For 2009 - No.13 - Morrissey - Years Of Refusal
Design practice No Allegiances is responsible for the design and packaging. Mexican folk art and vintage California drove the art direction of Years of Refusal. Working around a photograph taken by Jake Walters of Moz holding a plump, drooling baby, they echoed the subtle Mexican sounds in the music by using typography inspired by José Guadalupe Posada, one of Mexico’s most famous illustrators and printmakers to give everything a kitschy frontier feel. To accentuate the chiaroscuro of the cover image and painting, the LP and special CD / DVD versions were run on fabric-textured stock which makes the record feel like an oil painting hanging in the Louvre that you shouldn’t have just touched. The CD / DVD version comes in a mini LP gatefold and was again made by London Fancy Box who did a fantastic job of putting together a solid, high quality package.
Band photography by Travis Shinn. Bodegon Con Jarra de Vino, 1914 (oil on canvas) by A. Fuentes, photography by Arturo Osorno / INBA / The Bridgeman Art Library
The adorable baby, with its cheeky little expression so at odds with Morrissey’s stern gaze, is the son of Charlie Brown, Morrissey’s assistant tour manager. Anticipating speculation about his latest cover, Moz had already drafted a response on the sleeve notes to The Years of Refusal:
“If you ask why the new album has the title it has (‘Years of Refusal’) and why on the cover he is holding the baby, after holding on previous covers the violin and the gun, because after all people will want to know, or more rumours will spill into the world and its voracious, agitated internet shadow, the sigh will almost crack into real annoyance. If you sail close to the gale force wind and bring up the sticky situations he finds himself in when he talks of his mythical old England, its disappearance and/or cultural and commercial conversion, and heretically flirts with the flag, and faces expulsion from the entertainment scene, then the sigh and the awkwardness will know no bounds.”
For the 00's - No.13 - Radiohead - In Rainbows
The artwork is by Stanley Donwood, who has worked with Yorke in designing all album artwork since 1994. For this one, Donwood experimented with a photographic etching technique, putting prints into acid baths with various results. During the recording of the album, Donwood regularly put up images in the studio and on the studio computer, letting the band interact directly and comment on them. He also posted images daily on the band's website, though none of the images were used in the final album artwork. Describing the album cover, he said "it's very colourful—I've finally embraced colour! It's a rainbow but it is very toxic, it's more like the sort of one you'd see in a puddle." The band decided not to release the cover for the digital release of the album, preferring to hold it back for the physical release. The "discbox" release of the album includes a lyric booklet, containing additional artwork by Donwood.