So, let’s just pretend for a moment that you’re British band Hard-Fi. I realize this might be difficult, as you’re trying to remember if you’ve ever heard of Hard-Fi. Just imagine a less interesting version of the Arctic Monkeys (yeah, yeah, I know) and stick with me for a moment. You’re readying a second album that no one in particular wants to hear. How can you get some media attention for a moment? What will it take to make the prestigious pages of the NME? Oh, here’s one idea: make a big fuss about not having cover art!
Hard-Fi have shunned ‘traditional’ cover art for the sleeve of their new LP ‘Once Upon A Time In The West’.
Out on September 3, the album cover will have a plain yellow background with the album title at the top, and “NO COVER ART” written in large white letters below…
Similarly, the promotional version of the single sent to industry figures will feature the phrase, “RARE PROMO COPY. NOT TO BE SOLD TO MUSIC AND VIDEO EXCHANGE BY PRIVELEDGED RECORD COMPANY WORKERS”.
“We wanted to break the rules,” said Hard-Fi front-man Richard Archer. “We don’t need some airbrushed band shot just because it might be expected. Fuck that. This is about the music.”
While the “no cover art” bit has been done a bit more properly already on this side of the Atlantic, Hard-Fi sure are going out of their way to stick it to the man, or at least the British equivalent. My favorite part are the big letters that inform the viewer that there is “NO COVER ART”. Genius. Pure genius. What’s next? Subverting the dastardly radio system by simply playing their music in front of paying audiences? Commenting on the fashion culture that infiltrates music videos by featuring models lip syncing the vocals? We await your next move, Hard-Fi, and if we don’t sell back your promo, it’s because of your commitment to integrity, and not because they wouldn’t take your first album a few years ago.