Buying the albums sampled on “Picnic”.
I have this one on both vinyl and CD. Indeed, it was one of the very first Harvest LPs I acquired, as I had just loved the track sampled on “Picnic”. So, I was able to get a second hand copy of the LP round about the end of 1975, or maybe the early part of 1976. This still bears a small price sticker showing “£1.45”, but I think I probably had to pay a bit more than that, as it came from my then brilliant source Adrian, in London, via the mail.
I have in fact mentioned this record in an earlier post, but the time has now arrived to discuss it in the detail it deserves, with some inevitable repetition of the said previous post.
First, the remarkable cover, which viewed from the front appears to have been wrongly turned through 90 degrees. On the left is a large black and white picture of the head and shoulders of Shirley Collins, looking as if she is lying uncomfortably on her left side. The background is white, and the other features are in colour, or black. Turning the cover through 90 degrees, so that Shirley is the right way up, and the opening is at the top, above her in cursive gothic script, is the album title. “Love,” is in gold; “Death” is in black; and “& the Lady” is in light mauve. To the left of the title is the EMI Harvest logo, but in mauve and white. Down each side is a border, comprising two lines, one gold and one mauve. At the top these lines go through a series of symmetrical angular twists, just two for the inner gold line, but four for the outer mauve one. The effect of these twists is to create a large box at the top, which contains, in mauve letters on a black background, in the same cursive gothic script, “Shirley & Dolly Collins”.
When the gatefold sleeve is opened downwards from this position, taking care not to let the record fall out, the picture is revealed to be a portrait photo of the two of them, the lines being a complete border, with a matching box at the bottom, below Dolly’s face which is set to the left. Here the background is mauve, with black script and drawing. The words are these:
“As I walked out one morn in May
The birds did sing and the lambs did play
I met an old man by the way”.
To the right of these words is a drawing of a skull amongst some leaves.