Al Campbell – Rainy Days
© Alex Bartsch, courtesy One Love Books
Art

Taking UK reggae sleeves back home

Photographer Alex Bartsch has traced over 40 record covers to the London locations they were shot in
Written by Louis Pattison
2 min readPublished on
Various Artists – Harder Shade Of Black
Various Artists – Harder Shade Of Black
Album originally released on Santic, 1974. Rephotographed in Hackney Downs, London E5, 42 years later.
It all began when photographer Alex Bartsch was living in south London. One day he noticed that a record he owned – Brixton Cat by Joe’s All Stars – was shot at Brixton Market, just down the road. So he grabbed the record, grabbed his camera, and photographed it against the original backdrop. So began a strange quest – to find classic reggae sleeves shot in and around London, and to take them back to their original location.
Check out some of his best below.
Smiley Culture – Cockney Translation
Smiley Culture – Cockney Translation
Cockney Translation originally released on Fashion Records, 1984. Rephotographed on Plough Road, London SW11, 32 years later.
Carroll Thompson – Hopelessly In Love
Carroll Thompson – Hopelessly In Love
Hopelessly In Love originally released on Carib Gems, 1981. Rephotographed on Milton Avenue, London NW10, 34 years later.
Moodie – Early Years
Moodie – Early Years
Early Years originally released on Moodie Music, 1974. Rephotographed on Downhills Park Road, London N17, 41 years later.
John Holt – 2000 Volts of Holt
John Holt – 2000 Volts of Holt
2000 Volts of Holt originally released on Trojan Records, 1976. Rephotographed in Holland Park, London W14, 39 years later.
Al Campbell – Rainy Days
Al Campbell – Rainy Days
Rainy Days originally released on Hawkeye, 1978. Rephotographed in King Edward VII Park, London NW10, 38 years later.
Says editor Al ‘Fingers’ Newman:
Alex Bartsch has done a brilliant job in pin-pointing the locations of 42 reggae record sleeves photographed in London, which when mapped out paint a fascinating picture of the history of reggae music in the city. Many of the albums were shot very close to where I live and it has been amazing to imagine artists such as John Holt just down the road in my local park, posing for a photo 40 years ago.
Check out more fascinating art on RedBull.com.
Check out more great premieres, stories and videos at RedBull.com/Music
Like Red Bull Music on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @RedBull_Music