Or why Barney Bubbles rules… The Rumour were a Seventies band I never had any interest in, being part of the Stiff Records’ pub rock axis along with Nick Lowe and others; not weird or noisy enough for petulant moi. This is a shame since the Barney Bubbles design for their albums shows him at the pinnacle of his powers with an integrated, multi-media approach to packaging and advertising.
The pictures and text here have been very generously supplied by Paul Gorman whose BB monograph, Reasons To Be Cheerful: The Life & Work Of Barney Bubbles, is now on sale. This is an expanded extract from part of the book with the NME ad and Vinyl Factory graphic being exclusives to this posting. If you need to know why we keep raving about the man, simply scroll on down, bearing in mind that this was only a clutch of releases from a single band. Barney was pulling together work like this all the time for a host of different artists.
For more BB goodness there’s my original, sprawling post, further samples from Paul’s book at his site and also David Will’s blog which features all manner of rare historical material, including a feature about the Brian Griffin book referred to below.
Over to Paul…
An important yet overlooked Barney Bubbles design project of the post-punk period sprang from an unlikely source: the album with the unprepossessing title Frogs Krauts Clogs And Sprouts, released by Graham Parker’s backing band The Rumour in March 1979.
The pre-PC name took its cue from the album track Euro. Bubbles chose a less prosaic route in realising a remarkable and thematically-linked design package predicated on the ceremony and colour schemes of EEC officialdom. This was very much in the news in 1979, ahead of the first European elections held that summer.