Q&A with Matthew Chojnacki

All press / news

The Duran Duran VIP Fan Community has an exclusive Q&A with author Matthew Chojnacki, whose great new book, "PUT THE NEEDLE ON THE RECORD: The 1980s at 45 Revolutions Per Minute" is out in-stores now!

The book showcases some of the coolest single art from the decade, with information and background on each, and features more than one appearance by Duran Duran. Equally exciting - the "Afterward" was written by Nick Rhodes.

To learn more, head on over to Amazon.com where you can order a copy for yourself.

Below read an excerpt from our Q&A with Matthew:

What's the first album/45 you ever bought?

My first 12" was "Rapper's Delight" by Sugarhill Gang. Still a great single. My first *CD*, incidentally, was Arena. Still a great album.

Why 80s single covers?

In my opinion the 1980s represented both the birth and death of the 7" single cover. With the launch of MTV, visuals were more important than ever before, and record labels were suddenly placing as much emphasis on single covers as the were with LPs.

However, by the end of the decade CDs shrunk down the artwork and the singles market was slowly dwindling, and with that came less emphasis on album/single artwork.

How did Nick Rhodes get involved with the book?

I still can't believe that Nick contributed in such a generous way to this project.

I really wanted someone to close out the book that had a firm grasp on both the music and art worlds. That's Nick, and in my opinion there's nobody else in music that has a stronger understanding of combining music with visuals.

And, of course, Nick also has a heavy heart for vinyl.

Nick was my first choice to write the afterword, and jumped on board right as All You Need Is Now was about to launch, so I really appreciated him taking time away from such a busy period for the band. His afterword is fantastic - a talking point in many of the book's reviews!

What are some of your favorite single covers?

From Duran Duran I always loved the minimalism of "I Don't Want Your Love" (which is in the book). There are countless other fantastic Duran covers out there, such as "Serious," "Come Undone," "Out of My Mind," "Rio" (also in the book), "Skin Trade" (the bum version), etc.

I like artists that really craft a image for an album and its singles - basically branding one project at a time. Duran Duran was one of the first artists to take this approach, beginning with their first album.

Of other artists besides DD, Grace Jones stands up quite well for me. Her pieces are absolutely timeless, and always command attention. I loved the visual aggressiveness of her sleeves "Put Up to the Bumper," "My Jamaican Guy," for example.

Pet Shop Boys are also consistently released stellar pieces, too.

And of cover artists, my favorite is Peter Saville (OMD, Joy Division, New Order).

I should mention one Duran Duran cover art-related outtake that's not in the book. Andy Johnson (aka Andy Dog) exclusively did the artwork for his brother's band The The (and two of his sleeves are in the book). Andy mentioned to me that other artists regularly approached him for cover art but in the end he always turned them down, wanting to remain the exclusive designer for The The. He said that of all artists that ever approached him, he was most flattered with a call from Duran Duran.