Thursday, July 07, 2011

Twelve great covers from Bravo magazine

Bravo is Germany's biggest youth magazine, active since 1956, apparently noted for its sex education expertise, banned in less than decadent East Germany. Going through its frontispiece archive on the excellent Coverbrowser, we note it started with a very clean and clear single image before some time early in the 80s exploding into a riot of as many images and text banners as can be fit onto A4 size. Their most recent cover makes us despair for what we've given the world. From happier times, a dozen examples of Bravo trying to work out what its audience will go for...

Unsure of which way their demographic will turn, Bravo put the Pistols on the cover and give away a Kenny poster (18/8/77)

An unnecessarily pecs-baring Telly Savalas acts as distraction from the unnerving fact Bravo is attempting to plug The Exorcist to kids (22/5/75)

(Actually it might have been for Airport 75. In fact Blair was on Bravo's cover three times, the next time just as smiley on a bike being promoted as a big young Hollywood star, then in pursed-lips close-up actually for The Exorcist II. A bit later, here she is being out-acted by some of S Club 7)

Cliff as medallion man, Kiss' autographs and for the kids, a Doris Day poster. All human life is catered for. (6/12/79)

Rick Parfitt. Hi, frauleins! (1/6/78)

A man called Gazebo throttles a kitten (9/2/84)

A horribly crowded cover and an attempt to launch Springsteen as an international dreamboat (5/6/85)

(Speaking of dreamboats, this comes in the wake of a period in mid-1983 where in 23 weekly issues nineteen featured either Nena or Kajagoogoo on the front. If there's one thing Bravo likes more than its home grown international successes, it's available himbos with soft hair. Speaking of the former...)

Falco recreates the Frank Hovis farting sketch from Absolutely (13/2/86)

Jason Donovan perpetuates German stereotypes (10/8/89)

(Wonder how Corey Haim's album for plants got on)

Melinda Messenger's secret past revealed (2/4/92)

(This of course is the semi-legendary Army Of Lovers, without whom the course continental Europop would have turned out quite differently. Chap on the right seems to be channelling Prince and Paul King simultaneously)

Strange that this look seems to have been airbrushed out of the band's history (29/12/94)

(That's not the most flatteringly designed trophy in magazine history, is it?)

Boy band formation desires mixed with rampant Anglophilia leads to this bandname (19/10/95)

New adaptation of Madness Nutty Walk prototyped; designer remains unaware of British capacity for sexual visual innuendo (2/10/02)

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