Tuesday, December 9, 2008

When mendacity and mediocrity get you down, Pink Floyd will turn you around.

SHINE ON YOU CRAZY DIAMOND



WISH YOU WERE HERE



Notes on the album cover design by Hipgnosis (from Wikipedia)

The original vinyl release was intended to be shrouded in an anonymous, all-black plastic wrapper (dark blue for the Columbia/CBS releases). Bruce Lundvall, then-president of the band's US distributor, Columbia Records, was (according to Hipgnosis member Storm Thorgerson in the book that accompanied Pink Floyd's 1992 box set Shine On and also his own book Mind Over Matter: The Images of Pink Floyd) appalled at the suggestion that they deliberately hide their product, so an additional image featuring the band name over the top of two robotic hands in front of the four elements was included as a sticker on top.

Removing this outer wrapper then revealed the proper artwork with its now-famous cover: the flaming businessman, shaking hands with his counterpart (as in the robot image). Three other photographs on the back and inner sleeve represented the remaining elements: a faceless salesman selling Pink Floyd products in the desert (earth); a naked female figure in a grove, barely visible behind a windswept red veil (air); and a splash-less diver half submerged in Mono Lake (water). A postcard with an alternate version of the latter picture – and "Wish you were here" written on the back – was also included. All four photos in this design appeared to have each element 'breaking' (or burning) into the surrounding white margins.


The vinyl record's custom picture labels depicted the robotic handshake (as on the wrapper) with a mainly black with blue prisms background. This picture label was then used again for the 1995 SBM Mastersound reissue and the 1997 Columbia/Sony remastered CD.

Beneath the outer cover, which on the U.S. release was dark blue, Columbia originally released the LP with a slightly different sleeve, using an alternative picture showing the burning man standing up straight (instead of leaning toward the other businessman) and taken from a lower angle. Columbia started using the more familiar EMI photo in 1984 for their first CD issue and kept using it in subsequent reissues, the only exception being the "SBM MasterSound Collector's Edition". There are other, subtler differences in the artwork of the more commonly-found remastered CD: the naked female is clearly visible behind the veil in the LP artwork, but is almost completely obscured in the remastered CD booklet; the photo of the diver used in this booklet is larger, and shows more of the background salt formations; additional black-and-white photos of the band working in Abbey Road Studios were added to this booklet as well.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love Pink Floyd, and your articles.

cksaw

Antares said...

:-) Thank you!

Patricia said...

'Wish you were here' is one of my all-time favourites, Antares :)

Pat

Oneofthesedays said...

This Floyd tune was my theme song during those Grateful Dead years in college...

---------
Come on, my friends,
Let's make for the hills.
They say there's gold but I'm looking for thrills.
You can get your hands on whatever we find,
Because I'm only coming along for the ride.
Well, you go your way,
I'll go mine.
I don't care if we get there on time.
Everybody's searching for something, they say.I'll get my kicks on the way.
Over the mountains, across the seas
Who knows what will be waiting for me?
I could sail forever to strange sounding names.
Faces of people and places don't change.
All I have to do is just close my eyes
To see the seagulls wheeling on those far distant skies.
All I want to tell you,
all I want to say
Is count me in on the journey.
Don't expect me to stay.

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Thx Kit for bringing back some lysergic memories.:)