As readers of this blog will know, I collect both Andy Warhol‘s and, not by any coincidence, Peter Blake‘s record cover art.. I would list these great Pop Artists as the equals–Warhol as an exponent of American Pop Art and Blake curiously English.
Andy Warhol died on 22nd February 1987, just 30 years ago. Art lovers, it seems, love and hate him in almost in equal measures. However, Warhol‘s art still causes excitement and discussion. Peter Blake‘s art continues to evolve, now in his 85th year.
In 2009 Sir Peter Blake produced a 355 x 355 mm (14 x 14 in) print of Andy Warhol in an edition of 25, complete with diamond dust. A new, larger (510 x 510 mm) edition 0f 75 was produced in 2016.
This would make a great addition to both my collections! I’m going to start saving up tomorrow.
I dedicate this post to the memory of Daniel Brant of the A and D Gallery, who died on 19th January 2017 and who gave me many insights into Andy Warhol‘s art and gave me the opportunity to meet Sir Peter Blake at the opening of the Gallery’s show Peter Blake‘s “I Love London” in 2010. I suppose it is also an homage to Andy Warhol and Peter Blake, too.
My collection of Andy Warhol‘s record cover art is nearing completion. There are only a few original covers left to find. Moondog‘s album “The Story of Moondog” is one I have been chasing since I started collection in earnest nearly ten years ago. You can read more about the Moondog album in my previous Recordart post. The album was released on the Prestige label in America in 1957 on LP and somewhere I have read that there were probably about 5,000 copies pressed records originally. The record doesn’t seem too rare as copies regularly appear on Ebay but most copies I have seen have been in very poor condition with the cover severely yellowed or stained.
Towards the end of November 2016, I saw what looked like a perfect copy advertised on Discogs and from Spain. Photos showed it to be a really pristine copy with only minor yellowing of the front cover.The record itself was in near mint condition but I couldn’t afford the asking price! I made a cheeky offer which, to my surprise, was accepted. One big advantage of buying it from Spain is that there would be no import charges for items sold within the European Union.
The seller wanted payment via Payoneer–a service I had never heard of and that took over a week to process my payment. So by the 12th December I hoped my record would be on its way. Then fate took a hand. The seller’s father fell ill and ended up in hospital, so the seller had to leave Madrid and my Moondog album to go to his bedside. Having paid, I was naturally worried that this was a ruse and that I might never receive the record. However, the seller kept in regular contact and apolgising for the delay. Sadly his father died in early January and a week later the seller had returned to Madrid and could ship the record, which arrived in perfect condition on 17th January.
the cover is is amazing condition with absolutely no ringwear, only very minor yellowing and crisp corners, an intact spine with clear printing and a near perfect rear cover. I hadn’t expected the front cover to be laminated, but this copy’s was.
So, now there are only three important Warhol covers to find…
Stones founder member Brian Jones had died in 1969 and the band hadn’t released and album since “Let It Bleed” that same year. Mick Taylor joined to fill Brian Jones’s shoes. But the group hadn’t been idle. They had begun recording new material for an album in March 1969 and come up with some of their strongest material. Further the new album, entitled “Sticky Fingers” was to be the first to be released on The Rolling Stones own record label (licensed to Atlantic Records). Mick Jagger had already approached Andy Warhol to suggest that he design the upcoming album’s cover.*
Warhol had already discussed the idea of having a zip fastener on a record cover and this was his opportunity. I have already posted a fairly detailed account of the cover’s production in my February 2015 post on “The sources of Andy Warhol’s record cover art – The Rolling Stones“, so I won’t go into it again here.
The album was released on 23rd April 1971. The UK and European editions had the band’s name and the record title like rubber stamps over the model’s right thigh while the US version had both the band name and title placed over the models belt. The Stones gave the record the titillating catalogue number COC 59100 for both editions. A later US and Canadian re-issue had the catalogue number COC 39105. I have thus far not been able to find out when this was released. Both my copies are the 39105 version.
However, in Spain, the cover was deemed too lascivious and a “politer” version illustrating sticky fingers covered in treacle was used.
The rear cover photo on both the UK/European and US/Canadian versions was identical with the jeans-clad posterior on both. The Spanish cover used the photo of the Stones that graced the UK and US inner sleeves.
In 2015, a remastered and expanded version of the “Sticky Fingers” album with an extra LP of live tracks. This was reissued with a working zip but with the tongue logo on the zip’s puller. Simultaneously there were several variations including a double CD with the same cover image but without a working zip, a box set with CD and a book – again without the working zipper and a super deluxe box set with a triple CD, seven-inch single and photographs. The CD in this box does have a working zip. This is the second time that a CD with real zip has appeared. Incidentally, this reissue series also includes a double LP with the Spanish cover.
Just recently my friends at London’s A and D Gallery got hold of a copy of the 1971 US release (COC 39105) signed by Andy Warhol along with a signed copy of “Love You Live” which they passed on to me!
As many people know, Andy was not pleased by Mick Jagger adding the title to the front cover of the “Love You Live” album and usually refused to sign the front, preferring, as in this case to sign the inner spread. These two signed albums make a great addition to my collection of Warhol covers.
*Guy Minnebach points out that this letter cannot have anything to do with the decision to ask Warhol to design the “Sticky FIngers” cover as the letter refers to a hits package. Furthermore, Jagger sends a copy of the finished album with the letter, so the album CANNOT be “Sticky FIngers” as that was not recorded yet. The Stones DID ask Warhol to design a cover for their “Through the Past Darkly” hits album released in 1969, but apparently rejected Warhol’s design, which has thus far not been found.
The compact disc (CD) was developed jointly by by Philips and SONY and introduced in 1982, five years before Andy Warhol’s death in February 1987 following a gallbladder operation. As far as I can ascertain the only CD that used Warhol’s art that was released during his lifetime is the 1986 Aretha Franklin album “Aretha“. I have twenty-two of the 33 catalogued CDs in my collection that have cover art or portraits by/of Andy Warhol. The table lists all these that I have found.
The compact discs:
Aretha Franklin‘s “Aretha” album released in 1986, was simultaneously released on LP, cassette and CD. Many older albums with Warhol art were later re-issued on CD. But I have not included re-issues in this list – thus no Velvet Underground & Nico or any of the Blue Note albums with Warhol art.
in 1988 Tobias Picker’s “Keys to the City” coupled with Marc Blitzstein’s “Piano Concerto”, was first released, on the CRI label. The booklet featured Warhol’s “Brooklyn Bridge” poster design on the cover (left). Warhol had created this print to celebrate the Bridge’s centenary in 1983. The CD was was re-issued in the 1990s with a modified cover (right).
In 1990 John Cale and Lou Reed released “Songs for Drella”, their tribute to Andy Warhol. “Drella” was Warhol superstar Ondine’s nickname for Warhol – a contraction of Dracula and Cinderella – used by people at The Factory but apparently not appreciated by Warhol himself. The “self portrait” on the cover was taken by Billy Name. There was also a limited edition CD in a velvety Digipak version that only had the album title of the front cover together with Cale’s and Reed’s names.
Russell Means, a famous native American activist, released “Electric Warrior” in 1993. The portrait on the booklet was taken from Warhol’s “The American Indian” series, originally published in 1976. Other portraits of Means from the series can be seen at http://www.skarstedt.com/exhibitions/2012-10-10_andy-warhol/.
The Warhol Museum opened the following year and a book and CD were published to commemorate its inauguration. The CD of Andy Warhol interviews “Warhol From Tapes” had a detail from “Flowers” printed on the CD. The book had the compact disc attached to the front cover, but there are also CDs in standard jewel cases.
In 1972, Paul Anka had commissioned Warhol to paint a series of portraits of him. Warhol delivered these in person to Anka, who was, at that time, appearing in Las Vegas. Anka used two of the portraits on his 1976 LP “The Painter” and in 1996 released a compact disc album of duets entitled “Amigos”. This was a Spanish language release with Anka duetting with such artists as Ricky Martin, Julio Iglesias and others, including his daughter Anthea Anka. Two compact disc singles were released from this album; a promotional single of “Diana” featuring Paul Anka and Ricky Martin and a standard CD single of “Yo te amo”, which Anka sings together with Anthea.
The soundtrack to the film “I Shot Andy Warhol”, released in 1996, starred Lili Taylor, Stephen Dorff and Jared Harris. The soundtrack was a compilation of various artists tracks.The choice of artists on this CD was eclectic. There was a track from The Lovin’ Spoonful, and others from R.E.M., Luna, The MC5 (“Kick Out the Jams” – one of my favourites), Love and a specially composed “I Shot Andy Warhol Suite” by John Cale.
The next classical CD, released the same year as “I Shot Andy Warhol”, was a promotional double CD entitled “Concert of Concerts, Opus 2″ released by NTT Data in Japan of works by Mozart and Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. The cover and the discs themselves all featured a drawing from Warhol’s sketches from his portfolio “Play Book for S Bruce from 2:30 to 4:00″ given to Stephen Bruce joint owner of New York’s Serendipity 3 restaurant.
In 1997, Catalyst records released “Music for Merce” by The EOS Ensemble, conducted by Jonathan Sheffer, that used Warhol’s photographs of dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham on the booklet.
The next classical CD to appear was Karl-Aage Rasmussen’s 1998 “Three Friends”, which featured a detail from Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Annunciation” from Warhol’s “Details of Renaissance Paintings” prints from 1984. Another detail from another print from this series would appear on a CD cover in 2006.
The band Hopewell released its first album entitled “Contact” in 1998 with a cover picture of the Empire State Building from Warhol’s 1964 film of the building. The silent film lasts 8 hours and 5 minutes and was shot from the 41st floor of the Rockefeller Center.
John Cale released “Eat/Kiss –
Music From the Films of Andy Warhol” in 1999, which features a still from Warhol’s film “Kiss” on the booklet’s cover.
In 2000, the Museum of Modern Art released a CD entitled “Open Ends – Musical Exploration in New York 1966-2000″. This is a compilation of various artists including The Velvet Underground, Yoko Ono, Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo and The Fugs. The cover showed four colour variations of Warhol’s self portrait from 1966 – a work that resides in the Museum of Modern Art.
A rather strange compact disc entitled “Andy Warhol – Amerykansi Mit” appeared in Poland in 2002. This is a twelve track CD with the majority of tracks by members of The Velvet underground, but also including tracks by Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, The Animals and The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
Two further compact discs were released in 2002 with Warhol art. “Andy Warhol – Uh, Yes, Uh, No” – a recording of Warhol quotes, and “Pop Art – Underground Sounds From the Warhol Era” another compilation of tracks by thirteen artists including (of course) Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Roky Erikson, Debbie Harry, John Cale and Jackson Browne. The cover was one of Warhol’s 1984 self portraits.
Another strange compact disc entitled “Warholes Or All Andy Would Enjoy (and Fear) / Warhol Memory Disorder” by Lengow & HEveRMEarS / Otomo Yoshide & Sachiko M with DJ Mao and Peter Skala used Warhol’s Cow wallpaper with added bullet holes as its cover image. I don’t have this CD and have no idea what tracks it contains.
In 1993 David Jones (no, not the David Bowie David Jones) and Bill Shute released a cassette of “traditional songs for all ages”, with simple cover art, entitled “Widdecombe Fair“. The album was re-released in 2003 with new cover art.
In 2004 another various artists CD by Cultura and entitled “Andy Warhol by Cultura” was released in Italy. This Digipak double CD included a booklet with several Warhol artworks, the use of which had been sanctioned by The Warhol Foundation.
A bootleg compact disc with early Velvet Underground tracks, recorded between January and April 1966 was released in Japan in 2005. The CD was called “The Velvet Underground at the Factory – Warhol Tapes”.
The British music magazine Q released two CDs of covers of the music of John Lennon. These were cleverly titled “John Lennon Covered #1” and “John Lennon Covered #2“. Each 14-track CD included tracks by Oasis, Madonna, Paul Weller, Stereophonics and others.
Three compact discs featuring Warhol art were released in 2006. “The Mystery of Do-Re-Mi” a recording by the baritone Christopher Grabbitas accompanied on the lute by David Miller used a detail from another of Warhol’s “Details of Renaissance Paintings” series, This time using SandroBotticelli’s “The Birth of Venus“.
A second CD from 2006 was Brian Keene’s “Andy Warhol – A Documentary” which contained a specially composed soundtrack.
Several CDs have appeared in Germany on Warhol’s life and works. The first, a tranlation of Andy Warhol’s diaries was released under the title “Andy Warhol – Das Tagebuch” in 2006.
While on the subject of Warhol’s life, Deutsche Grammophon released a series of CDs with programmes of biographies of famous people, one of whom was Andy Warhol. Stephana Sabin compiled the biography, which is in German.
The French music magazine Les Inrockuptibles released a compilation compact disc entitled “Le New York d’Andy Warhol” in 2007. The CD featured tracks by Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Television and others. The cover picture was David McCabe‘s photo of Andy with Edie Sedgwick taken in 1964 just after the release of Warhol’s film “The Empire State Building”.
And in 2008 another German CD biography of Warhol appeared, this time written by Annette Spohn and called “Andy Warhol – Leben, Werk, Wirkung”.
The Art Gallery of Ontario presented an exhibition of Warhol art entitled “Stars, Death and Disasters, 1962-1964″ in 2008. The exhibition was co-curated by film director David Cronenberg and the gallery released a CD of Cronenberg’s discussions of the exhibition. The CD was entitled “Cronenberg on Warhol” and featured two images of “Double Elvis on front and rear covers.
In 2008 a re-issue of an old bootleg appeared on CD with a new cover. The Velvet Underground‘s “Psychedelic Sounds From the Gymnasium” is a concert recording from April 30th 1967. This album was originally released on vinyl in 2008 and this re-issue has a Warhol cover supplied by The Warhol Foundation.
The final compact discs on my list are credited to MPHO (Mpho Skeef, a South African, now living in London). The are promotional various artist CD-rs and are released on the Wall of Sound/Parlophone label. Entitled “The Art of Pop featuring DJ Beware, Vols 1 and 2″, the cover art shows classic Pop Art images, not only by Warhol, but by Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns and others.
And that takes us up to 2009. I have thus far not been able to find any compact discs released after this that feature Andy Warhol’s art. But I promise – I will keep on searching.
This post owes a big thank you to Guy Minnebach, who came up with several CDs that I had missed. Thank you, Guy.
Louis Thomas Hardin (a.k.a. Moondog, a.k.a. The viking of 6th Avenue) was born in Kansas in 1916 and was blinded in an accidental explosion when he was 16 years old. He attended various music schools for the blind but developed his own composing skill. Hardin moved to New York in 1942 where his original musicianship was recognised by many celebrated musicians, both from the classical and jazz fields. He wrote poetry and set many to music. He lived as a street musician between 1942 to 1972 wearing a viking cloak and a horned helmet which earned him the moniker “the viking of 6th Avenue.” Hardin adopted the Moondog alias in 1947 in honour of a dog who used at the moon. Hardin emigrated to Germany in 1974 where he lived for the remainder of his life. He died on 8th September 1999.
Originally released by Prestige Records in 1957, this LP has long been one I have been looking for. I suspected that this record was incredibly rare, but there are over fifty copies listed on http://www.popsike.com and two appeared on Ebay in the same week in May 2015. Both these copies’ front covers were considerably yellowed but they still sold for over $250 each. Needless to say, I didn’t win either of them!
The original record was recorded in 1956-7 and Reid Miles, Prestige record’s art director approached Andy Warhol to ask his mother Julia to write out Stewart Preston’s eulogy to Moondog in her characteristic calligraphic style. According to Paul Maréchal in “Andy Warhol: The Complete Commissioned Record Covers, 1949-1987” she wrote out the text but – as was her wont – the lines tended to slope up to right so Andy cut them into strips to fit onto the cover. The text was credited to Preston and the calligraphy to Andy Worhol’s mother – with Warhol wrongly spelt. Design was credited to Reid Miles and the credits were place vertically at lower right on the front cover.
“The Story of Moondog” has been re-issued several times. First in 2009 on the Honest John Records Label with an entirely different cover and then in 2010 on the 4 Men With Beards label with the original cover but without the Prestige 7099 on the front cover and with the credits to Stewart Preston and Andy Worhol ‘s [sic] mother and Reid Miles removed. The latest re-release in 2011 was in a numbered limited edition box set by DOXY Records with the same cover as the 4 Men With Beards release.
The album was re-released in a remastered version on CD in 2014 in Japan, once again on the Prestige Label. The Japanese seem to be particularly good at doing the re-issue job properly as evidenced by their CDs in mini LP sleeves. So the CD booklet recreates the original LP cover art – both front an rear covers exactly. The CD cost one-tenth of what one of the copies recently sold on Ebay cost!
The CD has a poster showing the original LP rear cover and the CD itself is a copy of the LP’s original label, but with a new catalogue number.
I shall have to make do with the CD until a decent copy of the original LP turns up.
Part one of this series on the sources of Andy Warhol’s record cover art dealt with the images on the covers of Rolling Stones bootleg albums. It seems logical to devote the second part to the three official Rolling Stones covers designed by Andy Warhol. Well, actually, there should be four official album covers that he designed for the Stones – but the design for their 1969 Greatest Hits album has been lost after Mick Jagger (was said to have) refused it. The three covers are (of course):
– Sticky Fingers (1971)
– The Rolling Stones (promotional EP) 1977
– Love You Live (1977)
In 1969 Andy Warhol is said to have suggested to Mick Jagger at a party that he would like to design a record cover with a working zip. Jagger remembered this in 1969 when recording the Stones’ first album to be released on their own label, Rolling Stones Records. He wrote a letter to Warhol expressing his satisfaction that Warhol had agreed to design the cover.
So, what about the photo? There is uncertainty about who the model was and even discussion about who actually took the photograph. It is usually credited to Warhol. The identity of the model has never been confirmed, though many assumed the model was Jagger, it has often been rumoured to be either a hanger-on at the Factory, Warhol’s studio, named Joe Dallesandro, or Factory artist and designer Corey Tippin.
The album package was designed by Craig Braun who realized there had to be an extra layer of cardboard to protect the record from the zipper; that layer features another Warhol shot of a different man, possibly the twin brother of Warhol’s boyfriend and assistant Jed Johnson or journalist Glenn O’Brien, this time in his jockey shorts which (barely) contained him. The picture of a man’s pelvic region clad only in a revealing pair of white underpants was stamped with Andy Warhol’s stamp. Sticky Fingers was the first Stones record to show the tongue logo, which has often erroneously been credited to Warhol. It was in fact designed by Ernie Cefalu and his version was used for much of the merchandising and was the design originally shown to the band by Craig Braun. However, the design used for the album was done by John Pasche.
While the cover of “Brown Sugar / Bitch”, the number one single from the album, in most countries had a portrait of the group taken by Peter Webb. However, in Mexico the single and an EP used the Warhol photographs.
There was also a shaped picture disc that used the classic Warhol image.
The Rolling Stones (promotional EP) This four track EP was released in 1977 as a trailer for the forthcoming “Love You Live” double album. Warhol had taken a number of Polaroid photographs of the band members licking or biting each other or just sticking their tongues out. There seem to have been about twenty-five polaroids and these were printed on tablecloths used at the
“Love You Live” launch party thrown by the Stones at the New York’s club Trax, September 27, 1977.
The EP was released as a black vinyl EP in a picture sleeve bearing four of the Polaroid pictures.
A picture disc EP also appeared with the same catalogue number. However, this was probably a bootleg.
Love You Live
Released on 23rd September 1977 was a double album with a gatefold sleeve designed by Warhol. His original design did not include the album title or the band name, which apparently were added by Mick Jagger much to Warhol’s annoyance. The front cover picture is of Mick Jagger biting what looks like a child’s hand – probably that of his daughter Jade. The inner sleeves show two profiles, possible Charlie Watts, with extended pink tongues painted in.
Both “Sticky Fingers” and “Love You Live” have become classic record cover designs and rank with Warhol’s banana cover for “The Velvet Underground & Nico” as his best known covers.
Although Andy Warhol designed or illustrated over sixty record covers during his life, his reputation as a cover designer is mainly based on his two best-known sleeve designs: the “banana” cover for The Velvet Underground & Nico and the zip cover for The Rolling Stones’ “Sticky Fingers” album. Of course, Warhol also designed The Stones’ “Love You Live” cover and a greatest hits cover that Mick Jagger apparently rejected and which seems to have be lost. When it comes to bootleg albums The Stones are second only to The Velvet Underground when it comes to the number that use Andy Warhol’s art.
There are at least four Stones bootlegs that use Warhol’s art. These are “Emotional Tattoo”, “Live at Laxington”, “Mick Jagger in Japan” and the box set “El Mocambo 1977 +”. The first three of these all use one of Warhol’s Mick Jagger portraits originally sold in 1975 in a folio of ten silkscreens signed by both Andy Warhol and Mick Jagger. I had the opportunity to buy one of these sets at that time but turned them down as I thought the prints were ugly! A miss as gross as Patricia Caulfield’s refusal to accept two sets of Warhol’s “Flowers” as compensation for him using her photo as the basis for the paintings/prints . She demanded money instead!
This bootleg was originally released in Germany in December 1983 and included tracks recorded during sessions in 1981 and 1982 for the albums “Emotional Rescue” and “Tattoo You”. The cover was rather poorly printed with Warhol’s portrait of Mick Jagger on the front and a picture of ET on the reverse. Guy Minnebach tells me that ET was chosen for the cover as from an abbreviation of the record’s title and the fact that the film was very popular at the time the record came out.
The 1983 release was originally on black vinyl but sometime later copies appeared on orange vinyl housed in a cover identical to the black vinyl release and with the same catalogue number ID 1266.
Late in 2013, or perhaps early in 2014, a new version of the album appeared. Copies on green vinyl appeared on Ebay first from Portugal. This new pressing is a numbered edition of 350 and has the catalogue number RST-ST 01. The cover printing is of much better quality and the front cover portrait of Mick Jagger is now signed by Andy Warhol. ET has been banished from the rear and all ten of Warhol’s portraits of Jagger are pictured. There are also copies on black vinyl also in a numbered edition of 350 with an identical cover to the green vinyl issue. There is no indication on the cover as to which vinyl colour is included.
It is possible that there are two editions of 350 copies each; one each for the green and black vinyl releases. I have not been able to ascertain whether there are, in fact, 700 albums in the new series or only a single series of 350. As I write this (December 2014) copies of these new pressings have been selling for around €200 each for both the green and black vinyl versions, but prices seem to be coming down. Copies of the 1983 issue have been priced at $300-500, which, in my opinion, is ridiculous.