This is the first instalment of an ongoing feature that will look at the inside of vinyl album sleeves. So many album covers have become iconic, instantly recognisable images and they are often the first thing that comes to mind when a record is mentioned. They create the mood, aesthetic and feel of the music presented within. In this day and age of digital immediacy the joy of discovering liner notes, credits, gatefold photos and artwork is increasingly becoming an adventure of the past. These days they are either non-existent or limited by the small format CD booklet so aside from the sound quality of the music itself the medium of vinyl still serves an important role as a canvas for the musician’s visual representation of their music.
First up is The Cure’s first collection of songs, Standing On A Beach – The Singles, released in 1986 on Fiction Records. The front cover is instantly recognisable with the weary-eyed and aged face of a man on beach while the flipside has the tracklisting suspended above a stark, almost alien looking coastal landscape. Open the gatefold and you find the artwork that featured on the covers of the 7″ releases of the album’s thirteen songs, spread over black-streaked sand with a psychedelic filter effect.