variant spellings for Graham’s given name on the front vs. rear covers?

Bette Graham LP-b

You may listen to (as well as purchase) the entire album at the following web link.

Connect Sonny James’s Dots

To the best of my knowledge, there are only three “connect-the-dots” album cover designs:  (1) John Entwistle‘s brilliant cartoon rendering of the four band members for The Who By Numbers released in 1975;

Who connect-the-dots LP

(2)  Neil Diamond‘s aforementioned Shilo cover from 1970 — one that ABC Arts of Australia, you might recall, would utilize as a vehicle for an art contest in 2009;

Neil Diamond's connect the dots Shilo LP

(3) Sonny James‘s refreshingly unformidable connect-the-dots cover for 1972’s Traces LP.

Sonny James connect the dots LP

James would pantomime his rousing version of “A World of Our Own” – originally recorded by The Seekers – for this 1960s televised performance:

forget the song:  check out the gargantuan bass guitar wielded by the guy on the porch

Zero to 180 finds it hard to believe there have only been three connect-the-dots covers — and all of them released in the 1970s, curiously enough.  Are there others?

While it is true that, three decades later, hip hop artist, J.J. Brown, would take the baton with the release of his 2009 album, Connect the Dots, Brown – regrettably – would deprive his fans the joy of completing the puzzle themselves.

Honorable mention, of course, goes to Jethro Tull for Thick as a Brick‘s elaborate fictional newspaper concept that also included a clever, though puerile, connect-the-dots feature for the kiddies.

Jethro Tull connect the dots

Connect Neil Diamond’s Dots

I am still stunned that I somehow picked up a connect-the-dots album cover secondhand that had not already been filled in by one of the previous owner’s younger family members:Shilo

Neil Diamond, I have to admit, is pretty easy to find on the Goodwill circuit.  Like many others of my age, I dismissed Neil as a youngster only to discover later in life that his track record as a pop songwriter is undeniable.

Shilo, it turns out, is a compilation of hits Neil recorded for Bang in his fertile 1966-67 period and includes some of his biggies:  “Cherry Cherry”; “Girl You’ll Be a Woman Soon”; “Red Red Wine”; “Kentucky Woman”; “You Got to Me”; and the title track.  My copy of the Shilo album happens to be on the original Bang label, which features a quaintly violent logo:

Bang Records

Bang Records, by the way, was originally a partnership among Bert Berns (B); Ahmet Ertegun (A); Nesuhi Ertegun (N); and Gerald Wexler (G).

One of my favorite Neil Diamond songs is a nice country pop number that is not on the Shilo album but rather 1974’s Serenade – “Rosemary’s Wine” – a track that was released as the B-side of his “Longfellow Serenade” single:

Math Pays:  Perhaps it’s not too late to join the ShiloConnect-the-Dots Contest” sponsored by the fine folks at ABC Arts in Australia – here’s one of the top entries:

Shilo Contest Winner