Here’s the latest addition to my series of prints of classic albums as if they’d been written as books instead of songs. It’s Peter Gabriel’s 1986 album ‘So’.
Listening to it now, almost 30 years after its release, it still sounds as musically interesting as it ever did. It has a denseness and a sparseness too. Simultaneously.
There’s some nice contributions from Kate Bush, and also from Laurie Anderson on the final track ‘This is the Picture (Excellent Birds)’, although I personally prefer the version on her album ‘Mister Heartbreak’. Ah yes, final track… this is a bone of contention…
There are various track orders, between the original vinyl release (which I owned, and which ended perfectly I’ve always felt with the spooky ‘We Do What We’re Told (Milgram’s 37)’). Then there’s the almost-simultaneous CD release, which has the Laurie Anderson track at the end - this is the track order I’ve chosen for this print, mostly because it’s the physical version of the album the majority of people will have heard it first on. Then there’s the reissue, and the whole thing about Peter Gabriel wanting ‘In Your Eyes’ to end the album, and… well, one can get tired of endless ‘definitive versions’ and ‘director’s cuts’ - in any medium. Hopefully this print will please you and ring true to your experience of the album. And if it doesn’t, it probably won’t be too far out I’d guess.
Anyway, the print is available now in the Standard Designs shop on Etsy. If you’re a Peter Gabriel fan, or if you know someone who is, this will be a nice and pretty unique addition to your or their collection.
'Ground Control to Major Tom…' Can you believe it’s 45 years since ‘Space Oddity’ was released as a single? Crazy, eh? Released on 11 July 1969. And so now I wonder about Major Tom, and I wonder if, as the song still plays, he’s still up there, in the imaginary pop-osphere, floating in his tin can. So I made this print to commemorate the anniversary. It’s available now in the Standard Designs shop on Etsy.
It’s simple but effective, with a little bit of the late Pop Art of the period in the way the Earth is heavily colour halftoned, and a touch of the Art Deco revival of the early 1970s in the typography.
It’d look great on your wall. Treat yourself to one here.
Oh, there you are.
As seen in Sutton. The Cheam reference on the sign makes me think this is some kind of lodestone marking the intersection of the Carry-On films with Tony Hancock. But conjecture is cheap, and research requires paperwork, so I will leave it there…
This is the fourth in my series of Kate Bush albums reimagined as collections of books (after 'Hounds of Love', 'The Kick Inside' and 'The Sensual World'). It’s her colossal 2005 album 'Aerial'. Each of the books here represents a track on the album, and they’re all arranged in the same order they appear on the original CD release. It’s available now from the Standard Designs Etsy shop.
The print measures 42 x 29.7cm (which fits very nicely into a standard IKEA Ribba frame, as you can see above).
It’s printed on some rather nice 200gsm premium archival paper. It’s a substantial print.
The books (all Penguins) have been chosen to echo the warm colours of the original CD’s artwork.
There’s also a special offer in the shop where you can buy all four of my Kate Bush prints for the price of three with free shipping - click here for more information.
Washing machine… washing machine…
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ superbly melancholy album ‘The Boatman’s Call’ has been one of my favourites since practically the day it was released, and so I’ve finally made a print imagining each of its tracks turned into novels in a series of Penguin paperbacks.
It’s a serious print for a serious Nick Cave fan. It’s available now in the Standard Designs Etsy Shop.
In all the excitement recently I totally forgot to mention that I’ve made an addition to my series of Kate Bush albums re-imagined as books. This one’s her fantastic debut album ‘The Kick Inside’. The print is available in the Standard Designs Etsy shop for only £16 via this link.
It’s the perfect gift for the Kate Bush über-fan in your life (which might be yourself…).
P.S. Check out my other Kate Bush prints too.
This is my fourth Britpop print (after two Oasis (Oases? Oasisisis?) and one Pulp, and it’s here the tour bus (probably a VW camper van, hopefully without the members of Dodgy inside) will be taking an indefinite stop. It’s Blur’s ‘Parklife' as if it had been written as a series of books instead of songs. This print is available in the Standard Designs Etsy shop right now.
Is it even possible that this album was released 20 years ago? So much has happened since then - and yet so little. It’s a testament to Damon Albarn’s lyric writing abilities that few of these songs have dated in the years since. It’s fun (fun?) to look back at the hideous Club 18-30 era of British package tourism that they turn into a whirling bag of dreadfulness in the video for ‘Girls And Boys’ (apologies again for the crass intrusion of music industry advertising in this clip, tut tut).
I remember treasuring this album and its dog racing-inspired packaging when I bought it soon after its release in 1994. 16 tracks (sixteen!) of happy and sad and acceptably angry. And funny, too - a kind of subtextual funny rather than a stream of gags. A chuckle, a kind of I-am-watching-an-Ealing-Comedy-and-enjoying-it chuckle.
Any Blur fan would love to have this on their wall. You can find it here.
I don’t know what your first encounter with Pulp was, but mine was seeing them perform ‘Lipgloss’ in 1993 on the godawful but essential teen & twentysomething fuckabout show ‘The Word’. Here is that clip, marred only by hateful online advertising and the inevitable disappointment the passage of time brings (although the ending still provides a thrill):
Two years later, after ‘His ‘n’ Hers’, here we are at ‘Different Class’, with its novelty make-your-own-CD-cover cards and slightly more rounded sound.
This was the album that brought us the brilliant ‘Common People’ and its chucklesome Sadie Frosted video:
Jarvis Cocker’s lyrics have more than a touch of mid-century kitchen sink English social realism about them, so I thought it would be a good idea with this print if all of the books were from the classic early Penguin Books era, with that instantly recognisable orange-white-orange stripe design. Something to put Cocker up on a pedestal alongside PG Wodehouse and Evelyn Waugh. Because when he’s on form, he’s very very funny.
So there you have it. A prime slice of Britpop as a prime chunk of English publishing. Like I say, the print is available now in the Standard Designs Etsy shop.
Somewhere in amongst these and their hundreds of siblings my next print is waiting to be discovered. But where, where? Ah, the joys of being an artist. 99% inspiration, 1% perspiration, 64% frustration (artists are notoriously bad a maths, as anyone who’s looked through a painter’s end-of-year accounts will attest to).