Simple Minds Sidebar 1: Ranking The Cover Art [part 3]

ALBUM 6: New Gold Dream [81, 82, 83, 84] | 1982| designer: Assorted iMaGes

simple minds - new gold dreamUKLPA

Virgin Records | UK | LP | V 2230

Back cover

Back cover

Last post had a comment from Echorich stating that “Malcolm Garret had his finger of the pulse of the 80s.” With their next album, one might be tempted to say the same… except it more accurately reflected the 1380s! The cover of “New Gold Dream” made an incredibly bold statement at the time. Who else in their right minds would release an album that looked like it belonged in the sacred music section of the store, yet was the work of a Post-Punk band at the acme of their powers?

Designer Malcolm Garrett had tread lightly on this Pre-Reformation aesthetic with the cover of the pre-release single, “Promised You A Miracle.”

simople minds - promisedyouamiracleUK12A

The calligraphic fonts, the handmade paper, and the cross formée were but a hop, skip and a jump from the full blown sacre coeur crucifix as found in France. The use of the metallic fifth color on the sleeve, managed to take it way over the top. I have to admit that I still don’t have the original UK pressing of this. Mainly because the US pressing went far in taking it to the extremes that paid off in spades. The US pressing was on transparent vinyl with marbleized burgundy and gold shot through the vinyl. And it was a $6.98 list price! If there were any imports in US stores, I never saw them.

A+M Records | US | LP | 1982 | SP-6-4928

The US edition trumped the original in almost every way. The labels were night and day superior, with the art department of A+M Records taking the time to build on the overall look in a dramatic way. Compare the UK labels to the US one.

UK  labels

UK labels

US labels

US labels

You might think “game over,” but wait… there’s more. Now how much would you pay?

US inner sleeve

US inner sleeve

The US inner sleeve was on gold paper like the UK pressing [can’t find an image, sorry], but the US sleeve featured the lyrics in a clever layout that managed to make this album a powerful, cohesive whole that threatens to go over the top. All of this looks like so much hyperbole, but not after you’ve heard the album within that package! I’ll never forget the first time I bought this and brought it home to play. I was thunderstruck by the synergy between the music and packaging. Over the ensuing 33 years, I’m even more in awe of the music, which stands alone as an even more spectacular achievement than the admittedly fine design work.

There is a single dramatic variant of this plush, albeit Christian-oriented cover art. When Non-Alignment Pact member state Yugoslavia licensed the album, the state run Jugoton label balked at this and remixed the cover art into something a little more secular.

Jugoton Records | YUGOSLAVIA | LP | LSVIRG 11016

Jugoton Records | YUGOSLAVIA | LP | LSVIRG 11016

Next: …More covers to go [I’ll try to hurry]

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | media design • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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9 Responses to Simple Minds Sidebar 1: Ranking The Cover Art [part 3]

  1. Echorich says:

    I think the album art for New Gold Dream fits well with the direction the music took here. Much of NGD is haunting and quite spiritual – not necessarily religious. NDG finds Simple Minds exploring the depth of music and emotions and the seriousness of the music is reflected well in Garrett’s art direction. “Synergy” is the perfect word Monk!

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  2. Brian Ware says:

    No need to hurry Mr. Monk, take your time. I’m enjoying this bonus content immensely! I remember Bob Ponder playing NGD for me at Retro Records for the first time. So much amazing music to process In 1982, but I knew immediately that this was something very special indeed.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Brian Ware – I’m trying to remember if NGD was the 2nd or 3rd Simple Minds record that I bought. “Sweat In Bullet” 2×7″ was definitely the first, but I think that I bought the US 12″ of “Promised You A Miracle” a few weeks before the album was released. I remember picking that one up in the record store in the Factory Outlet Mall, as I recall. What was the name of that store? Do you remember?

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  3. Brian Ware says:

    I only went to the Factory Outlet Mall once and that was in the late 80s. Could it have been Record Bar?

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Brian Ware – Maybe. I can see the logo and it looks familiar. I thought I sent you over there earlier than that to pick up that stray US Chrysalis “Hey Little Girl” 12″ I’d seen at one point.

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      • Brian Ware says:

        I remember picking up that record but don’t remember it being at the Factory Outlet. Could that have been one of the stores at the Florida Mall? Maybe even Camelot?

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  4. Nisei says:

    The lyrics on the inner sleeve were the original design made by Garret and not by A&M. However, Jim Kerr preferred not to have the lyrics printed so the UK release omitted them. Every other European release did have the same inner sleeve as printed above though.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Nisei – Welcome to the comments! Ah, so Garrett designed the inner sleeve, then, as part of the package? That makes sense. It looked too nice [and integrative] to have been an ambitious bit of work from the local label.

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      • Nisei says:

        Thanks. Glad to have found this blog.
        Yes, that’s correct.
        Well, A&M did do a great job on the label for the gold/purple vinyl US release!
        It looks great in contrast to the colored vinyl. However, I do think that on black vinyl it would look kinda dark and not really suit the rest of the design (I don’t know if the same label was ever used on black vinyl releases). The only thing I dislike about the UK label is that he left aligned the text which makes it off balance.
        Oh by the way, only first pressings of the UK release had the gold inner sleeve. Later releases had a purple inner sleeve which can be seen here:

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