Brian Duffy’s cover of David Bowie’s ‘Aladdin Sane’ 1973

“Diplomacy was never Duffy’s forte, and he famously fell out with the British pop artist Allen Jones over the 1973 Pirelli calendar they collaborated on. However, the mixture of techniques employed for that project inspired the powerful and distinctive cover of Bowie’s Aladdin Sane. “Tony DeFries, his [then] manager, wanted to make the most expensive cover you could possibly get a record company to pay for,” Duffy recalled. “He couldn’t have come to be a better con artist than my good self. Dye transfer is a genius method of being able to spend the most amount of money to get reproduction from a colour transparency on to a piece of paper. And we went to Switzerland, the most expensive place to get a plate made. Bowie was interested in the Elvis ring which had the letters TCB [taking care of business] as well as the lightning flash. I drew the design on his face. We used lipstick to fill in the red. To me, it [the cover] was competent, very competent, but I wouldn’t take it much beyond that.” (more)

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