Most of my posts on this blog have been about Andy Warhol’s record cover art. However, I also collect record cover art by other designers. Currently these include Sir Peter Blake, Klaus Voormann and Damien Hirst and Banksy. I have sold my collection of Vaughan Oliver/V23 and most of my Martin Kann collection to be able to concentrate on these five designers, who have one thing in common – their production is fairly limited, which makes collecting all the record covers designed by each of them possible. Thus Andy Warhol is known to have designed almost 100 covers – although many records and CD use Andy Warhol’s art on their covers in addition to the ones he had a hand in. Klaus Voormann has thus far designed or illustrated sixty-two commercially released covers. Banksy has designed twenty covers and a further twenty-nine have used his images without his authorisation. Sir Peter Blake has thus far produced only 23 covers and Damien Hirst has just passed this total with twenty-four covers.
This month I completed both my Klaus Voormann and Damien Hirst collections. I found that when I sold my record collection one year ago I parted with my copy of Harry Nilsson’s “Sandman” LP which has Klaus Voormann’s maritime drawing on its inner spread.
I found a replacement copy for SEK 80 (about USD 11) at a record store a short bus ride from my home. Accross the road was another secondhand record shop where I found a copy of Billy Squire’s “Emotions in Motion” single with cover design that uses a detail of Andy Warhol’s Squier portrait (for SEK 10, or about USD 1.50). So now I have all of Klaus Voormann’s sixty-two commercially released covers. I recommend readers to view his official site (www.voormann.com) to see some covers that he designed for his own amusement.)
I know I should have bought it when it first came out in 2011, but I didn’t; so I have been looking for a copy of Red Hot Chili Pepper’s album “I’m With You” and various record shops in Stockholm have told me that it no longer available. But Stefan at Pet Sounds said he could order me a copy and promptly did so. It cost me SEK 450 (USD 62) but I had to have it to complete my Damien Hirst collection. It is one of Hirst’s best covers, combining his love of pharmaceuticals with his early fixation with death and decay. The front of this gatefold cover pictures a house fly (Musca domestica) resting on a coloured medicine capsule.
The record labels have the fly feeding on a blue tablet (on two labels), and the fly on a white tablet (on one) and (on the fourth label) the fly lies on its back, apparently dead. The inner spread shows only a very faint splodge on the right hand side, that suggests where the fly had been swatted. I like this cover!
This week I returned to Stockholm’s Spritmuseum to revisit the ArtPop exhibition and took my camera with me. There is a wall of Damien Hirst’s record covers including Babyshambles’ “Sequel to the Prequel” LP, a couple of singles by The Hours and Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros’ “Art Pop & the X-ray Style” album together with Dave Stewart’s “Heart of Stone” 12″ single cover.