{ feuilleton }


• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.


Val Denham album covers


Funeral In Berlin (1981) by Throbbing Gristle.

British artist and musician Val Denham was mentioned in yesterday’s post so I thought it worthwhile following up with a selection of the painter’s record sleeves. Denham’s art stood out for me when I first saw the cover of Throbbing Gristle’s Funeral In Berlin album. For its visceral immediacy this is still a big favourite. The early 1980s were the perfect time for Denham’s paintings to appear on record sleeves, the diminished area of CD packages providing a poor stage for work that’s this vivid and dramatic. Denham’s associations with Throbbing Gristle extended to work with Marc Almond, a cover for the Some Bizzare compilation If You Can’t Please Yourself You Can’t, Please Your Soul which featured ex-TG members Coil and Psychic TV, and further associations with Coil allies Black Sun Productions. Many of these connections can be explored at Denham’s detailed website which has a great gallery section showing work in a variety of media from the past thirty years. Denham’s art is surreal, intense, often disturbing, and deeply personal in its exploration of shifting gender boundaries. Isn’t it time someone published a Val Denham book?

Some cover samples follow. More can be seen at the artist’s website.


Untitled (1982) by Marc and The Mambas. Design by Huw Feather.


Torment And Toreros (front, 1983) by Marc and The Mambas. Design by Huw Feather.


Torment And Toreros (back, 1983) by Marc and The Mambas. Design by Huw Feather.


Torment (12″ single, 1983) by Marc and the Mambas with The Venomettes. Design by Huw Feather.


Black Heart (12″ single, 1983) by Marc and The Mambas. Design by Huw Feather.


If You Can’t Please Yourself You Can’t, Please Your Soul (1985) by Various Artists. Design by Paul White and Phil Barnes.


Visions Ov Anarcadia (2005) by draZen.


Senmaida (2005) by Merzbow.


Once In A Full Moon (2006) by Black Sun Productions.


E Pee (2011) by Queen Lear.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The album covers archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Peter Christopherson, 1955–2010



Posted in {art}, {design}, {electronica}, {music}, {painting}.

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4 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by Thombeau


    I loved those Marc & the Mambas records, and the covers were as much a part of the experience as the music itself.

    If You Can’t Please Yourself was a seminal album in my young and twisted life.

  2. #2 posted by John


    That was a great compilation which now feels like the end of something special: that brief period when groups from the independent underground were given fleeting access to wider audiences. After that everything seemed to get a lot more commercial; independent music ossified into the wretched “indie” genre and the mainstream closed the doors on invention.

  3. #3 posted by Val Denham


    Hi! Thank you so much for the article about my cover art.
    You say that there should be a book?
    It’s being produced right now for TIMELESS BOOKS in France.
    The book will have many photos of my artworks.
    Val XX

  4. #4 posted by John


    Hi Val! That’s great news about the book, definitely one for the shopping list.






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