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'R. Crumb: The Complete Record Cover Collection'

New book features illustrator's music-related work
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Reprinted from R. Crumb: The Complete Record Cover Collection. Copyright © 2011 by Robert Crumb. With the permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

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'Cheap Thrills,' Big Brother & the Holding Company

Crumb's most famous cover, for this 1968 album by Janis Joplin's band, was completed in one all-night drawing session for $600. The album was originally titled Sex, Dope and Cheap Thrills, but the record company didn't like it. No one was thrilled with the original cover image, either – a photo of the band lying naked in bed together – so they contacted the artist. "I just did it as a work for hire," says Crumb, who was making a name for himself at the time as one of the original underground cartoonists of Zap Comix. Crumb drew this montage as the back cover, but Joplin and the record company agreed to use it on the front. "Janis used to come around, smoke pot, talk about the comics," he recalls. "She was nice." 

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