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sons and fascination: artwork

It was the summer of 1981. Simple Minds were rushing around numerous London recording studios, desperately trying to finish a double album in the time allotted for a single. They couldn’t stay still.

During these frantic, fraught sessions, a night was spent standing motionless outside New Covent Garden Flower Market in south London. Built in 1974, this low two storey square steel and concrete building with its tented pitched roof was in direct contrast to the concrete brutality of the Nine Elms Cold Store and industrial wastelands of Vauxhall standing around it.

No wonder it was spotted by local boy Malcolm Garrett.

The Love Song single featured several shots including this one taken at a corner of the building. Cropped shot above with the full sized picture below.

With the market closed for the day, the unlikely photo session moved in. Simple Minds posed motionless in the loading bays as Malcolm Garrett drove his American cars between band members and Shelia Rock captured the scene with a Polaroid on long exposure.

Another shot from the Love Song single pictured the band against a loading bay. Cropped shot above with the full sized picture below.

The result was a strange juxtaposition of style: the band in ghostly transit, the American cars suggesting the musical birthright of the album, the architecture futuristic yet vague. It could’ve been anywhere and perhaps that was the intention. Garrett surrounded the prints with his modern reappraisal of 1930s Constructivism creating a visual fusion for the record's sleeve.

From the back of Sons And Fascination, the lone car is parked near a doorway with distinctive grills either side. Fast forward to 2008, and despite some extra doorways, this could be the same view. Cropped shot above with the full sized picture below.

The results were colourful, intriguing and blurred into anonymity. And another aspect of the recording sessions was captured: the band just couldn’t stay still.

New Covent Garden Flower Market: nearest tube, Vauxhall.

The blurred main image on the album's sleeve was taken looking along a loading bay. Cropped shot above with the full sized picture below.

Sons And Fascination album