Archive for the ‘Design crazy’ Category

Ultravox ‘The Voice’ Spanish 7″ single (Chrysalis, CHS-2559, 1981)

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Nothing especially exotic when it comes to the musical content of this 45, fine as it is nevertheless – very much Ultravox mark II at the high water mark of their splendidly noir pomp. The A and B sides match the UK release, the former being an edited version of the LP cut, the latter one of Ultravox’s mark II’s best ever B sides, IMHO, with Warren Cann on lead vocals. No, the chief attraction of this 45 is the cover, which broke with the tradition of most territories equivalent releases by ditching the (admittedly very good) Peter Saville (or Estudio Saville, as his nom de plume would have it on this outing) design – instead, the cover features one of photographer Brian Griffin‘s sumptuous shots from the ‘Rage In Era’ period, Ultravox in a timeless retro style in front of a vanishing point horizon. It did at least keep a similar in vein ‘brush script’ style typeface for the titles, the A side of which is also translated as ‘La Voz’ for this release. There does also seem to be another Spanish 7″ edition that features the regular picture sleeve design, it may be a promo only affair though? This is the one for me though.

Ultravox, 'The Voice' ('La Voz') Spanish 7 inch single front cover design

^ Ultravox, ‘The Voice’ (‘La Voz’) Spanish 7 inch single front cover design


Siouxsie and the Banshees ‘The Peel Sessions 1977-1978’ 7″ coloured vinyl EP (Strange Fruit, 677002)

Friday, April 4th, 2014

An odd little curio, two tracks apiece from the bands first two Peel sessions jumbled up on this 7″ EP that sells itself on the packaging to the max, with a mish-mash of Banshees eras; early, pre-Polydor recordings with a Kaleidoscope/JuJu era? Siouxsie pic and typeface logo from the ‘Kiss In The Dreamhouse’ era – topped off with light blue marbled vinyl for the disc itself. Both sessions from which the tracks were culled had already been out before on 12″, cassette and CD some years earlier, with the plainer, more interchangeable, generic style sleeve designs and subsequently various outings for Banshees BBC material. A rougher and rawer Banshees sound before Steve Lillywhite’s production touch and ‘space’…

Siouxsie and the Banshees - The Peel Sessions 1977-78 7 inch EP front cover

^ Siouxsie and the Banshees - The Peel Sessions 1977-78 7 inch EP front cover


Brian Eno – David Byrne, ‘My Life In The Bush of Ghosts’ UK LP (EG Records, EGLP48, 1981)

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

There’s nothing new I can bring to the subject of this album, such is the level to which it has been, depending on your point of view, celebrated, name-checked, referenced, over-hyped, over-analysed and generally been given more than its fair share of attention since release. Whether you think it is some seminal piece of work that more or less single-handedly ushered in the era of sampling or is some over-trumpeted slice of faux-ethnic cultural imperialism, it is what it is and if you’ve not already heard it I urge you to approach with fresh ears and give it a spin.

What I can add though is some version craziness. Well, perhaps not craziness. But enough to pen something on. I’m not going to touch upon the pre-history of the album and the bootleg version – much, but not all, of that surfaced officially with the 2006 re-release of the album in the shape of bonus tracks. What didn’t appear though was one of the tracks that was part of the original album release, ‘Qu’Ran’. Another thing that has gone AWOL over the years is the good taste of the original Peter Saville sleeve design, which I attempt to capture in some small part in the accompanying photos here.

Brian Eno - David Byrne, 'My Life In The Bush of Ghosts' UK LP front cover design

^ Brian Eno - David Byrne, 'My Life In The Bush of Ghosts' UK LP front cover design


Button badge goodness: Xmal Deutschland

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Another helping of vintage button badge goodness to bring a dash of post-punk style to any jacket/bag badge mount of choice – this time around courtesy of blog semi-regulars, Xmal Deutschland. Spanning various eras, 4AD and beyond, these were all bought back in the day – I managed to see Xmal play live a couple of times, in support of the Stranglers and headlining when promoting the ‘Viva’ tour, and damn fine they were too.

Xmal Deutschland badge design - grey/red 'Matador' era

^ Xmal Deutschland badge design - grey/red 'Matador' era


Ultravox! – ‘ROckwrok’ West German 7″ single (Island, 11 655 AT), 1977

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

Another tasty West German picture sleeve design that differed markedly from the UK issue – whether that was to John Foxx’s satisfaction is unlikely, given that the original UK issue was designed by him and showcases what are now classic John Foxx design traits in its cut-up and juxtaposed figures. But this sleeve keeps with some kind of low-tech xerox style if nothing else, in lurid red and black. The flimsy, glossy paper used for the sleeve means that tracking down mint copies is especially difficult.

Ultravox 'ROckwrok' West German 7 inch single front sleeve design

^ Ultravox 'ROckwrok' West German 7 inch single front sleeve design