It has been my ambition to collect all record covers with Andy Warhol‘s art. Most of the seventies and eighties covers are relatively easy to find and shouldn’t cost the earth (an exception is Ultra Violet‘s eponymous LP from 1973), but the earlier ones, particularly the fifties covers have become increasingly expensive. And the original “Velvet Underground & Nico” (1967) along with many of it’s reissues are becoming increasingly expensive.
I have long searched for decent copies of Moondog‘s “The Story of Moondog“. While copies of the Moondog album do pop up relatively frequently on Ebay, most are in pretty poor condition with severely discoloured covers, but I had the great good fortune to find a near mint copy on Discogs which I bought as a Christmas present to myself.
The other major hole in my collection was John Wallowitch‘s second album for Serenus Records called “This Is (The Other Side of) John Wallowitch“. This album doesn’t come up for sale very often and bidding goes crazy on good copies. A reasonable copy popped up on Ebay in late January and despite having depleted my funds the previous month for the Moondog album, I managed to win it with a not too outrageous bid.
Front and rear covers of “This Is (The Other Side of) John Wallowitch”, 1965.
As can be seen, Wallowitch chose as the rear cover picture to reuse the “photo booth” photos taken by Warhol that were on the front cover of his previous Serenus Records release “This Is John Wallowitch“. It’s sort of ironic that the “Man of a Thousand Faces”, as stated on the front cover, is portrayed on the rear from the chin downwards, so one cannot see any of the thousand faces (actually, there are only 56 photos, or parts of photos on the cover, not thousands).
So now there are two of Warhol’s original covers and one bootleg that I need to complete my collection of Warhol’s record covers. These are the pink version of Prokofiev’s “Alexander Nevsky, Cantata Op 78” and the unobtainable “Night Beat” promotional box set that Guy Minnebach wrote about in his Andy Earhole blog (https://warholcoverart.com/2017/03/25/night-beat-rarest-of-the-rare/). Though I do have the facsimile box of the latter.
The remaining bootleg I am still looking for is the limited edition of Keith Richards‘ “Unknown Dreams” (Outsider Bird Records, OBR 93009).
As you all know by now, record cover art has become highly collectible. The long player, invented by Columbia Records in 1948 allowed graphic artists a 31 x 31 cm canvas on which to apply their art.The arrival of the compact disc in 1982 was predicted to banish the LP forever and, in the mid 1990s many artists had abandoned the format. However, the vinyl LP didn’t die; it faded away for a time, but has made a dramatic recovery in the last few years and artists are once more releasing albums on vinyl. And this has made designers and artists return to the medium and produce many great works of cover art.
Some record covers by famous artists now change hands for extraordinary sums. Nowadays, collectors will only pay top buck for a record cover if it is in pristine condition and preferably for an original pressing. One can only congratulate those who bought some of the rarer records when they were first released as the cover art has proved a surprising investment.
There have been many exhibitions of record cover art over the past thirty or so years. The first one I heard about (and visited) was produced by Aarhus Kunstmuseum in 1981 (shown there from 5th September until 4th October 1981), which then transferred to Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, where it was shown from 24th October 1981 until 17th January 1982 and later to Bildmuseet in Umeå. I saw both the exhibitions in Stockholm and Umeå (and lent 30 covers to the Umeå exhibition) and I still have the exhibition catalogue and even a poster from the Stockholm exhibition, signed by Andy Warhol!
Catalogue from Nationalmuseets 1981-2 exhibition “Skivomslag” (record covers).
Poster from Nationalmuseet’s exhibition, signed by Andy Warhol.
Many books have been published illustrating “great” record covers, “The 100 (or even 500) best record covers of all time” or just plain record covers. There have been a few good books on the history of record cover art. My favourites are Steven Heller‘s, Alex Steinweiss‘ & Kevin Reagan‘s “Alex Steinweiss Inventor of the Modern Album Cover“, Nick De Ville‘s “Album: Style and Image in Sleeve Design” and Richard Evans‘ “The Art of the Record Cover“. There have been even fewer books devoted to a single designer: Paul Maréchal‘s pioneering “Andy Warhol–The Record Covers 1949-1987. Catalogue Raissonné” from 2008 and updated in 2015 as “Andy Warhol–The Complete Commissioned Record Covers 1949-1987” and, again, the “Alex Steinweiss Inventor of the Modern Album Cover” are wonderful examples. Fewer books focus on the artists behind the record covers.
In January 2017, Taschen published Francesco Spampinato‘s “Art Record Covers” edited by Julius Weidemann. This book with over 400 pages provides an overview of artists who have produced record cover art, ranging from the early days of record cover art with covers by Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol to currently active artists including Banksy, Jeff Koons, Karin “Mamma” Andersson and with in depth interviews with Tauba Auerbach, Shepard Fairey, Kim Gordon,Christian Marclay, Albert Oehlen and Raymond Pettibon. Thereafter the bulk of the book, over 300 pages, is an alphabetical presentation of, I guess, 500 artists with selected illustrations of their work.
Spampinato must have an enviable collection of record cover art! Many (most?) of the photos are of records from his personal collection. The book is beautifully produced, being almost LP sized (30 x 29.5 cm) and on heavyweight paper. Many of the covers are reproduced almost full size.
Do I have any criticisms? The book concentrates on artists not affiliated with record companies, so there are no Reid Miles or Vaughan Oliver or Peter Saville, or even Alex Steinweiss covers. The covers chosen for the book are all art works and there are no photographic covers. there are a couple of artists that I miss: Anton Corbijn has designed loads of covers for U2 and Depeche Mode that aren’t purely photographic. And there is Klaus Voormann who has designed record covers for over fifty years for artists such as The Bee Gees, Manfred Mann and, not least The Beatles‘ “Revolver“. These are really only petty quibbles though. The “Art Record Covers” is a magnificent book and a snip at its recommended price of £49,99. So, go out and buy it! But be warned, it’s heavy so take a cart with you.
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.
A couple of years ago (July 2014, to be exact) I posted that I had found a record cover using a painting by internationally renowned painter Karin “Mamma” Andersson. The limited edition (1000 copies) EP by Mattias Alkberg called “Epitafium” was released for Record Store Day 2014. It comes in a poster sleeve with art by Mamma Andersson. It initially proved difficult to find, but now there are copies available on line at reasonable prices. Since then I have found a few more covers that use her art.
Not long after I had managed to get hold of the “Epitafium” EP, I found out that Mattias Alkberg has released another limited edition featuring Karin “Mamma” Andersson‘s art on its cover. This time it was a limited edition, blue vinyl, 7-inch EP entitled “Skända flaggan” (which means “insult/deface the flag”).
The “Skända flaggan” EP had two different Mamma Andersson paintings on front and rear covers. Well, I thought I had found all covers featuring her art until I received my copy of the wonderful “Art Record Covers” book by Francesco Spampinato (edited by Julius Wiedemann).
In the book, Spampinato pictures the covers of two limited edition 12″ singles by Beck with cover art by Mamma Andersson. These are “Defriended” and “I Won’t Be Long“. Apparently they were released in 2013 and only available through Beck‘s website and sold out completely. A Discogs search showed me that there was even a third Beck 12″ with a different Karin Andersson painting on the cover. This was a double 12″ called “Gimme“. All three 12-inchers were readily available, though I suppose considerably more expensive than originally.
So now I wonder if there are any more records with Karin”Mamma” Andersson’s art on their covers.
In my last post I started researching record cover art by winners of the prestigious Turner Prize awarded annually by the Tate Gallery to an artist under the age of 50 for an exhibition. Susan Philipsz won the prize in 2010. When I started writing the previous post, I had no idea that I would have the chance to meet one of the Turner Prize winners so soon.
Philipsz (born 1965 in Glasgow, Scotland) began her artistic career as a sculptor. She was fascinated by sound and moved on to sound installations. in 2001 she recorded an a capella version of David Bowie‘s “Ziggy Stardust” album at Stockholm’s Bonnier konsthall. The recording was released on a limited edition (500 copies) Digipak CD in 2004.
Susan Philipsz’ “Ziggy Stardust” CD autographed by her.
Philipsz had an exhibition at the Gallician Centre of Contemporary Art (CGAC) in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, in 2008, called “There Is Nothing Left Here“. There was a book published by the CGAC together with an LP which features sound from the exhibition in a cover showing Philipsz and one of her sisters sitting looking out over a mountain.
In 2005, Malmö konsthall allowed Philipsz to use their exhibition space for an installation entitled “Stay With Me“. The hardcover exhibition catalogue also contained a CD of the sound installation.
Susan Philipsz has again been chosen to be Bonnier konsthalls artist in residence for the first part of 2017. This time she presents a four-work exhibition called “Lost in Space“. The main work is a 23 minute film of violinist Leila Akhmetova playing a single note from the opening of Karl-Birger Blomdahl‘s opera “Aniara“. Philipsz deconstructed the music and required Akhmetova to only play each note of C. Philipsz filmed the process with a camera constantly circling Akhmetova catching her concentration on following the score while a computer screen beside indicates how the performance is progressing. Apart from a 24-page catalogue, Philipsz has produced a limited edition picture disc LP (300 copies) in a box set with a 300 page book.
At the opening of the “Lost in Space” exhibition, Susan Philipsz introduced the works in a 45.minute talk during which she explained her methods and showed films of various projects she has been involved in, including her Tate Britain installation of tones produced from wind instruments damaged in various wars from the Battle of Waterloo, The Crimea and WWI. After the talk I had the opportunity to talk with her and get the “Ziggy Stardust” CD and “Stay With Me” book signed.
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.
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.
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 DaveStewart‘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”
Damien Hirst & Kate Moss “Use Money, Cheat Death”
The Hours‘ singles “Ali in the Jungle“, “Back When You Were Good“, “Love You More“, “Ali in the Jungle, 2” and “Big Black Hole”
Damien Hirst’s & Jason Beard’s covers for the five singles by The Hours.
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”
Babyshambles album “Sequel to the Prequel” and the singles from it.
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“.
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“.
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.
Jeremy Deller’s & William Elliot Whitmore’s 2002 book/CD “After the Gold Rush”.
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.
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.
I begin to repeat myself! I know I should never, NEVER, say that I’ve completed a collection, but this time I may actually have… I have finally got hold of all the covers on my Kate Moss Cover List. Just publishing this post, will, I’m sure, unearth more. But for now, what the heck, I’ll say I’ve got ’em all.
So here, in alphabetical order, are the new additions:
BABYSHAMBLES – “Shotter’s Nation” – Parlophone LP
BRYAN FERRY – You Can Dance Remixes – Vinyl Factory 12″
BRYAN FERRY – Alphaville Remixes – Vinyl Factory 12″
6majik9 – Kate Moss – Musicyourmindstilllove you CDr
PRIMAL SCREAM & KATE MOSS – Some Velvet Morning – Columbia 12″
2007 6majik9 “Kate Moss” CD-r with handmade cover. Music Your Mind Will Love You.
2003 – Primal Scream & Kate Moss “Some Velvet Morning”, Columbia 12″.
The “Shotter’s Nation” album was Babyshambles‘ third full length album after “HQ Sessions Second Wave” and “Down in Albion“. The album artwork is credited to Pete Doherty and Traffic and the cover painting to the French artist, painter, writer (5 novels so far) and photographer Alizé Meurisse, who has designed several covers for Babyshambles and Pete Doherty. Despite being released as recently as 2007, the vinyl album has become quite scarce. I assume the female figure on the cover with her back to the viewer is Kate Moss.
The Vinyl Factory released seven limited vinyl editions of Bryan Ferry‘s 2010 album “Olympia” and remixes of six singles taken from it. All featured portraits of Kate Moss in various poses photographed by Adam Whitehead. The first was “You Can Dance Remixes” and then came “Alphaville” remixes on two separate 12″ EPs, then “Heartache by Numbers“, which thus far I have only identified as a rare Dutch promotional CD single. The final two 12” EPs are “Shameless” and “BF Base (Ode to Olympia)“. The arrival of the “You Can Dance Remixes” and the second “Alphaville” 12-inchers completes my collection of all seven Bryan Ferry/Kate Moss covers.
6majik9 is a loose Australian collective fronted by Michael Donelly who formed Music Your Mind Still Love Records which released a number of CD-rs in limited numbers (usually less than 100 copies) with hand painted covers. The “Kate Moss” CD-r comes in a handmade card cover with a stencilled portrait of Kate in black and with a hand-painted red slash that varies from cover to cover. The rear cover has a stencilled pentagram. Mike Donnelly has told me that it was he who made the “Kate Moss” cover by stencilling the face and painting the red overlay.
The final addition is the oldest cover (from 2003) featuring Kate Moss;Primal Scream and Kate Moss “Some Velvet Morning” with cover design by INTRO and illustrated by British illustrator Julie Verhoeven, who has designed the cover of Kasabian‘s “Empire” and several for Nouvelle Vague.
Now I can show all the Kate Moss covers in a single post. Here they are in chronological order:
2007 – Dirty Funker “Let’s Get Dirty” Spirit Records singles
2007 – Dirty Funker “Let’s Get Dirty” Spirit records.
Left: First pressing. Right: Second pressing.
So there you have it! All eighteen covers that I have found featuring Kate Moss. Now I’ll sit back and wait for someone to point out a cover I haven’t found.