The Vinyl Factory and The Mott Collection have joined forces to present a new exhibition in London: JUBILEE, 2012: Sixty Punk Singles.
As Britain prepares for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee this weekend, a new exhibition from The Vinyl Factory examines the antagonistic relationship between punk and the establishment. It’s 35 years since the Sex Pistols’ ‘God Save The Queen’ was released to mark and mock the Silver Jubilee, clad in a sleeve design by Jamie Reid that gleefully defaced Cecil Beaton’s official portrait of Her Maj. Apart from anything else, ‘God Save The Queen’ represented the stirrings of a visual revolution – precipitating a flood of punk 45s from around the world, issued on independent and major labels alike, that all favoured stark, confrontational, invariably monochrome cover art designed to have immediate impact and symbolise defiance.
To celebrate JUBILEE, 2012, The Vinyl Factory and The Mott Collection have collaborated to create a commemorative book. Limited to 100 copies worldwide, this 124-page catalogue documents the cover art of sixty punk singles from The Mott Collection, and includes an essay by Toby Mott. The first edition, which came with an exclusive 7” pressing of the Sex Pistols appearance on the Today show on December 1, 1976, has now sold out, but the second edition is still available to pre-order here.
The book will also to be available to buy – along with limited edition screen prints – at the JUBILEE, 2012 exhibition, which launches tomorrow at Vinyl Factory Chelsea and will be open to the public from May 30 – June 24. More information here.
Over the following 10 pages, Toby Mott picks 10 of his favourite sleeve designs from the punk explosion, and recalls how he felt upon hearing each record for the first time.
Toby Mott: “My favourite all time punk song, this was the anthem of the Anarchist Street Army, a radical political group I was a member of in the late 70s.”
Design: Jamie Reid
TM: “Has to be the best opening of any record ever. ‘Vacant’ and ‘Boredom’ was life without punk.”
THE WASPS / MEAN STREET
LIVE AT THE VORTEX SPLIT-SINGLE
(VORTEX RECORDS, 1977)
TM: “The intro, ‘I’m sick of 77 / can’t wait for 78’, leading into siren-like guitars…a positive look into the future, it still makes me want to throw myself around the room.”
‘CLASH CITY ROCKERS’
Design: Sebastian Conran
TM: “Nothing like starting your day with this singalong classic. Turn it up to full volume and let the neighbours enjoy it!”
Design: Jimmy Pursey & Jill Mumford
TM: “A punk love song…fuck the job, fuck school…smash the place up, ‘baby I’m coming back to you’, life’s unfair and I’m not taking it…”
‘ANARCHY IN THE UK’
TM: “What can you say? It articulated the thoughts and feelings of the ‘other’ – those who were not heard in the UK of the 1970s.”
(UNITED ARTISTS, 1977)
Design: Malcolm Garrett & Assorted Images; Artwork: Linder Sterling
TM: “The youthful punk explosion coincided with my discovering sex, which was free and reached the intensity of the music which was pounding through my head.”
‘GOD SAVE THE QUEEN’
Design: Jamie Reid
TM: “The ‘fuck you’ to society and the Rule Britannia mob, it confirmed to me ‘I’m not part of your flag-waving street party’.”
ADAM AND THE ANTS
(DO IT RECORDS, 1982)
Design: Paul Ridout
TM: “This was our London punk band, with a hardcore, violent, sexual edge. We would follow them all around the city from The Nashville in West Kensington to The Electric Ballroom in Camden Town, via The Marquee, Soho. This was before the pirate incarnation and Top Of The Pops fame that came with it.”
‘I AM A CLICHE’
Design: Poly Styrene
TM: “I remember running home with this record, putting it straight onto my Dansette record player, the screaming Poly Styrene with wailing saxophone would propel me to pogo into oblivion…”