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My album cover cue cards

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Chris Packham Chris Packham | 11:22 UK time, Friday, 20 November 2009

Many people seemed to want more Smiths song titles and of course there were plenty more to go, particularly if I had strayed into Morrissey's solo career. But sorry, I'm not very good at staying in the same place, and even though there were other prolific and well-loved bands whose titles would have provided a challenge for me and amusement to the discerning viewer I'm afraid I felt that game had been played.

Thus a visual teaser appealed and as one who laments the loss of record cover artwork as an accessible art form (what, with everyone downloading MP3s) I thought that a homage to the iconic images of the '70s and '80s would be nice. And by disguising the covers a little brain teaser might be fun. What one of us doesn't enjoy a game of trying to remember all of the participants of Wacky Races, the names of the Banana Splits or the team sheet of Chelsea's FA Cup winning squad from 1970?

So I chose covers which had distinctive artwork starting from the early punk days of '77 through to the early '90s. They were not necessarily my favourites, indeed some were not even mine (thanks to my sister, James and Mitch), as they needed to be bold and easy to see given that their use was necessarily subliminal.

Thus sadly the back catalogues of The Cure, The Cocteau Twins and the 'Mary Chain are much loved favourites but are not really distinct enough to be identifiable. Whereas things such as Heaven 17's Penthouse And Pavement (not my bag) and the Banshees (never a massive fan) worked well. And, besides, I wanted a spread of sound so more folks could 'play'. I had the sleeves copied, cut them up to the same size as the cue cards and shuffled four per show.

Here they are in order of appearance:

Programme 1:
The Clash: London Calling (the Punk Stones finest?)
The Beastie Boys: Licensed To Ill (still fighting for my right)
The Selecter: Too Much Pressure (from little sis)
The Clash: Give 'Em Enough Rope (the difficult second album defined)

Programme 2:
The Smiths: Hatful Of Hollow (so quintessentially English... perfect)
The Pixies: Doolittle (the monkey is still on its way to heaven)
Blondie: Parallel Lines (Debbie at 11.59, oh yes !)
The Cure: Boys Don't Cry (how many limits have I misjudged?)

Programme 3:
Siouxsie & The Banshees - Join Hands (umm, prefer The Scream)
The Jam - In The City (raw and sounding better with age)
Stone Roses - The Stone Roses (we adored them)
REM - Green (one of James')

Programme 4:
Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine - 101 Damnations (witty words)
Joe Jackson - Look Sharp! (How many times have we asked: Is she really going out with him?)
The Stranglers - Rattus Norvegicus (awesome!)
The Cure - Japanese Whispers (the prettiest pop songs of that age)

Programme 5:
X-Ray Spex - Germ Free Adolescents (Poly Styrene's hair was a bit like mine at times!)
Talk Talk - My Foolish Friend (Actually a single - which foxed people)
The Psychedelic Furs - Talk Talk Talk (one of my fave bands, ever)
New Order - Power, Corruption And Lies (was great driving music)

Programme 6:
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Architecture & Morality (does anyone know what the lyrics of Joan/Maid actually mean? Still love Sealand)
Tubeway Army - Replicas (not mine!)
The Jesus And Mary Chain - Psychocandy (the greatest debut of the '80s? The soundtrack of my life)
Adam & The Ants - Kings Of The Wild Frontier (very my sister's)

Programme 7:
Heaven 17 - Penthouse And Pavement (James')
Echo & The Bunnymen - Porcupine (back with some great songs)
The Jam - Sound Affects (umm, lost edge?)
Souixsie & The Banshees - A Kiss In The Dreamhouse (Mitch's)

I'll tweet and update this post with this week's four after the show on Friday, but they're pretty easy! If you spot them during the show, why not tell everyone what you think they are by posting a comment below.

Finally, I'd like to say a big thanks to Ellie Williams in the Autumnwatch office and David Knight in BBC Talent Rights for all their time and hard work in clearing the artwork so it could be used in a television broadcast.

Springwatch... might go literary... might go telepathy...


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