I usually write about records and covers I either own or have owned. This time I write about one I have on my wishlist and need to complete my collection of record covers designed or illustrated by Banksy but I cannot now possibly afford. I mean, of course, the promotional 12″ single “4 x 3” / “Truth Will Out” by The Capoeira Twins, released on the Blowpop label.
This, The Capoeira Twins’ first single, was released on 25th October 1999, so this post is written almost on the 18th anniversary of its release. John Stapleton, the owner of Blowpop asked Banksy to make the cover for a proposed promotional 12″ single by the Bristol duo Ian Stratford and Tim Hancock who call themselves The Capoeira Twins. Banksy had his studio in the same building as Stapleton’s Blowpop Records and made a stencil which he used to hand spray the 100 promotional covers. The stencil was also used on a wall in Bristol–I presume after it had been used for the record covers–at Portland Square (post code BS2 8SA).
The white label promotional records were sent to DJs and reviewers with no indication of the band name or the record title on the cover or record together but with an A4 letter that Blowpop asked to be returned a couple of weeks prior to the release date. The record was a trip hop single that failed to garner much attention when it came out. I suppose the DJs who received copies played them a couple of times and filed them away or–as was common in the nineties and early 00s–sold them to secondhand record shops, or simply chucked them away. And–had it not been for the Banksy cover–would probably never have been heard of again.
A couple came up for sale on Ebay in around 2008 and, if I remember correctly, sold for £400-600. In the last couple of years the prices of vinyl records with Banksy art covers has increased dramatically and suddenly four or five copies of the Capoeira Twins “4 x 3” have been auctioned off for amazing prices of £5000-6000! Another sold today for a bargain £4223.23.
There is another hand sprayed Banksy cover that has also increased dramatically in price recently. I refer to Röyksopp’s “Melody A.M.” promotional double LP.
According to http://www.popsike.com half a dozen copies of this have been sold. One copy went for £195 in 2007 and another for £2750 in 2011. Someone got a bargain in 2013 when a third copy sold for £770. Two copies were sold in August 2017 for £2939 and £5655, respectively!
The unusual thing about the latest copy of the Capoeira Twins promo sale is that it included the Blowpop A4 letter. The first copy I have heard of to be “complete”.
I have now invested in a piggy bank and have started saving my pennies so that one day I might be able to afford a copy of the “4 x 3 / Truth Will Out” promotional single.