While Frazetta’s cover art would attract heavier bands from the 70s onward, he also produced a number of covers for soundtracks one of which brought his name to the forefront. His first soundtrack cover was an adaptation of the poster he designed for the movie “What’s New Pussycat.” The opportunity to do that poster and album cover came when executives at United Artists saw Frazetta’s parody in Mad Magazine of a Breck Shampoo ad. The ad for Blecch featured Frazetta’s depiction of Ringo Starr and ad copy reminiscent of Breck ads. Frazetta admitted that doing the poster earned him more in one day than he earned in the entire previous year.
His second LP was comedian Earl Doud’s “Welcome to the LBJ Ranch” which was followed up by “Both Sides of Herman’s Hermits.” Other movie soundtracks where his art graced the LP covers included “Hotel Paradiso”; “Fitzwilly”; “The Fastest Guitar Alive”; “The Night they Raided Minsky’s”; “Yours, Mine, and Ours”; and “The Gauntlet.” While he produced a number of soundtrack covers, the reuse of his existing art for album covers introduced his talents to a younger generation.
Dust: Hard Attack
Dust, an early heavy metal band from New York, only produced two albums in their short career. The band’s second LP incorporated Frazetta’s “The Snow Giants” which had previously appeared on the cover of “Conan of Cimmeria.”
Released in 1972, this was my first Frazetta LP cover and I’m featuring “Walk in the Soft Rain.”
Nazareth: Expect No Mercy
In 1977, Scottish rockers Nazareth released their ninth studio album “Expect No Mercy” that adapted Frazetta’s “the Brain” for its cover.
Here’s “All the King’s Horses”:
Three by Molly Hatchet
Molly Hatchet, a southern rock band from Jacksonville, Florida, probably did more to raise awareness of Frazetta’s art than anyone else as their first three album covers featured his work.
“The Death Dealer” was the basis of the cover of the first album.
“Flirtin’ with Disaster” utilized the painting “Dark Kingdom.”
Album three, “Beatin’ the Odds,” featured the Frazetta work “Berserker.”
The most popular Molly Hatchet song was the title cut from their second LP “Flirtin’ with Disaster.”
Last night, I remembered Frank Frazetta by listening to these classic rock tunes while thumbing through my copies of the three volume set, “The Fantastic Art of Frank Frazetta.” Rest in Peace Frank.