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Rummaging through the record racks after school the cover of Ratt Invasion of Your Privacy caught my adolescent eye for some inexplicable reason.  No, not the back cover where the band grimace and gurn away at the viewer with perfect, back-combed, permed hair in a succession of outfits which, let’s face it, would get your head kicked off your shoulders in most towns even if you wore them for your grocery shopping.   Nope, it’s the front cover I’m talking about:

Lovely model, with a hairstyle which plants her firmly in the 80’s, putting on little lacy ankle socks whilst only wearing her knickers and vest.  Now we could just leave this at the ‘Phwoarr! it’s a hot chick in her undies, who is obviously up for it’ level, but we are all better than that, people.  Let’s have a look at the visual semiotics of the cover:

French Windows:  Open, inviting, transparent – clearly this hot chick is up for it.

Dressing Table – No toiletries / lady products or other adornments, no further beautification of the subject is necessary – clearly this young lady is hot, permanently available and up for it.

Bed – Slightly tousled duvet, with a frilly edge (unconsciously reminding viewer of her panties) – clearly this is where the action happens.

Shoes – Impractically heeled, discarded (perhaps in a moment of passion) – clearly this hot chick isn’t going anywhere fast.

Rug – Inexplicably resembles the sort of mats put in front of toilets by fastidious elderly relatives – symbolic of the inevitable decay of youth and beauty, even for hotties like this who are up for it.

Hot Chick – Vacant expression – symbolic of shallowness of physical vs. mental attraction, is she putting on, or taking off that sock? this is the key to the whole conundrum of existence – clearly up for it.

Speaker – Clearly for pumping out cool rock sounds which inevitably increase hot chicks up-for-it-ness.

CCTV Camera – I’ve owned this LP for 23 years and this is the first time I have EVER noticed this.  It probably symbolises the corrupting influence of narco-militaristic consumerism on something, possibly, maybe.

So class – what have we learned today? this is not just a picture of a hot chick alone in her room, being spied upon by adolescent, or older, males for the purposes of sexual gratification, this whole LP sleeve can be read as a text in its own right.

Which is just as well because the music on offer here is absolutely rank ! with the sole exception of the first track, ‘You’re in Love’.  Uninspired songs played efficiently.  This is why Ratt weren’t bigger, overseas at least and do you know I have never even heard ‘Round and Round’.  I have nothing else to say on the subject, other than I didn’t learn my lesson that scantily clad ladies on the cover of LPs were not a guarantee of the quality of their contents.

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8 thoughts on “The Semiotics of Ratt

  1. “You’re In Love” will be forever the boys’ speed skate song, when the ladies had to clear the floor. “Lay It Down” and “R&R” were also songs to skate to, so def not as hardcore as most of your music. It’s enough to scare an old white lady.

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    1. The only song I can ever remember skating to (I was crap!) was ‘Lets go all the way’ by Sly Fox; going all the way for me entailed hitting the ground hard, repeatedly. Almost ruined my good looks!

      Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. This was played often on my General Electric ‘boom box’ as we called them back then. I was about to defend this record when it occurred to me nothing about this album even seems remotely memorable…with the exception of ‘You’re In Love’ and ‘Lay It Down’…and the cover.

    So I concur.

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