Icon Worship – Kate Moss on Record Covers

My blog is usually about record design and some of my favourite cover designers. This post is about an icon who appears on record covers.

According to a dictionary an icon is either: a devotional painting of Christ or another holy figure, typically executed on wood and used ceremonially in the Byzantine and other Eastern Churches, OR
a person or thing regarded as a representative symbol or as worthy of veneration.

I don’t suppose anyone would argue that supermodel Kate Moss is a 21st Century icon. Her face is on the covers of fashion magazines and there are coffee table books of photographs of her. She has even appeared on record sleeves. The first one that I have been able to identify is Dirty Funker‘s “Let’s Get Dirty” which used Banksy‘s Kate Moss portrait from 2005

Banksy's Warhol style Kate Moss portraits (2005)
Banksy’s Warhol style Kate Moss portraits (2005)

Apparently Kate Moss bought one but it was stolen in 2010 together with other Banksy works that she had bought.

Dirty Funker‘s use of Banksy‘s Kate Moss’ portrait on his record sleeve was not authorised by Banksy. But hey ho, who cares? A first pressing showed only Moss‘ face with no title or other text, while a second (more common) had a black Dymo tape with the record’s title across Moss‘ eyes on the front and across her mouth on the rear.

LetsGetDirty_1st_150

First and second pressings of Dirty Funker's "Let's Get Dirty" 12-inch single.
First and second pressings of Dirty Funker’s “Let’s Get Dirty” 12-inch single.

The February 2008 number of TAR Magazine contained a photographic essay of Kate Moss. And the magazine’s cover was adorned with Damien Hirst‘s portrait of Kate, with the right side of her face dissected down to the muscles.

TAR Magazine cover and the record sleeve.
TAR Magazine cover and the record sleeve.

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The following Year Hirst released a single-sided 12-inch single in an edition of 666 copies pressed on white vinyl that used the TAR Magazine picture on its cover.

Bryan Ferry released his thirteenth album “Olympia” on 25th October 2010. The album was released as a CD, CD with DVD, a collectors’ edition with extra tracks as well as a limited edition LP. He seems to have been besotted with Kate as the album and five singles’ covers taken from it all bear Kate‘s portrait. There is a video of the photo shoot for the cover photo

The Olympia cover.
The Olympia cover.

The Vinyl Factory in London released five limited edition 12-inch singles from the album in 2010 and 2011. All with cover photographs of Moss. These are “You Can Dance” (2010), “Shameless Remixes” (2010), “Alphaville” (2011), “Heartache by Numbers” (2011) and “BF Bass (Ode to Olympia) (Remixes)” (2011). The portraits of Kate Moss on these covers are by british photographer Adam Whitehead (born 1973).

You Can Dance cover.
You Can Dance cover.
Shameless Remixes cover.
Shameless Remixes cover.
Alphaville cover.
Alphaville cover.
The limited edition version of Alphaville.
The limited edition version of Alphaville.
Heartache By Numbers cover.
Heartache By Numbers cover.
BF Bass (Ode to Olympia) Remixes cover.
BF Bass (Ode to Olympia) Remixes cover.

Thus I have been able to find ten covers with portraits of Kate Moss released in less than 10 years. I think this fulfills the second definition of an icon. Perhaps I have missed a cover or two. Readers are very welcome to let me know of any I have missed.

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2 thoughts on “Icon Worship – Kate Moss on Record Covers”

    1. Thanks for this! I had not seen it so I shall add it when I next update the post. Please feel free to remind me of any other covers with a Kate Moss connection. Cheers!

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