Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Classic Album Covers (Part One)

New Order – Power, Corruption & Lies

The floral arrangement that garnishes the cover of Power, Corruption & Lies was originally a bridal bouquet, carried by the London socialite, Marjorie Brushett, at her wedding to David Hewson-Brown. The ceremony took place at St Joseph’s Church, Highgate on August 19th 1899.

After the wedding, the bouquet was taken to a cold storage depot on Nelson’s Wharf, Lambeth, where it was frozen into a block of ice. Brushett had intended the flowers to be preserved for the duration of her life and subsequently incorporated into her funeral wreath, as a symbol of her enduring fidelity to her husband. However, by the time of her death in the London blitz of 1940, David Hewson-Brown was long dead - a casualty of the previous great war - and the existence of the wedding bouquet had been forgotten.

The flowers were moved several times over the decades, ending up at another cold storage facility in Stratford. In 1982 they were purchased at auction by the graphic artist and New Order cover designer - Peter Saville.

Remembering the photography session for Power, Corruption and Lies, Saville described how the bouquet was flashed-thawed, leaving him only a few seconds to capture an image of the flowers as they visibly wilted before the camera. Within ten seconds all that remained of the arrangement was a cloudy soup of washed-out petals and decomposed plant matter.


Archie Valparaiso said...

The Hewson-Brown/Brushett wedding was held four years to the day after the death of the notorious outlaw John Wesley Hardin - who would sunsequently, albeit misspelledly, be immortalised by none other than Bob Dylan.

The homage resonated so strongly among a certain sector of hihg society, who to this dey they arrange the most important events of their social calendar in four-year cycles, like Olympiads.

Archie Valparaiso said...

Oops. That'll teach me to bitch about the spelling of others.

backwards7 said...

I assumed that you had slipped into that secret dialect of the English language used by Bob Dylan fans.