28 Days of Album Cover Blackness with VSB, Day 7: Miles Davis' On the Corner (1972)

Illustration for article titled 28 Days of Album Cover Blackness with VSB, Day 7: Miles Davis' On the Corner (1972)
Image: Miles Davis “On the Corner” (Columbia Records)

I mean, I don’t even have to say it, but do you see this cover?? Look at all that animated Blackness permeating that bright yellow background. I like to think that yellow represents the sun, and everybody on the cover is the Black gold of the sun?


This cover is for Miles Davis’ 1972 album called On the Corner, an album in the line of his jazz fusion works, executed by illustrator, Corky McCoy . And there ain’t much Blacker than a Black jazz trumpeter. A Black jazz trumpeter whose name is Miles. If that ain’t Black cool, I don’t know what it is.

Let’s get to the cover though. Who do we have out here on the corner? So we have Camp Lo in the back wearing a pink suit and striped bell bottoms that are grey and white with a brown shirt and a cool oversized newsboy cap and somehow that whole damn outfit works. Why? Because Black folks are doing it. Then we have Al Sharpton pretending he ain’t got no money for his lady friend who either owes money to or who he promised he would send downtown on a shopping spree because that fro and that donk caught him off-guard. It will get you every time.

Then you have a few members of Fat Albert’s gang who are getting into politics slappin’ five on the Black hand side about voting for Miles, while one holdout really doesn’t believe in voting because it doesn’t matter. Not for nothing, his hair is colored ombre and I’m sure that has something to do with it.

And last but not least, we have Delroy Lindo walking down the street with a “Free Me” button on because, well, who doesn’t want to be free. By the way, I made up who the people were just in case somebody takes it to heart.

Either way, this is a pretty damn Black album cover that could be on the corner of any city in America though I get New York City vibes, especially Harlem.

It doesn’t matter where it’s at, though, because Black is beautiful. And so is this album cover.

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.



May I add the artist credit? Corky McCoy, who did several other covers for Miles during this period.