Debbie Harry: Koo Koo
I’ll preface this feature with the note that in high school I was a huge Giger fan. I had all the books (well the ones I could afford), posters, key rings, calendars and more crap. So expect to see features on the ELP covers soon.
I think Jimmy Page sums up best how I feel about this cover.
“Giger’s cover, Koo Koo , for Debbie Harry is tremendously sensual, building on the image she developed as a rock ‘n’ roll Marilyn Monroe long before anyone else tried it. Debbie Harry’s sexuality was hidden rather than blatant and that’s continued here with a fabulous extension of her image.”
Jimmy Page, November 1990
Excerpt from the Introduction to the book published in conjunction with The Record Art Collection Limited Edition Rock “n” Roll Art Prints. Source
The album also featured two more adaptations of the cover for the sleeve images. Besides the headband this doesn’t feel very 80′s to me. In fact I think you could easily pass this off as a modern cover.
Giger worked his magic on top of Brian Aris’ photo of Debbie. Adding the four needles which he mentioned was inspired by him being treated with acupuncture at the time. Brian himself is an interesting character who has photographed everyone from Ozzy Osbourne to the Queen mother.
This is one of only a four album covers Giger created specific artwork for. Other 20 odd covers were licensed from previously created artwork.
I was surprised to find out that posters used to promote this album were banned in the UK. They were deemed too disturbing for the public. Considering this is probably one of the tamest pieces from Giger’s career its quite funny.
Giger was also commissioned to create film clips for two singles. He even features in the Now I Know You Know video. He’s the guy in the mask. Check the special effects on the Backfire clip and remember this was 4 years after Star Wars came out, so there’s little excuse for them being so crap.
Here’s a few production photos of the shoot with Debbie looking very Bjork. Or is that the other way around?
Giger has a great biographical account on his website. on the creation of the artwork and the film clips.
The collaboration of DH and Giger even made the cover of Heavy Metal #55. One of the few times they opted for a photographic cover.
For a cover that’s over 25 years old it still holds up today. Sadly the same can’t be said for the film clips. More info at Wikipedia.
I also found this Saudi Arabian cassette design here which I thought was quite funny.
They wasted perfect good space to the left that could have been used for another sticker :)