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Digital Subscriptions > Long Live Vinyl > Apr 2019: Record Store Day > The Story Behind The Sleeve

The Story Behind The Sleeve

#23 Go 2 XTC

Like the post-punk record inside its sleeve, the cover for XTC’s 1978 album Go 2 rejects the conventions and stereotypes of rock ’n’ roll, eschewing photographs of the Swindon band and instead delivering a confusing essay in a stark typewritten font on whether the reader should buy the record. Designed by Hipgnosis, it’s perhaps the most boldly self-referencing sleeve of all time, the letter beginning with the statement “This is a RECORD COVER”. The reader is toyed with and challenged, first being told “we want you to BUY it”, because “the more of you that buy this record the more money Virgin Records will make”, then “This is called luring the VICTIM and you are the VICTIM”. The essay refers to the “TRICKS” of commercial design before concluding “The con is a con. A good cover design could be considered as one that gets you to buy the record, but that never happens to YOU because YOU know it’s just a design for the cover. And this is the RECORD COVER.” How the design affected sales is up for debate, but the album itself, released only nine months after debut White Music, was, in truth, easily forgettable.

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About Long Live Vinyl

Issue 25 of Long Live Vinyl comes with your free 40-page Official Record Store Day 2019 magazine, the complete guide to all 500+ releases to help you get ready for 13 April! It’s the only place you’ll find full details of every Record Store Day release, plus there’s the chance to win £50 of Record Tokens to give you a head start on the big day. Elsewhere in issue 25, we pay tribute to Neil Young, as his bandmates, producers and a host of musicians influenced by one of the world’s greatest songwriters tell us about 50 years with Shakey. We also speak to Sleeper, Beirut and Michael Chapman about their brilliant new albums, meet stellar producer Stephen Street, chart the rise of Discogs and welcome our new columnist, Pete Paphides. If all that’s not enough, you’ll find the most comprehensive range of new album, reissue and hardware reviews anywhere on the newsstand. Long Live Vinyl is THE magazine for vinyl lovers.