I got this job for designing Jan Tyler’s album “Underskin” through my good friend Adam, the head of a big recording company who recommended me to Jan as someone who was professional, imaginative and not afraid to take a risk.
This album was one of the most Avate-guard, underground albums I have ever heard.
I can’t say I understood a lot of it in between the blips, squeaks and screaming that seemed to accompany each of the twelve songs on the album.
I love weirdness as much as the next freak but there are some things that go right over the top of me and this is one of those albums.
I guess you’d have to be seriously into pushing the boundries of art to really appreciate what went in to making this album.
Many long hours of recording and editing of ideas that either worked or didn’t, worry, stress and doubt.
It was a risk for Jan who up until then, had been a pop musician with a promising career with a short life span as is the case with most top ten pop stars these days.
But after meeting and marrying the famed sculptor Franco Martinez, she changed her whole image and recorded this album of outstanding, if not a bit confusing, piece of work.
All of the songs blend into each other so you’re never quite sure which song it is you’re listening to, in fact I’m sure she chopped some songs in half and fused the beginning of one song with the end of another.
Jan whose image had once been that of a nice arsed bimbo singing other people’s songs, was looking for something to change all of that and be taken as a serious musician.
We talked for a while over the phone as she was living in London at the time, and discussed many things about her past career and the direction she now was heading in.
It seemed to me that this new direction of Jan’s had always been waiting just beneath the surface and as we talked I began to imagine what lay under the surface, under the skin.
After talking to Jan, I looked in one of my old biology books and found a picture of a woman with her circulatory system superimposed over her naked body.
I sent the picture to Jan and asked her to imagine the woman was her.
Jan sent me back a naked picture of herself with her approval of the idea and permission to go ahead.
It took many hours to draw the circulatory system over Jan but the end result speaks for itself I think.
When the album was released it shook the music industry just enough for Jan to lose her image as the nice arsed bimbo and be taken seriously as a musician, which was her intention all along.
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