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    • AC/DC rock music: trock
    • Apr 16th 2021
     
    Hey Everyone

    I have always wondered about this album cover. does anyone know the history behind it, it seems so different than any of the others with these random people on it vs Band members

    were the people on it ever known ? who did it ?

    just curious and one of those random things I have always wondered and figured someone here might know

    thanks
    !!
  1.  
    This cover was originally designed for a different band. That's why it looks so different to their other covers. I can't remember which band it was for.

    The company that made it is called Hipgnosis. You can see more of their artwork if you search for that name.

    I never thought about the identity of the people. That's an interesting question. Maybe someone else can answer.
    • AC/DC rock music: trock
    • Apr 16th 2021
     
    @shoottothrill

    hey, thanks for that info! thats really interesting to me as well, i had no idea it was for another band. great info!

    yes, weird I know but i always look at the cover, the older woman and the rest and just always wondered if they had any idea it would become iconic and then who they were

    thanks!
  2.  
    Hipgnosis and Storm Thorgerson did a lot of Pink Floyd covers. The same kind of vibe as the Dirty Deeds cover can be seen on Wish You Were Here.

    I don't particularly like the US Dirty Deeds cover.
    • AC/DC rock music: nimeta
    • Apr 16th 2021
     
    Hipgnosis are an important player in the history of rock. Lots of stuff on them here....

    https://en.wikipedia...
    • AC/DC rock music: St. Looy
    • Apr 16th 2021
     
    Hipgnosis liked to make multiple versions of their covers, like Sabbath's Never Say Die, or UFO's No Place To Run. For the UK absolute first pressings of DDDDC they limited themselves to three spine colours: Blue, pale blue or mauve.
    These colours are also used on various foreign issues (like the US), though I've not spotted any pattern to their uses there
  3.  
    I still haven't been able to find out which artist the cover was designed for and why they rejected it either. The characters were obviously shot seperate but i've no idea where/who they are. Storm Thorgesen from Hipgnosis shot it.

    The cover itself is a shot of the old Fortune 400/Angels motel at Peco Rivera, LA...about 20 mins from my sister's old place lol. The side awning to the car park got removed a while back, as did the palm trees. The facade has been changed a few times so it looks a bit different...but the crappy old sign is still hangin' on! Some of the other buildings that were nearby got flattened and rebuilt. There's a liquor store right across from it which Bon would no doubt laugh at, hehe.
    •  
      AC/DC rock music: Thankass
    • Apr 16th 2021 edited
     
    Back in the day i always wondered if the guy on the left front could be Bon..

    Nevermind. This is how the place looked in 2004. Old sign is still there with COLOR TV!



    After that it had WiFi and HDTV:



    After that it had Free Internet and HBO !

  4.  
    Haha, that's the one!
  5.  
    Cool. Really a relic of the past.
    •  
      AC/DC rock music: Thankass
    • Apr 16th 2021
     
    This is what Aubrey Powell (co founder Hipgnosis and photographer of the portraits on the cover) had to say:

    I remember two skinny little Australian guys coming into Hipgnosis’ studio, and I thought, “These guys aren’t going to amount to a hill of beans.” I really did. They were funny little guys and they started saying, “We need an album cover.” I was going to L.A. the next day and I said, “Well, why don’t I shoot something in L.A.?” And Storm called me when I got there and said, “I’ve got an idea. Remember those exposé magazines like National Enquirer, where they used to black out people’s eyes so you wouldn’t know who they were but you did really?” I said, “I’m just down the road from Sunset Strip where there’s sleazy motels. Why don’t we shoot something there and we’ll get a load of characters?” I shot the background there, flew back to England, and we hired a bunch of models and dressed them up in different stuff, outfits, put them in Hipgnosis studios and then created this collage all the way across, as they are standing in front of it. And it’s absolutely a perfect example of Hipgnosis work where everything is shot front to back, not how the eye sees it. So everybody is in sharp focus, yet the composition is as if they were there for real. That’s what gives it that surreal, almost painted kind of atmosphere to it.

    And again, I don’t think these two Australian kids, Angus and Malcolm, really understood it, and in fact they changed the cover later on to something that I would consider a bit more vulgar, a bit more obvious. But nevertheless, for me it went pretty well. It sold six million albums [in the U.S.].
  6.  
    It’s not the “US cover”

    It’s the international cover that came out in 1976
  7.  
    Posted By: BillyBollocksIt’s not the “US cover”

    It’s the international cover that came out in 1976

    sorry - still don't like it
  8.  
    Wow. Great pictures and info in this thread.

    It's a pretty good cover, but I still prefer the Australian one with the cartoon of Bon and Angus in a pub (and the other members on the back). Really fits what they were doing musically at the time.
  9.  
    Cartoon music, you mean?
    • AC/DC rock music: trueblue
    • Apr 17th 2021
     
    I dunno, I like this cover best :)
  10.  
    Posted By: MeanstreakCartoon music, you mean?


    No, I mean pub rock. The music scene they came from. Playing rock music in pubs and bars.
  11.  
    I like both covers, but the original suited the music better. I can understand why they went for a Hipgnosis cover though, since Atlantic probably wanted them to broaden their target group to include more intellectual people, like students (doomed to fail, he he).
  12.  
    Posted By: soulstripper666I like both covers, but the original suited the music better. I can understand why they went for a Hipgnosis cover though, since Atlantic probably wanted them to broaden their target group to include more intellectual people, like students (doomed to fail, he he).


    Next class students will look into this:

    The following is a true story
    Only the names have been changed
    To protect the guilty
    Well, I left my job in my home town
    And I headed for the smoke
    Got a rock n roll band and a fast right hand
    Gonna get to the top
    Nothings gonna stop us, no nothing
    So if you've got the money, we've got the sound
    You put it up and we'll put it down
    If you got the dollar, we got the song
    Just wanna boogie woogie all night long
    Yeah, boogie
    I got holes in my shoes
    I got holes in my teeth
    I got holes in my socks
    I can't get no sleep
    I'm trying to make a million
    And I got patches on the patches
    On my old blue jeans
    Well, they used to be blue
    When they used to be new
    When they used to be clean
    But I've got a momma whose a hummer
    She's keeping me alive
    While I'm in the band doing drinking…
  13.  
    Posted By: Meanstreak<
    Next class students will look into this:



    I always wondered why we never close-read DDDDC lyrics at the literature courses I took at the University. I'm taking courses in History now instead, can't wait till we get to Australian 70's History ...
  14.  
    The International cover of Dirty Deeds does not reflect the band at all. I don't get it. I can only imagine it was released in the hope that people who knew nothing about the band would be intrigued by the cover and buy it hoping to hear some sophisticated progressive rock. It must have been a marketing ploy to try and expand their audience by stealth.
    •  
      AC/DC rock music: DrBelford
    • Apr 17th 2021 edited
     
    I understand many will bash the international cover for its lack of authenticity, maybe rightly so.

    And yes, it doesn't really reflect the band, but to me at least it kinda reflects the clearly subversive nature of the album pretty well. Even down to the "tongue in cheek" attitude.
    It's just a little more subtle & sophisticated and of course I understand how that clashes with ACDC's self perception.

    But the sense of humor is there.
  15.  
    Does the cover suggest that these anonymous, random people from all walks of life (whose identities have been masked to protect the guilty) share one thing in common, that they meet in highway motels for some 'dirty deeds'?

    I'm sure someone from Hipgnosis has explained the image somewhere.
  16.  
    Posted By: CantEvenFeedMyCatDoes the cover suggest that these anonymous, random people from all walks of life (whose identities have been masked to protect the guilty) share one thing in common, that they meet in highway motels for some 'dirty deeds'?

    I'm sure someone from Hipgnosis has explained the image somewhere.


    Yes, that's definitely the vibe I get from it.

    Would be interesting to know if that's what they were going for.
  17.  
    Posted By: Digital MorphineThe cover itself is a shot of the old Fortune 400/Angels motel at Peco Rivera, LA...about 20 mins from my sister's old place lol. The side awning to the car park got removed a while back, as did the palm trees. The facade has been changed a few times so it looks a bit different...but the crappy old sign is still hangin' on! Some of the other buildings that were nearby got flattened and rebuilt. There's a liquor store right across from it which Bon would no doubt laugh at, hehe.

    I wouldn't be so sure. According to this, the motel was (and still is) located on Sunset Blvd:

    https://www.facebook...

    https://www.google.c...

  18.  
    ^ Very good detective work!

    Maybe the Angels Motel bought their old sign?
  19.  
    Posted By: CantEvenFeedMyCatMaybe the Angels Motel bought their old sign?

    I think that it could have been the same motel franchise, just in different location (notice the similar shape of the roofs):

    Pico Rivera
    https://www.google.c...

    Sunset Blvd
    https://www.google.c...
  20.  
    Posted By: ThankassI said, “I’m just down the road from Sunset Strip where there’s sleazy motels. Why don’t we shoot something there and we’ll get a load of characters?” I shot the background there


    Aubrey Powell says it was shot on Sunset Blvd. So the 'Rode'way Inn is probably right.
    •  
      AC/DC rock music: Thankass
    • Apr 19th 2021 edited
     
    Looks more likely indeed:




    •  
      AC/DC rock music: Rocco
    • Apr 19th 2021
     
    Posted By: currentpeak
    Posted By: Digital MorphineThe cover itself is a shot of the old Fortune 400/Angels motel at Peco Rivera, LA...about 20 mins from my sister's old place lol. The side awning to the car park got removed a while back, as did the palm trees. The facade has been changed a few times so it looks a bit different...but the crappy old sign is still hangin' on! Some of the other buildings that were nearby got flattened and rebuilt. There's a liquor store right across from it which Bon would no doubt laugh at, hehe.

    I wouldn't be so sure. According to this, the motel was (and still is) located on Sunset Blvd:

    https://www.facebook...

    https://www.google.c...



    Good find. This looks very much like it.
  21.  
    Posted By: currentpeak
    Posted By: Digital MorphineThe cover itself is a shot of the old Fortune 400/Angels motel at Peco Rivera, LA...about 20 mins from my sister's old place lol. The side awning to the car park got removed a while back, as did the palm trees. The facade has been changed a few times so it looks a bit different...but the crappy old sign is still hangin' on! Some of the other buildings that were nearby got flattened and rebuilt. There's a liquor store right across from it which Bon would no doubt laugh at, hehe.

    I wouldn't be so sure. According to this, the motel was (and still is) located on Sunset Blvd:

    https://www.facebook...

    https://www.google.c...

    Y'know what, I think you're right too! Personally, I thought it was yet another place but I was told repeatedly by folks older it was the Angels....can't wait to show 'em. Great work finding this out, this is the stuff I love, cheers!
  22.  
    Ah, they were part of the Imperial Inn chain, so identikit buildings were everywhere.

    https://www.flickriv...
  23.  
    I always thought it was a motel Down Under.
    • AC/DC rock music: trock
    • Apr 19th 2021
     
    Wow! came back after the weekend to all this awesome info!

    sorry about that as well, i always thought the US version was this cover and the international one was the cartoon. i am learning more and more just thru this topic

    i am a huge Then and Now person, i like to find places of things I am interested in from old pics and see how they are now and try and match the new and old photo up. this is awesome you guys knew where this was and that its actually still there

    thanks for the info to on who did it, and the photographer. i have literally wondered about it off and on since 81 lol

    thanks all!
    •  
      AC/DC rock music: morevish
    • Apr 19th 2021
     
    Great love this stuff.

    Posted By: ShootToThrill
    Posted By: CantEvenFeedMyCatDoes the cover suggest that these anonymous, random people from all walks of life (whose identities have been masked to protect the guilty) share one thing in common, that they meet in highway motels for some 'dirty deeds'?

    I'm sure someone from Hipgnosis has explained the image somewhere.


    Yes, that's definitely the vibe I get from it.

    Would be interesting to know if that's what they were going for.


    and that's what I also always thought.
    •  
      AC/DC rock music: Thankass
    • Apr 19th 2021
     
    Posted By: CantEvenFeedMyCatDoes the cover suggest that these anonymous, random people from all walks of life (whose identities have been masked to protect the guilty) share one thing in common, that they meet in highway motels for some 'dirty deeds'?

    I think the old lady has just poisoned here annoying and cheating husband
    The lady in white just came from the future because she is holding a nokia cell phone. She is a terminator.
    The guy in black just came from a leather and jeans party but his wife doesn't know
    The dog is the only one that is not guilty....yet. He is looking at a small puppy across the street that he is going to eat.
    • AC/DC rock music: St. Looy
    • Apr 19th 2021
     
    Thanks for pulling all this together. Somebody told me once they'd heard the motel was found in LA, then that story from Hipgnosis popped up. Nice to have it all confirmed with pictures!
  24.  
    Posted By: Thankass
    Posted By: CantEvenFeedMyCatDoes the cover suggest that these anonymous, random people from all walks of life (whose identities have been masked to protect the guilty) share one thing in common, that they meet in highway motels for some 'dirty deeds'?

    I think the old lady has just poisoned here annoying and cheating husband
    The lady in white just came from the future because she is holding a nokia cell phone. She is a terminator.
    The guy in black just came from a leather and jeans party but his wife doesn't know
    The dog is the only one that is not guilty....yet. He is looking at a small puppy across the street that he is going to eat.


    Maybe the motel, then, is symbolic of seediness in general. It's a place for secret shenanigans, illicit meet-ups, and all that. The people don't necessarily go there, but its symbolic of their secret double identities. A lot of weird stuff goes on behind closed doors in these establishments.

    I think the guy in black leather secretly visits the Blue Oyster club, maybe turning tricks on the side, for an affordable price. In the daytime he's a bank manager or something, with wife and three kids.
  25.  
    BTW did I say the original cover was good? The more I think about it the uglier it gets. It might suit the music but that painting with Bon's gigantic arm is embarrassingly ugly. I can totally understand why they wanted to change it for the international market and gave the job to the hippes desgin company at the time. The international cover might not suit the album as a whole, but it's a perfect illustration to the title track "protecting the guilty".
    • AC/DC rock music: fyfe79
    • Apr 20th 2021 edited
     
    Always loved the international sleeve. I used to just stare at it as a kid and try to figure it out, a real snapshot of the mid 70's. Gave the album a real sinister, serious vibe which perfectly suited the music (title track and Squealer especially).

    It was much later on when I saw the Aussie sleeve and thought it looked ridiculous, tbh. Poorly drawn and silly. Pub-rock, like someone said previously. I thought it cheapened the music and made it more of a joke.