Put the Needle on the Record Hardcover – Aug 30 2011
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"1980s single cover art was cheeky, sexy, punchy, and glam. Matthew Chojnacki vividly chronicles the best of the bunch, illuminating the way music looked via comments from rock stars and art directors with a strong eye for the visual." --Michael Musto, The Village Voice
"Brilliant. Insightful. Revealing." --Nina Blackwood, MTV
"The 1980s. The spin point of a time where the collision of art, culture, class, nation, and government was fueled by the steroids of technology. Put the Needle on the Record is a great read on an era that many consider the new '60s." --Chuck D, Public Enemy
"Put the Needle on the Record proves that the '80s wasn't the decade that taste forgot - but rather the era where single artwork came of age and caught up with its LP predecessor... before CDs changed the landscape for good." --Jason Draper, Record Collector Magazine
"As a dyed in the wool, long-term record collector, I loved this survey of picture sleeves from the 1980s. This decade was really the end of the vinyl singles period as we know it, and these images were ephemeral icons that would be lost in the mist of time without this kind of labor of love." --Terry Stewart, President & CEO, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
About the Author
Matthew Chojnacki is a freelance writer and music/pop culture historian living in Cleveland, Ohio. All sleeves in Put the Needle on the Record are from Chojnacki's extensive vinyl collection, and quotations were pulled from an archive of several hundred hours of personal interviews with '80s musicians, cover artists, and record executives. His first 12-inch was "Rapper's Delight" by Sugarhill Gang.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This book is - as the common phrase goes - "Totally 80s". But the covers shown are not totally common. Delving into his own collection the author has chosen more than 250 covers and arranged them, one to a page on facing pages to show the similarities of many of them from diverse artists. On page 124-125 you have Tina Turner striking a pose on the left page while Toni Basil strikes a similar pose on the right. But the "attitudes" are different, Pages 148-149 show two 12-incher jackets - one by Timex Social Club and the other by Club Nouveau - which look like they were done by the same artist but they aren't. And page 218-219 matches up Rod Stewart (from "Young Turks" 1981) with Limahl ("The Never ending Story") from three years later, copping Stewart's spiked hairdoo and almost the same eyes. My favorite is the Kate Bush/ Dolly Parton mashup on pages 22 and 23. Parton's 1982 cover looks like it's from the 1960s, even though it's two years more recent than Bush's.
Each page has a bit of info about each artist, which helps because many did not have huge hits. And the author's collection is international in nature so you'll find covers from the UK, Europe and South America, making this a real treat for 80s music fans.
Wouldn't it be cool if the author set up a website with MP3s of the singles included and you could listen while turning the pages (like though books with records that we had as kids)? I guess the licensing issues would be a problem (but I can dream, right?)
This book should definitely find itself in the collector of 80s music fans. It's a time capsule between two hard covers.
I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.