August 9, 2008
Ray Conniff’s I Can See Clearly Now
I’ve given it a lot of thought, and a lot of staring, and I have to say that Ray Conniff’s I Can See Clearly Now has some of the more-inexplicable cover art I’ve ever seen. The cover art, in fact, is what made me buy the LP, because the music is easily explicable; just covers of circa-1973 popular music. Not much experimentation or risky musical maneuvers on the record. It’s palatable and predictable Conniff presented with a pleasing, if pedestrian, palette of perfunctory and professional performances.
But back to that cover. The allusion to Jonathan Livingston Seagull is obvious with the very same swooping down to dump a big seagull poop onto the unsuspecting woman with severe scoliosis. That both are situated in what looks like Monument Valley after a nearby nuclear test is odd enough, but the way they made the young lass black & white and strike such an angular, almost-unfathomable pose, puts it over the top. And you got to admit that that is one amazing head of hair.
The “leaning-skinny-b/w-girl-in-a-long-dress” trope shows up in some other LPs in my collection. She is found, for one example, in the excellent Bob Crewe Generation LP Birds of Britain. Bob Crewe LPs will be the subject of another post.
RAY CONNIFF I Can See Clearly Now
Columbia – CBS 1973 / Catalog #KC32090
I Can See Clearly Now
If You Don’t Know Me By Now
It Never Rains In Southern California
I Believe In Music
If I Could Reach You
Something’s Wrong With Me
I Am Woman
I’d Love You To Want Me
File this LP under “Innocuous Background Easy Listening Vocals.” Don’t spend more than a buck for this one, but a nice clean copy with a clean cover is worth about that.