Yet another Barney Bubbles design emerges


7in sleeve + record with custom label. Stretcher Case Baby/Sick Of Being Sick, The Damned, Stiff Records, 1977.

A backlog has been steadily building of Barney Bubbles designs to be added to the singles + album sleeves section of this site.

We’ll be getting round to sorting the listings out soon with much more fabulous artwork, but the recent contact with Kosmo Vinyl has spurred on the addition today of Bubbles’ sleeve for The Damned’s free single Stretcher Case Baby/Sick Of Being Sick, issued in the summer of 1977 to celebrate the first anniversary of the band’s debut gig.


Clockwise from top right: front cover; label A-side; label B-side; back cover.

Stiff pressed up a run of 5,000 copies to coincide with the gigs The Damned were booked to play at The Marquee from July 3-6 1977.

Members of the band’s fan club, Damned Disciples, were also sent copies and 250 were given away via the NME.

“I watched Barney put the design together,” says Vinyl of the sleeve, which – complete with custom label – amped up The Damned’s Gothic tendencies by using Charles Allen Gilbert‘s fin-de-siecle illustration All Is Vanity: the image of a woman looking at herself in a mirror forms the outline of a death’s head.


60in x 40in poster, 1977.

On the front and label is the band logo Bubbles had recently created. This also appeared on his large Damned poster featuring lead singer Dave Vanian in full Nosferatu mode.

Bubbles also designed another poster for the residency.

“The Marquee gigs were canceled after  a row over the positioning of a row of the ‘Dave Vanian’ posters – one of my favourite Barney designs – across the back wall, covering up the Marquee logo,” says Vinyl.

“Jake (Riviera, The Damned’s manager and Stiff co-founder) pulled the shows, though I can’t remember if the first one went ahead anyway.  If it did it would have been because the house was already full.”

Gilbert’s illustration was also used for the front cover of Def Leppard’s 1993 album Retro Active, while Bubbles’ version with the Damned logo is available on t-shirts.

Top photo from King Bee.

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One Response to “Yet another Barney Bubbles design emerges”

  1. Terry Says:

    I like this site its gooood….
    I went the 3rd night of these gigs…..cancelled….got at least 4 of the free singles though….everyone was grabbing them….
    a distant memory…..
    .wobbly camera…..blurred soundtrack…souuuuuuunnndtttrck……..soooooooooooooooouuuuuundttttttttracccccccckkkkkk……………………
    Ext…Street……Viv Stanshall atired head to toe in a Bishops Uniform(?!)
    at the junction of… Broawick & Wardour (that sounds like a song title)
    some brave spotty punk…..Viv was a very big chap….& he even had one of those curly sticks Bishops strut about with ….went “BooooooooMMMM”…right in Vivs face
    well… I call him now….weren`t having any of that …no way…hes an urban spaceman who detested sports
    ….went “BooooooMMMMMm” right back…..with no hint of humour ..
    .as I remember he said something along the lines of ….
    “ghastly little shit type”…….& went strutting up Wardour street an F- ing & blinding……plodding the stick thing down…..
    he did have the most undeathly colour about him though….deep dark yelowy grey……..poor old Vi
    BTW…re the sleeve…. W.E Hills example of the “Multistable figure” was fist adopted….in 1915….. “My wife & my mother in law”…
    but good on Barney for resurecting an interesting & fun image….
    we looked at the world differnt then……..T

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