Clarification of Swoon Cover
By Douglas Merk
You mentioned having no idea what's pictured on the cover of Swoon. I could never make it out either, and then one day it was absolutely clear. It's a photo of a man (presumably Paddy), showing his face and upper arm, photographed in profile, from overhead, above his left side. That photo is then blended with the ambient green background, so that the green not only fills in what is behind the male figure, but also replaces most of any part of the man that is in shadow - this is what makes the image rather cryptic.
In photoshop, I prepared two images, one labeling the different parts of the man, the other trying to trace him, including the areas lost in shadow. Hopefully, between the two, it will convey the figure to you.
Comments From Others:
From Mick Aneworderfan:
"The image of the cover to me is always been very clear, since the first format of Swoon (best Sprouts album by the way) I had was a cassette almost 20 years ago. Anyway if you look at the full cover of the booklet of the CD the image is exactly the same.
You're probably looking at the cover of the LP, if I remember correctly that shows the upper half of the image and lower half is on the back with the track list (the back cover must be the same of the CD, the only difference is you never see the full image as you see on the tape and CD sleeves). It's a picture of a man holding a woman (with long hair), I'm not sure if it's a ballet, the dress of the woman and the pose of the couple would make us think at that. Anyway it's a perfect image for the title as a metaphor of the intensity of love."
From Jim Williams:
"It's ironic, really. Being colour blind (colour confused, strictly speaking) I'm one of those people who could never see the hidden pictures in those annoying op art and multiple dot images that used to be all the rage, but it never dawned on me that the cover of Swoon was anything but discernible. A woman with her head and right arm aloft is being embraced around the waist by a man who may well be kissing her arm. It's plain to see, and one of my favourite album covers. Evocative of the iconic and religious images of yore, it has an inspirational, balletic quality."
"According to Paddy (1984 or 1985, it's such a long time ago, "after party" in Utrecht) the Swoon cover is himself in a brussel sprout or cabbage. It's supposed to be symbolic for his musical (re)birth."
The jury is out! Email me with your thoughts.