Record Numbers

I’ve had this image ready to post for nine months. To give it more numerical relevance, I’d been trying to remember to post it on the 22nd of the month. But month after month, the 22nd would roll by and I would miss it. Until now.

A double album cover for the band, 22-Pistepirkko, this is one of those strikingly clever packaging photos that really only work from one particular vantage point. In other words: the “22” is only visible if one purchases the double album, takes it home and simultaneously pulls both records halfway out. Which could be a cool surprise, but not much of a selling point for someone flipping through the record bins. (if there were still record bins to flip through)

I first saw it on the “Typographic Research” Tumblr site which identified it as the work of Gary Rizzolo“Gary Rizzolo designed a great 22 Pistepirkko LP.”  The photo was “reblogged” with those same credits on at least 18 other Tumblr sites.

Looking in vain for a different picture of this album cover (without the two records sticking out), I began to suspect that it wasn’t really a part of 22-Pistepirkko’s discography at all. The band did release a 22 song double album, but its cover didn’t look like this. (See also: 69 Love Songs)

Sure enough, it’s a concept image rather than a real record release. But its designer is someone else entirely.

From German designer, Johannes Rantapuska’s website:

22-Pistepirkko (2008) Vinyl cover art for Finnish long-term indie rock band, 22-Pistepirkko. School assignment.

I’m guessing that whoever first posted it as Gary Rizzolo’s (rather than Johannes Rantapuska’s) work, made a sloppy, but unintentional mistake. As a result, if you now search online for “Gary Rizzolo” + “22-Pistepirkko” you get 2,780 results. Yet if you search instead for “Johannes Rantapuska” + “22-Pistepirkko” you only find 1,010 results.

The popularity of the blog post with the misattributed cover design, combined with the ease of reblogging it on Tumblr has, in this case, enabled misinformation to trump correct information by a factor of about 275%.

As tempting as it is for me to declare October 22 “set the record straight day,” it turns out that this date is already spoken for. October 22 is International Stuttering Awareness Day. Any connection between the repetition of digits in this date (two-two) and the speech disorder is probably coincidental. But I have problems of my own with double digit dates. (See: Birthday Mathematics)


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