Album Cover Art

A look into the sometimes lost art of Album Cover Art

1981 Journey Captured

Posted by talesinthesun on November 21, 2008

1981-journey-capturedThe 1981 Journey Album, Captured, is very similar to others of its genre.  Stanley Mouse did the art for this as well as countless other groups.  Mouse and Alton Kelley teamed for numerous works that made rock art not only collectible but defined the look of many bands.  Probably their most famous works are shown on the Grateful Dead albums. 

The following bio was listed on Stanley Mouse’s website

MUSIC IS MORE THAN SOUND. IT IS FEELINGS, MEMORIES, IDEAS AND IMAGES. AND, NO ONE PUT A “FACE ON ROCK MUSIC” BETTER THAN STANLEY MOUSE. WORLD FAMOUS FOR HIS POSTERS AND ALBUM COVER ART, STANLEY IS SPECIFICALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR DEFINING THE “LOOK” OF SOME OF THE MOST FAMOUS BANDS IN ROCK AND ROLL HISTORY, SUCH AS THE BEATLES, ERIC CLAPTON, JANIS JOPLIN, LED ZEPPELIN, JIMI HENDRIX, JOURNEY, THE STEVE MILLER BAND, AND OF COURSE, THE GRATEFUL DEAD. RECOGNIZED AS ONE OF THE “BIG FIVE” AMERICAN POSTER ARTISTS, STANLEY’S ARTWORK HAS BEEN INSTRUMENTAL IN TRANSFORMING ART AND DESIGN IN MYRIAD AND INCALCULABLE WAYS.

STANLEY MOUSE GREW UP IN DETROIT AND WAS, PREDICTABLY, A CAR “NUT”. HIS EARLY ENDEAVORS IN ART INCLUDED A CLANDESTINE PAINTING OF THE LOCAL TEEN HANGOUT WHICH EARNED HIM A QUICK EXIT FROM HIGH SCHOOL AND THE DECISION TO TURN TO ART TRAINING FULL TIME. DURING HIS FORMATIVE ART SCHOOL YEARS HE BEGAN A LUCRATIVE T-SHIRT PAINTING BUSINESS RELATED TO THE HOT ROD AND CUSTOM CAR INDUSTRY CENTERED IN CALIFORNIA. HE DREW HIS INSPIRATIONS FROM SUCH INDUSTRY ICONS AS GEORGE BARRIS, “BIG DADDY” ROTH, RICK GRIFFIN (CREATOR OF MURPH THE SURF) AND OTHERS. WITH THE HELP OF HIS FAMILY HE ESTABLISHED HIMSELF AT CAR SHOWS AND STATE FAIRS AND PROSPERED ALMOST IMMEDIATELY.

IT WAS WHILE PAINTING T-SHIRTS AT MICHIGAN FAIR THAT STANLEY FIRST TURNED FROM CREATING “MONSTER CAR” SHIRTS TO IMAGES INSPIRED BY SUCH POP ACTS OF THE TIMES AS SMOKEY ROBINSON, THE TEMPTATIONS, THE SUPREMES, THE FOUR TOPS, MARVIN GAYE AND OTHER MOTOWN ACTS. HIS LIFELONG INTEREST IN RHYTHM AND BLUES MUSIC EXPLODED INTO THE CREATION OF MUSIC IMAGES UNLIKE ANY OF THAT HAD BEEN SEEN BEFORE.

IN THE EARLY 60’S THE LURE OF THE CALIFORNIA CULTURE CALLED AND STANLEY LANDED IN SAN FRANCISCO WHERE HE WAS IMMEDIATELY DRAWN TO THE EXCITEMENT AND ENERGY OF THE HAIGHT-ASHBURY SCENE. IMMERSED IN THE CULTURE AND MUSIC OF THE TIMES, STANLEY AND HIS COLLABORATOR ALTON KELLEY WERE COMMISSIONED TO CREATE MANY OF THE NOW CLASSIC POSTERS FOR THE AVALON BALLROOM AND FILLMORE AUDITORIUM. SINCE THIS WAS AN ERA BEFORE FM FREE FORM RADIO AND NEWSPAPER ADVERTISING OF ROCK DANCES, THESE POSTERS BECAME THE VEHICLE BY WHICH THE PHENOMENON OF ROCK CONCERT/DANCES GREW.

HIS ASSOCIATION WITH BILL GRAHAM AND CHET HELMS OF THE FILLMORE AND AVALON RESPECTIVELY LED MOUSE AND KELLEY TO NEW AREAS OF ARTISTIC EFFORT AND SUCCESS. ONE OF THEIR BIG BREAKTHROUGHS CAME WITH THE CREATION OF POSTER IMAGES FOR BIG BROTHER AND THE HOLDING COMPANY, WHICH EVENTUALLY BECAME THE JANIS JOPLIN SHOW. MOUSE’S WORK, UTILIZING MANY ASPECTS OF ART NOUVEAU STYLE AND THE INFLUENCE OF ALPHONSE MUCHA’S DISTINCTIVE DECORATIVE INVENTION AND SENSUOUS BEAUTY, REDEFINED THE ART OF POSTER. HE BECAME A MASTER OF POWERFUL YET PLAYFUL POSTER IMAGES.

MOUSE’S MOST FAMOUS WORK CAME FROM HIS PARTNERSHIP WITH KELLEY IN CREATING IMAGES ASSOCIATED WITH THE GRATEFUL DEAD, THE MOST SUCCESSFUL TOURING BAND EVER KNOWN. THEY INITIALLY PAID $50 TO PAINT THE POSTERS TO PROMOTE THE GROUP AT THE FILLMORE BUT BECAME, IN MANY WAYS, AS FAMOUS AS THE BAND THEY PROMOTED. THEIR COLLABORATION RESULTED IN THOUSANDS OF IMAGES INCLUDING THE TRADEMARK SKULL AND ROSES ICON WHICH WAS DESIGNED BASED ON AN EDMUND SULLIVAN ILLUSTRATION OF THE RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KHAYYAM.

THE PAIR ALSO FOUNDED MONSTER COMPANY, THE FIRST TO PRODUCE T-SHIRTS USING FOUR-COLOR PROCESS PRINTING TO CREATE A NEW INDUSTRY-WEARABLE ART. AMONG THEIR FIRST SHIRTS WERE GRATEFUL DEAD IMAGES THAT SOLD QUICKLY TO AN ALREADY ESTABLISHED MARKET OF “DEAD HEADS”. THEIR DESIGNS HAVE BECOME CLASSICS WITH A TIMELESS APPEAL FOR ALL GENERATIONS.

BY THE EARLY 80’S MOUSE HAD DECIDED TO EXPLORE HIS FINE ART IN NEW MEXICO, BUT THE GRATEFUL DEAD FAME FOLLOWED HIM. THE PUBLIC CONTINUED TO CLAMOR FOR MORE MOUSE IMAGES OF THE BAND AND THEIR MUSIC. ULTIMATELY HE RETURNED TO SAN FRANCISCO TO CONTINUE HIS ASSOCIATION WITH ROCK MUSIC AND ITS VISUAL LEGACY.

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One Response to “1981 Journey Captured”

  1. Robert said

    THANK YOU !

    For YEARS I have told my brother that the same guy who did the Dead album art did Journey’s.

    FINALLY! Corroboration!
    I’m sending him to this site- lots of great stuff here.

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