Put the Needle on the Record: The 1980s at 45 Revolutions per Minute

 

Many remember the 1980s as a time when style was deemed more important than substance (and all the unfavorable connotations that could imply), but Put the Needle on the Record: The 1980s at 45 Revolutions per Minute, a new book by Cleveland, Ohio, writer and music/pop culture historian Matthew Chojnacki, shows how the style of the ’80s was often carefully orchestrated to reflect the substance as the bold art on the sleeves of 7″ records was put to work selling a single song among hundreds of other songs on record store shelves.

Inspired by his own enormous collection of 7″ and 12″ records, Chojnacki has compiled over 250 7″ covers from the ’80s and included stories, insights and interesting comparison of the ephemeral trappings that did more than just protect the vinyl discs inside. With an afterword by ’80s style icon Nick Rhodes (Duran Duran), Put the Needle on the Record spotlights covers of everyone from Luther Vandross to Def Leppard to the Smiths in a stylish hardcover format and includes information gleaned from interviews with some 125 musicians and cover artists.

A couple of my favorite examples from the book include entries on Kate Bush … Continue reading