In 2001, Q Magazine published a special version of their magazine, "Q's 100 Best Record Covers of All Time". One Chemical Brothers album cover made the list, "Surrender". Below is the text of the article, written by Ian Harrison.

"We liked the idea of everyone else sitting down and being chilled out and just one person really getting it," says Ed Simons. "Like one of our gigs in the Midwest, actually".

Individual transcendence was of vital importance to "Surrender". Intended to get people in touch with the moment of sublime release only a packed dancefloor and irresistible sounds can provide. The Chemical Brothers' third album was to be their magnum opus. The sleeve, similarly, captured what it's like to be swept away by the moment, when the exterior world loses all meaning and deeper truths are revealed. However, in February 1999 the duo were confronted with a novel problem: they had, in Simons' words "about two weeks" to sort out an album cover, plan a live show, and do endless promotional duties in Japan.

"We had a lot of starting points," remembers Blue Source designer Mark Tappin, who also did the "Brothers Gonna Work It Out" mix CD. "They had a strong idea of what they wanted, they were just unclear on what it should be."

Simons and his partner Tom Rowlands were spending most of their time editing down the tracks for "Surrender". When they had a spare moment, they would sort though hundreds of images from the Hulton Getty picture library with Tappin, including many images of festivals from the '60s and '70s. The prompt for the final cover's visual flavour, though, came from another area entirely.

"There was a picture of an American family who'd been abandoned by the side of the road," says Ed. "A very desolate picture in some ways, but it had these big blocks of colour on it and a rainbow spectrum running though it. We felt that our music was quite like that - taking tiny segments of quite mundane music and bringing them to life".

Tappin started manipulating some of the prototype images digitally, but they were rejected as looking too sterile. Enter screen printing artist Kate Gibb. She had never worked on a record cover before, and her manual techniques were anthema to modern design practice. After discussing the project, however, the Brothers found their ideas converging with Gibb's. "I think the 12" vinyl sleeve was Tom and Ed's point of reference," explains Tappin, "They were keen to make sure it would still work in a few years, and as they use quite organic techniques in their music, it made sense to realise the sleeve in the same ways,".

"There's no computers involved in screen printing," adds Gibb. "No two prints are the same, each one is a surprise. And because it looks retro, it stops ageing. "

Continuing to trawl though the Hulton Getty library, in search of what Gibb calls "the right moment of euphoria", Simons, Rowlands, Tappin and Gibb selected about 15 images, of which 6 made the final cut (the singles from "Surrender" and its inner/outercover). Though the "Out of Control" single image nearly made the album cover, Simons says they always knew that a celebratory picture taken at The Great British Music Festival in 1975 was the one. To arrive at the finished image, Gibb followed a process of trial-and-error, trying differ rent colour schemes, and sending jpegs to the Brothers in Japan. The rainbow coloured patches on the cover were hand painted: "It gave it an extra bit of life", says Gibb. The whole process took four months.

Kate Gibb now has a Where's Wally like scrapbook of herself standing in front of billboards advertising "Surrender" all over London, while Rowlands and Simons have screen prints of all the sleeve images on their walls at home.

"Dance music's always wrapped in futuristic covers" muses Simons, "Everything had fractals on it when we started in 1993. But we've got this thing that psychedelic music belongs anywhere you want it to, which is why we've tried to make sure all of our covers are timeless too".