Johnny Nash‘s 1969 Christmas album Prince of Peace turned up recently in suburban DC’s Value Village thrift shop. Initially captivated by the groovy 3-D cover, I was even more enthralled, once I returned home with the LP and cued up the 41-second opening track — a fresh pop arrangement of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” that stands apart, musically speaking, from the other more devotional songs on the album:
“We Wish You a Merry Christmas”
Johnny Nash (1969)
[Pssst: Click triangle above to play “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” as arranged and produced by Johnny Nash and Arthur Jenkins]
This JAD (J for Johnny Nash; A for Arthur Jenkins; D for Danny Sims) release was produced, not surprisingly, in Jamaica, although it is not a ‘reggae’ album as such.
Pretend the red dots vibrate in 3-D pop art fashion
This 41-second offering joins the official list of short songs.
A news item in the March 29, 1969 edition of Record World entitled “JAD Multiple 3-D Cover Firsts” reveals JAD Records (in partnership with Eastman Kodak) to have been a pioneer in graphic design thanks to their use of a special “lenticular printing” process that produced 3-D album covers whose images possess “an unusually sharp depth, roundness and focus.”
JAD Multiple 3-D Cover Firsts
NEW YORK – JAD Records has become the first label to program multiple use of three-dimensional (3-D) album covers to establish merchandising continuity for a recording artist, diskery President Danny Sims announced.
The new Soul Folk album by Johnny Nash (who’s with “You Got Soul” and “Hold Me Tight”) features a 5 1/2″ square full color 3-D photo of the artist. Protectively set into the cover so that it cannot be detached or damaged, the photo uses the “lenticular printing” process developed by the Visual Panographics division of Cowles Communications, Inc., in cooperation with Eastman Kodak.
Sims said the special “lenticular printing” process “gives these 3-D pictures an unusually sharp depth, roundness and focus. There are none of the rough or fuzzy edges that have weakened the visual effect of other 3-D pictures used for album covers.” Half a dozen 3-D photos have been shot of Nash and will be used to highlight the artist’s album covers in future releases over the next two years, Sims said.
The “lenticular printing” process involves a special cam- era operated by an electronic console with a screen interposed between lens and film. The screen breaks up the photo into thousands of tiny slivers. The photo is then lithographically printed in four colors. Molten plastic is flowed over the picture like ink. At the same time the plastic is embossed, thus creating thousands of lenses which give the three-dimensional effect.
JAD National Sales Manager Gerry Cousins said a special rack jobber campaign to promote the Soul Folk album is already underway. Miss Cousins also announced that the 3-D album will list for $4.98 as against JAD’s regular list of $4.79.
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