Synopses & Reviews
Cover Story Volume Two: Odd, Obscure, and Outrageous Album Art
, the second installment in the Cover Story
series from Wax Poetics Books, continues a graphic narration of the vibrant subculture of record collecting through the art of the album cover. This volume focuses specifically on strange and bizarre record covers, selected by the staff of Wax Poetics
and major collectors of music’s avant-garde.
The Cover Story series vividly explores an element of music culture that has withered with the advent of MP3s and digital downloading. Vinyl records tell their stories visually as much as they do aurally, and the record cover—eye candy for the music lover—speaks a language rooted in the environment and era of the music itself. Cover Story Volume Two: Odd, Obscure, and Outrageous Album Art celebrates the products of music’s most eclectic and eccentric figures—those whose artistic visions were so absurd and grandiose, they often extended beyond the boundaries of the recording and onto the album covers themselves.
Author Claude "Paradise" Gray was raised in the South Bronx. He was cofounder of the X Clan, whose 1990 album To the East, Blackwards is an Afrocentric and socio-politically conscious Golden Era hip-hop classic. Prior to that, he was host and entertainment manager for the Manhattan nightclub the Latin Quarter where he was a key figure in transforming it into an historical hip-hop venue. Paradise is also a noted writer, photographer, and hip-hop historian/archivist, as confirmed with this book, No Half Steppin', where his personal collection of photographs and memories--paired with an oral history from some of the club's most famous patrons--tell the story of the most important incubator of talent for the Golden Era of hip-hop.
During the mid- to late '80s, legends were born in that bustling Times Square club--from Stetsasonic, KRS-One, and Eric B. & Rakim to Queen Latifah, Public Enemy, and A Tribe Called Quest. It was the perfect recipe for success for unsigned and up-and-coming artists, as it was the ideal place to be seen and hone your craft--and music-industry A&Rs were on-site to snatch up the hottest rappers. You could walk into the club a nobody and come out a star.
No Half Steppin' -- An Oral and Pictorial History of New York City Club the Latin Quarter and the Birth of Hip-Hop's Golden Era is 212 pages with over 175 color photographs and flyers from the greatest time in hip-hop history. Oral history by participants Special K and Teddy Tedd, KRS-One, MC Shan, Eric B., DJ Kool Red Alert, Fab 5 Freddy, Just-Ice, Positive K, DJ Clark Kent, Kid, Dana Dane, TR Love, MC Serch, Chuck D, Grand Puba, Sadat X, Pete Nice, Prince Pau, Kurtis Blow, Mike Gee, Daddy-O, Wise, Ced Gee, Big Daddy Kane, Queen Latifah, Kool G Rap, and many many more.
About the Author
First published in December 2001, Brooklyn-born Wax Poetics hit newsstands with a new vision for music journalism, creating a bridge between the past and present of hip-hop, jazz, funk, soul, reggae, disco, and Latin music. Although originally created for a concentrated market of music aficionados, the magazine’s audience has grown exponentially, making musical anthropologists out of average music listeners and spawning a soul renaissance, complete with comeback tours and sophomore efforts. Wax Poetics illuminates the dark corners of our sonic past, while also striving to give new and innovative artists the credit they truly deserve.