Sub-titled Pump Up London Volume One, this very groovy gatefold from 1988 turned up in a charity shop in town; has the acid house generation started getting shut of their vinyl already? I say already, but this album is not far off 30 years old, so the one time owner is probably middle aged now, it comes to us all. But while the cover is of its time, it still looks good and if some of the production techniques date it, the design doesn’t look dated. The front was interesting enough to make me pick it up, and after all that is the primary job of a record cover. It was the layered inks which caught my eye, with the central design in silver and grey, clearly not a cheap job to manufacture and a sure sign of someone trying a little bit harder. But the inner gatefold is the real retina burner – just an coarse half-tone again in silver, over more of the pale day-glo inks, with the word ‘acid’ in blue colours.
If that wasn’t enough, the silver printed inner bags have designs incorporating industrial safety graphics; not a new idea of course, Peter Saville was doing this in the late Seventies, but that shouldn’t stop anyone else from having a go.
The artwork is credited to Graham Tunna, who did a lot of dance sleeves for A&M and Epic during the late Eighties. He was aided by Jeremy Pearce who also worked for the same labels. The inner sleeves add a credit to David Swindells for ‘photography’ even though there isn’t any, so maybe he sourced the graphics.
Musically the 2LP set is a compilation from the Breakout / A&M catalogue.