THE ALBUM ART OF EXOTICA (2020): Bachelor pad images from a time before this

 |   |  3 min read

THE ALBUM ART OF EXOTICA (2020): Bachelor pad images from a time before this

It was long ago and – for many in the US, UK and the rest of the Western world – far away and rather exotic.

Hawaiian music was enormously popular from the Thirties onwards and for many people the restful sound of lap steel guitars evoked palm trees swaying in the breeze, the lap of the waves against the side of the outrigger and other such cliches poured into a pineapple-flavoured cocktail with a cherry on a stick.

Then there were the exotic and alluring women of the Mystic East and the sounds of Darkest Africa where jungle drums pounded in the steamy night and under a full moon any kind of sensual desire could be unleashed.

tabuThe South Pacific (notably Tahiti) was also swept up to be included in these cliches about seductive and seemingly available women . . . .

Yes, long ago and far away . . . but preserved on album covers which can loosely be gathered under the label “exotica” where we will find records by Martin Denny, Geoff Love, Esquivel and many others.

Some of the music isn't bad at all (as by those just mentioned) but much of it is forgettable and – until collectors took an interest a decade or two ago – largely forgotten.

Now the albums are sought out, mostly for their covers, and there have been exhibitions of their art.

Voodoo, bongos, leopard skins, heat, mystery, the lands beyond reach in the late Fifties . . . and sometimes just the sexy co-ed down the hall.

For the hip, pipe-smoking, Playboy-reading bachelor with his pad, space-age furniture and cocktail shaker – more cliches I'm afraid – here are some of the album covers which were de rigeuer.

Of the music, we leave that over to you. But you could start your listening with Martin Denny on Spotify here where there are links to Arthur Lyman, Les Baxter, Esquivel and others.

Don't forget your swizzle stick.

Let the journey begin . . .

.

26133b13da8632eb029e97b126e37f2a







 .

unnamed_6

.

unnamed-1_1

.

22636267955

.

3196152568738e324f64718dd50364ef

.

251143810993

.

bcd05fc536949d37fc6a6cca3b968224

.

strings_aflame_colored_vinyl

.

exot_1

.

img_0740_1

.

exotica_girl

.

img488

.

R_4643677_1370873877_7803.jpeg

.

magnefr

.

R_2936853_1308129965.jpeg

.

PANICBUTTON.jpeg__76617.1469872166.1280.1280

Pacific albums emphasising the exotic . . .

.

Screen_Shot_2020_08_29_at_8.42.59_AM

.

Screen_Shot_2020_08_29_at_8.43.26_AM

.Screen_Shot_2020_08_29_at_8.44.48_AM

.

Screen_Shot_2020_08_29_at_8.49.16_AM

and some other entries from Aotearoa New Zealand which are rather more chaste and respectful . . .

.

Screen_Shot_2020_08_29_at_8.48.44_AM

Screen_Shot_2020_08_29_at_8.47.11_AM

Elsewhere has previously presented a number of articles about album covers, good and bad. Such as the following:

Country music

This series on shameful album covers I'm proud to own

This on good albums in bad covers

Some classic Blue Note jazz covers

and much more.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Something Elsewhere articles index

TONY'S RESTAURANT IN AUCKLAND (2020): Home away from home, endangered

TONY'S RESTAURANT IN AUCKLAND (2020): Home away from home, endangered

There’s a scene that has played out hundreds of times at Tony’s restaurant on Wellesley Street in central Auckland. I’ve witnessed it frequently. A young person, possibly a... > Read more

FIVE ODD ALBUMS NO ONE SHOULD OWN: But I do . . .

FIVE ODD ALBUMS NO ONE SHOULD OWN: But I do . . .

Elsewhere has been down this blind alley a few times with couple of columns on 10 Odd Unplayed Albums, a series of 10 Shameful Record Covers, 10 Good Albums in Bad Covers, Five French Albums I'm... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER GEOFF HARRISON reflects on Keith Emerson and the Moog synthesiser revolution

GUEST WRITER GEOFF HARRISON reflects on Keith Emerson and the Moog synthesiser revolution

Keith Emerson's recent passing powerfully resonated with me – and not just the way he left in early‑March but, more reflectively -- on how that instrument he mastered and pioneered back... > Read more

STEVE REICH INTERVIEWED (1990): The maximal minimalist

STEVE REICH INTERVIEWED (1990): The maximal minimalist

American composer Steve Reich finishes telling of his new work – an enormous three-years-in-the making multi-media project – and then reflects on the austerity of his early music which... > Read more