Warhol’s record 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.