More greatest recordings you never saw before

Yesterday, we acclaimed the welcome return of the Westminster recorded catalogue after a generation gathering dust in the vaults.

Today, we have been reminded of some of its less glorious visual moments. Supply your own captions.

westmister gagThe producer refused to comment.


westminster feet

Dvorak is not for dancing.


westminster grapes

Sour notes.

westminster feet westminster grapes westminsterjpg-500x500

A conductor is born.

westminster devil

Rare appearance by head of A&R.

Covers from here. H/t: Derek Warby.

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  • The covers for the Swarowski Ring Cycle are still, and maybe always will be, the _worst_ ever (in a good way, of course). Inadvertently, they are apt for the performance, it could be argued.

  • The background that some of your readers might be missing: while Westminster was originally a highly-regarded classical label, by the late ’60s, it had gone through a chain of acquisitions and had become a “budget” label owned by ABC, selling LPs for $1.99-$2.99 under the “Westminster Gold” moniker. The marketing team at the time decided to use broad, lowbrow visual humor to attract the attention of their presumed demographic, people who didn’t really know or like classical music much, but felt they “should” have some in their collection, and would be intrigued by records that seemed to not take it too seriously (and who, as the above Wagner cover makes clear, often featured attractive, semi-nude women on the cover). Obviously, the approach must have worked for awhile, as they continued to issue a handful of new recordings along with back catalog in such artwork, until the whole enterprise was sold to MCA in 1979.

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