Solid Steel presents ‘Pinball Number Count’ / ‘C Is For Cookie’

  • RELEASED: Sept 2003
  • FORMAT: 12″
  • CAT No.: ZEN12143
  • DESIGN: Openmind / Sesame Street
  • PHOTOGRAPHY: Sesame Street
  • SPOTTERS DELIGHT: One detail that was omitted was the parody of the Ages 35+ on the top left corner which was felt to be inappropriate by the powers that be at Sesame St.
  • EXTRA ZEN: ninjatune page / BUY

This came about after I licensed the track ‘Pinball Number Count’ for the first ‘Now, Listen’ mix CD although I can’t quite remember how we got to doing a 12″ with ‘C Is For Cookie’. The Pinball song had never been released commercially until this release and was a beat digger’s grail for years amongst many of my friends. The ‘C Is For Cookie’ 12″ was a highly sought promo fetching over £100 because it was the first appearance of Larry Levan on vinyl as he remixed the cut in a weird twist of fate.

As I said before, ‘Pinball…’ was already licensed but didn’t appear on the aforementioned compilation because there were worries within Sesame St. about content on some of the rap tracks elsewhere in the mix. They thought that it was an unsuitable setting for their material, being a kids organisation – fair enough. In hindsight I’m glad this happened as the mix was released on Sept 22 2001, eleven days after the World Trade Center disaster, and one of the rap tracks in question was called ‘The Terrorist’, the less said the better.

Anyway, two years later I found myself digging through the Sesame St. archives at their NY offices, compiling a mix CD of largely unreleased funk, electronic and spoken word arcana and these tracks were on the list for consideration. I think that this 12″ was an initial trail run for Ninja and Sesame to see how they could work together and test the water for the full release later on. They gave me access to full artwork specs with very detailed guidelines on how to present their image including hi res images, Pantone colour references and font options.

I also got all the versions of the Pinball animation – eleven altogether –  and took screen shots of all the different settings to make panoramas of the number sequences. These I then took and wrapped round each other to form a kind of pinball machine from above. The centre label was cut out on the back cover only and showed through the ball rolling around the maze and i scoured old Letraset books for suitably 70’s neon-style typefaces.

For the Cookie side I was spoilt for choice as they had provided me with loads of different shots of the monster. My main contributions here were to design a Cookie Monster & the Girls logo complete with crazy eyes for the ‘o’s on Cookie and a nice touch of teeth marks in the barcode box. Originally there was a plan to press it on Cookie Monster blue vinyl but it would have cost too much and it was anyone’s guess how it would have sold so the label erred on the side of caution.