A nice review of Covered in the April 2012 issue of Record Collector magazine, which also happens to be their 400th edition. I remember buying it when it was a small pocket size A5 magazine stuffed full of classified adverts from buyers and sellers, poring through on the lookout for stuff I wanted. Those days are largely gone, and the magazine is a different beast now, but still good for a browse. Anyhow, their reviewer really understood what the book was all about:
Wearing their art on their sleeves
There we were thinking that record sleeve books had been exhausted. Well, we’ve been proved wrong with this: a bizarre and well-researched project, compiling record sleeves that copy classic record sleeves. What’s great about Covered is that it’s been staring us all in the face for ages, but only now, and across 160 pages, do you realise just how much has been used and abused by so many.
Highlights and lowlights decorate every page, while the book is presented with the same graphic enthusiasm and anarchy that has created the homages in the first place. The depth and multi-genre studies that must have gone on over the years to put this together must be admired; the results are fascinating. We had no idea there were so many classic sleeve rip-offs, nor so many totally obscure ones. There are, alone, 20 sleeves mimicking Abbey Road, nine for Warhol’s VU banana and at least 19 for Never Mind The Bollocks. Mast fascinating are the unexpected oddities: hilarious homages to Saturday Night Fever, insane King Crimson send-ups. A classic folk album becomes Japanese metal deconstuctivism in a blink of an eye.
Reviewed by Jonny Trunk
More nice reviews for Covered recently. Ubupopland is a site I visit from time to time to check his great French album covers, and they have clearly enjoyed the book – plus I like the way they’ve snapped the page spreads. The Beat is a niche magazine mostly devoted to aspects of Rock’n’Roll, R&B, Blues and other music from the 50’s, 60’s & 70’s. You can check them out at www.beat-magazine.co.uk/
Its been hard work trying to get Waterstones to stock the title, but happily the local branch has noticed the interest in the title and decided to stock it and see how it goes. At least we can now direct people locally to Sheffield’s only nationwide book store.
At the other end three indie shops are also helping out. The LP RECORD STORE on Arundel Street and VINYL DEMAND on Rockingham Street are two new specialist record shops in Sheffield, and have taken the title for us. Lastly a new second-hand book shop BOOKS ON THE PARK is stocking the book. Sited on Ecclesall Road (near Endcliffe Park – hence the name) this is a well stocked and smartly laid out shop worth a visit. They’ve even added a small vinyl rack which is fairly fatal as far as I’m concerned! They’ve only been open a few weeks, having moved across the road from their former shop as they needed more space.
On the continent, author Jan Bellekens has been having fun doing local record fairs and selling the book direct.
* that’s the Sheffield Telegraph! But they have done the Covered book proud with a full page in the issue cover dated last Thursday. The Telegraph used to be Sheffield’s daily ‘broadsheet’, with an evening paper called The Star. The Telegraph foundered many years ago but came back as a weekly title, and has plenty of listings and local arts coverage. Anyhow their arts writer Ian Soutar has done a detailed article, which you can find here on the Telegraph website as well. It did mean I got recognised in an antiques centre the other day by someone else trawling for vinyl oddities…
“Covered is an eclectic collection of trivia and tackiness, lavishly illustrated and beautifully laid out, which goes some way to showing that imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery.”
Despite my love of all things Deep Purple (all up to 1976 that is, with selected tracks from thereafter) I’m not a massive listener of rock or metal (industrial is a different matter), but it was nice to see the reviewer in Fireworks Magazine – an unashamed metal glossy – taking some of my gibes in the book about rock sleeves I’m not a great admirer of in good spirit in a nice review of Covered (March / April 2012 issue). I did contact the writer and offer pistols at dawn over the Iron Maiden art, but he felt a game of scrabble might be more in order! You can read the full review here: Fireworks