Spread of the week
Here’s a sample double page spread from our upcoming Kate Bush book, WOW!
Made to Love Magic
Nothing irks a photographer more than when their images get wildly cropped or, worse still, reversed when turned in album cover artwork by a sleeve designer. Bob Dylan’s first album is a good example - the original photograph by Don Hunstein has been flipped 180 degrees on its horizontal axis to arrive at the version on the cover. A top-tip to pick up on this is always to look at the position of the buttons and button holes on shirts and jackets. If they are on the wrong side ( different sides for men and women ) then its pretty likely you have a reversal.
In our new book, I saw Nick Drake: photographs by Keith Morris, we wanted to put right a similar act of reversal (and severe cropping) by the designer of the sleeve of the posthumous 2004 Nick Drake compilation album Made to Love Magic. You know it. Here’s the front cover artwork:
The actual, un-doctored photograph was taken by Keith Morris on 35mm film in Battersea, South London, during the 1969 sessions for Five Leaves Left. ( In an earlier blog post, we show how that session can be dated as Wednesday 16 April 1969.) 35mm film has an aspect ratio of 1 ( height) to 1.5 ( width) so given the image is used on a square album sleeve, there’s a chunk of image lost through cropping.
As you’ll see when you look at the original, on the album sleeve, a poster saying ‘Many Years Ago' has been added over the original poster announcing the budget speech. More importantly, Keith Morris's original image has been flipped 180 degrees on its horizontal axis. Check out the original image below, with Nick Drake looking to the left edge of the frame, adn you'll see how Keith saw it.
When we were putting the book together, we thought that this image was so important that it deserved to have an entire 24 x 36 inch double page spread all to itself, so that viewers could appreciate it in all its un-cropped, un-flipped, un-postered natural glory.
Check it out below. Beautiful, isn’t it?