Sounds and CR a history of creativity for music through the CR archive

From sleeves to promos, magazines, photography and set design, Creative Review has consistently covered the world of music. We pick out a few highlights from the archive

CR January 03

When CR launched in 1980, punk had already turned into New Wave but MTV was still a year away. The pop promo was just about to change music for ever while it was still possible (and enjoyable) for design studios to make a living creating album sleeves.

Casting back through the archive, there is so much music-related content it’s hard to know where to begin. For unintended irony, it’s hard to beat a piece from November 1982 which traced the impact of punk fanzines such as Sniffin’ Glue with a great big ad for Porsche plonked in the middle of the second spread.

Some of the most memorable pieces have been when we have also spoken to the musicians themselves, not just the designers who work with them. In May 2008, Spiritualized’s Jason Pierce sat down with Mark Farrow to talk about the work they have created together, while in October 2013 we had a brilliant discussion between Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja and Sean Bidder of Vinyl Factory. Other highlights include Rick Poynor interviewing David Byrne (May 2011), plus interviews with FKA Twigs (Jan 15) and Björk (Oct 16).

Vaughan Oliver, Tom Hingston, Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell (who memorably went through the Hipgnosis archive for us), Malcolm Garrett, Peter Saville, Tomato, TDR, Swifty  – there’s enough music-related material here to fuel several music design dissertations and more. And it’s not just big name designers and bands either – there is a huge variety of content, from the smallest indie labels to the world famous.


In photography, we have Anton Corbijn interviewed at the height of his powers, Duffy, Elaine Constantine and much, much more while in music videos you can trace the careers of the likes of Chris Cunningham, Vaughan & Anthea and Michel Gondry though our pages.

But it’s not just about individuals. The CR archive is a window into how the music business itself has changed. The emphasis of our coverage mirrors those changes as our focus goes from sleeves to music videos to web and digital projects and through to the design of today’s spectacular arena shows by the likes of Es Devlin.

Anton Corbijn profile, Sept 96
Michel Gondry interview, Oct 01