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  • seandodson 4:37 pm on October 26, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: blur, clash, , , led zeppelin, mike oldfield, , , peter saville, pink floyd, primal scream, record sleeves, rolling stones,   

    Classic album cover designs as postage stamps 

    Album Art - Block new Just love these classic album covers set out as a set of postage stamps. Particularly delighted at the inclusion of New Order’s Power, Corruption and Lies which was designed by the great Peter Saville. Inevitably there’s some great covers missing. At least two odd choices too: the inclusion of both Pink Floyd’s the Division Bell and Led Zeppelin IV (top left and bottom centre respectively). To my mind, neither sleeve is a classic while Dark Side of the Moon and Led Zeppelin would seem much better choices. It’s still a nice set, mind. Sure to be as successful as last year’s British Design Classics when it’s released in early January.

    According to the Royal Mail:

    This issue celebrates the work of the album sleeve designer, not the music. Royal Mail began with very extensive research of existing lists and polls of ‘Greatest Album Covers’ in books, music press and the web. This trawl of literally thousands of albums uncovered many that were common to most lists.

    The editors of three of the UK’s most influential music publications together with a number of graphic designers and design writers were asked to independently list the most significant album sleeve artwork used on records by British artists.

    Royal Mail reviewed all the research to assemble a shortlist of albums that spanned the decades from the 1960s. Some albums could not be included for operational reasons (for instance, designs that were too dark), after final deliberation the ten albums were arrived at.

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    • ian - Norvic 10:12 pm on November 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the link to our site. We have now added a page where people can buy the stamps and all the other products which may not be available in local POs.

      Dark Side of the Moon has been cited on many blogs and websites, but sadly its appeal is its problem – it would be too dark to show a postmark, which is probably why it was not chosen.

    • Rob 4:40 pm on December 7, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      The Division Bell artwork is much more aesthetically pleasing than The Dark Side of the Moon artwork in my honest opinion, and considering it too was designed by Storm Thorgerson, I think it’s a justified inclusion.

  • seandodson 8:02 pm on June 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , martin hannett, peter saville, unknown pleasures, unknown pleasures at 30   

    Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures at 30 

    This week see the 30th anniversary of the release of Joy Division’s debut album, Unknown Pleasures. Somewhat surprisingly, to me at least, the New Musical Express has published an anniversary “special” featuring interviews with the surviving members (sadly not online), which we can probably take as a sign that the nation’s 16/17 year olds still think Joy Division matter an awful lot. Which is amazing for an album that peaked at number 71 in the album charts on its initial release.

    The album was recorded in the winter of 1979 in an unheated studio in Stockport and it captures the mood of imposing decay of Northern Britain with its austere and dark production. Unknown Pleasures is firmly fixed in a time and place: the Manchester of the late seventies, and yet its appeal endures.

    At the time Jon Savage, writing in Melody Maker in 1979, praised, ” Joy Division’s spatial, circular themes and Martin Hannett’s shiny, waking-dream production gloss. …. [a] perfect reflection of Manchester’s dark spaces and empty places: endless sodium lights and hidden semis seen from a speeding car, vacant industrial sites – the endless detritus of the 19th century – seen gaping like rotten teeth from an orange bus.”

    In remains, to my mind, one of the greatest albums of all time. From the deliciously minimalist cover designed by Peter Saville (which was recently parodied as a Pelican Classic, above right) to the equally minimal, and haunting, production by Martin Hannett, to the ten beautifully crafted songs which simply refuse to date. We are still in its axis, musically at least. Think of this way, we are as far away in time from Unknown Pleasures as Joy Division were from the music of Perry Cormo and Frankie Laine and yet still it features on the front cover of the music press.

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  • seandodson 9:28 am on January 22, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: antonio gramsci, , , estorick collection, fascist, futurism, futurism anniversary, futurism at 100, futurist manifesto, luigi russolo, new statesman, peter saville, , public enermy, soviet union, the art of noise   

    Back to the future: Futurism at 100 

    image_permanent_russolo Have enjoyed the New Statesman’s Owen Hatherley recent essay on the Futurist art momement, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this February. He writes:

    “Peter Saville borrowed a Depero design for the cover for New Order’s debut album, Movement, and in many respects futurism’s legacy has been more visible in pop music than in fine art. The 1980s group the Art of Noise took their name from Luigi Russolo’s 1913 manifesto of futurist noise-music, “The Art of Noises”, which proposed the harnessing of industrial and electronic sounds, and their percussive mesh of samples and stabs in turn had a huge effect on 1980s hip- hop acts such as Public Enemy.”

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  • seandodson 11:59 am on December 9, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , peter saville, unknown plesures   

    Peter Saville: On the designing of Unknown Pleasures and other great moments in 20th century design 

    on my desk # 25

    Originally uploaded by japanese forms

    Arkitip has a new video interview with Peter Saville, the great Mancunian designer. It shows the mock-ups of Unknown Pleasures, the first Joy Division album, where the famous diagram of an image of a pulsar, taken from the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Astronomy, had originally been rendered as a three-dimensional model (see right). Moreover, the a couple of versions of the said model still exist.


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    • japanese forms 11:55 am on December 29, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Glad that you liked my photograph enough to use it for your post. Nonetheless, I would have liked to have been informed beforehand. I gladly give permission for use my photos but I like to know where there being posted.
      Anyhow, thanks for the credit and links.

      On the Arkitip article: I suppose you know that there’s also the special Saville edition magazine available. If not, you can see it here .

      japanese forms

    • japanese forms 11:57 am on December 29, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Oops ! – where there being posted. – of course, i mean where THEY ARE being posted.

      I hate making stupid mistakes like that.


  • seandodson 10:26 am on August 15, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , mike garry, peter saville, , ,   

    The deification of Tony Wilson 

    It’s a year since Tony Wilson, the cofounder of Factory Records, died of cancer in Manchester.

    Fellow Mancunian Mike Garry has written this poem dedicated to him. An ode to St Tony of Manchester. I won’t republish the whole thing here – but please click through as it’s an excellent poem. The first six verses give you a good flavour. You can also watch a spoken word performance of the poem here, it’s from the end of the recent Tony Wilson Experience. Factory’s design guru, Peter Saville, gives a little speech; Wilson’s son gets on the stage in for an emotional moment and then Garry comes on.

    A poem for Anthony H Wilson

    Saint Anthony
    Saint Anthony
    Please come round
    Something is lost that can’t be found

    Talk to me of Albion Anderton
    Albrecht and art
    The Arndale
    Alan Turin
    Acid House
    Alexandra Park

    Bez the Buzzcocks bouncing bombs
    The beautiful Busby Babes
    Cancer Christies Catholicism
    Crack and Curt Cocaine

    Talk to me of all these things and one thing is for certain
    I’ll see the face I’ll hear the voice of Anthony H Wilson

    Dance Design Devotto Durrutti
    Development of an industrial dirty Northern City
    De La Salle
    And how in the end you hated the pity

    Elvis Engels ecstasy
    A girl called Emmeline
    The hours I spent watching you on my black and white TV.
    From So It Goes To Sunday Roast
    Elephants washed by dwarves on 1970’s TV

    Factory fame financial fuck ups
    Poetic Form
    The Fall
    4 June 1976 at the Lesser Free Trade Hall

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  • seandodson 6:28 pm on June 21, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , brian cox, , ernest rutherford, , , , happy mondays, intelligent, john cooper clarke, , kevin cummins, , , , peter saville, physics, , , , tony wilson experience   

    The Tony Wilson Experience: a 24-hour intelligent conversation live from Manchester 

    Just been listening to the Tony Wilson Experience, a 24-hour long conversation celebrating the late, great music Tony Wilson, musical Svengali and proud Mancunian. Wilson died of cancer last year and today would have been his 58th birthday. Loads of good people on the bill: John Cooper Clarke, Clint Boon, Irvine Welsh, Paul Morley, Peter Hook et al. You can tune in to the live stream over here.

    Update: I’ve been enjoying a curmudgeonly Kevin Cummins bemoan the fate of the rock photographer. Cummings thinks that user-generated content is just a way for newspapers to “get a load of free content”. He’s dismissive of the generation of photographers coming out of sites like Flickr. He said: the newspapers “don’t care about quality. It’s quantity that they want.” He also said that blogs were mostly “just middle class letters pages.”

    Even later: It is nearly 1PM and it’s getting really belligerent. The Manc poet John Cooper Clarke is on stage. He just recited his famous haiku:

    To convey one’s mood,
    in seventeen syllables,
    is very diffic…

    The intelligence finally ran out about 3am. The Happy Mondays were on a panel and someone in the audience mentioned Stella Grundy, who I assume is Shaun Ryder’s ex-partner from the way he reacted. The guy in the audience was being provocative, but the reaction of the Monday’s, particularly Bez, was somewhat stereotypical. The guy was threatened from the stage (“you are fucking dead”, was the precise quote and worst was said after that) and for a moment I thought that it was all about to kick off. And then, the security intervened and started escorting the bloke out of the venue. Brilliantly, the Mondays then changed their tune and started berating the bouncers to let the man stay in the building. It was all rather touching and probably what Tony would have wanted.

    Thankfully, after a sleep, I awake to find the conversation has got much more intelligent again. This is much more like a more belligerent (I keep using that word) version of Radio 4. For the final conversation we’ve got Steven Morris, Peter Saville and physicist Brian Cox discussing the secrets of the universe. He reminded us how important Manchester has been to our understanding of the universe, and that the atomic nucleus had been discovered up on Oxford Road by Ernest Rutherford.

    That’s it. The poet Mike Garry has just read his poem Saint Anthony, and there’s talk of another one next year. I hope so. It was really good an pretty intelligent all the way through.

    • stella grundy 6:09 pm on June 23, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      To whoever wrote this. My name is Stella Grundy. I am a playwrite. and Ex front woman for the Band Intastella. I was invited to speak at the Tony Wison Experience about my experiences as as an artist over the past 20 years along with John Cooper Clarke and Alan Wise . I was attacked by Shaun Ryder because I asked him a question about music he didnt like. I am NOT his Ex girlfreind !!! Women in music are not just wifes and girlfriends.

    • seandodson 7:19 pm on June 23, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Sorry Stella, as I said that was an asuumption. I had actually listened to a lot of the talk when you were on the panel and not heard your altercation with Shaun Ryder and assumed it was about something else, my mistake. No one though is saying that womein in music are just wives and girlfriends. Just click on my Last FM link if you don’t believe me


    • rantersparadise 7:16 pm on June 25, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      R.I.P Tony.

    • alexhough 9:09 pm on July 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Has there been any evaluation of the event? Will it be public?

      The Tony Wilson Experience website has some wonderful images but no forum: neither does it facilitate ‘social networking’ by making content re-usable for bloggers (the fanzine producers of today, and writers of tomorrow?). Rather, the cut and paste aesthetic of punk, house music and the appropriation which so inspired Factory (the name itself appropriated from Warhol) seems to be absent.

      Cameras and mobile phones were banned from the event “The entire conversation is being recorded in HD. It will not be permitted to take any cameras, mobile phones or other recording/communication” – Participant Handbook e-mailed to participants.

      To the ‘talent’ I spoke to over the course of the event, the following objective taken from the website did not seem to ring true:

      “The Talent will gain unprecedented access to the ‘Experienced’ over the 24 hours as well as having an opportunity to meet other talented creatives based in Manchester in a unique setting. ”

      It became apparent that the ‘Experienced’ hung out in the Green Room, guarded by a security guard, while the ‘talent’ either made up a studio audience watching the ‘expereinced’ or sat about talking between themselves.

      Given that situationism was given such an airing as a core value of the event, the reduction of the event to a spectacle resembling a TV show sometimes seemed to be either ill considered or at others a subtle ironic gesture designed to anger ‘talent’ to overthrow the ‘experienced’ – now part of the establishment. Either way of looking at it has merit in my opinion.

      Perhaps it is a case of what seemed to be television professionals organising an event the way that they know best. The event was it was highly efficiently scheduled and at times interesting entertainment as well as inspiring and thought provoking. Paul Morley and Irvine Welsh were so spot on when they were talking about anything edgy being co-opted by the advertising industry. The pictures of the event seem to have been a particularly good viral marketing campaign for Adidas thanks to the Adidas lanyard.

      It would have been nice to offer up the pictures for ‘talent’ to use to write their own experiences up, and to talk about the event. I would have loved to read what some of Simon Armatige’s fans, eager on Sunday morning to meet the hero, whose poem they studied for GCSE.

      It would have been nice to put the video on YouTube like the famous TED talks: young talent has taken to remixing footage and applying the cut an paste aesthetic. These are skills and passions which should be encouraged, and I think that the organisers have missed an opportunity to allow talent to flourish from this event.

      At the end of the event I stood in URBIS looking at the space between the door and the Green Room. What would happen there I wondered.

      A flag was rolled out on the floor. It was the cross of St George. In the left corner was Stone Roses / Pollock pattern. Tony Wilson’s son signed it, so did Bonehead and John Robb. Tim Burgess did as well. I thought about signing it, but didn’t. Unfortunately Paul Morley was not around to observe the situation for critical analysis. I would have loved to hear what he thought.

    • breedoMof 7:03 pm on September 22, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Perfect news.., dude

  • seandodson 7:56 am on June 13, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , peter saville, zune   

    New Dawn Fades: Microsoft’s Zune appropriates the spirit of Joy Division 

    First sight of the limited edition Joy Division Zune. Only available in the US. Obviously not good in the rain. Designed by Factory’s Peter Saville.

    • zune accessories 11:49 pm on June 30, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Great read, thanks for sharing! I love my Zune so far, I have an iPod too but I find myself using my Zune more often.

      If anyone needs Zune accessories check these guys out, they have great prices.

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