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Miles Davis – Tutu

Author: Colin | Published: 25/7/09

Miles Davis, Tutu

Miles Davis, Tutu

Miles Davis, Tutu

Miles Davis, Tutu

Miles Davis, Tutu

Artist Miles Davis
Title Tutu
Label Warner Bros Records
Year 1986
Designer Photographs by Irving Penn, art concept and design by Eiko Ishioka, design by Susan Welt
Music Jazz/not jazz
Notes Tutu was yet another Miles Davis album that set the cat among the pigeons. The purists were appalled by the synthetic textures and the lack of interaction between performers. The music was bold and modern and a step further on from the likes of the already modern Decoy and You’re Under Arrest. The cover reflects all of that and then some. 23 years on and this cover looks super modern to these eyes. Irving Penn’s photography is incredible: stark, bold and fearless just like his subject.

I love the typeface used for all of the titling, its angularity perfectly suits the music. Also striking, though perhaps a little less successful are the stickers which are applied vertically on the left side of the front and back outside cover. They’re stickers and not printed directly onto the sleeve. The colours are also great: the vivid red almost defiantly offsets and emphasises the black and white portrait. Likewise the lilac inner sleeve.

£6 in a Berwick Street record shop. I bought the original on tape, then bought the CD, have had it on mp3 for years and now back to the original and greatest version, the 12″ vinyl. It’s the only place to really experience the greatness of this design.


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