‘Into Battle With The’ Art Of Noise 12″

On the artwork side of things: you were pretty instrumental on the direction of it. Were you bringing in reams of text to be interpreted by XL?”
Paul Morley: Pretty much early on, for the first one, which was ‘Into Battle’ – I just nicked the image from a book.”
It’s a Van Eyck painting… (‘The Knights of Christ’  – part of the Ghent Altarpiece)
“…yeah, and gave it them along with a Dave Brubeck sleeve that it is, in fact, identical to.”
“Yeah, there’s a Dave Brubeck sleeve (‘Time Further Out – Miro Reflections’ by the Dave Brubeck Quartet) and it is absolutely identical. I mean the positioning is identical and I love the idea of going into battle and I love the idea of us wearing armour and I love the whole idea of presenting something that wasn’t an album, wasn’t a single… what was it? That was wonderful and confused a lot of people but I thought it was great because it added to this idea that no one knew what it was. It was sourceless and where was it coming from? It could have been a black group from Chicago or weird German idiots from Berlin, it could have been anything.”

The Dave Brubeck Quartet – ‘Time Further Out’, do you remember that?
David Smart:“Yeah I do, ‘cos that’s where…”
Paul said he gave you that as inspiration and he didn’t expect you to literally copy it.
“Yeah and it had a couple of masks down here (points to the tracklist) How amazing…”
What was the idea behind the Art of Noise image? Obviously the theater with the masks and stuff…
“To be honest I can’t remember where it all started but the first Art of Noise cover… it started with the masks on the very first single I think.”

artist: Art Of Noise  title: Into Battle  format: 12″ single  design: XL and ZTT  photography: A.J. Barratt  cat. no: ZTIS 100  date: 26/09/83  art of notes:

4 Responses

  1. Quite simply, this was a seminal 12’cover for me. the artwork promised everything, and nothing….it was truly mysterious and played on my simultaneous obsessions with hushed, ethereal musical releases; iconic art; intelligence; tight and satisfying typography design (I was honed on such as The Face and ID at the time); and a general sense of something different and exciting.
    “Into Battle”‘s cover art satisfied, entirely, all of these……….and I never regretted it.

    The fact that I truly cared about catalogue release numbers and the various ZTT series which followed was being fed – ZTT releases just mattered and showed caring for the music buyer – a masterstroke. The last time I felt such pleasure was a short time before: buying early, plain cover Tommy boy releases where the play-out liner section of the 12” had messages and you could leave the needle on when the track finished and get strangely cut up beats from the “Bonus Beat section (so kind) of the track.

    In a sentence, XL/ZTT artwork was of a quality and preparation which changed my life and the game t’boot.

  2. Dave, click on the images and you get a gallery of extras including the Brubeck sleeve, if you see blue dots under the right hand corner of an image that means there are more in a gallery.

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