Sunday, December 12, 2010

Various Get Back: Simply Saucer - Cyborgs Revisited, Pere Ubu - Terminal Tower, Comus - First Utterance

These are three of my favorite records. Maybe with the exception of Comus, I love them without any consideration of their appearance. The label of all three, Get Back, tends to put out reissues and packages of never released stuff that I almost always like. The LP covers are usually just the original cover, archival photos with Norton or Rhino style anti-design for the typography, or sort of approximately appropriate new art design.

Things really fall apart on the LP label, and the source of the problem is the Get Back logo itself. Scan back up to the images and your eye will find it quickly. If you weren't already familiar with it, from now on it'll be the first thing you notice anytime you see an LP from Get Back. In this sense the design succeeds as branding, great. The problem here is what the logo and the name of the label does to anything they release. It smears a stink of good-timey phoniness all over the record. It's very similar to the title sequences on latter day Disney and Warner Bros cartoons. The proscenium and the curtains allude to the old cartoon cinema, but the assumption that after all this time we'll be thrilled by Bugs' new drapes just makes me wish the movie was already over. What are we to "get back" to? The sort of rocknroll traditionalism of muscle cars, sweet tats, and big amps? This stuff bums me out.

Just check this junk out:
Yeah, there's a lot of cool stuff here, but I think you only need to hear the band Detroit's Lou Reed cover "Rock'n'roll" to get what I'm talking about.

To me there is an implication in the Get Back logo that record collecting is almost a reactionary activity. Would the Detroit dudes approve? We need to get back to the riffs of our fathers, etc.

Of course there are other ways to "get back". Instead of looking back, maybe the past can simply exist ontop the present, PKD style. Take it from my favorite Detroit man, second only to my dad.

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