The themes of the Secret World tour were communication and relationships. Robert Lepage had the idea of expanding on this telephone image using the iconic red telephone box, with a cable that extended from a square proscenium stage full length to the centre of the circular stage in the audience, for the song ‘Come Talk To Me’. The concept for the album cover was to evoke the portion of the Secret World live show where Peter would hold the telephone receiver aloft.
There were some stunning live photographs taken by Robert Leslie, Stephen Lovell Davis and Armando Gallo. Many were eventually used within the booklets for the DVD and the album. Michael Coulson, who was the Creative Director at Real World at the time, remembers “Peter and I liked the image of himself on the phone in ‘Come Talk To Me’ but it wasn’t enough of an iconic image for the front of the sleeve. So I approached Danny Jenkins to develop some ideas around the telephone and sound. The background image was around because of Peter’s interest in the way sound waves create patterns - ideas we investigated but never really used for the live show.”
“I have always been interested in making images and had amassed an extensive collection of 80s office detritus for my digital montages: typewriters, fax machines, telephones, wiring and broken PCs. The cover of Secret World Live was created using Adobe Photoshop Version 2, way back in 1994. The core photograph of the album was shot in my studio back yard with my Pentax K1000 camera then developed and printed rather badly using the local Boots 1 hour service. The receiver was randomly picked from a pile of phones and the hand actually belongs to my long-suffering studio assistant Becky Jemmett. It was pure luck and chance that the phone and hand were a convincing enough match for Peter’s on-stage version.” Danny Jenkins