Okay, it's the truth...I have always loved owls...I think they're one of the coolest birds ever. They (in my fevered brain) sorta combine the best features of both bats (silent swooping creatures of the night) with noble raptors (falcons, hawks & eagles)...plus they're so fluffy and head-spinning :D
My Mom must have passed down this love for owls, as she had a small collection of porcelain and china owl figurines. I knew this and therefore one day circa Fall of 1976 as I was perusing the vinyl albums at the DAVID's store in Wichita (DAVID's was like a local K-Mart) I chanced upon a copy of RUSH's sophomore album FLY BY NIGHT. I wanted it because I was in love with the Canadian trio's fourth lp: 2110 and wanted more of their discography. So, I bought the album for myself and framed the album jacket for my Mom...CAUSE IT HAD A MONDO COOL painting of an owl. Yeah, that's what I did (wish I still had it; the framed cover, I still have the album, though now on CD)
But this first piece of art (immediately below) is from a band that I have tried to "get into" but just have not yet warmed up to. I've been listening almost exclusively to Space Rock & psychedelia (ala Hawkwind and Litmus) as well as doom metal/sludge/stoner rock (ala Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Witchcraft, Orchid etc) for about the last 6 weeks or so. Somebody recommended the DEFTONES. I've sorta tried, but just haven't appreciated them (yet). But still, this cover art for their much lauded 2010 album Diamond Eyes (below) is pretty nifty.
I've already told you about this cool art on the 1975 RUSH lp FLY BY NIGHT but you should also be aware that the music is stellar. 'By-tor and the Snow Dog,' 'Rivendell,' and 'Anthem' are great tracks (to accompany the omnipresent 'Fly by Night' which is played too frequently on FM oldies radio). No self-respecting RUSH fan would miss having this album in his collection (well, actually, since ALL RUSH fans are obsessive about these demi-gods, ALL RUSH albums must be in their collections)
Last, but not least...in fact the GREATEST album of the three is BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST's 1977 lp GONE TO EARTH. I will talk specifically about this album a few months from now when I wind down to my FAVORITE Rock/Pop Bands Ever. BJH is in the top-three (I won't tell you which position they hold...ahhh...suspense) But nonetheless it's a beautiful painting of an owl swooping down at late afternoon; very pastoral and English countryside-ish. I include one of John Lees (BJH's guitarist and main song-writers) songs from this wonderful album.