Wednesday 20 February 2013

It's all about the music

LP artwork of the 1970s. A golden age of graphic design in music.

Well not for John Martyn it wasn't, whose record company commissioned a consistent run of absolute shockers.
 Bless the Weather (1971).                                                         
                                                                Sunday's Child (1975).

Bless the Weather and Sunday's Child are just plain lazy. "Stick his head in the middle, with the name at the top and the title below. Next!"
The compilation album So Far So Good tries to make this a bit more interesting by using a painting but the effect is very A-Level Art submission in acrylics.

 One World (1977). Art and design by Tony Wright.

One world takes the illustration approach further and we end up in Camden market territory. It’s worth remembering he was signed to Island in this period and worked with Lee Perry and the Upsetters on One World. The artwork is crying out for some influence from reggae design, to reflect the musical hybridity inside.

Solid Air (1973). Cover photo: John Webster.

Solid Air is actually a good cover, but when you know it’s been chosen to illustrate a 'paradox' it leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Especially when you know what’s coming next…

 Inside Out (1973). Design by Visualeyes.

… because you see the outside is on the inside of John, yeah? That’s the kind of guy he is.