Naked Vinyl front cover

Naked Vinyl front cover

By Tim O’Brien and Mike Savage
Published in 2002 by Universe Publishing

As a fan of cheesecake and vinyl records, I had high expectations for this book.

The album covers reproduced in Naked Vinyl are nicely printed on glossy paper and the decision to reduce the album images to the size of a 45 was a good one. Full-sized reproductions would make the book only suitable for a coffee table, but the reduced size still makes the images large enough to appreciate all of a record’s detail.

The book begins with a brief introduction to the galleries to follow with short explanations of stag, party, comedy, and exotica records. Unfortunately, the introduction is all too brief and not particularly informative. The galleries that follow are arranged in a mostly chronological order beginning in 1950s and ending in the 1980s.

Curiously, this is one book where I wish the illustrations were left to themselves without commentary.  Or at least, I wish that the album covers included different commentary.  My biggest complaint with this book is insightful information is given short shrift over corny jokes.  The commentary would be much improved if it told me more about the artists, the music on the records, or even the art direction on the covers.

Overall though, this is a good book and a nice reference for collectors of cheesecake vinyl.