Analogy - s/t. 1972 Germany

I imagine most of you are familiar with the musical contents of this album, as it's been on the market steadily for over 20 years. I know many who don't like it mainly due to Jutta's powerful, but unsettling voice. She is indeed the consummate "acquired taste". Cynics will say that's tantamount to saying it's terrible, but the listener just accepts it. I disagree, as I think it adds color to the music. Overall I feel the music captures the essence of the early 70s heavy progressive rock era very well.

I consider Analogy as one of the core albums of the post psychedelic, proto progressive with female vocals category.

Personal collection
LP: 2000 Akarma (Italy)
CD: 2012 Belle Antique (Japan)

This is one rare case where the Akarma LP reissue is the best physical product available. Akarma released the LP as a gatefold, and inside one of the panels of the LP is a full history, while the other panel has a photo of the full frontal naked Jutta standing in front of the band. Incidentally, this photo was first introduced with the 1990 Vinyl Magic CD (which was my introduction to the album, and I've kept it all these years until now). Back to the Akarma LP - it also contains a 45 picture sleeve single (and apparently a rare place to see Ms. Nienhaus clothed).  Note that the front cover has "Analogy" in a blue strip down the front. Apparently when assembling the cover in original form, this strip was added later and made a part of the cover. So Akarma took the idea one step further and turned it into an obi like strip, so you can now see the full photo of the original cover underneath (good idea!).

With all of this as a backdrop, I was most curious how the mini-LP would turn out, since the Japanese are meticulous with the details of the original LP - an original LP that costs a fortune (a recent copy just sold on ebay for $8,000. EIGHT THOUSAND!), and as such I've never actually seen one. What's interesting is the original is a single sleeve, but there is a poster. Not what I thought though! It's a brown poster cover of the drawing of a foot, just like on the original back cover (see below). This CD also has two unreleased bonus tracks: A live piece and one short studio track. And it also includes the two tracks from the 45 mentioned above.

So what's the story behind this album cover? Leave it to the excellent It's Psychedelic Baby blog to flesh out (haha) the details. Band member Martin Thurn tells us: "Well, anyone following our career might have noticed that the single had a cover similar to the one featured on our LP. Indeed, the photo session took place shortly before the release of the 45'' when we were already "painted" but still clothed. Subsequent photos with us in the nude were made the same day but not used - for moral purposes in Italy in 1971 -, but when the LP was due to be released, the producer decided to be outrageous and use those nudes. However, since Mauro was still there during the photo sessions, he had to be taken out. Given the time (no digital editing), a blue strip was used to conceal him. Again, the cover was against our wish since our keyboarder Nicola was- and still is - a very good painter and had produced a lovely painting somehow similar to the first ELP-album. Management decided against it but had problems with Italian record shops unwilling to put "pornography" into the shop windows. So, a poster (the famous foot) was used to cover the insider cover. It's interesting that in 2010, our Italian label AMS/BTF re-issued our LP on vinyl with the same poster wrapping."

Augusto Croce of the excellent Italian Prog website offers a similar but more concise explanation: "It had a delicate single cover made of thin cardboard, and some copies were wrapped in a giant poster with a foot (pictured also on the back cover, this was in fact an ashtray!), folded in six parts, to hide the naked bodies. The original picture used for the LP had the six members of Yoice, but at the time of its release Mauro Rattaggi has left the group, so he was hidden under a blue stripe printed on the cover. The Akarma reissue has a retouched picture of the five Analogy members without the blue stripe which has been added to the record like the Japanese albums' obi's." 

I recently purchased the Japanese mini-LP, which has the perfect cover for such a thing. :-D

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