Yet another Banksy cover and the number of records/CDs with Warhol art on the cover increases

I thought I had gotten up to date on records and CDs that bear Banksy images, but last week I saw a promo CDR for Dirty Funker’s “Future” EP that I had not seen before. Of course it was listed in Discogs, so I don’t know how I missed it. Anyway, a copy was for sale on eBay and I managed to grab it!

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Apparently, according to the copy of the newsletter that accompanied the CD, only 50 were produced, making it one of the rarest Banksy covers, so I’m glad to have found a copy.

Incidentlally, a Finnish journalist had seen the Banksy exhibition at Konserthuset via the Internet who is currently writing a book on Culture Jamming and wants to include pictures of Banksy’s/DangerMouse’s Paris Hilton spoof album as an example of hi-jinx related to the music industry and celebrities in general. he asked me for pictures which I duly sent.

What with this week seeing the release of Klaus Voormann’s 60th and Sir Peter Blake’s 20th piece of record cover art, I am amazed by the diligence of collectors of Andy Warhol’s record cover art in finding more covers that use his images. Thanks to http://www.warholcovers.com I can keep my list up to speed. The most recent covers to come to light are:

Andi SexGang*s “Blind!” from 1985, that uses Andy’s “Multiple Elvis” image.

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The following year Sonic Youth released a covers album that included a reworking of Madonna’s “Into the Groove(y) / Burnin’ Up” and this was released as a single in both 12″ and 7″ formats with a cover using Warhol’s picture of Madonna and Sean Penn’s wedding.

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The re-issue trend continues with a revamped Velvet Underground live album “The Velvet Underground Live at the Gymnasium. Originally recorded on 30th April 1967 at New York’s Gymnasium, this recording is purportedly the only live recording before John Cale left The Velvets and includes a track “I’m Not A Young Man Anymore” that is not available anywhere else. The recording was first released in 2008 and was re-issued in 2011 with a cover purported to be by Warhol.

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Last, but not least (at least at the time of writing), is a new release by a band called Literature entitled “Arab Spring” which uses Warhol’s “Flowers” image (incidentally my favourite Warhol image) on it cover. The album is a limited edition with 398 copies pressed on black vinyl, 98 copies pressed on white vinyl and 4 copies on grey vinyl (according to Discogs.) There is also a cassette with a different variation of the Flowers image released in only 25 copies.

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I have no idea whether the use of Warhol’s art on these (and other) releases has been sanctioned. I suspect, however, given the continued popularity of Warhol’s art, that these covers will not be the last to use Warhol’s images. I guess I will have reason to return to this topic in the future.

 

 

New cover art by Klaus Voormann and Sir Peter Blake

October 2012 will be a memorable month with new record cover art by two of modern record cover art’s great exponents. First the German group Fools Garden release their new CD “Who Is Jo King?” (get the pun?) with cover art highly reminiscent of Klaus’ cover for The Beatles’ 1966 album “Revolver”.

Then, on the 29th October, Madness release their first album on their new label Cooking Vinyl entitled “Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da” with cover art by Sir Peter Blake. Peter Blake celebrated his 80th birthday on 25th June 2012 and I rate this cover as one of his most humorous.

Andy Warhol’s record cover art – or covers that bear Andy Warhol’s art

I started out collecting record covers that had been illustrated by or designed by Andy Warhol, which should not have been too controversial. It was relatively easy to spot designs that were obviously by him. Added to which, The Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh had many of Warhol’s original designs so a basic collection of covers with art by Warhol based on these designs made collecting easy. However, it now appears that there are many covers that Warhol designed for which no record seems to exist in The Warhol’s archives. The Vladimir Horowitz “Piano Music of Mendelssohn and Liszt” is one such. The Gershwin / Grofé cover of “Rhapsody In Blue / Grand Canyon Suite” and the covers for Margarita Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish are LP covers now generally accepted as being illustrated by Warhol. In addition there are the 7″ EPs “Latin Rhythms” by Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Pops and The Century Symphony Orchestra’s “Waltzes by Johann Strauss Jr” which are also clearly Warhol illustrations. The RATFAB single from 1984 is a further example.

Covers bearing Warhol’s art which were not designed or sanctioned by him began to appear in Warhol’s lifetime, usually on bootlegs such as The Rolling Stones “Emotional Tattoo” or The Falling Spikes “Screen Test: Falling in Love With the Falling Spikes”. A couple of new examples have turned up recently. Andi Sexgang’s debut LP “Blind!” has “Multiple Elvises” on the cover and Ciccone Youth’s (Sonic Youth’s alter ego) cover of Madonna’s “Into the Groove(y) / Burnin’ Up” single appeared in 1985. These have only recently been added to the list of Warhol covers. In the 25 years since his death many others have appeared either by artists who have been painted by Warhol, such as Russell Means and Simeon of The Silver Apples. Means had had his portrait painted in Warhol’s series of Native Americans and Simeon when he was a Factory associate in 1969. There are a number of other releases that bear Warhol’s art. A reissue CD of Marilyn Monroe’s music “Happy Birthday Mr. President” has Warhol’s iconic “Blue Marilyn” on the cover. M.T.T.’s “Caught from Behind” and Cultura’s “Andy Warhol by Cultura” Double CD (this one had their use of Warhol’s art sanctioned by The Warhol Foundation.)

Then there is a third category of “Warhol” covers, those that use images made by Warhol’s Factory associates. Gerard Malanga’s photography of Loredana Berté on her “Made in Italy” LP and the single from that album and Mananga’s photograph of Edie Sedgewick that The Cult used on their 1986 “Edie Ciao Baby” single. The Smiths used stills from Warhol’s films on many of their covers (for example their debut album “The Smiths”and a portrait of Candy Darling on “Sheila Take a Bow” single) and some consider these to be “Warhol” covers, too.

One item is difficult to classify: in 1994 The Warhol Museum released a CD of recordings of Andy Warhol’s interviews called “Andy Warhol From Tapes”together with the Museum’s inaugural book. The CD was available as a stand alone CD with a detail from Warhol’s “Flowers” printed on the CD, or it was available attached to the front cover of the Museum’s book. Being released by The Warhol Museum and using Warhol’s art makes this about as near a true Warhol cover as any.

Purists, however, stick only to the covers that Warhol actually had a hand in illustrating or designing. So, where do I stand? My collection of Warhol covers is based on the covers purists agree on. I do have a few of the other items too; such as the Russel Means and the Cultura CDs and the Silver Apples “Fractal Flow” single.

More on Warhol covers

I’ve been updating my list of record covers illustrated or designed by Andy Warhol on http://www.rateyourmusic.com. There have been several additions to my list recently. I noted that I had completely forgotten to include the Mozart album ”4 Divertimenti” and Warhol’s last design, the ”MTV – High Priority” album. I have had to add some completely new covers, too. Two collectors, Frank Edwards and Kevin Kinney, have helped me by providing pictures of covers I had not previously known about, for which I am most grateful.

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One completely new cover has turned up. Valdimir Horowitz’ ”Piano Music of Mendelssohn and Liszt”, released in 1952 on the RCA label. Three of these have come up for auction on Ebay over the past few weeks.

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Then there are colour variations of previously known covers. The first of these to turn up was a reissue of a bootleg by The Velvet Underground entitled ”Screen Test: Falling in Love With the Falling Spikes”. The album was initially released in 1985 and this cover is a red variation released in 1987.

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Kevin has collected multiple copies of many of Warhol’s covers and pointed out subtle colour variations of the cover to Tennessee Williams’ recital LP entitled, ”The Glass Menagerie”. The cover has bands of colour and the variations have either three of four colour bands that vary in position on the various versions. Kevin turned up a rare variation on the “MTV – High Priority” album cover. The usual cover has the MTV logo with red shading. The version he found has yellow shading and the titles at the top of the cover are all in black.

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I hope to get good pictures of all these covers to post on the rateyourmusic list.

Banksy collection nearly complete

Record collecting can be both fun and frustrating. In the (good) old days it could take years of visiting record shops, record fairs and charity shops to find that one elusive title needed to complete a collection. Today it is often enough to log on to eBay  to find it. It makes collecting considerably easier but much more boring. I mean, you do not even have to put on your coat and go out to find that one item. Record collecting, like any other collecting, should be a social activity. Visiting record shops or fairs should enable you to make contact with like-minded people. This social aspect is lost when you sit in front of your computer and let it find the goodies for you. The thrill of the chase and the opportunity to bump into other collectors, not to mention, discussions with knowledgeable record shop staff, who might suggest where you could find what you were looking for is lost completely.

On the rare occasions when eBay lets you down, there are several other sites to search, Musicstack, GEMM are the best known.

So, what of my collection of Banksy record cover art? There are currently three items missing. Banksy designed the cover to a CD of Bristolian poetry in 2008, entitled “Monkeys With Car Keys” – the title uses Tery Fugate-Wilcox’s famous quote “Without art we are but monkeys with car keys”. Banksy has used the quote in his street art down a crack alley just off Stapleton Road, Bristol and on this CD he uses it again. The CD seems impossible to find. I’ve been in contact with Bristol’s main public  library and they checked all the local libraries in the city without success.

Then there is a sampler 4-track 12″ EP by hip-hop group One Cut, for whom Banksy designed several covers in 1999-2000. This one, the “Grand Theft Audio Sampler”, which has a Banksy image on the label and comes in a generic white card cover with a sticker with Banksy’s design. I have been looking for this for some time and may possibly have found a copy…

The third missing Banksy cover is – of course – The Capoeira Twins promo “4×3″ 12” single. I’ve seen one on eBay and know of one person who has it (but won’t part with it.) I have to be happy with the copy that I’ve made.

Currently up for grabs – providing you have the cash, asking price £1500 – is one of the original 500 Banksy/Danger Mouse bootlegs of Paris Hilton’s CD “Paris”. Banksy manipulated the cover image to show Paris apparently topless and added texts to the pictures inside the booklet. The CD contains 40 minutes of Danger Mouse’s music. I have a copy of the reissue bootleg (of which 1000 copies are said to have been made), so I don’t think I shall invest in the original, which I don’t think is worth more than, say, £400-500.

And here’s a reminder that our exhibition of Banksy’s record and CD cover art opens at Stockholm’s Konserthus on June 19th and runs until August 23rd. Every Banksy cover will be on show (except, of course, the “Monkeys with Car Keys”.) Come along and see them.

Exhibition of Banksy’s record and CD cover art has the go-ahead

So, I’ve collected over 50 record and CD covers designed or illustrated by Banksy – or that use his art. And now it’s all systems go for our exhibition of Banksy’s record and CD cover art to be held at Stockholm’s Konserthus, in the heart of Sweden’s capital city. The exhibition opens on July 3rd 2012 and runs until July 28th. A splendid time i guaranteed for all! Entry – as far as I can gather, is free, so there’s no excuse for not going.

I am hoping that the exhibition will be taken over by Sweden’s Folkets Hus & Parker organisation in the autumn and tour Sweden.

Ball and chain

I have to get rid of my music collection in the next three months. I had a visit from a British company that buys record collections. Two guys spent 36 hours going through my collection and making notes and agreed that it was a pretty interesting collection. A week after they left, I received an offer for about one fifth of what my estimation of the collection’s value. So I turned it down. Now I’ll probably have to sell on Ebay. That’ll mean a lot of hard work.

As I have previously stated, I will keep my specialist collections of record cover art. My Banksy collection lacks just three covers. I have a possible contact for getting hold of the elusive “Monkeys With Car Keys” CD, but I’m not sure how reliable that contact will prove to be. We’ll see. My Klaus Voormann collection is still growing as I find more covers. I’ve just found an further two; Heinz Rudolf Kunze’s “Reine Nervensache” from 1981 and what appears to be a new release – Van Dyke Parks’ “All is Golden” seven inch single – which has a lovely Voormann painting on the front cover.

This coming week I’ll be discussing the possibility of putting on an exhibition of Banksy’s record cover art in Stockholm this summer. It seems highly likely that it will come off. Just some niggly little details like finance to be ironed out.

Record sleeve art by artists I collect