Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Police Wrapped Around Your Finger EP



I wanted to post this to show the contrast between what was marketed as a major label release and the previous post, which featured a single from Love and Rockets.

The Police were not quite at the end of their career when this came out, but no one really knew it was the end. Wrapped Around Your Finger peaked at number 8 and kept the Synchronicity album flying off the racks well into 1984.

I like the cover, but it shows what was important in the 1980s--the physical attributes of the band or the artist.

One thing I didn't know--the Police released their singles in one order for the US and in a different order for their British audience.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Love and Rockets If There's a Heaven Above Cover



You could devote an entire blog to the design aesthetic behind the album and single covers put out by Love and Rockets in the 1980s and 1990s.

The graphics for many of these releases relied upon the heart and rocket graphics and were masterfully rendered in numerous colors and formats. This EP represents just how minimalistic yet brilliant these choices were. In the 80's, everyone used garish hair, cheap colors, and excess to market and sell music. Love and Rockets existed in that quasi-underground world where one hit would drive them into the mainstream while a dozen or more great singles and releases languished on the shelves of indie stores.

Anyway, this is a brilliant track and I love how these covers hold up over time.

Monday, December 24, 2012

James Ring the Bells EP



In the early 1990s, James put out a string of classic albums and singles. Their recorded output is prolific enough to place them with the elite recording artists of their era, and they were more than a mere Britpop fad.

This EP is, I think, the first thing I've posted by James. It is a departure from the design sensibility that would appear with the single, colorful daisy image which, I think, defines the band.

There's nothing inherently wrong with this cover, other than the difficulty of reading the back of the single. Ring the Bells is a fantastic song.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dave Grohl and Bob Mould Live



Check out this whole clip of Bob Mould with Dave Grohl. An entire tour of this would satisfy a grateful nation.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Charlatans Crashin' In Single



The Charlatans were at the top of their game in 1995, and their self-titled fourth album ranks very highly as an artistic achievement because it firmly put their early work behind them and moved into a much more exciting time for the band. Sadly, this was the end of the contributions that the great Rob Collins would make--in a short time, he would pass away and the band would have to leave this era behind.

The single for Crashin' In features a great cover. The band is posed in a desperate way, seated on the curb and probably wishing they were somewhere else. The reluctant rock star look is not a bad way to go when you're on album number four and what is probably your fifteenth or sixteenth single.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Tenacity of Suede


I'm impressed with how tenacious and dedicated Suede have been in recent years. They have fought their way back, writing and then scrapping songs, going back to an honest version of their sound, and giving their fans something to hope for. With Oasis, Blur, and almost everyone else having given up or turned their backs on new music or mired in confusion, Suede are out there, playing and trying to make things work.

Is it really that important to "break" in America? I have no idea if Suede can come to the States and tour extensively and see enough interest to make it worth their while. I would imagine that there is a plan to play in America next year and try to break through. Their efforts to do so in the 90s were honest enough, but they never reach Radiohead status and they remain a European band.

My firm belief is that the whole legal mess over having to call themselves "The London Suede" broke their ambition here, and I think it hurt The Charlatans UK as well to have to kowtow to some ridiculous rule and the vanity of some defunct Sixties musicians. Let's hope that if Suede does get a chance to come across the pond that they can leave that whole "London Suede" thing behind them.