Blue Elephant -Black Is Beautiful -cover artNovember 17, 2010
The success of the Blaxploitation-genre in the 70’s created offspring in another form of art; the design of record sleeves. Many companies who tried to be hip to the jive, stirred their art-departments to wrap their product in sleeves that idealised ‘black’ in colour and beautified culture.
In the 70’s, Polydor Records released a series of blaxoplation compilations under the ‘That’s Soul’ monicker, the sleeves being blessed with gorgeous black models plus a funky attitude and matching Afro-hairdo.
On a smaller scale here in Holland the label Blue Elephant, a subsidiary of Pink Elephant Records, was active between 1968 untill the end of the 70s. The label released a string of the most memorable ‘black is beautiful’ music with accompanying covers…
on show are some of my favourites of the covers of the Blue Elephant label and the Polydor series ‘That’s Soul’…
Blue Elephant released mainly black music like soul, latin and softpop. Their most famous act on the roster was Dutch-Surinamese singer Oscar Harris and the Twinkle Stars. The label also represented international stars like Kool & The Gang, Ray Barretto, Prince Buster and Owen Gray. Local performers like Nico Gomez, Davy Jones and Chakachas found a warm nest within Blue Elephant Records.
see the Blue Elephant Records catalogue (not complete) here
Remarkable twin cover using the same model, first released in Holland by Polydor. Later gracing the sleeve of an album by the South African group The Syndicate. (Soul Brother Records, South Africa)