Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Fool's Gold

Apologies for the silence I'm just back again from a couple of weeks in the North of Ireland and spent my time shared between working and taking family friends on the tourist route. This involved crossing the Carrick-a-reed rope bridge, walking around Mussenden Temple at Downhill, walking the city walls up around Derry as well as going back to The Giant's Causeway.
It was while visiting the Giant's causeway and sitting down on the stones and watching the black blue waves rolling in over the stones that I was reminded of all things the album cover for the The Stone Roses debut album ( forgive me, I know the last time I was back it was Led Zep's Houses of the Holy!)
History has it that while doing a gig at Coleraine University The band took a trip up to see the Causeway. Guitarist John Squire was so struck by the colour of the water and rocks that he kept them in mind for a painting that was later used as the cover image for their debut album. The painting was called "Bye, Bye Badman" and is essentially the Causeway inspired image with lemon slices. The lemon slices were added to the composition later based on a story that Ian Brown had heard from a Parisian about how during the 1968 riots; protesters at the time used lemons as an antidote to the tear gas.

At the time that album was such a revelation! I remember taking my copy to friends houses and sitting in amazement, it affected the way that I dressed, and proved a fantastic introduction to the art of Jackson Pollock, (in fact for about 12 months very little escaped being paint splashed from clothes to instruments).
Things didn't get quite this bad but they came close!
What I loved as well about the covers and releases was that they were all printed on a really tactile card and contained a postcard or print of the sleeve art work which was a simple nice touch that just made you want to collect them all! A deluxe 20 year anniversary edition was released last year with reproductions of the sleeves, a book, heavy quality vinyl and 4 CDs, a bit over kill I think, but hey it is a classic album!

And now for no other reason than nostalgia here are a few more of the classic single covers, which have a strong yet restrained design allowing John Squire's artwork to be the focus but that never left you in any doubt that it was a Stone Roses release!

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