White Noise

I was reading about a proposed live performance from the Radiophonic Workshop the other day and spotted the news that today would be Delia Derbyshire Day. This roughly annual event celebrates the career of the Radiophonic Workshop pioneer. It got me thinking back to Delia’s album with the three piece experimental group White Noise, which I picked up as a school kid second-hand in the early Seventies; perhaps someone had played me a bit while we were messing with the school tape recorder as it’s hardly an album I would have heard anywhere else back then.
As with most Island albums of the era the cover is very eye-catching. The album was titled An Electric Storm and the trio apparently found a screen print of a lightning strike which they wanted for the cover, although according to Julian Cope nobody remembers who the student responsible for the print was. The group apparently wanted this printed in ‘glow in the dark’ ink, but already worried about the total lack of commercial potential of the album, Island wouldn’t pay for this extra cost! I have seen a few covers using this ink in the late 70s but the problem is that it needed to be applied via screen printing and was quite thick, so difficult to resolve any fine detail (whether or not the technique has been improved since I don’t know).
The front lettering is a curved sans-serif which someone has then worked on by joining the letters using straight lines. The logo might have been positioned better and reduced in size but overall it creates a memorable cover.

The title appears only on the back in a shatter type effect, done I assume by setting the text then cutting through with a craft knife. All the lyrics are also squeezed on to the back sleeve. As always at the time the large Island logo and catalogue number appear on the front as well.

There is a detailed article on Julian Cope’s site about the album. I wasn’t a huge electronic music listener back then but this was a record I played an awful lot. It was given a CD reissue early doors and as my vinyl copy was so tatty I did get that but the properly remastered version might be worth investigating.

https://www.headheritage.co.uk/unsung/review/1143

About simon robinson

Having worked as a graphic designer in the music industry, mainly in the reissue sector, I now concentrate on the design and publication of books about popular culture - and even write some of them.
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1 Response to White Noise

  1. An LP of two distinct sides, but a classic none-the-less. Great post.

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