Our friends at Hipgnosis return with another memorable entry. But whereas their last appearance here was all about a striking and surreal image, this week is just the opposite – no image at all. It is the second album from New Wave/post-punk legends XTC, 1978’s Go 2:
That’s a lot of words, innit?! Here’s what it says:
This is a [place album format here in all capitals] COVER. This writing is the DESIGN upon the [place album format here] cover. The DESIGN is to help SELL the [place album format here]. We hope to draw your attention to it and encourage you to pick it up. When you have done that maybe you’ll be persuaded to listen to the music – in this case XTC’s Go 2 album. Then we want you to BUY it. The idea being that the more of you that buy this [place album format here] the more money [place record company here], the manager Ian Reid and XTC themselves will make. To the aforementioned this is known as PLEASURE. A good cover DESIGN is one that attracts more buyers and gives more pleasure. This writing is trying to pull you in much like an eye-catching picture. It is designed to get you to READ IT. This is called luring the VICTIM, and you are the VICTIM. But if you have a free mind you should STOP READING NOW! because all we are attempting to do is to get you to read on. Yet this is a DOUBLE BIND because if you indeed stop you’ll be doing what we tell you, and if you read on you’ll be doing what we’ve wanted all along. And the more you read on the more you’re falling for this simple device of telling you exactly how a good commercial design works. They’re TRICKS and this is the worst TRICK of all since it’s describing the TRICK whilst trying to TRICK you, and if you’ve read this far then you’re TRICKED but you wouldn’t have known this unless you’d read this far. At least we’re telling you directly instead of seducing you with a beautiful or haunting visual that may never tell you. We’re letting you know that you ought to buy this [place album format here] because in essence it’s a PRODUCT and PRODUCTS are to be consumed and you are a consumer and this is a good PRODUCT. We could have written the band’s name in special lettering so that it stood out and you’d see it before you’d read any of this writing and possibly have bought it anyway. What we are really suggesting is that you are FOOLISH to buy or not buy an album merely as a consequence of the design on its cover. This is a con because if you agree then you’ll probably like this writing – which is the cover design – and hence the album inside. But we’ve just warned you against that. The con is a con. A good cover design could be considered as one that gets you to buy the [place album format here], but that never actually happens to YOU because YOU know it’s just a design for the cover. And this is the [place album format here in all capitals] COVER.
And no, I didn’t just type all that. I nabbed it from here.
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