One Record, Three Covers

I bought a copy of Alan Parsons’ Tales of Mystery and Imagination in 1978.  I had just graduated from college, already had a copy of I Robot, and loved “The Raven.”

Sadly that 1978 copy is long gone, but one feature of my vinyl addiction is an attraction to those albums that are long gone. So I was bound and determined to pick up a copy of Tales to add to my collection.

But wait (see, nothing can ever be simple when it comes to record collections,) there is the whole business of the Hipgnosis covers.  Almost all Alan Parsons covers were created by Hipgnosis Studios, and that means the cover is as interesting to me as the music is.  Don’t get me wrong, as with almost all APP records, this is a wonderful album, but the so is the artwork.

Tales of Mystery and Imagination 1

The first cover pictured is the record cover for the first U.S. pressing.  It was the record I purchased back in the day. But it wasn’t the cover that was released in the UK.  Instead the first UK pressing–and the first Hipgnosis cover looked like this. Same songs, same arrangements, different cover.

Tales of Mystery and Imagination 2

The final cover version was issued in the U.S. in 1987.  It was re-mastered and reissued, with a more elaborate version of the U.K. cover. When I learned it was out there I had to have.  Which also  required that I make my first overseas order on Discogs. Despite some delays along the way, I received a gorgeous copy of this record:

Tales of Mystery and Imagination 3The long and short of all this is that I have three great copies of this one wonderful record, each with a somewhat different cover.


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