RECORD CRACK: Art Of Noise’s “Close (To The Edit)” (UK sleeve)

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Those of you who have followed me, my work, or ThisIsBooksMusic.com know that I’m a huge fan of the Zang Tuum Tumb empire, and consider Art Of Noise to be a huge influence on me. There was a time when I did anything and everything I could to buy as many AoN records and variations as I could, and this I had to have in my collection.

“Close (To The Edit)” was Art Of Noise’s second single, their follow up to 1983’s “Beat Box”. It was released in the U.S. by Island a few months earlier than a domestic release in the group’s home country. When the UK released it, it not only had a different picture sleeve but a completely different B-side. What you see above is the UK picture sleeve, and I liked it because it looked very “British” to me. It didn’t matter that the photo may have seemed random at the time, a skeleton carrying a scythe? For what? Was the grim reaper a sign of some sort? If the music video for “Close (To The Edit)” was meant to be the assassination of the traditional in order to pave the way for the modern, was the cover meant to show the aftermath? Eh, maybe not, but the imagery and statement in the front just looked cool. Now look at that in comparison to the U.S. sleeve.

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Don’t get me wrong, the simple approach for the U.S. sleeve is very nice, based on the 12″ cover for “Beat Box (Diversion One)” but for me, the UK wins.



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