28 Days of Album Cover Blackness With VSB, Day 17: Mystique's Mystique featuring Ralph Johnson (1977)

Illustration for article titled 28 Days of Album Cover Blackness With VSB, Day 17: Mystique's Mystique featuring Ralph Johnson (1977)
Image: Mystique ‘Mystique featuring Ralph Johnson’ (Curtom)

Friends, Romans, Countryfolks...this is one BlackAF album cover. The group, Mystique, signed to Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom Records, really came through with a cover that honestly sounds like the album. Mystique was an outfit that made funky-laden, lush records that were on the precipice of disco, you know, the kind of sounds cats who are floating from the sky wearing pastels, perms, afros and platform shoes would make.

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The cover, designed by Jim Ladwig and shot by Richard Fegley, really is a clinic in 1970s Black flyness. These guys really dug into the color wheel. The salmon, olive, canary, and either grey or baby blue they hit on land just so. In fact, as soon as I saw this album cover, I spent real, actual time debating which chap I’d be. I think I’m the dude in the olive because the face he is giving is so focused, so real...so press ‘n curl. I like it a lot.

I also really like the cat wearing the canary because what in blue blazes is he actually doing? Being awesome, that’s what. The way his scarf is dancing in the mystique really speaks to my soul. Plus, I like to think I look pretty fly in yellow.

I imagine that if I were in a record store in 1978 or so (or even in 2005) and came across this album cover I’d absolutely want to know what music they made. As soon as I pulled the record out and saw they were signed to Curtom I’d be all in. I’d believe in the product before I even know what the product would be and that’s the sign of a good album cover. This one just so happens to have all of the proper hairstyles and accouterment to be super Black and thus worthy of note.

For the record, the song “Fill You Up,” on this record goes hard in the paint. Highly recommend.

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.

DISCUSSION

muddybud
Mud Dedoochka

For the record, the song “Fill You Up,” on this record goes hard in the paint. Highly recommend.

I gave it a listen but I can’t abide a flute unless Lizzo and Missy were rapping before it plays.