As Adam Ant took to acting, his musical career had one or two more throws of the dice left.
The dandy highwayman dabbled with space exploration as his penultimate hit single Apollo 9 launched the Vive Le Rock album, which featured Stylorouge's first collaboration with photographer Nick Knight, and a memorable midnight shoot in James Lebon's 'Cuts' hairdressing salon and Bar Italia on Frith Street. (Snaps on that occasion by James' brother Marc).
This was without doubt the year of the British pop star, and many of them found themselves traipsing to London W2 to discuss haircuts and fonts - among them, Paul Young, Howard Jones and Alison Moyet all getting the Stylorouge sleeve treatment. Long time friend and collaborator for all of the above was photographer Simon Fowler.
Part of the dormitory set from the movie Another Country was re-created in Gered Mankowitz's Hampstead studio for the shoot with leading actor Rupert Everett, to create the poster image for one of the UK's movie successes of the year. Virgin Vision distributed some fine movies at this time and seemed to be able to balance an output of mainstream and art movies at this point, and were sorely missed by film-goers and Stylorouge alike when the company closed it's doors for business later in the decade.
Another Music Week Award for single packaging (Paul Young's I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down), and a lot more work with Island Records – a good year for reggae –Gregory Isaacs and Sly And Robbie among the big names of the year. Stylorouge's policy of taking on college leavers resulted in some great young talent dropping by, and it was with some reluctance that we let Chris Bigg leave to join his true spiritual home at 4AD, where he stayed as part of Vaughan Oliver's V23 for many years.
Following up his success with the single War Baby, Tom Robinson makes something of a full comeback with the album Hope And Glory, and Orange Juice released a strange 6 track mini album on Polydor, (a format championed by Island Records).
The sleeve for Texas Fever represented the visual chaos that had followed the band's career since their indie inception some years yearlier in Glasgow. Dave Edmunds sideman and session guitarist Billy Bremner was encouraged by his musical cohorts to release his own album - Bash! was the result. The open brief didn't even include a title; our first suggestion was God Given Right.
Other music related projects this year included album sleeves for new reggae pin-up Ini Kamoze, Innervisions pop hopeful Space Monkey and advertising campaigns for Papa Levi, Spandau Ballet and Dead Or Alive. New Scottish signings to Polydor, Seven, were photographed by fashion specialist Neil Kirk. It would be 20 years before Stylorouge would have the pleasure of working with him again, when Westlife's Face To Face album would need packaging. Theatrical advertising agency The Marketing Office ran a succession of jobs through the Stylorouge office in 1984, in particular, it was necessary to forge the caption writing style of legendary Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz to create the ever changing typographic requirements on a succession of advertising briefs for the West End musical Snoopy (another creative high point!) Talking of which, the novelty of working with the self-styled Glam leader Gary Glitter lost some of its shine in later years when he fled the authorities to Cuba and then to Vietnam, hopefully with his tail well between his legs…