How "spotty" student Richard Ashcroft asked Brian Cannon to create The Verve's album artwork

17 October 2020, 13:00

Britpop sleeve artist Brian Cannon has recalled the night he met a young Richard Ashcroft at a Wigan house party and how he came to do the band's artwork.

Brian Cannon has recalled the first time he met Richard Ashcroft and how he began designing album artwork for The Verve.

The iconic Britpop album sleeve artist - who is responsible for everything from the cover of Oasis' Definitely Maybe to Suede's Dog Man Star - has talked about his career and how he first met the Wigan singer.

Speaking on the BritPopCast, with George Lewis and Paul McCaffrey, Cannon revealed: "I was at a party in Wigan with my ex-girlfriend at my ex-girlfriend's house.

"And she went to Winstanley Sixth Form College with Richard and the rest of them, and she's having a party at her house and next to the record player there was some of the sleeves I designed for the [Ruthless] Rap Assassins. I just left them at her house and we just got chatting me and Richard. I didn't know who he was obviously at that time.

"He was quite a bit younger and we just got chatting and he says 'Oh well, I'm getting a band together, when we get signed I'd like you to do our artwork".

He continued: "Two years later I'm at a petrol station in Wigan at six o'clock in the morning looking for a pint of milk. Up pulls this car and these sort of lads get out and one of them is Richard Ashcroft and he remembered me! He said 'You're that record sleeve guy.'

"I'm like, 'yeah you're that spotty-faced student!' He's like, 'We've just been signed to Virgin Records. If you want the gig you've got it. Get in touch with our manager'."

Brian Cannon went on to work on The Verve's first three albums; A Storm In Heaven, A Northern Soul and their 1997 classic Urban Hymns.

He's also responsible for the cover art on their first ever single All In the Mind, which was released in 1992 when the still went under just "Verve".

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The Verve in the early 90s
The Verve in the early 90s. Picture: Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

READ MORE: Where was the photo for Oasis' (What's The Story) Morning Glory? taken?

Brian Cannon and his Microdot graphic design company are also responsible for the likes of Ash's 1977, Inspiral Carpets' Revenge Of The Goldfish, several Oasis titles including Be Here Now and (What's The Story) Morning Glory, Suede's We Are The Pigs and much more.

Cannon was also given The Lifetime Achievement Award by the global Annual Design Awards in November 2011.

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BritPopCast sees comedians George Lewis and Paul McCaffrey ponder some of the biggest questions about the artists of the Britpop era.

In each episode, George (winner of Celebrity Mastermind, answering questions on Oasis) and Paul (knows twice as much about Britpop as George) will be joined by a guest who will chat about their experience of the Britpop movement.

They will uncover stories you’ve never heard before, discuss niche trivia and revel in the nostalgia of a time when we all thought Tony Blair, the England football team and minidiscs all had great futures ahead of them.

Listen to BritPopCast on Global Player