Prior to Christmas the hashtag #BestBlackAlbumCovers was trending on Twitter, with black twitter doing what it does best: providing witty, intelligent and irreverent commentary on those shared cultural idiosyncrasies that seem to resonate with the global Diaspora no matter where you were raised or where you reside. For #FlashbackFriday we take a trip down memory lane to celebrate the album covers from this side of the pond that have made an impact on us as Black Brits.
Caroll Thompson – Hopelessly in Love, 1981
A young Caroll pictured looking pensive while leaning back on a car provides a vivid flashback to the beginnings of the lovers rock era. I wonder if she realised she would go on to become one of the reigning queens of the genre.
Loose Ends – A Little Spice, 1984
One of the most prolific and inspirational British soul groups, Loose Ends, solidified their place in the canon of UK soul with their seminal album A Little Spice.
Mica Paris – Contribution, 1990
Mica’s second album Contribution takes us back to a time when the soul songstress experimented with a more funky futuristic sound, including the Prince penned and produced If I Love U 2 Nite. The pop-art inspired visuals still looks cool and contemporary, proving just how ahead of its time the entire project was.
Dizzee Rascal – Boy In Da Corner, 2003
The sunshiney yellow background of Dizzee’s Mercury Prize winning debut plays at odds with the sombre sounds and lyrics dominating this grime classic. And yet despite the angst, the tension, boy, did it produce some bangers: I Luv You, Fix Up Look Sharp and Jus A Rascal, just to name a few.
Soul II Soul – Club Classics Vol. One, 1989
Jazzie B and his Soul II Soul compadres gifted the world with Club Classics Volume One in 1989. The album gave way to legacy-making, global smash hits such as Keep On Movin’. Back To Life (However Do You Want Me) and Fairplay. The album artwork also made an impact, who can forget the mysterious silhouette, funky dreads and fist pump – it doesn’t get any more iconic than this.