UNDERNEATH THE COVERS: JACKIE GLEASON "LONESOME ECHO"
Let’s get this straight—the ONLY reason to own this LP is for the cool and exclusive Salvador Dali cover. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jackie Gleason…the comedian Jackie Gleason.
But it seems the guy we all knew as Ralph Kramden was hooked on romantic mood music.
Throughout the 1950s and 60s, Gleason had a strong secondary career going in music, lending his name to a series of best-selling “mood music” albums with jazzy overtones for Capitol Records.
Gleason believed -- and also proved -- there was a big market for romantic instrumentals. Wikipedia says that Gleason's first album, Music for Lovers Only, still holds the record for the album with the longest run in the Billboard Top Ten Charts (153 weeks.).
The most-used word by Gleason music fans describing his music online is “relaxing,” which is secret code for “elevator music.”
But lets get to the cover.
Getting Salvador Dali -- the world-famous provocative surrealist artist -- to do an original painting for a record album cover was a pretty significant coup. If “Entertainment Tonight” had been on TV in those days, this development would’ve been the lead story.
Dalí explained his conceptual art for the “Lonesome Echo” cover as follows:
“The first effect is that of anguish, of space, and of solitude. Secondly, the fragility of the wings of a butterfly, projecting long shadows of late afternoon, reverberates in the landscape like an echo. The feminine element, distant and isolated, forms a perfect triangle with the musical instrument and its other echo, the shell.”
That should have been obvious to me.
|The unforgettable Salvador Dali|