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POP ART

IN 1980, FRESH FROM LEAVING ULTRAVOX, JOHN FOXX BECKONED IN THE NEW DECADE WITH A GROUNDBREAKING DEBUT ALBUM, METAMATIC. DRAWING UPON HIS ART SCHOOL BACKGROUND AND DELVING INTO PHOTOGRAPHY AND COLLAGE, HE BEGAN WORKING WITH LIKE-MINDED DESIGNERS TO CREATE A FUSION OF SOUND AND IMAGE…

JOHN FOXX

The solo career of John Foxx coincided with the post-punk birth of electropop in the UK. Though his first four albums all charted, as did eight of his singles, he remains something of an enigma in the electronic music genre. Still prolific today, and working with artists across a broad range of disciplines, he offers Classic Pop a rare insight into the visuals behind the audio – a journey that began in the late Seventies with Ultravox…

How did you begin to get involved in the design of your records?

Record companies in those days were pretty chaotic, especially the independents. The visuals were often farmed out or left to chance. By the end of 1977, I realised I had to take it in hand. We were at the beginning of [third album] Systems Of Romance, a record that was a deliberate distancing of Ultravox from everything else at that time. I devised new imagery that was as powerful as the ripped-and-torn punk, deliberately detached, reflecting what we were about – European, electronic, lyrical. That was my brief to myself, a complete antifashion statement, running against everything that was dominant. It was equal parts instinct, defiance and exhaustion.

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About Classic Pop

The results are in! The latest issue features the Classic Pop 'Top 100 Albums of the Eighties' - as decided by our readers - including the classics of the decade, some cult favourites and a few wildcards to boot. PLUS! We give the Classic Pop verdict on David Bowie's new album 'Blackstar'… Elsewhere in the issue we investigate the classic pop of Christmas, delve into Sparks' weird and wonderful back catalogue, survey Simple Mind's classic album 'Once Upon A Time' and take a closer look at the leftfield sleeve art of John Foxx. Interviews include Visage's Steve Barnacle, Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze, Susanna Hoffs, McAlmont & Butler and modern synthpop duo Hurts.