Category Archives: Album cover art

Collecting Andy Warhol’s Record Cover Art. How to Credit Previously Unrecognised covers?

I curated what I thought would be the first exhibition of Andy Warhol’s record covers in Piteå, Sweden, in July 2008 I enlisted the help of fellow collector Guy Minnebach to assemble as complete a collection of record Warhol’s record covers as possible. Only later did I find out that Warhol’s record covers had been shown before-usually as part of other exhibitions of his art, and then only exhibiting a few covers. My intention with the 2008 exhibition was to try to gather together all the covers he designed or illustrated.

Just two months after the exhibition in Piteå closed, the Museum of Art in Montreal, Canada, put on a major exhibition entitled “Warhol Live!” which showed the link between Warhol’s art and music. Many of the record covers shown came from the collection of Paul Maréchal and his book “Andy Warhol – The Record Covers 1949-1987: Catalogue Raisonné” was published to coincide with the “Warhol Live!” exhibition.

Just before the Piteå exhibition, Guy Minnebach had discovered the “Waltzes by Johann Strauss Jr.” EP and the “Warhol Live!” exhibition showed Paul Maréchal’s newly discovered “Night Beat” box set. Less than a month after the exhibition in Piteå closed, in September 2008, a friend of mine read an interview in a magazine with Tomas Alfredsson, a Swedish musician turned actor, who had been a member of a band called Roland and the Flying Albatros Band (known as RATFAB for short). In the interview he said that the cover of the Band’s second single had been designed by Andy Warhol. Thus started my search for this cover, and I quickly found three copies. The RATFAB single “Det brinner en eld / Mörka ögon” became the first Warhol cover NOT to be included in Maréchal’s 2008 book!

Since then, a number of covers, unrecognised in 2008, illustrated or designed by Andy Warhol have been identified.
1. Margarita Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish, Volume 2 (LP),
2. Vladimir Horowitz – Piano Music of Mendelssohn and Lizst (LP),
3. Mendelssohn – Wedding March / Scherzo (45 RPM EP)
4. Lew White – Melodic Magic (EP),
5. Erika Morini – Tchaikovsky–Violin Concerto
6. George Gershwin / Edvard Grieg – Porgy & Bess / Symphonic Dances (LP and EP box),
7. Curiosity Killed the Cat – Misfit / Man (7″ single).

And this list doesn’t include bootlegs or records and CDs that simply appropriated Warhol’s art for their covers. Nor does it include covers after 1987 that simply use or reuse Warhol’s art, such as Paul Anka’s “Amigos” or Skyline’s “Skyline” or even The Silver Apples’ “Fractal Flow / Lovefingers“.

There has been a problem in having new covers suggested to be by Warhol verified. An example is the rear cover drawing on Keely Smith’s 1957 Capitol Records LP “I Wish You Love“. By this date, Warhol was an acclaimed commercial artist and his “dot and blot” technique was being used by other illustrators. Warhol is not known to have worked with Capitol Records on any other projects, so this drawing cannot certainly be accredited to Warhol. There are similar discussions about the Tchaikovsky (No. 5 in the above list) and the Gershwin / Grieg (No. 6 in the list) designs also released in 1957, but these were at least released on the RCA Victor Bluebird label, and Warhol did many designs for RCA and its other subsidiary Camden Records. Maréchal has included the Tchaikovsky, but not the Gershwin / Grieg in the second edition of his book.

There are variations in some of the covers that Maréchal has described. There are various colour variants of the covers illustrated, starting with the first cover in the book, “A Program of Mexican Music” (Columbia Records – ML 2080). Maréchal includes the green cover variant but doesn’t mention the rarer pale blue coloured version. Similarly, there are five colour variations of the “Alexander Nevsky” (Columbia Records – ML 4247)–pale blue and a deeper, almost turquoise, blue that contained the original LP with dark blue labels. The album was re-released in the late fifties with the cover in green, orange and pink. These copies have records with Columbia 6-eye labels. Maréchal includes the green reissue cover, but not the original blue covers. Then there are minor variations such as the various printings of the “Latin Rhythms by the Boston Pops” EP. Friend and Warhol expert Guy Minnebach noticed that some copies had the text “A High Fidelity Recording” just beneath the RCA logo in the upper right of the cover. Some had this text in silver and some in green. There is a minor variation in the cover of the “Waltzes by Johann Strauss, Jr.” EP. Some copies have “Printed in U.S.A.” at bottom right while others do not (probably due to the way the slick was cut before being affixed to the cover.)

There are probably more cover designs by Andy Warhol waiting to be identified. A recent case in point is the sister box to NBC’s “Night Beat” entitled “Voices and Events“. As with the designs for the “Progressive Piano” EP set and 10″ LP a lithograph of the “Voices and Events” cover design exists in The Warhol Museum and was shown at the “Adman-Warhol Before Pop” exhibition in Australia early in 2017. It isn’t clear whether The Warhol Museum recognised this to be the design for an EP box set, but when I saw it I immediately saw the similarity to the “Night Beat” design with the dots on three sides. No one knows if the “Voices and Events” box was ever released. I suppose, like the “Night Beat” set, it was intended as a promotional teaser but the radio show it was intended to promote only lasted three episodes… so probably not.

By my reckoning, there are some 55 individual covers that can be attributed to Andy Warhol (I do not count different formats that use the same, or similar, designs), but there is no way that a newly identified cover can be given accreditation, other than being recognised by Paul Maréchal and included in future editions of his “Complete Commissioned Record Covers“.

 

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More Kate Moss on Record Covers.

I really felt as though I had exhausted the subject of record covers showing Kate Moss‘ portrait in my previous post. No sooner had the proverbial ink dried than two more covers appeared. The first is a 7-inch single-sided EP by American punk/hardcore/grunge band Vomit, entitled “Kate Moss” on the Give Praise record label.

Now, a search of Discogs will reveal more than ten bands that have used the name Vomit. The Vomit in question seem to only have released this one “Kate Moss” EP.

Vomit-Kate-Spread
The gatefold cover of Vomit’s 7″ single-sided EP “Kate Moss” with at least thirteen portraits of Kate.

Then I was reading about the two CD and one DVD set of Bryan Ferry‘s 2010 “Olympia” album. I already have the limited edition Vinyl Factory LP version of this, that includes the cover portrait of Kate Moss but without the text–obviously intended to be framed and hung on a teenager’s wall. I hadn’t considered the box set as I felt it probably wouldn’t add anything to the LP version. Well, I was wrong. The 40-page book that houses the discs contains many more photos from Adam Whitehead‘s sessions for the album. The DVD has an interview with Bryan Ferry on the making of the “Olympia” album and the “You Can Dance” video as well as a video of behind the scenes activity in the making of the “You Can Dance” video.

Olympia box-fr complete
The box set of Bryan Ferry’s “Olympia” album contains a 40-page book and 2 CDs and a DVD.

The pictures are stunning. Here are a selection:

The CDs and the DVD included in set come in card covers, two of which have different cover photos from the LP and deluxe box.
Olympia Box CD1-frOlympia Box CD2-frOlympia Box CD3-fr

CD1 has the album cover photo, while CD2 and the DVD cover have different photos. You will have to examine the covers of the CDs to spot the very subtle difference (hint look at Kate’s right hand).

And just when the thrill of finding the box set sort of settled, I came across an Ebay ad by my least favourite seller Majestic Music & Art. I consider this seller to be quite ruthless in his (I presume it is a “he”) price-setting. Many years ago, I bought a couple of albums from Majestic Music & Art that were poorly packaged and arrived damaged. They would not discuss a return or a refund and I promised myself never to buy from them again. But in mid-March 2017 they posted this ad for a copy of the Luke Fair remix of Primal Scream‘s (and Kate Moss‘) “Some Velvet Morning” (the old Lee Hazlewood classic). This single normally comes in a plain black generic cover, but Majestic Music & Art advertised a copy with Kate Garner‘s famous 1992 portraits of an 18-year-old Kate Moss affixed to front and back covers.

Despite my promise to myself never to buy from Majestic Music & Art, I did buy the 12″ single to add to my collection. I knew of Kate Garner‘s Kate Moss portraits from an exhibition of Russell Young‘s recent screen prints at London’s Halcyon Gallery. Russell Young’s portraits are really wonderful–some are as big as 200 x 200 cm and covered in diamond dust, so they really sparkle!

Kate Moss‘ name crops up in music as a songwriter and artist–several tracks by other artists/bands are entitled “Kate Moss“. Examples include Arab Strap‘s 1996 album “The Week Never Starts Around Here” that contains a track entitled “Kate Moss“, but there is no picture of her on the record cover. German rocker Maximilian Hecker‘s 2003 CD “Rose” also has a song called “Kate Moss” as its first track. Again, there is no portrait of her on the cover. I don’t suppose these will be the only songs called with this iconic title.

Winners of the Turner Prize Who Have Their Art on Record Covers, Part One.

The Turner Prize was instigated in 1984 by the Tate Gallery in London to recognise an exhibition by a British artist aged under 40. The Prize has been awarded yearly with the exception of 1990, when sponsorship was lacking. The basic statistics are that 6 of the 32 (one further winner was a group of indeterminate gender) prize winners (18.8%) has been male while 42 of 110 nominees (38.2%) have been men.

When I had the idea to try to see if any winners of the Tate Gallery’s Turner Prize has produced any record or CD cover art I could not have imagined that so many had done so. I have tried to research the careers of all the winners and this has turned out to be a major undertaking.  In my ignorance I thought that perhaps a handful had some involvement with music but it turns out that there seems to be a unique connection between music and art – nowhere better shown than on record and CD covers. Initially, I had identified four Turner Prize winners who have their art on record or CD covers. Howard Hodgkin, Gilbert and George, Damien Hirst and Martin Creed but when I started researching further I found that many more had been involved in musical projects and many had contributed record cover art. In retrospect, it would have been easier to list the Turner Prize winners who have not been involved with music or produced cover art!

In this first part, I have so far been able to identify twelve Turner Prize winners who have their art on record or CD covers. In alphabetical order:  Martin Boyce, Martin Creed, Jeremy Deller, Gilbert and George, Damien Hirst, Howard Hodgkin, Mark Leckey, Grayson Perry, Susan Philipsz, Simon Starling, Wolfgang Tillmans and Mark Wallinger.

The 1985 winner was Howard Hodgkin (born 1932) who was invited by Peter Blake to paint one of the four portraits of John Entwistle on the cover of The Who‘s 1981 “Face Dances” album.

facedances
The Who’s “Face Dances” album with Howard Hodgkin’s John Entwistle portrait third from left in row three.

I haven’t been able to find any other contributions to record cover art by Howard Hodgkin.

Gilbert & George won the Prize the following year (1986). In August 2016 they released an LP of their Museum of Modern Art show “The Singing Sculpture” from 1969.

gilbertgeorge-lp
Damien Hirst won the Turner Prize in 1995. He has not only been in a band (Fat Lez), released a single of his own together with Kate Moss,  but also been responsible for about thirty record and CD covers for bands such as The Hours (which he signed to his own label ISGOOD), Babyshambles and, of course Fat Lez. He also designed the cover for Dave Stewart‘s “Greetings From the Gutter” album and the singles and EPs taken from it. He was asked to design the cover for Band Aid‘s 20th anniversary re-issue of “Don’t They Know It’s Christmas?” CD but his design was considered too harrowing and was replaced by another.

Here are Dave Stewart‘s “Greetings from the Gutter”
greetingsfrom

Damien Hirst & Kate MossUse Money, Cheat Death

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The Hours‘ singles “Ali in the Jungle“, “Back When You Were Good“, “Love You More“, “Ali in the Jungle, 2” and “Big Black Hole

And here are some Babyshambles covers including the album “Sequel to the Prequel“, and two limited edition singles, “Nothing Comes to Nothing” and “Fall From Grace

Next up is musician and Turner Prize winning artist Martin Creed, who won the Turner Prize in 2001. He has released several albums on both CD and vinyl with his own paintings on the covers. The Vinyl Factory has produced limited vinyl editions of at least four of his albums with covers hand painted by Martin himself. These are “Love You To“, “Chicago“, “Mind Trap” and a two-track 12″ single “Work No 1651“. Creed has also painted the cover art for a split single “Where You Go/Dawning” by Creed and Box Codax.

Five hand painted covers by Martin Creed. Clockwise from top left: “Love You to“, “Chicago“, “Work 1651“, “Where You Go/Dreaming” and “Mind Trap“.

2016 Turner Prize winner Helen Marten doesn’t appear to have her art on any record cover yet, but she has contributed the text to one track on Kasia Fudakowski‘s 2014 album “Stoikerinnen“.

Elizabeth Price, the 2012 winner, played guitar and sang in the 80s girl band Talulah Gosh, but has said that she hated being on stage. She left the band in 1987 and the band disbanded the following year. Talulah Gosh released and album, six singles plus one flexi single and there were three compilation albums. While the band’s early singles credit the cover art, later ones name Matthew Fletcher as designer. It seems Elizabeth Price didn’t design any of the band’s record covers.

Martin Boyce (born1967) won the Turner Prize in 2011. In 2008 he designed a limited edition 12″ by the American band The Aluminum Group entitled “Sign for Some Place” there was a record and an anodised plate painted with the words “Sometime Beyond Now“.

sometime-beyond-now
Martin Boyce’s contribution to The Aluminum Group’s 2005 12″ single.

The 2010 winner, Susan Philipsz works with sound and video and has released a CD entitled “Ziggy Stardust“and a limited edition vinyl 12″that was untitled.. In 2005 she had a solo exhibition a Malmö konsthall entitled “Stay With Me” and, as I understand it, the exhibition catalogue also contained a CD.

Richard Wright, an artist and musician received the Turner Prize in 2009 for his golden and temporary mural. I have not been able to find any record covers that are attributed to him.

Mark Leckey is also a musician and artist with three records to his credit. Leckey won the Turner Prize in 2008. The limited edition LP “Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore” was released on his own label The Death of Rave in 2012. His next LP was “Hecker Leckey Sound Voice Chimera” in 2015 and the third was “Dream English Kids 1964-1999AD“.


The 2007 Turner Prize winner Mark Wallinger who mainly works in sculpture has designed the cover for Leftfield‘s 2015 album “Alternative Light Source“.

mark-wallinger-lp
Mark Wallinger’s design for Leftfield’s album cover “Alternative Light Source”.

The conceptual artist Simon Starling won the Prize in 2006. It turns out he has been responsible for two record covers.He photographed the cover for Superstar‘s EP “Breathing Space” in 1997 and the cover of a limited edition LP by Oren Ambarchi entitled “Stacte 4“.

Jeremy Deller, the 2004 Prize winner, spent two weeks at The Factory after meeting Andy Warhol in 1986. He has a long musical history. In 1997 he fused the music of a traditional British brass band from Stockton with acid house and Detroit techno music in a project called “Acid Brass“. He contributed the photography to a book with a CD produced by the CCAC Wattis Institute entitled “After the Gold Rush“, a collaboration between Deller and Willam Elliot Whitmore, an American Blues, country and folk singer.

Grayson Perry, the 2003 Turner Prize winner, works mainly in ceramics. Apparently he played in a punk band for a time, but the only connection with record cover art that Sir Peter Blake included his portrait in his 80th birthday re-working of the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band cover art in 2012.

Wolfgang Tillmans, the German photographer, who divides his time between Berlin and London, won the Turner Prize in 2000. He was the first non-Brit to win the award. Heis a musician, having contributed the opening track to Frank Ocean‘s Album “Endless” and music for some of his own projects. Tillmans collaborated with the Pet Shop Boys on their single “Home and Dry” has released two 12″ singles in his own name and is part of the collective XXX. He has designed many record and CD covers including Sun Electric‘s 1993 “Kitchen” LP, Tiga‘s 2006 single “3 Weeks” as well as a remix of it,  John Maus‘ 2012  “A Collection of Rarities and Previously Unreleased Material” and many others.

tillmans-1986-2012
Wolfgang Tillmans’ 12″ “2016 / 1986”.
kitchen-lp
The cover of Sun Electric’s “Kitchen” LP designed by Tillmans.
tiga-3-weeks
The cover of Tiga’s 12″ “3 Weeks” with with detail of Tillmans’ photograph “Anemone II”.

These are the first twelve Turner Prize winners for whom I have discovered record cover art or at least a music connection. I will continue this post with details of winners of the Prize between 1988 and 1999 in a future post, so don’t go away.

My Collection Has Grown in 2016.

2016 is drawing to a close and it’s time for a summary. It’s been a great year with important additions to all five of my chosen artists’ collections. Perhaps the biggest thrill, however, was being invited to show my collection of record covers by the artist known as Banksy in the major retrospective at Rome’s Palazzo Cipolla in May.

I realized some time ago that collecting all the record covers that five artists have produced would be a full time job and had promised myself that I would not start collecting any additional artists. However, this year I succumbed to temptation and added two more artists to my list of collectible record covers. The first was not really a designer, but an icon. I realized that I already had some of the rarest covers with portraits of Kate Moss and that collecting the ten or so remaining covers might not be too difficult. The second artist I started to collect is Jeff Koons. So far, though, I have only found three covers with his art, so that hasn’t been too taxing.

I’ll take you through the additions to my collection artist by artist.

  1. Banksy: Well. It’s been a poor year for new record covers with Banksy art. However, I did find one by Junichi Masuda, who composes for computer games and is a director at Pokémon. He released an album in 2015 called simply “Pokémon” with a cover that was a pastiche of the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” cover
    pokemon_redblue-fr
    There are at least three different variants of this album pressed on coloured vinyl: blue/red swirl, red/white swirl and red/clear swirl. each colour was released in limited editions of 500, 200 and 100, respectively. But, there was also a test pressing released in a limited edition of 100 with a completely different cover:
    JM-Pokemon-fr
    This is a hand-sprayed version of Banksy‘s “Flower Thrower“–but instead of throwing flowers he is about to throw a Pokémon ball. As I mentioned, there were intended to be 100 copies of this cover, but the stencil didn’t last for the whole edition and the last few copies were given a different design:
    Pokemon-Rabbit-TestPressAgain this was based on Banksy‘s “Girl With Balloon” design. Probably less than ten covers had this design. However, I had the “Pokémon” album with the “Sgt Pepper” cover and the “Flower Thrower” cover, so I didn’t think this particularly “Banksy” enough to include in my collection.

    When the invitation to show my Banksy collection in Rome arrived I decided that I had to get the original first pressing of the Paris Hilton CD “Paris“. Luckily two came up on Ebay at prices way below what the CD had been auctioned for just a couple of years ago, so I made what I thought was a cheeky offer and, to my surprise, my offer was accepted. My joy was, however, tempered a couple of weeks later when the other copy sold for less than I had paid. Oh, well. At least the CD could be included in the Rome show.

  2. Sir Peter Blake: It’s been a good year for my Peter Blake collection with some new releases and some older items that I had missed.
    I have already owned up to my obsession with Eric Clapton‘s “24 Nights” recording. Well this year I have really fed it.
    The first additions to my collection were two bootleg CDs from the “24 Nights” concerts at the Royal Albert Hall. These were for the first and fourth nights, respectively. Both CDs had original artwork that incorporated Peter Blake’s drawings.
    ericclap-24nights-first-night-300x287ericclap-24nights-fouth-nights-300x294
    I also bought the 7″ single “Wonderful Tonight/Edge of Darkness” with its Peter Blake cover.
    ec-wonderfultonite_fr
    Then, finally, I splashed out on the magnificent “24 Nights Limited Edition–Music by Eric Clapton/Drawings by Peter Blake” box set published by Genesis Publications in 1991. I was lucky enough to find one of the promotional copies (Number XXV/200), signed by both Clapton and Blake. The box set contains two CDs “24 Nights” that include 3 previously unreleased tracks, purported not to be available anywhere else.
    Genesis-24 Nights-fr
    Well, that proved untrue as I found a “Collectors Edition” CDEP entitled “Wonderful Tonight” that included these three tracks among the six on this double CD.

    The cover of the Collectors Edition CD EP of
    The cover of the Collectors Edition CD EP of “Wonderful Tonight”.

    I June, I was walking along St Eriksgatan in my hometown, Stockholm, where there still are several record shops and secondhand record stores and as I passed The Beat Goes On I noticed a record with Peter Blake‘s 2015 portrait of Eric Clapton on the cover. It was the newly released “I Still Do” double album and I bought it on the spot.

    The front and rear covers of Clapton's 2016 album
    The front and rear covers of Clapton’s 2016 album “I Still Do”.

    Then I started to do some research and found that Eric Clapton‘s own site had sold limited editions of the album–a box set with the CD, a photo and a USB in the form of a radio valve with the album including two extra tracks and a film of an interview with Clapton and the album’s producer Glyn Johns. The box had sold out on Clapton‘s site, so I turned to Ebay and a search quickly turned up some affordable copies and I ordered one. Sweden’s postal service is not what it once was and I still hadn’t received the box after a month. I had been tracking the parcel and to my horror found that Postnord (the Swedish postal service) listed the parcel as “delivered”. But I couldn’t find it anywhere. I was desperate. After a further ten days or so I decided it was lost forever and ordered a second copy. A few days later, when the second copy was already on its way, the original parcel turned up! So now I have two copies, one still sealed.
    denim-box-frThen I saw that there was a further limited edition with just the USB in a box like radio valves were sold in. I found a cheap copy in Australia and after 4-5 weeks it duly arrived.
    i-still-do-usb-box2Then in August, one of the moderators on the Rate Your Music site tipped me off about a Blake cover that I had never heard of. It turned out to be the only classical music cover Peter Blake has so far designed. It was a recording of George Gershwin‘s “An American In Paris” coupled with “Rhapsody in Blue” and Ferde Grofé’s “Piano Concerto in F” played by Steuart Bedford and the English Chamber Orchestra.

    The cover art for Music For Pleasure's 1983 album of Gershwin's
    The cover art for Music For Pleasure’s 1983 album of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue/American in Paris” LP.

    In addition to the recordings, I have managed to find some rare memorabilia relating to Blake’s record covers. I found one of Sony Music’s Peter Blake dartboards given away as prizes for a competition in connection with Oasis‘ “Stop the Clocks” release. The dartboard figured on the cover of the LP and CD versions of “Stop the Clocks” and on the CDs themselves as well as on the covers of the limited edition double 7″ and CDEP also entitled “Stop the Clocks“.
    Promo Dartboard
    And I found a tour poster for The Who‘s 1981 Face Dances tour of the US in mint condition.
    face-dances-poster2
    I also got hold of copies of the programme sold at Eric Clapton’s 70th birthday concerts at Madison Square Garden and The Royal Albert Hall . These are LP sized with the same Peter Blake portrait of Clapton as on the “I Still Do” album cover. I fully expected that this portrait would be used on the cover of the triple LP set “Slowhand at 70” which was the official release of the Albert Hall Concerts.
    Slowhand_at_70But I hadn’t realised that Clapton was saving it for the “I Still Do” cover.
    In addition I bought two music-related books:
    a. Paul Weller‘s “Surburban 100“; a collection of Weller‘s song lyrics with cover designed by Weller‘s friend Peter Blake.
    pw-suburban-100-fr

    The copy I bought was even signed by Paul Weller–an added plus!
    b. I already had the first paperback edition of Roger McGough‘s “Summer With Monika” with Peter Blake‘s rather racy cover painting of a nude woman lying on her bed. Penguin Books decided that they couldn’t use that cover picture so they chose another rather more platonic Blake painting for their edition.
    monika-penguin
    My new copy is signed by both Peter Blake and Roger McGough.

  3.  Damien Hirst: As far as I am aware there has only been one new release with Damien Hirst‘s art so far this year–Jeff Wootton‘s brilliant solo album “The Way the Light“. For those who don’t know of Jeff Wootton he is a 29-year-old guitarist from Manchester who has an impressive CV. He has played with Damon Albarn (in Gorillaz, among other combinations), with Noel Gallagher in Gallagher’s post-Oasis band High Flying Birds.
    The Way the Light” was released in February 2016 as a digital download and as a 500 copy numbered, limited edition vinyl album which included a lavish booklet with 10 new spin paintings by Damien Hirst. Even the LP’s back cover had a spin painting.

    Jeff Wootton's 2016 album
    Jeff Wootton’s 2016 album “The Way the Light”
    Damien Hirst's spin painting on the rear cover of the
    Damien Hirst’s spin painting on the rear cover of the “The Way the Light” album (almost identical to that illustrating track 7 in the booklet.

    The limited edition sold out in just over six months.There were a number of promotional singles, tracks from the album. released either as downloads or on CD or CD-rom. I have managed to find three of these CD/CD-roms (there might  be a fourth, which I have to trace). These are “The Eternal” (a one-track CD-rom with no catalogue number), “Sonik Drips” (a one-track CD-single with catalogue number JWPROMO02) and “Reverie” (another one-track CD-single with catalogue number JWPROMO04) . Each has a Damien Hirst spin painting on its inlay.The “The Way the Light” album had a Japan-only release as a CD with an extra track (“The Eternal Reconstructed“).

    During the autumn I saw a copy of “The Way the Light” for sale on Ebay and snapped it up to find that it was unnumbered! I suppose it must be a promotional copy, but it didn’t have any indication, other than the lack of a number, that it was. So now I have both a numbered (No. 409) and an unnumbered copy.

    I have spent much of 2016 searching for the five singles produced by The Hours in 2006-7. I had four of these in my collection but they mysteriously vanished–I suspect when I sold the bulk of my record collection in 2013. They are limited editions with picture covers designed by Damien Hirst and Jason Beard and inner picture inner sleeves, too. The singles are “Ali in the Jungle/Nothing“, “Back When You Were Good/Back When You Were Good (remix)“, “Love You More/Mum and Dad“, “Ali in the Jungle/For a Moment” and “Big Black Hole/Killing Time”. I managed to collect then all again–but they cost quite a bit more this time around.
    AITJ-Yellow-fr copy BWWWG-fr copy Love You More-fr copy Black-Olive Ali-fr copy Big Black Hole-fr copy
    4. Klaus Voormann: I have a great many additions to my Klaus Voormann collection this year. 2016 saw the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles’ “Revolver” with its Klaus Voormann cover art. Apparently, Robert Whittaker had taken photos of the Fab Four for a cover, but John Lennon wanted something different and contacted Klaus, who was then living in London and playing with Manfred Mann. I already had my copy of revolver signed by Klaus but I bought his lovely book “Revolver 50: Birth of an Icon” from him and received a beautiful signed copy. I also found that he had written another book about his time with The Beatles called “Four Track Stories” and he sent be a signed copy of that too, with a signed postcard!
    The German music magazine Good Times devoted its August/September number this year to “Revolver” and there were five different covers; four of which each had a new portrait of a Beatle, drawn in Revolver style by Klaus Voormann, on the covers and the fifth had a composite of all four Beatles. The magazine has also produced t-shirts with Voormann‘s Beatle portraits, but I haven’t invested in those.
    good-times-fr2 good-times-fr3 good-times-fr4 good-times-fr5

  4. I discovered a really poor booklet published in America purporting to be a catalogue of Klaus Voormann‘s record covers. When it arrived I found out that it only included covers listed in Wikipedia. The only useful information I got out of it was the fact that Klaus had designed covers for two CD-singles by Wet, Wet, Wet that I had not heard about. They were easy to find–and cheap!
    TooManyPeople_V2

    CD 1 and CD 2 cover art for Wet Wet Wet's 2007 single
    CD 1 and CD 2 cover art for Wet Wet Wet’s 2007 single “Too Many People”

    Klaus also designed the covers for two CDs by his friend Volkwin Müller which Thorsten Knublauch told me about. The first called “Strawberry Songs” was by Volkwin & Co and released in 2012.

    Volkwin Müller's
    Volkwin Müller’s “Strawberry Songs” CD with Klaus Voormann’s portrait of John Lennon.

    The second was simple titled “Volkwin” and released earlier this year.

    The cover of Vokwin Müller's CD
    The cover of Vokwin Müller’s CD “Mit anderen Augen” with Klaus Voormann’s portrait of him.

    Klaus Voorman even had time in 2016 to design the cover for Albert Lee & Hogan’s Heroes‘ CD “Frettening Behaviour“.

    Cover art for Albert Lee & Hogan's Heroes CD
    Cover art for Albert Lee & Hogan’s Heroes CD “Fretterning Behaviour”.

    Another unexpected find was the cover of Jimmy Smith‘s 1974 album “Black Smith“. I had no idea that Klaus Voormann had designed a cover for Jimmy Smith until i saw a copy advertised on Ebay with cover art credited to Klaus. I found a mint copy for a couple of dollars on Discogs.
    Black Smith-fr Black Smith-bk
    The last Voormann cover I bought this year was a signed copy of the single “Lu La Le Lu“– a Klaus Voormann song he recorded for Apple in the sixties but that was not released until now. The song was recorded and released by Wishful Thinking in 1972. This single issued for charity had a remixed version of Klaus Voormann‘s recording on the A side and Wishful Thinking‘s version on the B side.

  5. Andy Warhol: I managed to find fifteen covers with Warhol designs, only four of which were actually released in Andy‘s lifetime. These are Artie Shaw‘s EP “Both Feet in the Groove“, Aretha Franklin’s “Jimmie Lee” and “Rock-a-Lott” 12″ Maxi singles and a rare Debbie Harry 12″ picture disc version of “In Love With Love“.
    inlovewithlove_picI also found a copy of Sonic Youth‘s “Into the Groove(y)/Burnin’ Up” 12″ single released under the moniker Ciccione Youth. The cover is a play on Warhol‘s design for Madonna‘s Wedding photo, but the cover isn’t really a Warhol cover.
    ciccione-youth-frThere are a myriad of different re-issues of the magnificent “Velvet Underground & Nico” and I collected a couple of picture disc versions this year–one in a die-cut card cover, the other in a transparent plastic sleeve. Both apparently produced in Russia. The version in the die-cut cover is quite rare and the disc differs slightly from the version without the cover.

    Vinyl Lovers picture disc in die-cut card sleeve.
    Vinyl Lovers picture disc in die-cut card sleeve.

    VU-PictureDisc_frA group called Land of Sex & Glory released a 7″ single called “I Always Wanted to Be Andy Warhol’s Movie Star” in 1984 in a poster sleeve and I found a mint copy.
    land-of-sex-glory-spreadAnother 7″ single that I bought was The Weaklings‘ “It’s So Criminal/Real Cool Time” with cover photo by Richard Avedon of Warhol‘s scarred abdomen after he had been shot by Valerie Solanas.

    Richard Avedon's photograph of Andy Warhol's abdomen after he was shot in 1968 on the cover of The Weaklings' 1999 single.
    Richard Avedon’s photograph of Andy Warhol’s abdomen after he was shot in 1968 on the cover of The Weaklings’ 1999 single.

    There were some CDs with Warhol art that I picked up just for fun. Marilyn Monroe‘s “Happy Birthday Mr. President“, “Warholes or All Andy Would Enjoy (And Fear) / Warhol Memory Disorder” by unpronounceable Lengow & Heʸᵉrmeᵃʳs, Otomo Yoshihide & Sachiko M. that has a Warhol cow on the cover punctuated with bullet holes. The final CD with Warhol‘s art was “John Cage to David Byrne: Four Decades of Contemporary Music” a various artists compilation released in conjunction with the exhibition “Jasper Johns to Jeff Koons: Four Decades of Art from the Broad Collections“. The exhibition showed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from 7th October 2001 to 6th January 2002. The inlay had pictures of works by several popular 20th Century American artists, including Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Sharon Lockhart, Stephan Balkenoi, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
    However, my greatest finds were made as the 2016 faded. At the beginning of December I found a near mint copy of Moondog‘s “Story of Moondog” on the Prestige label, a mint copy of Skyline‘s bootleg album with Warhol’s portrait of Susanna de Maria, and the turquoise variant of the 1949 “Alexander Nevsky” album with  Warhol‘s illustration. These haven’t yet arrived so I’ll have to post pictures in the new year.

  6. Miscellaneous: As I mentioned at the beginning of this post (but which you have probably forgotten by now) I have started collecting two further artists, Jeff Koons‘ record cover art and covers with Kate Moss‘s portrait.
    A. Jeff Koons: I have thus far only discovered three covers with Jeff Koons‘ art: Everyone know about Lady Gaga‘s “ARTPOP” album but the other two are less well-known. Tenor saxophonist Arthur Doyle‘s single-sided 12″ “Live at the Alterknit” released in 2008 and the “John Cage to David Byrne: Four Decades of Contemporary Music” CD that I mentioned in the section on Andy Warhol.
    B. Kate Moss covers: I already had both versions of Dirty Funker‘s “Let’s Get Dirty” 12″ with their Banksy portraits of Kate on front and rear covers, Damien Hirst‘s “Use Money, Cheat Death” single-sided, white vinyl 12″ and a compilation promotional CD for handbag manufacturers Longchamp that was compiled by Kate and called “Kate Moss for Longchamp – An Iconic Selection by Kate Moss”. This year’s additions to the Kate Moss collection include The Unholy Two‘s “Kutter/Porkys” 7″ single that uses what looks like photocopies of Chuck Close‘s 2005 portraits of a nude Kate Moss.

    The outer spread of The Unholy Two's
    The outer spread of The Unholy Two’s “Kutter/Porkys” single.
    The inner spread of The Unholy Two's
    The inner spread of The Unholy Two’s “Kutter/Porkys” single.

    I also found a dealer in California who was offloading three of Bryan Ferry‘s limited edition singles from his 2010 album “Olympia“. The Vinyl Factory in London had produced these beautiful six 12″ in strictly limited editions of 200 or 300 copies and they sold out almost immediately.
    alphaville-fr bf-base-fr shamelesss-fr
    Having got these, I found a copy of of the Vinyl Factory limited edition “Olympia” album with its art portrait of Kate enclosed. So that was added to my collection.

    olympia
    There is also a digital download with all the remixes of the tracks on the Vinyl Factory remix singles, with a playing time of about 4 hours called “Olympia Remixes
    r-4336772-1362134373-3791-jpeg
    I also found a Dutch promotional CD of “Heartache by Numbers” which I also added to my collection.
    heartache-fr
    As far as I can tell there are fifteen covers with Kate Moss‘s portrait and I now have ten of them. Those outstanding are the  two remaining Bryan Ferry 12″ Vinyl Factory singles, “You Can Dance” and “Alphaville“, Babyshambles‘ album “Shotter’s Nation“, Primal Scream and Kate MossSome Velvet Morning” and possibly 6majik9‘s “Kate Moss” CDS.

TOTAL RECORDS – Photography and the Art of the Album Cover.

I just found out that I had missed yet another major exhibition of record cover art, this time in Arles in southwest France. The exhibition, called “Total Records” was first presented at Les Rencontres d’Arles from June to September 2015 and is said to be travelling round France. The exhibition catalogue has just (October 2016) been published as a free-standing book also called “TOTAL RECORDS – Photography and the Art of the Album Cover”.

total-records-cover
The cover of the “Total Records” book.

I bought the 448 page book as it promised an introduction to how photographers and the record covers they took photographs for came together. However, the short introduction in English at the start of the book doesn’t live up to the promise. You have to turn to the end of the book for the full stories but, unfortunately for me, this section is only in French. Quelle horreur! Zut alors! and all that.

The book is divided into twenty-five “chapters”, some devoted to a single photographer and others more thematic with titles such as “Below the Belt” and “B-side America: Riverside, Bluesville and Yazoo”. There is a section called “Photo-Copy” which shows how some cover art has spawned plagiarism (The Rolling Stones’ “Sticky Fingers“, The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” and “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band“.)

But the photographs are great. Most pages picture a single cover. Not surprisingly, as the exhibition is French, there are many French covers. Johnny Halliday and Sylvie Vartan figure prominently alongside less well known French artists including a lovely cover of Catherine Deneuve’s “Souviens-toi de M’Oublier” with cover photo by Helmut Newton. There are also Newton’s photographs on the cover of Sylvie Vartan’s album “Au palais des congress“.

catherine-deneuve

The first cover pictured in the book is Alex Steiweiss’ “Smash Song Hits by Rodgers and Hart“–Steinweiss’ first picture cover for Columbia Records from 1940.

steinweiss-smash-hits
Alex Steinweiss first picture cover for Columbia Records “Smash Song Hits by Rodgers & Hart” from 1940.

The first two chapters in the book, “The Sound I Saw” and “Aural Reappropriation” act as an introduction to the variety of photographs in record cover art and include covers by a multitude of photographers and make up nearly 30% of the book. These include cover photos by Andy Warhol (“This Is John Wallowitch“),  Nobuyoshi Araki  (Björk’s “Enjoy” and “Possibly Maybe” and Mango Delight’s “Conglomerate of Crazy Souls“), Annie Liebowitz (Cyndi Lauper’s “Change of Heart“, John Lennon’s “Interview Disc” and The Jim Carroll Band’s “Dry Dreams“), Herb Ritts (John Travolta/Olivia Newton-John “Two of a Kind” and Madonna’s “True Blue“). There is even Arthur Doyle’s “No More Crazy Women” with its Cindy Sherman cover photo (see my previous post on Cindy Sherman’s record cover art). Robert Mapplethorpe is represented with the classic Patti Smith cover for “Horses“, Taj Mahal’s “Taj” and Laurie Anderson’s “Strange Angels“.

Following these introductory chapters are sections/chapters devoted to individual photographers. First off are Jean-Paul Goude and Anton Corbijn. Corbijn is, of course, well known for his covers for Depeche Mode and U2. Jean-Paul Goude is best known for his cover photos of Grace Jones and eight of them are pictured in the book. It is a selection of Corbijns photos for U2 that are featured–mainly from the “Joshua Tree” sessions.

Next are eight of Jean-Baptiste Mondino’s covers, including covers of albums by Madonna, Björk, The Eurythmics and Prince.

The chapter after is reserved for Andy Warhol’s photographic covers. “This Is John Wallowitch” appeared in the first section of the book and this section includes the covers for “The Velvet Underground & Nico“, Miguel Bose’ s “Milano/Madrid“, Paul Anka’s “The Painter“, “Silk Electric” by Diana Ross and the cover of the “Muscles” single from the album and finishing with the cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Love You Live” album with a page devoted to the polaroid pictures  on which Warhol based the cover design. “Sticky Fingers“, the other Stones album Warhol designed, appears in the section Photo-Copy along with several pastiches.Obviously, in a book on the photography and the art of the album cover, I wouldn’t expect any of Warhol’s graphic covers to be included–and there aren’t any, with the possible exception of “The Velvet Underground & Nico” cover. I’m not sure how much photography was involved. Did Warhol actually photograph the famous banana?

More chapters are devoted to the work of David Bailey (more Rolling Stones covers), Lucien Clergue And Lee Friedlander’s photography for jazz artists on the Atlantic label. The jazz theme is logically continued with a chapter devoted to some of the Blue Note label’s photographic covers with photography by Frank Wolf. And the label theme continues with a chapter on covers from the ECM label photographed by a variety of photographers. Other labels highlighted include Brazil’s Elena Records, ESP-dosc and a chapter devoted to the American Bluesville, Riverside & Yazoo labels before moving on to a chapter of Hipgnosis designs including the usual Pink Floyd covers (but happily, not the “Dark Side of the Moon” cover which I feel has become a cliché).

In the next chapter, aptly titled “Transartistic” there are covers by Robert Rauschenberg (Talking Heads’ “Speaking in Tongues”), Paul Bley (“Paul Bley Quintet“) and Andy Warhol’s “Index” book with the Lou Reed flexidisc. Even Jeff Koons’ cover for Lady Gaga’s “Artpop” and Damien Hirst’s cover for Dave Stewart’s “Greetings From the Gutter” are included.

One of the best chapters is entitled “Propaganda and Slogans” which includes thirty eight covers ranging from the clenched fist on the cover of The BlackVoices album “On the Streets in Watts” to Rage Against the Machines album with the self-imolating buddhist monk on the cover.From this provocative chapter with covers portraying Che Guevara, Charles de Gaulle,Malcolm X and Martin Luther King the book goes “Below the Belt2 with a selection of “racier” covers such as The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s ” Electric Ladyland” (The British cover with the nude models photographed by David Montgomery), Roxy Music’s “County Life” and more Rolling Stones in the form of both versions of the “Beggars Banquet” cover (the originally released version with the white cover which simply stated the group’s name and the record’s title as well as the version The Stones originally wanted with the lavatory interior scene, first released in 1986.

The final three chapters, “A life on Vinyl:David Bowie and Johnny Halliday”, “Word and Image” with many spoken word albums (Allen Ginsberg, Albert Camus, Jack Kerouac, etc.) and “from Grain to Groove”, a homage to the Soundtrack album cover, round off this nice book.

I think this is one of the nicest books on record cover design which I will keep alongside Alex Steinweiss’ “The Inventor of the Modern Record Cover“, Nick de Ville’s “Album: Classic Sleeve Design–Style and Image in Sleeve Design” and Richard Evan’s “The Art of the Album Cover“. I would have been thrilled to see the exhibition and have been able to see the covers full size. But the covers in “Total Records” are beautifully photographed by Romain Riviere and do them justice.

A Peter Blake Cover I had missed.

As I have said before, I have stopped saying that my collection of a particular artist’s record covers is complete, because, just as soon as I write this, someone points out a cover I have missed. I was SO sure I had all of Sir Peter Blake‘s record covers that I was prepared to boast that, in fact, my collection WAS COMPLETE, when a moderator at rateyourmusic.com, Harlou123, notified me that he had a Classics For Pleasure album from 1981 with a cover painting by Peter Blake!

Well, I had to find a copy–luckily that wasn’t too difficult as the LP wasn’t too old, and had obviously been quite popular when it was released. The album paired George Gershwin‘s “Rhapsody in Blue” with his “An American in Paris” and had Ferde Grofé‘s “Piano Concerto in F” as a filler.

Gershwin-fr
The cover art for Music For Pleasure’s 1983 album of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue/American in Paris” LP.

The cover art really conjures up the feeling of Paris! Thank you Harlou123 for the tip off!

Harvey’s of Bristol, importers of sherry apparently commissioned six British artists to each illustrate a cover for a classical release on the Classics for Pleasure label. I usually associated Classics for Pleasure as a low-price label that reissued classical works at mid price. However, these six recordings were made by winners of the 1981 Leeds Piano Competition (sponsored by Harvey’s of Bristol) specially for the label and the cover art was newly commissioned for each album. Peter Blake‘s contribution was number 6 in the series. Other artists who painted the covers included Patrick Heron and David Inshaw. I have not been able to identify the remaining painters.

Record collecting – a love affair or an addiction?

Okay, as you probably have gathered if you read my blog, I live in Sweden. This is not a very important piece of information, but it explains why this post was inspired (probably not the right word) by a recent book and a magazine number. The book, by Olle Johansson, is called “En skivsamlares memoarer” (ISBN 9789163776618, Rabarber förlag, Stockholm, 2015), which translates to “A Record Collector’s Memoirs” and the magazine is the Spring 2016 number of the Swedish music magazine Sonic–a 116 page special number entitled “Alla talar om skivsamlande“, again in translation “Everyone is talking about record collecting“.

Most people would not see any difference between a record collector and a music collector, but there is huge difference and these two publications illustrate it perfectly. Olle Johansson is a MUSIC collector. He is not interested in the format the recording is presented on. He does not care about record labels, catalogue numbers, or the cover art. He wants the music, and it doesn’t matter if it is a reissued CD or vinyl. He doesn’t search for original pressings or special editions. He just wants the music or the artist.

A record collector, however, cares about all, or at least some, of these things. There are those who collect a particular artist–and must have EVERYTHING released by that artist, including unofficial (bootleg) releases. Alternatively, the collector may collect a particular record label, quite independently of the type of music released (though the label will probably have released music that suits the collector’s taste). Then there are collectors who will collect a particular format– say 1960s EPs, or picture discs; the options are endless. And there are strange types, like me, who collect record cover art. Even here there are subdivisions; record cover art by a particular artist, cover art by any famous artist, or cover art that uses a particular design feature or a certain typography.

There are loads of books on record cover art and others on greater or lesser celebrities’ record collections. One recent, almost encyclopaedic one is Eilon Paz‘s “Dust & Grooves: Adventures in Record Collecting“. Paz visited record collectors and photographed them with their hoards of vinyl–everything from rare 78s to the world’s largest collection of coloured vinyl records. Sonic magazine interviewed musicians, DJs, record collectors and record buyers at record stores. I used to have a library of books about record cover art. I have only kept a few that I really treasure. These include Nick de Ville‘s “Album: Classic Sleeve Design: Style and Image in Sleeve Design“, Richard Evans‘ “The Art of the Record Cover“, Paul Maréchal‘s “The Complete Commissioned Record Covers“, Jennifer McKnight-Trontz’ & Alex Steinweiss’For the Record: The Life and Work of Alex Steinweiss, Inventor of the Album Cover” and the catalogue from Stockholm’s Nationalmuseum’s 1981-2 exhibition “Ytans innehåll: utställning av skivomslag” [“The Surface’s Contents: An Exhibition of Record Covers“].

Where did my collection begin? Born in the mid forties, I was raised on vinyl records. My father loved music and had a few hundred LPs and a few 78s. In my late teens I had a friend, Chris,  who worked on Saturdays at The Chelsea Record Centre, a shop on The King’s Road, Chelsea. We used to go to pubs and listen to R ‘n’ B and, when I went to University we started going regularly to the 100 Club on Oxford Street. We could see The Pretty Things, The Graham Bond Organisation or The Artwoods. One night–I suppose in 1964 or 1965– we went to see Bo Diddley and his famous band (who I had at that time only heard of through some Buddy Holly recordings.) Well, to call that concert mindblowing was an understatement.

The first records I bought were LPs–Eddie Cochran‘s “Memorial Album“, “The Buddy Holly Story” and John Lee Hooker‘s “Don’t Turn Me From Your Door“. One evening in late November 1963 my friend Chris came home with a copy of “With the Beatles” and we spent an evening just playing and replaying the album. And almost a year later on the 24th October 1964, Chris and I went to the Gaumont State Cinema in Kilburn to see The Beatles–I can’t say we heard them because of all the screaming. I still have the “Four Aces” programme from the concert! I started buying records and became a regular at two of London’s independent record shops that imported American albums; One Stop Records in South Moulton Street and Musicland in Berwick Street.

In early 1967, My brother, who had been living in America, returned to England and presented me with a bundle of records including Big Brother & The Holding Company‘s eponymous first album (on the Mainstream label), Country Joe & The Fish‘s “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die“, The Jefferson Airplane‘s “Takes Off” and “Surrealistic Pillow“. I  bought The Doors‘ first album, which was one of the greatest albums of 1967, at One Stop, and they recommended an album by The Velvet Underground & Nico, which I bought but didn’t really get into. I liked the cover, though. Then I discovered bluebeat, ska and reggae and for the first time bought singles. Prince Buster, The Ethiopians and Desmond Dekker before finding Phil Spector and then soul music in the form of Doo Wop with Clyde McPhatter & the Dominoes, The Coasters, The Drifters, Don Covay, Joe Tex and, of course, Otis Redding. Thus far, I was still a music collector.

Then in April 1971, I bought The Rolling Stones‘ “Sticky Fingers” with its Andy Warhol designed cover. I already had The Velvet Underground & Nico, so this was my second Andy Warhol cover. I also had two covers by Peter Blake: “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and The Pentangle‘s “Sweet Child“. So I had the beginnings of two cover art collections. In the early 1980s I stumbled across an album by The Cocteau Twins and soon started collecting albums on the 4AD label designed by Vaughan Oliver and Nigel Grierson (as 23 Envelope) and Vaughan Oliver and Chris Bigg (as v23). I also found Fetish Record‘s “Final Testament” and collected every cover I could find with Neville Brody‘s art.I also had all three of Joy Division‘s albums but didn’t start collecting Peter Saville‘s record covers in any systematic way, though a few did find their way into my collection. In the early 2000s I fell for Rob Jones‘ work–both as a poster artist for the White Stripes, The Raconteurs and Dead Weather–and for his record cover art. I also collected Swedish designer Martin Kann‘s covers for the band bob hund. All the while my collection of covers by Warhol and Blake grew. I also found that I had many covers by Klaus Voormann and then Damien Hirst produced a few record covers that found their way into my collection. In about 2008  I picked up a couple of albums with cover art by the artist known as Banksy and managed over the course of two years to collect almost all the covers bearing his art.

When I retired in 2010 it was apparent that my wife and I would have to move to a flat and that I would not be able to take my collection of records, posters and CDs with me. I had to downsize. I decided only to keep my collections of record cover art. I said “good bye” to my 4AD, Martin Kann, and Rob Jones records and kept only my Banksy, Blake, Hirst, Voormann and Warhol collections. So now I am a RECORD collector rather than a music collector. The music is secondary to the cover art.