‘The artwork, which features a naked man sprawled on a bed were lifted from one of Anderson’s old photo books. Taken by American photographer Joanne Leonard in 1971, the front cover picture was originally titled “Sad Dreams On Cold Mornings” and the rear photo “Lost Dreams,” Anderson says, “I just liked the image, really, of the bloke on the bed in the room. It’s quite sort of sad and sexual, I think, like the songs on the album.”‘
It seems to be a time for looking back at the moment. Suede have released their best of album, and Pulp are reforming to do a tour next year. Great if you are into 90s nostalgia, not so great if you are doing your best to forget the 1990s and all who sailed in her.
Brett Anderson, known for his famous line that he is a ‘bisexual who has never had a homosexual experience’, said of the cover photo on Dog Man star that it is ‘sort of sad and sexual’. I agree. It is a very sad image. It reminds me of the last night I spent with my ex, when the light was streaming in from the window, and when I woke after what seemed like only a few minutes sleep in a very long dark night of the soul. I momentarily forgot what had happened and I thought everything was going to be ok. But it wasn’t.
The thing that strikes me on looking at that album cover photo now, is how homo-erotic it is. I am involved in an ongoing quite ‘violent’ (internal) battle with Queer Theory, about the importance of the ‘male lover’ in our culture. Queer Theorists point out how intrinsic this figure is to all our literary and art history, our collective psyches. And the homo-erotic significance of that male lover has been overlooked traditionally. I get that. And I agree. But sometimes it makes me mad that an image like the one above, of a naked man lying head down on a bed the light streaming in from the window, is so much more meaningful than if it were a woman lying there. I don’t know why this is.
Could it be as simple as that beautiful glimpse of naked ass we are offered? That makes us simultaneously feel disoriented, ashamed even, and also delighted by the fact we know exactly what we want to do to that ass, what needs to be done to it?