Sunday, December 8, 2013

Great Moments in Music and Cover Art: "Disraeli Gears"

Martin Sharp, 71, an Artist Who Shaped Imagery of Rock, Dies. (The New York Times, 12/5/2013)

Back in the 60s.    Clapton soon moved in with Mr. Sharp, their girlfriends and others in a group of studio apartments called the Pheasantry. By the end of the year, Cream had released the album “Disraeli Gears.” “Strange Brew” and “Tales of Brave Ulysses” were on the record, and Mr. Sharp’s psychedelic artwork was on the cover, one of the most recognizable in rock history: a lush sprawl of color that blended photographs of the band members with a fluorescent garden of feathers and flower petals.

Disraeli Gears, Cream's second album, made its debut on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart for the week ending December 9, 1967. when I was a senior in high school.  It climbed as high as #4 and spent 77 weeks on the chart.

The album's second cut on side 1, "Sunshine of Your Love", was released as a single and made its first appearance, promisingly, at #74, on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending January 13, 1968.  It peaked at #36 in its 8th week and then spent another 6 weeks on the chart before finding the exit in mid-April.  Three months later, it made a return appearance at #52, an unusually strong debut for even a newly-released single.  Four weeks later, it reached the top 10, where it spent 5 week, peaking at #5.  Overall, the single spent 26 weeks on the Hot 100.

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