I’ve rhapsodised about this album already when I reviewed it for my Now! review series, but I thought it’d be nice to share some pictures of the actual artefact.
What I love about vinyl*, especially on pop compilations of this era, is that when you open up the sleeve, you get a big colourful display like this:
As a kid, I spent hours poring over these pictures and captions while listening to this record. Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé looking all operatic! Fat Boys and their scary snake picture! Bananarama and their topless dude friends! Jan Hammer and that dusky Miami sky! Carole Decker’s hair (#goals several decades before #goals was a thing)! Pet Shop Boys and their moody black ‘n’ white road photo! Richard Coles long before he was a vicar! But best of all was Billy Idol and his black leather jacket, which basically set in stone what ‘cool’ looked like for me. I love this record sleeve. It’s one of my favourite things in Mum and Dad’s house.
*I’m not actually a vinyl person, really, although I do intend to get a proper record player at some point – Geth’s dad still has a bunch of Geth’s old vinyl (or did last time we checked) that Geth wants back (or did last time I checked), and obviously I intend to keep stuff like Now! #10 when my parents no longer want it. Because it was always Dad who put records on for me when I was little, it wasn’t until I was a teenager that I learnt to use a record player, and I always found lining up the needle a bit fiddly and was nervous about scratching the record. Nevertheless, I persisted, because it’s an important 20th century skill – even if I often ended up with the record starting a few seconds into track 1 because of overcompensating after that time I lined it up too far the other way and the needle went skidding off the edge of the record. I wasn’t a particularly competent teenager.