Design

Sleevage Sunday! #5

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This is a 7″ single from 1980 – from Anarcho-punk band Crass on one side and the Poison Girls on the other.

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Crass Records was an independent label set up by the band in the wake of problems in getting their records produced.

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The artwork for all Crass’ output was by Gee Vaucher and was politically charged, controversial, sometimes obscene and almost always provocative, in varying degrees. Crass, as well as the majority of the other bands who released music through the label all had a similar design approach, which included foldout sleeves that doubled as posters, black and white print, white stencil lettering in a black circle, and Vauchers’ very engaging artwork:

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For those of you who are not familiar with this scale I have put it into a scale most people will understand!

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There’s more stuff from the Crass stable to come…

cassetteSleevage Sunday is where I share selections from my old but recently rediscovered vinyl collection. Music has always been an important part of my life, but so was the packaging. In my formative years I would carefully study every inch of the cover, read every sleevenote, credit and publishing blurb so that the visual qualities of these records became intrinsically linked with the music, so that even now when I hear an old song I also get the imagery too! Alas, much of this will fall upon younger heads whose only visual link with their music is the tiny thumbnail on their iPod…

I am not judging any of these covers – some are great, some are really bad, and others just are. These are simply the images of my youth.

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2 thoughts on “Sleevage Sunday! #5

  1. Great to see some of the old Crass stuff again, this attention to packaging detail has largely been lost these days which is a real shame. Looking forward to seeing some more of these Mr Lestaret.

  2. I agree. Can you imagine any band putting out a poster sleeve of original artwork and printing on it a price limit that was just enough to cover the cost and support a small number of causes – that was significantly lower than mainstream releases! Didn’t Radiohead try issuing an album on download only as a ‘pay what you think its worth’ exercise and withdrew it almost immediately because the majority of people who downloaded it opted to pay nothing?
    Crass’ ‘Pay No More Than’ approach is a more realistic and honest way to approach this I think as people do understand that music has production costs beyond the (wrongly perceived) band royalties and music biz mark ups and are generally happy to pay for something that they believe has some intrinsic value.

    Can you see someone getting all misty eyed about CD’s in future blogs? Me neither.

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