Monday, 1 February 2016

Art of the Cover - Nick Drake's "Bryter Layter" (1970)

Dont' mess with my blue suede shoes .. indeed!

Many Drake fans have long speculated on the deep meaning intended by the incongruous bespoke footwear on the famous cover to Drake's mighty second album.

It transpires that the enigmatic brothel creepers on this enigmatic cover to the sublime collection "Bryter Layter" from the ever enigmatic Nick actually belonged to the portrait’s photographer, Nigel Waymoouth and that no real "deep philosophical meaning" attached to their presence.

Of more interest on the accoutrements front here is the fact that the chair Nick is sitting on had originally belonged to a certain Charles Dickens .. and,  the fact that the guitar  had originally belonged to a certain Eric Clapton!


Nigel Waymouth said of the cover ..... 
They weren't his shoes, they were mine. After I had asked him to take off his shoes, I put them there to add an optimistic note (blue suede shoes - dancing shoes), in an otherwise sombre photograph, that would echo the title of the album, Bryter Layter.

A few years later Nick came up to me at a party and said how much he liked the cover and that he now understood what it was about.

The chair, by the way, once belonged to Charles Dickens, who sat in it to write, and the small Guild guitar was one that Eric Clapton gave to his friend and flat mate, Martin Sharp, the australian artist and chief designer of Oz magazine. 
Oh, and the shoes were made to my design by the Chelsea Cobbler.  

1. Introduction
2. Hazey Jane II
3. At the Chime of a City Clock
4. One of These Things First
5. Hazey Jane I
6. Bryter Layter
7. Fly
8. Poor Boy
9. Northern Sky
10. Sunday

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