running words around
design education and visual communication
authored by chris m hughes

MAGAZINE - the 'Assorted Images' covers 1978-82

Monday, 17 November 2008

For anyone who came of age during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s - as I did - the resurgence in all the art forms from that period can be either by turns refreshing and embarrassing. But for the discerning amongst us, the reformation of influential post-punk band MAGAZINE is a real cause to celebrate, and what’s more I have tickets for their concert in Glasgow on Feb 16th ’09. OK so the late John McGeoch won't be on guitar, but Howard Devoto and Barry Adamson won't struggle to recruit a replacement, and with the likes of Radiohead and Maximo Park namedropping their favourite Magazine tracks, the band are assured a sellout for their 6-date tour.

I felt it necessary to pay homage to the original music, and luckily I have all six albums that were released during the band’s lifetime (1977-1982) in my dusty old vinyl collection. The music inside the sleeves is just as I’d remembered it - visceral, amusing, hypnotically inventive and blisteringly energetic, but the big surprise was the cover art. I’d forgotten just how amazing those six sleeves were.

They were all created by Malcolm Garrett, founder of Assorted Images, and one of the UK’s most prolific and influential graphic designers. He’s not quite as well known as his direct contemporary Peter Saville, but if you compare the latter’s output during the same period, one thing is clear – early Garrett had a far greater range of ideas and styles than Saville did. Whilst Saville was busy developing the minimalist Factory look, Garrett was producing not only seminal work for the Buzzcocks and Magazine, but more mainstream (and more lucrative) efforts for the likes of Duran Duran, Simple Minds and Peter Gabriel. Its this commercial output that diminishes his appeal in some quarters, but the Magazine covers alone would be enough to cement any reputation. And here they are:

Magazine.  Click to enlarge.

Real Life (1978), Secondhand Daylight (1979), Correct Use of Soap (1980), Play (1980), Magic. Murder and the Weather (1981), After the Fact (1982).

Youtube video posts:
'The Light Pours Out of Me' (1978)
'Cut Out Shapes' (1979)