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Bangles – “Walk like an Egyptian” single sleeve

Contributed by Jan Middendorp on Oct 9th, 2020. Artwork published in .
    Bangles – “Walk like an Egyptian” single sleeve 1
    Photo: Jan Middendorp. License: All Rights Reserved.

    “Walk like an Egyptian” is one of the Bangles’ biggest hits. Being a four-lady band, they are too often seen as three-hit wonders with a taste for pop and harmony. Yet schooled in folk as singers, but in rock and new wave as musicians, they were one of the most well-versed and exciting live bands in the mid-to-late 1980s,
    The packaging of their vinyls was usually well-designed. This is the original sleeve for their 7-inch single (1985, from the CBS album Different Light). Discogs credits Lane/Donald (Nancy Donald & Tony Lane) with the art direction.

    The typeface, amply and elegantly spaced here, has been identified as Apache from Photo-Lettering, Inc., which can be found under that name in their 1965 catalog. Two decades after the song was released, Jeff Levine digitized an alphabet “found in an old book used by sign painters” which was published as JNL Edessa. It was clearly a revival of Apache, or a font based on the same lettering as Apache. The designers of the 1985 sleeve cannot have used that version, as it didn’t exist yet.

    Apache as depicted in what James Edmondson called the racist section of Photo-Lettering, Inc.’s Alphabet Thesaurus Vol. 2 from 1965. The sample shows Apache with bouncing baseline and several ligatures.
    Florian Hardwig. License: CC BY-SA.

    Apache as depicted in what James Edmondson called the racist section of Photo-Lettering, Inc.’s Alphabet Thesaurus Vol. 2 from 1965. The sample shows Apache with bouncing baseline and several ligatures.

    See the Bangles performing the song live in Pittsburgh in 1986:

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    2 Comments on “Bangles – “Walk like an Egyptian” single sleeve”

    1. Solotype list it as Appian but also seem to have the hieroglyphic symbols available separately too. Did Photo-Lettering also list an equivalant Ancient Egyptian hieroglyph face, perchance?

    2. Thanks for this pointer, Patrick! Great find. I don’t think Photo-Lettering offered such hieroglyphs. At least I haven’t come across such a face in their catalogs. It’s absolutely possible that the designers of this cover ordered the typography from Solotype (or some other provider) and not from Photo-Lettering, and that the specific font in use is in fact Appian, not Apache. I’m hesitant to give Appian its own entry, though: as with many (most) Solotype typefaces, the designs were appropriated from other sources, typically with no or only superficial changes, and often under new names. I added Appian as an alias of Apache.

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