While the last 162 days have been about focusing on the music of Simple Minds, as a graphic designer, the notion of their cover art was deemed unimportant to the task at hand, yet I cannot end this mega-thread without at least a few words about their choice of album packaging.
ALBUM 1: Life In A Day | 1979| designer: Carole Moss
The packaging for the band’s debut was a very dated looking pastiche of a Hipgnosis cover from the early-mid seventies. Right down to the hand colored B+W photo on the albums’ back side. The heavily airbrushed cover almost has a kind of early Genesis vibe to it, which makes sense knowing that Kerr and Burchill were such fans. It really sticks out llike a sore thumb in the 1979 New Wave scene with none of the common tropes of that era used, save for the image of the venetian blinds that were used on the inner sleeve. This was not a cover that would have invited me to investigate had I encountered it in real-time.
ALBUM 2: Real To Real Cacophony | 1979| designer: Paul Henry
An impenetrable cover for some equally impenetrable music. The textured original pressing cover eludes me. My first encounter was with the 1982 Virgin Germany LP pressing. Heck, I didn’t even know about it until 2012! The solid blue field with only an inscrutable grid of losenge-shaped indentations to distinguish it was completely where they needed to be for their rebirth into Post-Punk. This was a sleeve that sat handily next to its possible inspiration, Talking Heads’ “Fear Of Music,” which preceded it in the marketplace of ideas by a scant three months. It’s almost too short a time for the Grammy-winning Heads’ cover to have been an influence, given the complexities in producing such a cover. It may be a case of something in the air. Next: …More Covers