The album Micro-Phonies by Cabaret Voltaire was art directed by graphic design heavyweight Neville Brody in 1984. Brody’s infamous typography features on the front and a bandaged figure spouting liquid from the mouth stares blankly at the viewer. Being heavily influenced by the punk movement, his design seems to fit the Dada-inspired and punk-thriving band’s sound and vision.
It wasn’t the first time Brody had worked for the band however, their 1982 album 2×45 had Brody’s design on the cover of the 12″ vinyl release.
The rugged industrial style of his design matched the industrial sound the band brought to the world several years earlier.
Shown above is a much more colourful cover that Brody designed for the single “James Brown,” that leans slightly more towards the punk movement at the time. His style gels completely with the band because the colours scream out at you in such a way that it isn’t garish but communicative of the way the band want to represent themselves. I couldn’t imagine the album cover looking any other way.
One of the videos from the album, “Sensoria” (shown below), was voted best album by the Los Angeles times in 1985, and the quick-cut crazily trippy video later found its way into the hands of the New York Museum of Modern Art because of it.
Cabaret Voltaire – “Sensoria” from the album Micro-Phonies.
The poster for the album can be seen in the film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (shown below) an odd choice by the set dressers in such a mainstream film, as the majority of the audience won’t be familiar with the Sheffield band’s music or name, which doesn’t feature in the film other than on this poster in his bedroom.