vinyl wednesdays: move it on over.

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This week I have a short and sweet selection for ya, bluesman-extraordinaire George Thorogood and his album “Move It On Over.”

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The cover of this album is, to me, so typical of the time period (1978), but that’s not to say it’s a bad thing. The simplicity is what drives this cover, but it also directly relates to the music within. The picture of George just looks like a throwaway from a studio hangout session or some quick snapshot out on the street. Hell, maybe that’s exactly what it is. The simple photo treatment is accompanied by a very simple type treatment as well. Nothing really stands out as excellent but at the same time nothing seems wrong or missing from this cover.

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The type that was used is a nice, clean, all-caps serif set in a shade of orange that compliments the tone of the photo. I am also a sucker for thin rule lines and this cover makes good use out of a line being used to separate the band name and the album title.

There’s not too much else to really say about the cover. If you already know the music from George Thorogood and the Destroyers then the cover makes perfect sense. Stripped down, raw, uncompromising. The cover seemingly exists only to say “This is it. Take it or leave it, but at least you know what you’ll be getting.”

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The back cover is a little more exciting, but not by much. It offers your standard fare of random Black & White live/studio photos of the band as well as the tracklisting, credits and band line-up. Simple, to the point and no frills. Simplicity is the name of the game with this album and the back cover is a lesson in how to keep it simple but also interesting.

A five-column grid is used to lay out the imagery as well as a short writeup from the record company about George and the gang. Simple design for a simple band. The “letter” speaks about how surprising it was that the band’s first album had become so popular and successful. It also speaks about how George came to be signed to the label, the style of music he plays, what influences and drives the music and all of this really helps to nail the simplistic feeling down. Though, to be honest, the whole written piece feels like they dropped a press release onto the back cover. I suppose that’s the beauty/curse of album covers from the 70’s. Record labels could pretty much do whatever they wanted with covers and inserts. A lot of the times the band had no say in what was going to be on the covers to their album until they become a more established, popular and profitable entity. The album cover wasn’t always looked at like an extension of the music like it is now and the artistic vision of the musicians was often overlooked by the label when it came down to those final decisions.

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I’m actually kind of in love with the simplicity of the tracklisting. I’ve seen it done like this a million times but for some reason it just feels right here. Maybe it’s the color of the background, maybe it’s just the overall vibe of the record but this really works for me. Those photos that they chose are pretty bitchin’ as well. Just look at that band photo from above. So good.

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The album is housed in a simple white sleeve. Maybe that wasn’t the case when it was originally released but I feel that it probably was. The band wasn’t immensely popular at the time and spending even more money on printing for an inner sleeve seems like something that would be quite unnecessary. While I would love it if they had a lyric sheet or some other piece of art that was included I have grown to love it. This feels almost like a DIY kind of record, both in the sound and overall design and for that I am glad that it’s just a white sleeve.

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The record itself is so random. I’ve always liked looking at the different images that labels and bands stuck onto the vinyl record. I don’t have any other Rounder Records vinyl records from the time period so I can’t say if this label was their typical one but I sure hope so. Like Warner Bros. had the palm tree labels and ATCO with their reddish-orange and white labels, Rounder Records hopefully stuck with this label featuring men saluting with their drinks in an old-timey saloon. So weird. So fun. They honestly just don’t make ’em like they used to.

This album, and George Thorogood’s music in general, houses some of the most memorable songs from my childhood. I can vividly remember sitting in the backseat of my mom’s old 1986 Chevy Blazer, staring out the window or at the cassette player and hearing George Thorogood’s voice come from the speakers. His voice/guitar was a constant soundtrack to my formative years and I am really happy that my mom always had on that classic rock station and that she would force me to sit and just listen to it. Singing along to “Move It On Over” and “Get A Haircut” (which isn’t on this particular album) are so ingrained into my mind that every time I hear the songs I am instantly transported back to that time. That’s what makes this album so special to me.

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