On a few occasions recently, I've offered some homemade sleeves/artwork where there wasn't any ("Blue Dreamer's..." etc.), but here I feel compelled - nay, obligated - to offer the cover-art critics (of which I am one) something better than what can only be described as Sam Esty Rayner's Barry Scott nightmare. The image of a battered matador is a scanned from an old National Geographic; unknown photographer.
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Because the matador is bruised and without the macho stature you usually see; he's slumped and has soulful eyes. It feel like an oxymoronic image to me; something delicate in the wrong skin. And that idea of something unusual or juxtaposing seemed fitting for a left-of-field covers record. I did think it through haha.Terrible! Why use a matador? I'd understand if it was a photograph of a dead matador, but then that'll just be seen as deifying him/them. Nope. You need something totally original.
Ouch. And like you say, how very retro. Although I must confess, I did laugh at 'It’s like the sky grew dark and the baby from Teletubbies grew up to support UKIP.'NME's view of the record sleeve sounds like the NME of old:
"And, of course, Morrissey has unveiled the track list for his covers album ‘California Son’, out in May. His previous album, 2017’s ‘Low In High School, proved he’s forgotten how to write songs, so in theory this doesn’t sound like a bad idea. And then you see the artwork. It’s like the sky grew dark and the baby from Teletubbies grew up to support UKIP. And then you listen to the first track he’s released! The Mozzer version of Roy Orbison’s ‘It’s Over’ sounds like the closing number of an eight-hour musical about Theresa May’s political career, starring Nigel Farage as the back-end of a pantomime horse. Playing in Ramsgate this summer, probably.
‘California Son’ resembles the work of someone who’s even tired of their own controversy, but still craves spotlight, so has turned to other people’s words instead. But even this has proved controversial, because people on the internet are annoyed that the likes of Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong and Ed Droste from Grizzly Bear appear on the album. To be honest, the entire project looks like something that’s been discovered on an old hard-drive and dusted off in the wake of a tax bill, in which case the only real winner here would be the Inland Revenue. But if Billie Joe Armstrong and Ed Droste want to endorse Morrissey, that’s their prerogative. I’ll be listening to The Queen Is Dead, oblivious to the whole sorry affair."
As seen in their article:
The Week’s Winners And Losers: Spike Lee, pop porn, a noble steed and Morrissey’s dubious covers album