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March 28, 2012 11:04 AM   Subscribe

Born in 1942, Colin Fulcher was better known – though not by much – as Barney Bubbles, who worked prolifically from the 1960s until his suicide in 1983. A graphic artist, designer, art and video director who preferred to remain behind the scenes (he only rarely signed his work, and when he did, often used obscure pseudonyms), Bubbles' revolutionary and innovative practice encompassed record sleeves, band posters and videos for Hawkwind (and their friend/collaborator Michael Moorcock), Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Ian Dury and the Blockheads (including their iconic logo), Billy Bragg, The Specials and Depeche Mode. A retrosective of his work, Reasons To Be Cheerful, and its associated blog has a comprehensive overview of Bubbles' diverse body of work. Designer and artist John Coulthart offers up his perspective; Creative Review get behind his creative processes; a new Radio 4 documentary, In Search of Barney Bubbles , covers his work and often troubled life.
posted by Len (10 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Wow. I had no idea one man was responsible for so many great, great album covers. That Creative Review link, with pics of his mechanicals for final art sure brings back fond (honest!) memories.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:23 AM on March 28, 2012

When I first started paying attention to designers by name I was stunned to find out how many of my favorite covers he designed - and looking at "record sleeves" link I see there are even more I didn't know he had a hand in. Big thanks for this!
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 11:24 AM on March 28, 2012

Love that Elvis Costello cover.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:46 AM on March 28, 2012

I've got most of his Hawkwind album sleeves stashed away somewhere, even the Hawklords one; the music was a brief enthusiasm for me, but the covers were too good not to keep.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 12:25 PM on March 28, 2012

Love that Elvis Costello cover.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:46 PM on March 28

Love that Elvis Costello album.
posted by Decani at 12:59 PM on March 28, 2012

I always thought he did the video for Accidents Will Happen too, but that was Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton, apparently. I thought it fit the establishing aesthetic of his cover very well, in any case.
posted by mykescipark at 1:12 PM on March 28, 2012

...I never realized he did the Be Stiff EP art for DEVO. I've always loved that sleeve. I used to have a t-shirt with it on, actually!
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 1:32 PM on March 28, 2012

posted by hal9k at 1:54 PM on March 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

I was deeply impressed when I recently learned that the same artist who made the compelling sleeve for Hawkwind's Space Ritual also arranged the wallpaper for Do It Yourself...
posted by ovvl at 4:21 PM on March 28, 2012

Well, who knew?

I agree with others, I had these album, have these CDs, had no idea who he was... sad, sad ending...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:25 PM on March 28, 2012

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