Music business

New book chronicles stories behind iconic 1980s single covers

NEW YORK – Matthew Chojnacki, a self-described “huge Roxette fan” from Cleveland, Ohio, tells a story about going to record stores while growing up in Cleveland that is strikingly similar to the one Per tells about his own boyhood in Halmstad.

“For me, going to a real record store was very much an experience growing up,” he told us in a telephone interview.  “You know I’d ride my bike to the store, I’d ride all the way home…  just the adventure of purchasing a record and getting it home was a thrill.  But for me, there was complete experience then. It was the art work, it was the liner notes, it was the listening…”  He argues that “the 1980s were the most visually provocative era of the last millennium,” which was reflected in the way music was branded and marketed. Every new vinyl single that hit the stands was wrapped in eye-catching sleeves to incorporate the latest trend and taste of the moment.

With the surge of digital music in the last ten years, there has been less emphasis on packaging music and more on creating killer videos and flashy web sites. To celebrate the great music art of the past, Chojnacki has compiled a visually stunning guide to 7- and 12-inch vinyl single artwork from the ’80s.

In his book Put the Needle on the Record: The 1980s at 45 Revolutions Per Minute, he presents about 250 vinyl single covers, representing nearly every prominent musician of the decade. The book, which is set to be released in the next few days, not only features the iconic covers, but also the previously untold stories behind the artwork from the designers and visual talent behind Madonna, Prince, Adam Ant, Pink Floyd, Queen, The Clash, Pet Shop Boys, Kate Bush and more. 

In a two-page spread, Chojnacki presents Roxette’s “Neverending Love” along with The
Korgis’ “Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime,” as he felt that both contained quirky, retro graphics and that they looked really good next to each other.

Click on “Read more…” for ordering information and a chance to WIN A COPY OF THIS BOOK!

Chojnacki interviewed a number of artists to get the story behind the single art. Besides Per, who reveals that the cover art was deliberatly designed to “confuse everybody about Roxette,” some of the other people he interviewed were Annie Lennox, Duran Duran, Run-DMC, Gary Numan, The B-52’s, Erasure, Scorpions, The Knack and Yoko Ono. The book contains a foreword by Jake Shears of the Scissor Sisters and an afterword by Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran.

The Daily Roxette has seen some advance galleys of the book, and we suspect that many of you will want a copy to put out on your own coffee table.  The book retails for $39.99 USD, but you can order Put the Needle on the Record: The 1980s at 45 Revolutions Per Minute from for less than that.

Chojnacki is a long-time reader of The Daily Roxette and he’s generously offered us two signed copies of his book to give away via another installment of TDR Trivia!  Good luck!

The give-away contest deadline was Sunday, October 2nd, at 12:00 noon New York time. The contest is now closed and the winners will be announced soon.

This article was written for an earlier version of The Daily Roxette.
Technical errors may occur.

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September 21st, 2011

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