Much has been made about the loss of album art in the download age, but pop-culture maven Matthew Chojnacki argues that even more endangered are the 7- and 12-inch single sleeves of the 1980s — ephemeral splashes of music history that he’s compiled in the new book “Put the Needle on the Record: The 1980s at 45 Revolutions Per Minute.”
Set to be published Aug. 28, the hard-cover books features more than 250 sleeves — including such college-rock favorites as R.E.M., The The, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Echo & The Bunnymen and more — and tells their stories through interviews with the musicians, cover artists and record label executives. Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes even pens the book’s afterword.
In his introduction to the book — which has a list price of $39.99 but is now available for pre-order from Amazon.com at $25.85 — Chojnacki writes that the decade “wasn’t just about the music, it was also about the art of the music. What we saw was nearly as important as what we listened to, and decades later the images of the ‘80s continue to dominate our culture.”
Chojnacki goes on to say:
“While an album’s artwork lived on, enduring several decades of reformatting (on cassette, CD and now digitally), the life span of an ‘80s single was brief. Depending on its success on the charts, each single (and its artwork) vanished from store shelves within a few weeks or months of its release. The music from these singles lived on, and now, with this book, I’m happy to say that their artwork will as well. I hope the extraordinary cover designs, long-forgotten images, and never-before-heard stories from these deﬁning artists will trigger new memories that last as long.”