Sunday 12 March 2017

'45' (1924-1977)

45: Berlewi (1924) 
45: Bubbles (1977)
45: Your Generation

The Number One Son told me last week that one of his neighbours is currently sporting a giant Generation X '45' framed print in his flat - James isn't stalking the guy, this piece of artwork is so large it can be seen from space, apparently. Now, I know a thing or two about Generation X: 'I think you'll find that particular design was the brain child of Tony James' (Gen X bass player and joint CEO with Billy Idol), I said with that tone that fathers adopt when handing down vital nuggets of rock history down the male bloodline. Wrong, wrong and wrong.
45: Idol

45: James
If the graphic artist, sleeve designer and troubled soul that was Barney Bubbles (1942-1983) had been eavesdropping our conversation, he would have been yelling in my ear that, actually, the Generation X masthead was one of his - Tony James would just knock out copies when he was screen-printing band tee shirts.

However, I think Barney, real name Colin Fulcher, would be the first to admit that he was influenced by Polish artist Henryk Berlewi (1894-1967), whose 1924 work 'Composition in Red, Black and White' (at the top of this blog) was surely the inspiration behind Barney's 1977 iconic sleeve for Generation X's first single.

45: Derwood


  1. A very timely post for me, as it happens. I'd never seen that sleeve before, but I might have to steal it for a post I'm working on for Sunday... thanks, John.

  2. Fab - always loved those graphics - and of course Barney Bubbles - and happens to be very timely for me too with a current album sleeve art inspiration theme I have going on. Lovely stuff.

    1. Tell me if you've got the Damed in your sights and I'll delay my next Barney Bubbles!

    2. Funnily enough I posted something about that once before
      - also including Ian Dury I probably won't cover it in this series, but always good to see Barney Bubbles art!

  3. Lots of informative sleeve related posts around at the moment. It's interesting that these things we've spent so long poring over while the record plays, can still hold such fascinating backstories.

  4. Barney Bubbles - great name , great artist

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