PSB DESIGNING par Alex Camarillo
Alex Camarillo explore en détail la créativité faite autour des albums et singles des Pet Shop Boys au cours de leur longue carrière ,la personnalisation des différents formats et la participation d'artistes très talentueux , photographes, créateurs de costumes et graphistes tels que Mark Farrow ,Eric Watson ,David Fielding et Jeffrey Bryant parmi ceux qui ont contribué au design des Pet Shop Boys comme une icône visuelle de la culture pop.
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It’s a sin” was launched on 1987 as the first single of “Actually”, Pet Shop Boys’ second studio album. The artwork was designed by Mark Farrow and PSB using a set of photographs taken by Eric Watson in Christ Church, Spitafields, an East End landmark designed by the eighteenth-century architect Nicholas Hawksmoor and for being a appropriate location for the shoot.
The main cover shot used on all single’s formats was taken in the decaying and abandoned sacristy of the church showing Neil seated besides a table and Chris standing back of it and according to Neil, “it reminds him a Walter Sickert’s painting titled ‘Ennui’, from 1914, part of London’s Tate Britain permanent collection”; Neil also noted that Eric Watson was reading a lot of John Berger by that time and he suggested in his book ‘Ways of Seeing’ that many contemporary advertisements were modelled from Medieval and Renaissance paintings. The front cover showed only the name of the single “it’s a sin” with inverted commas per Neil’s suggestion “like a Victorian book illustration” and the back cover was solid blue-purple with the name of the band, tracks and credits on white type. The single included the B Side “You know where you went wrong” and the 12” and CD Singles -first time that PSB released a Single in CD format-, included “It’s a sin (Disco Mix)”.
In addition to the main release in the UK that included Cassette, CD, 7” & 12” singles, two Limited Edition vinyls were issued in an Double Cardboard Sleeve with new photos from Eric Watson’s shooting showing full-length photographs of Neil & Chris -alternately in focus and in the background on each shot- standing inside the church, where the empty, cavernous spaces seem to reflect the oppressive nature of the song’s themes. The 12” Single used these photos for the outer sleeve while the 7” Single used it for the inner sleeve. The cover of the 12” Remix Single -which resembles a gargoyle or religious statue draped in chains- used a close-up photo of Chris from the song’s video, in which he plays a medieval jailer and and references the darker ideas of the song itself. This 12” Remix included a new remix by Ian Levine and “You know where you went wrong (Rough Mix).
The cover on the international releases remained the same as the main cover on the UK Single with minor changes on the type including the name of the band, some in the same tiny style in white or black type and some with bigger type or even a larger box with all the copy. The cover for the US release included a blue sticker with the legend “4 Special Mixes of It’s a Sin” and included two new remixes by Phil Harding, better know as the “Latin Mixes”. There are some completely different artwork covers designed for releases in other countries like a Box Set in Germany including the 7” Single and a satin scarf with the silhouette of Neil & Chris; or the Promotional 12” Single in Brazil with a black & white photo of Neil in suit and Chris with a hoodie over whit background, or the promotional 12” Single in Japan issued in a white sleeve with a black sticker with pink type using the older “Pet Shop Boys” logo from the “West End girls 1984” era; or even a very rare promotional 12” Single in Clear Vinyl with 6” picture labels and the legend “Dance & Romance” at the top and “Dance Side” at the bottom including the ‘Disco Mix’ and sharing the B Side with Freddy Mercury’s ‘The Great Pretender’, labeled as the “Romance Side”.