Great Rock Album Covers: Judas Priest's "Point Of Entry"!

My introduction to the band Judas Priest came in 1981 with the release of Point Of Entry. I had known about the band for a few years, but had been put off by the Rush-like aspect of early album covers such as Rocka Rolla and Sad Wings of Destiny. Mind you, I still had not actually heard any of their music because radio didn't play them and, well, Spotify wouldn't be along for another 34 years.

Heck, we didn't even have listening stations yet. To make matters worse, I was geographically situated in a culture-barren community in lower Michigan where, if you wanted some records, you had to cruise down to the local Woolworth's or the hardware store. That was where I first spotted Point Of Entry.

What my teenage eyes had perceived as a woman's legs and the hem of a frilly spring skirt with the words "Point of Entry" right where, uh, you know... turned out to be a barren desert landscape with dot-matrix printer paper extending off into the horizon. The image was taken by legendary photographer Art Kane, whose work you surely know, even if you don't realize it.

Maybe you're familiar with this image of the Who?


Or this one of Sonny and Cher that was surely the inspiration for Nirvana's Nevermind?


It wouldn't be until their next album, and subsequent radio hit "You've Got Another Thing Comin'", that the rest of the world would finally join me in my love of metal's most leather-bound band, but I would always have a special connection to Point of Entry because, like its U.S. cover art, it is a subtly sexual album that doesn't hit you over the head the way future albums (like, I dunno, Ram It Down maybe?) would.

So imagine my surprise when, upon perusing those Judas Priest albums available on Spotify, I see Point of Entry with alternate cover art.


Much to my surprise, I discover that the "legs and skirt/printer paper" image was exclusive to North America and Japan. The rest of the world got the image you see above. Ugh, can you say "Zzz"?

For once, America got the good stuff. I say that because, growing up, all my favorite bands seemed to be living double lives, releasing one version of their album in the rest of the world (usually with more songs on it, or, in the case of XTC's English Settlement, an entire second album) and a lackluster no-frills version in America.

Hell, the U.S. would have never gotten Cheap Trick's At Budokan if not for some enterprising DJ's playing the promo-only "From Tokyo To You" EP that Epic shipped to radio stations. The dramatic response from listeners forced Epic's hand and the album was begrudgingly given a U.S. release.

As for the U.S./Japanese cover art for Point of Entry, I almost feel bad for the British, but then I remember that they got the full twelve-song Script of the Bridge while we got the specially-priced eight-song version.

It would be years before I would discover that those four other songs even existed, for crying out loud. Taking that into consideration, I no longer feel sorry for the Point of Entry's boring UK cover art.

U.S. cover art for Pych Furs' 1982 album "Forever Now"/
Of course, I do pity any country that was subjected to the dreadful cover art for the Psychedelic Furs' Forever Now album. Admittedly, I always thought the U.S. artwork was boring. After all, hadn't they utilized much the same concept to greater effect on Talk Talk Talk?

Ah, but at least we didn't get stuck with the UK art, which has a horrible pea green-and-pink color scheme. If that wasn't bad enough, the band name and title of the album are completely illegible.


As for Art Kane, he would pass away in 1995 at the age of 69, leaving behind an incredibly rich visual tapestry of photography that is riveting and mind-bending at the same time. For a comprehensive look at some of his best work, visit the Art Kane website or simply watch the following clip on the making of what may be his most famous work of all.




Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

2 comments:

  1. Cool blog dude, sounds like you're obsessed with music like me

    ReplyDelete
  2. Cool blog dude, sounds like you're obsessed with music like me

    ReplyDelete

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