It’s February again, and you know what that means—it’s Black History Month. Well, here at VSB, we like to celebrate Blackness with various monthlong series. We’ve done 28 Days of Literary Blackness (2019), 30 Days of Musical Blackness (2019) and 30 Days of Music Video Blackness (2020). This year—2021—we’re bringing you more celebration in the form of Black-ass album covers. Oh, John the Rabbit (oh yes), for the entire month of February, we will be bringing you album covers that represent Blackness in some form or fashion. Some will be amazing, some will make you wonder just what in the hell they were thinking, but they will all be by Black artists representing for Black music. We’re going to have jazz, soul, hip hop, R&B...a little bit of country, a little bit of rock ‘n roll.
Buckle up, buttercup. It’s gettin’ Black in here, so keep on all your clothes. (It’s a family show.)
And seeing as how today is the first day of Black History Month, I figured Al Green is as good a place to start for his 1972 album, I’m Still In Love With You. You probably know this album because it contains a murderer’s row of songs in “Love And Happiness,” “What a Wonderful Thing Love Is,” and “Simply Beautiful.” But you might ALSO know it because of the album cover. My man Al Green looked like a straight pimp.
For starters, the ‘70s was the era of fly ass suits and wicker chair collabos. Just look at that fly ass coke white suit with the turtleneck and because he just had to set it off, black socks. If this was Michael Jordan, you know good and well, there would have been some white tube socks, but Al was like, “Naw, we gots to keep the G in it, give me some nylon black socks, Sookie.” Then you have the all-white wicker chair and table outfit. And yes, I just called the furniture an outfit. This whole album cover is an outfit. If I was Al Green, anytime I wore this suit, I’d take the whole ensemble with me...including the plants and arched doorway. And look at the jewelry and lack of an edge up. His afro ain’t quite flourishing like some folks were back then, but Al looks so damn cool it doesn’t even matter. I want this outfit. I’m on Wayfair right now trying to find it. Turns out they don’t sell suits on Wayfair.
Oh shit, I forgot the shoes. I mean, those ain’t quite platforms, but they ain’t quite not platforms. This is top-notch Blackness on this album cover. It’s aspirational is what it is. AND THE ALBUM BANGS. This album fits the album cover because you pick up the cover and say, “I hope this album bangs like this album cover” and it does. “Love and Happiness” fucking KNOCKS. It’s that ridin’ down the block knockin’ pictures off your wall music. Black Cool is a thing and Al Green, pre-grits (and post-grits really), was Black Cool.
It’s Simply (Black) Beautiful.