Okay, here’s the thing: I don’t really care one way or another about Herman’s Hermits. When I was a kid I thought that they were a corny band and my opinion hasn’t changed over the years. If you have some affection for or connection to Peter Noone and the boys I mean you no harm. They just aren’t my thing.
So what the heck is this album doing in my stacks? Well, I’ll tell you.
One day I was visiting one of those places that nerds go to find vinyl but won’t tell you about because then, like, you’d get all the good vinyl and fuck you this is my place, and I stumbled across this album cover. “Whoa,” I said to myself, because when I’m talking to myself I think I’m Keanu Reeves. “That looks like a Jack Davis illustration.”
Now, for the sake of clarity I’m going to assume that through some bizarre circumstance you’ve never seen Mad Magazine and you have no idea who the great Jack Davis is. I’m also going to assume that you are in a coma. When you picture Mad you more than likely are picturing Davis’s work. Here’s an example:
So come on, there was no way that I wasn’t picking up Both Sides of Herman’s Hermits just to have that Jack Davis cover in my stacks. But wait, Both Sides isn’t a Jack Davis cover. It’s even better – it’s a Frank Frazetta.
Okay, I let you off the hook on not knowing who Jack Davis is, but if you don’t know Frazetta then I think we’re going to have to go our separate ways. Frank Frazetta is an absolute legend in comic and fantasy art. They just don’t come any bigger than Frazetta.
His album covers are some of the most recognizable ever, even more so than the albums themselves. Take Molly Hatchet’s Flirtin’ With Disaster, for example:
But before he was a painter of muscle-y fantasy art, Frank was a comic book artist with chops. I just never expected to see a comic-oriented cover from the greatest.
You can pick up your own copy of Both Sides of Herman’s Hermits for easily under ten bucks, and while you’re at it pick up some old Mad paperback collections and appreciate the brilliance of Jack Davis. Happy hunting.