Friday, April 22, 2016

83. Oasis - Definitely Maybe

On this work, the original album art was cropped at the top and stretched horizontally to produce an image 9x5 in LW ratio, four of which can fit into an 18x10 resolution screen. 
The resulting image  was then positioned at top left.  The image was next reproduced and flipped horizontally  and the resulting image  was placed at top right. The two
images were then  mirrored to fill the  remaining space and  the shades were  added to add dimension and depth.  Finally, the whole  image was  processed with
the craquelure filter and the contrast and brightness were adjusted. 

The initial idea for Definitely Maybe came from the back cover to A Collection of Beatles Oldies, which was a group photograph of the Beatles gathered round a small table in a 
Japanese hotel room.  Oasis had decided that a similar group  photograph should be taken in Bonehead’s front living room.  I’d already heard the  album many times and
knew that it was  a great challenge to  create an image suitable for the cover.  I was therefore horrified when I went to recce the room and  saw how small and
uninspiring it was.

Photo from Thrifty Vinyl

The band had assumed that I would take the photograph looking into the room with the bay window as a source of illumination – in other words, the opposite direction to how it 
finally appeared on the cover. To me, the bay window was the most interesting feature of the room and so I decided to take the unusual step of shooting into the light of
the bay window. I then lit the room accordingly to avoid the band appearing as silhouettes. The room was made to look bigger by using a wide-angle lens but this 
created a problem with the floor. The stripped flooring had been transformed into this huge ‘desert’ expanse which overwhelmed and dominated the shot.
The empty space and what to do with it became a real problem. A week before the shoot I had visited the Egyptology section at the Manchester
Science Museum and, as a result, the whole notion of lying in a preserved state and the way the Egyptians honoured and represented their
past kings was very much fresh in my mind. The idea then occurred to me to have Liam Gallagher lying outstretched and motionless
on the floor, with his head towards the camera and with his eyes closed: a rock icon ‘lying in a state’ or indeed some other
transcendental state, but not of this world.

Definitely Maybe has to be one of the best covers I did for Oasis and I know the band themselves were really pleased with it.
Michael Spencer Jones for Oasis Recording Information

The artwork for Definitely Maybe warrants scrutiny.

The large image of Burt Bacharach in the bottom left of the artwork is, first and foremost, a straightforward homage to one of Noel's musical heroes but the positioning of 
the picture is also significant.  It is reminiscent  of where Pink Floyd  positioned the artwork for the  soundtrack to the film, Gigi, on the cover of their 1969 album,
Ummagumma. One presumes this was Noel's nod to the prog rockers, rather than the Vincente Minnelli musical film.

There is a small photograph of Manchester United legend George Best in the window, which was guitarist Bonehead's defiant reminder that not every member of Oasis is a 
Manchester City fan.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is playing on the television. Noel has since declared that this Clint Eastwood western is one of his favourite films.

Inevitably, if Bonehead was having a picture of a Manchester United player, the Gallagher brothers were going to have a bigger picture of a Manchester City legend. And
who else but Rodney Marsh, the club's record signing, who scored 35 league goals in 116 appearances.

(Of the empty glass and ashtray), nothing too cryptic here, just a nice reference to the track, "Cigarettes and Alcohol." Rupert Hawksley for The Telegraph

No. 44, The Virgin All-Time Album Top 1000.

Sleeve concept, design and art direction by Brian Cannon for Microdot, photo by Michael Spencer Jones.
Album produced by Oasis, Mark Coyle, Owen Morris and David Batchelor. Creation 1994. 

(A) Rock 'n' roll Star - Shakermaker - Live Forever

(B) Up in the Sky - Columbia - Sad Song

(C) Supersonic - Bring It On Down - Cigarettes and Alcohol

(D) Digsy's Dinner - Slide Away - Married with Children

"Shakermaker" music video from OasisVEVO on YouTube.



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