Vinyl Albums With Inserts

The AWESOME! page has random music stuff that I think is cool. You never know what you will find here!

In the 70s, one of the cool things about buying vinyl records was the artwork on the albums. Sometimes, the record included special stuff that was inserted inside the album – posters, booklets, and maybe some crazy things. And sometimes, the vinyl itself was unique – something other than just a black disc. Sometimes, the album design or artwork or inserts were pretty controversial!

The move to CDs eliminated these special perks, though you still might get some cool artwork on the CD booklet. Though…it would be too small to really appreciate. And, the move to downloaded music eliminated even the artwork.

Here are some of the cool things that came with albums back in the 70s. If you have something you remember, be sure to send a comment.

From My Collection

  • My Chicago At Carnegie Hall album from 1971 includes a 20 page booklet, and 3 posters, including a poster that was 5 foot by 7 foot in size. The Chicago III album has 2 posters, and the Chicago VIII album has a poster and an iron-on patch of the “Chicago” logo over a red cardinal – the same as the picture on the album cover – see below.

  • Jethro Tell’s Thick As A Brick album is a mock newspaper. It includes 12 pages of articles, advertisements and fake news – hilarious. Their Passion Play album includes a Playbill stapled in the center that opens with the album cover that gives a bio of the various “performers in the play” – also hilarious. Their Stand Up album has a feature where a cut out of the band member stands up when you open the album cover – see below.

  • Alan Parson’s Project’s Tales of Mystery And Imagination includes a 8 page booklet attached to the inside of the cover, featuring the lyrics of the songs and a chronology of Edgar Allan Poe’s life.
  • Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s Brain Salad Surgery album includes a trifold booklet – and a very eerie album cover – see below.

Stuff I Wish I Had

Here are some of the infamous albums from the 70s that I wish I had. Some of these are worth a lot of money.

  • Alice Cooper had several notorious albums. Most notably, his School’s Out album included a pair of paper panties. His Billion Dollar Babies album had a billion dollar bill, as well as punch-out trading cards. His Killer album had a fold out calendar of 1972. And, his Muscle of Love album had a paper sheet that was intended to be used as a school book cover (people under the age of 30 will not know that back in the day, elementary school students were required to cover their textbooks when they received them on the first day of school. We used to cut open brown grocery bags to use as the covers).
  • Cheech & Chong’s Big Bambú comedy album included a giant sheet of rolling paper, theoretically to be used to roll joints.

  • Grank Funk albums often had inserts. Survival had 8×10 color photos of the band members, We’re An American Band had stickers, and Shinin’ On had a poster and 3-D glasses.
  • At least 13 KISS albums had special surprises – everything from posters to stickers to cardboard cut-out masks to tattoos to a paper pop gun.
  • The original edition of The Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers album showed a close up of a jeans-clad male crotch complete with enlarged penis. It had a working zipper where the zipper would be, and perforations around the belt buckle to allow the album to be opened to a sub-cover of cotton brief underwear.

Got any great memories of album inserts or interesting cover art? Send me a comment about them!

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