Record sleeves of the year #05: Earl Brutus, Closed box set

Earl Brutus box set, designed by Scott King
Earl Brutus box set, designed by Scott King

In the 1990s, Earl Brutus gained a cult following for their raucous live shows, provocative album art and unusual mix of punk, glam rock and electronica.

Scott King’s Closed box set for the band perfectly captures their eccentricity and aesthetic. It’s everything a commemorative box set should be – a beautifully produced and loving homage that is filled with bonus features.

A map of Britain depicting a future where Earl Brutus is in charge
A map of Britain depicting a vision of the future where Earl Brutus is in charge

Both of the band’s albums (Your Majesty… We Are Here and Tonight You Are The Special One) are pressed on silver glitter discs. Extra features include a poster depicting a vision of Britain where Earl Brutus is in charge, laid out like a rail map – inspired by late band member Nick Sanderson’s fondness for the British Rail logo – and a calling card reminiscent of the kind the band used to collect with a digital download code printed on its reverse.

The box set also includes a collage of photos submitted by friends and fans, including Jeremy Deller. The albums are packaged with their original covers (Your Majesty… was created by TDR and Tonight… by King) in a silkscreen-printed box with an image of a flat-roofed pub on its cover – a reference to the fictitious pub that inspired the band’s name.

“The whole idea for the packaging was to try and really capture the spirit of Earl Brutus – how complicated and artful they were, but also how boozy and chaotic and funny they were. [It] veers between hi-gloss, advertising slick[ness] and cut-out snapshots on matt paper,” says King.

You can read more about the box set here.

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