Abbey Road 

September 26, 1969. No more need be said. 
Other than it’s #14 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. 

Blind Faith

The first and only album from the first-ever is released on August 16, 1969. Buzzworthy not only because of Clapton, Winwood, Grech and Baker but also because of the album cover.

Bob Seidemann, who has photographed the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin, is hired to take the cover shot. The band is not yet named and won’t be appearing on the cover, so it has to be abstract. The visual he settles on is that of a young girl holding a spaceship. And oh yeah, she should be naked, a symbol of innocence and Eve in the Garden.

On the tube in London, he spots a 14-year-old girl who has the look he is going for. She won’t do it, but her 11-year-old sister will (with consent of her parents). The girl is Mariora Goschen, who is paid £40 for the session but requests a horse.

The album is first released in the United States, but with an alternate cover showing a picture of the band. In the UK, the Seidemann photo is used, covered with a wrapper displaying the name of the band to obscure the nudity. When the wrapper is removed, the raw photo is revealed.

Seidemann calls the photo “Blind Faith,” and Clapton decides that should be the name of the band. When the record company pushes for a more sensible cover, Clapton pushes back and gets his way.

The band breaks up almost as soon as the album is released, and plays only one show in the UK. It hits #1 there in September and stays at the top for two weeks before it is jettisoned by Abbey Road. Mariora Goschen becomes a massage therapist and an expert on breath work, claiming to develop a respiratory routine that “almost guarantees happiness.”

She never gets her horse.

Cheap Thrills

August 12, 1968 ~ The followup to their debut album a year earlier, Cheap Thrills, reached number one on the charts for eight nonconsecutive weeks in 1968. The album features three cover songs (“Summertime”, “Piece of My Heart” and “Ball and Chain”). The album also features Bill Graham, who introduces the band at the beginning of “Combination of the Two”.

The cover was drawn by underground cartoonist Robert Crumb after the band’s original cover idea, a photo of the group naked in bed together, was vetoed by Columbia Records. Crumb had originally intended his art for the LP back cover, with a portrait of Janis Joplin to grace the front. But Joplin — an avid fan of underground comics, especially the work of Crumb — so loved the Cheap Thrills illustration that she demanded Columbia place it on the front cover. It is number nine on Rolling Stone’s list of one hundred greatest album covers.

Big Brother and The Holding Company

August 12, 1967 ~ Big Brother & the Holding Company debut album with Pearl as their main singer. Recorded during three days in December 1966 for Mainstream Records, it was released in the summer of 1967, shortly after the band’s major success at the Monterey Pop Festival. Columbia took over the band’s contract and re-released the album, adding two extra tracks, and putting Joplin’s name on the cover. Several tracks on the album were released as singles, the most successful being “Down on Me” on its second release, in 1968.