All this week I’ve been posting about a great new book about to come out, Put the Needle on the Record by Matthew Chojnacki. I hope you’ve enjoyed the snippets of the book, and I hope you’ll all go and grab a copy when it comes out! To finish off the week, Matthew has been kind enough to answer 5 burning questions for today’s 80s Top 5.
Pop Eighties: What is your favorite image from the book (if you can choose!)?
Matthew Chojnacki: That’s a tough one. I do have a soft spot for Grace Jones, whose artwork was always so interesting and edgy. The book contains two of her singles, the 7″ sleeve for “Pull Up to the Bumper” and and 12″ for “My Jamaican Guy.” Both are stunning.
PE: What first got you interested in single artwork?
MC: Ever since I started buying music, probably around age 7 or so, I was intrigued by the complete experience….not only the music, but also the artwork and liner notes. I couldn’t quite afford buying many albums, so I built up quite a stash of 7″ and 12″ singles over the years. Decades later, I still find myself going back to the artwork. There were so many phenomenal images released in the ’80s (on singles), a majority of which have long been forgotten. Until now, that is.
PE: What is it about the 80s that you think leant itself so well to artistic covers?
MC: MTV really changed the musical landscape to a more visual direction. The industry took note, and suddenly everyone was putting as much effort into their single covers as their previously did with LP covers. Artists went even a step further (especially in the UK), creating absolutely stunning singles with foldouts and pop-ups, for example. Many of these artists didn’t make a dime on these extravagant pieces – it was just abound putting their best foot forward.
PE: What look, image or artwork do you think defined the decade?
MC: There were so many looks that originated in the ’80s and were associated with the genres of music. From the detached new wave look to the excessive use of hairspray with the likes of Poison and Motley Crue. However, perhaps hip-hop (arguably) lasted the longest from a fashion standpoint.
PE: Who is your favorite 80s musician?
MC: This tends to be the last one that I saw live. So, tonight it’s going to be Erasure, and next week, OMD. By the way, keep supporting your favorite artists, and the best way to do this is to see them live!