HARDHOUND

Banned Manics sleeve proves paint still has power to shock (The Guardian)

Author: Colin | Published: 15/5/09

manic-street-preachers-jo-0021

The impact the Manic Street Preachers album cover has made raises the interesting possibility that hand-made, painterly images now have more power to shock than conceptual artworks…

via The banned Manics sleeve proves that paint still has the power to shock | Music | guardian.co.uk.

Fennesz – Black Sea

Author: Colin | Published: 9/5/09
Previous Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Dazzle Ships Next Banned Manics sleeve proves paint still has power to shock (The Guardian)

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fennesz-black-sea

fennesz-black-sea

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Artist Fennesz
Title Black Sea
Label Touch
Year 2008
Designer Design and photography by Jon Wozencroft
Music Gorgeous/melancholic/brooding
Notes I visited the wonderful Rough Trade record shop on Brick Lane today. Browsing the racks I saw this record on a small Touch display. It’s an absolutely lovely thing. If you think the images look rather dark that’s how the sleeve actually appears. Using Photoshop and Lightroom I was very careful to get the colours and tones right (well, at least as they appear on my MacBook Pro screen)*. The photographs match the music perfectly and significantly enrich the experience. There are two fewer tracks than the CD version, but that’s okay. Interestingly, they are named in grey on the white section of the the inner sleeve – you can just see the titles in the last image, above. My only small wish would be that Black Sea had been released on heavyweight vinyl, less for any supposed audiophile reasons than that the sense of weight would have accorded with the visual and sonic experience.* Even though you know that this sleeve is 12″ x 12″, these pictures still lack a sense of scale, something I have to work on.

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Dazzle Ships

Author: Colin | Published: 6/5/09
Previous Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Architecture & Morality Next Fennesz – Black Sea

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Dazzle Ships

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Dazzle Ships

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Dazzle Ships

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Dazzle Ships

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Dazzle Ships

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Dazzle Ships

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Dazzle Ships

Artist Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
Title Dazzle Ships
Label Telegraph (Virgin)
Year 1983
Designer M. Garrett, K. Kennedy, P. Pennington, P. Saville, B. Wickens for Peter Saville Associates
Music Electronic popular music
Notes The final OMD sleeve we’re featuring and the last great – arguably greatest – album by the Liverpool duo. After this they pulled away from experimentation to head off into pretty much undiluted pop territory, leaving behind the shortwave transmissions, fog horns, sirens and static forever.Saville’s choice of dazzle camouflage is inspired and inspiring. The choice of vivid pink for highlights and track titles echoes the use of contrast on the group’s debut, as do the die-cut holes, this time referencing portholes on the outer sleeve. The one perplexing element is the slightly unresolved view of the map on the inner gatefold through these portholes. Otherwise, the yellow/pink inner sleeve that crosses the graphic map as it’s removed or inserted into the cover is a pleasure that mirrors the experience of the eponymous debut and Architecture & Morality. Surely this sense of physical interaction provided inspiration for Olaf Bender/Raster Noton.

These small images can only do meagre justice to the monumental impression that the physical originals impart. We’d highly recommend you grab yourself a copy on eBay or via your local secondhard record emporium.

Here’s a certain Thames-moored battleship decked in dazzle camouflage which even now helps it to blend into its background…

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Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Architecture & Morality

Author: Colin | Published: 4/5/09
Previous Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark Next Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Dazzle Ships

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Artist Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
Title Architecture & Morality
Label Dindisc
Year 1981
Designer Peter Saville and Brett Wickens
Music Electronic popular music
Notes Here’s the second of the three classic OMD sleeves. The missing one is the group’s second release, Organisation, which though elegant, lacks the interest of the other designs. As with the other two, the die-cut sleeve encourages interaction by providing two variations depending on which way the inner sleeve is inserted. The sheer poise in the marriage of type, image and red bar is delightful. The typography is a central device here rather than something to be hidden away as on the group’s debut. The red bar that acts as visual RSJ looks very familiar…

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Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

Author: Colin | Published: 2/5/09
Previous Website improvements Next Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Architecture & Morality

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

Artist Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
Title Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
Label Dindisc
Year 1980
Designer Ben Kelly and Peter Saville
Music Electronic popular music
Notes We’re not generally focused upon archival releases, as we believe that there’s still a huge amount of brilliant recent work to feature. Having said that, there are some designs that demand to be featured and refuse to take no for an answer…Peter Saville is justly celebrated for his designs for Joy Division. However, his work for three of Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark’s first four albums is just as remarkable and we’ll be featuring it here in the next three posts. This is the cover for the first pressing of the group’s debut and it’s an absolutely thrilling design. The die-cut latticework is striking, both reducing and emphasising the sleeve’s physicality, while the vivacity of the blue and orange continues to promote a real sense of modernity 30 years later.

As with the Joy Division sleeves, Saville is clearly interested in reducing textual noise to a minimum, to which end all copy is hidden on one side of the inner sleeve border. The first image shows the front side with the sticker (surely imposed by the record company), but it’s the rear image that shows the design to best effect. Ben Kelly is co-credited with Saville, the specific nature of each designer’s contribution isn’t known.

According to discogs, further pressings consisted of the following variations:
Second: 10,000 copies comes in 12×12 die-cut grid with black outer and pink inner sleeve.
Third: 10,000 copies comes in 10×10 die-cut grid with gray outer and orange inner sleeve.
Fourth: 10,000 copies comes in 10×10 die-cut grid with blue outer and orange inner sleeve.
After: 40,000 copies comes in 12×12 non die-cut sleeve.

Next: Architecture & Morality, then Dazzle Ships…

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