Thursday, January 14, 2010

Barney Bubbles Shoots The Specials

As I was flipping through my recently acquired copy of "Reasons to Be Cheerful: The Life and Work of Barney Bubbles," I was surprised to find that this extraordinary graphic designer had a major ska connection: he directed The Specials' "Ghost Town" music video (and after their break-up, Fun Boy Three's "The Lunatics (Have Taken Over the Asylum")).

You may not be familiar with the name Barney Bubbles (nee Colin Fulcher), but you know his work. Dig out any number of LPs and singles by Ian Dury & the Blockheads, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, and The Damned from amongst other Stiff, Radar, F-Beat, Demon, and Chiswick artists from around 1977 through 1983 and you've seen his often uncredited work. (As always, it's distressing to find that the artwork for so many of these releases was altered for the American market...)

To say that Barney Bubbles single-handedly created the iconic "look" of British new wave and post-punk is to sell him short. To label him as brilliant is hardly praise enough. Make sure to check out and/or pick up this book the next time you're in a well-stocked book store.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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Joan Stepsen
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