Monday, 15 June 2009

Peter Daltrey Dream On cover art-Voiceprint 1995

I was asked to do the cover art for Peter Daltry's (ex Kaleidoscope) first solo album in 1995.

There’s an amusing story behind this because a couple of years before doing this cover I had written a review of the Kaleidoscope’s White Faced Lady album for the Tearrascope. This fine album was in fact the long awaited release of the second Fairfield Parlour album that had been shelved at the time and remained unreleased. Bam Caruso had come close to finally releasing it going as far as listing it on their catalogue and when that fell through for reasons I am not privy to, it got put out by the small UFO label. I had absolutely no problem with the music itself and sang high praises to this end, it was the packaging that jarred with me. The cover made it look like a mid nineties album by an MOR artist… I said that Bam’s brilliant Phil Smee should have done the cover …there was no sleeve notes or recording dates and while I could just about understand labelling in a Kaleidoscope album (since Fairfield Parlour was the same four musicians and the Kaleidoscope name carried more weight at that time) the idea that it was trying to pass itself off as a new album seemed painfully misjudged by me. This was not the beautiful, detailed and informative packaging Bam Curuso would have delivered up, in fact quite the opposite. This was an important release and the sleeve did it a real disservice was the tone of my gripe. A few months later a letter arrived from Pete Daltrey not too happy with my cover complaints. Turns out that the cover wasn’t the label’s idea but was in fact designed and put together by Mr. Daltrey himself and he was standing by it. He was not best pleased. Whoops. Anyway, I’m not one who enjoys upsetting people, but despite his protests I still felt that my criticisms were justified and so after much deliberation I wrote gently back saying as such, but also pointing out that 95% of the review had been nothing but unfaltering praise for the music itself. So that was that, I had no reply from the man, though when the second pressing of the CD appeared a few months later now sporting a beautiful front cover by non other than Phil Smee, I had to wonder if my words had been a catalyst in some small way……

So flash forward a year or so and Voiceprint’s Rob Ayling phones me up and ask me if I’d be up for doing the cover for Pete Daltrey’s upcoming debut album. Me of all people! I explained to Rob why this might not be the best idea but he said he was sure that Pete had not realised the connection at all. Anyway Pete phones me up a few days later to discuss idea’s for the cover and he says nothing about before, so I prudently say nothing either. He turns out to be a lovely bloke, I think we talked three or so times altogether, long rambling phone calls with much in the way of fine stories on his part. He sent me the three photos for the cover and I marbled them with inks to give that hint of psychedelia without going too far and everything worked out fine. I don’t know if he ever realised the earlier connection or the unintentional but beautiful irony of what was to follow…….

check out Petes excellent web site:

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