Monday, April 23, 2012

The Art Of Analog

Larry Mullen Jr on cover of "Desire"
Adam Clayton on cover of "Angel of Harlem"
Adam Clayton on cover of "Where The Streets Have No Name"
The Edge on cover of "With Or Without You"

As I was organizing some of my music the other day, I found stashed amongst all the other 45rpm records these four U2 singles from the Joshua Tree/Rattle and Hum era.  Back then, record companies released singles from albums and I had been a big U2 fan for as long as I can remember, so I got just about anything U2 put out.  Not that I've forgotten these songs -- in fact, I listen to the Joshua Tree album just about every time I drive through the California desert.  However, what I'd forgotten is the fact that these Anton Corbijn photographs of the band at the time were just phenomenal.  A Dutch photographer shooting an Irish band in the California desert!  These days, anyone can find any of these single releases on mp3 off Amazon or iTunes.  However, forever lost is the art of the 7" sleeves that is effectively a blank canvas for the artist.  Digital music had replaced the physical paper and vinyl that I spent $5 for each of these items.  Although vinyl seems to be making a comeback, I seriously doubt record companies are willing to put up the money to pay someone like Anton Corbijn for his images to be put on the sleeve of a single containing just two songs.  The return on investment is just not there.  In the meantime, I treasure these images that most younger U2 fans will never get to appreciate.

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