Classic Album covers : Crush - OMD

Crush is the sixth album by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, and was released in 1985

The task of designing the album cover fell to Caz Hildebarnd at XL Design. He remembers “OMD sent us some tapes and lyrics and we had quite a long meeting to discusscover ideas. The title Crush was already in place and the band explained that they didn’t want a violent cover. A cover depicting tee romance was suggested but not treated in a pop art way. they wanted a mid-American feel, ‘Nowheresville’ quietly evocative of lost, past times”

The Edward Hopper painting that inspired the cover art was called Early Sunday Morning, 1930, the perfect illustration of urban lonliness.

According to manager Martin Kirkup, ” I remember Andy McLuskey telling me the reason he wanted to do a Hopper-style painting ….was that he had always felt that there was alot of melancholy in the paintings of Hopper and he felt it matched the melancholy that was in the songs”

Artist Paul Slater was commissioned to do the painting, and Hildebrand, while leaving the composition up to Slater, requested teh car, the boy and girl and the inclusion of the group’s faces in the window

Slater did the work and assumed it went well since no alterations were needed.  The painting itself is superbly evocative, very much like a real Hopper, but of a different mood and setting, recalling memories of love’s first encounters, teenage passion and, perhaps, impending disappointment. As Hildebrands says “Hopper was the right feel then….there is a brooding, particularly un-English feeling about this cover, but at the same time it’s not Coca-Cola America either. I think it was a very good pastiche and very different from the covers that were in vogue at the time

In an interesting twist, Paul Slater is a fan of OMD yet claims never to have heard the album.  When the album was released , a review in Harpers & Queen said that the music wasn’t up to OMD’s usual standards but that the Hopperesque cover deserved a second look

Not quite as Hopper as Hopper maybe, but hipper

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March 29, 2012

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