Readers of this blog will by now know that it deals with collecting record cover art by five designers
- Andy Warhol
2. Peter Blake
3. Klaus Voormann
4. Damien Hirst
When I sat down to put my thoughts together on the past year’s collecting I could not immediately recall any real high points. Then I started to look through my list of acquisitions and soon saw that 2014 had been another successful year. Let’s take things in order.
Well, I’ve managed to add twenty-one covers to my collection of Andy Warhol sleeves – surprisingly, the majority by The Rolling Stones. I have added three variations of the “Emotional Tattoo” bootleg cover. Frank Edwards very kindly sent me his extra copy of the 1983 version on orange vinyl in exchange for a set of “Giant Size $1.57 Each” covers and I bought the two variations of the 2014 numbered reissues of the album, one on black and the other on green vinyl.
Early in the year I had decided to go for the Rolling Stones singles with variations on the “Sticky Fingers” cover art. I had previously not been interested in singles or EPs but the wonderful RCA and RCA Camden covers with Warhol art have changed my mind. Anyway, fellow Warhol Cover Collectors Club member Guy Minnebach had tipped me off about the Mexican “Brown Sugar” singles (entitled “Azucar Morena” in Spanish). One was a two-track single and the other a three-track EP that happened to pop up on Ebay soon after he had told me about them.
The Rolling Stones “Azucar Morena” single in a fold out cover.
Rolling Stones “Azucar Morena” EP.
Then I had to add the original “Brown Sugar / Bitch / Let It Rock” single and a German pressing of the single, both of which used the “Sticky Fingers” rear cover photo on their rear covers. I also found a copy of the “Brown Sugar” shaped picture disc single to complete the set.
“Brown Sugar / Bitch” picture disc single.
When it comes to “classic” Warhol covers, I – like most collectors of Warhol’s cover art – had been looking for a cheap copy of the Lew White “Melodic Magic” EP. Well, I found the single on Discogs for $3.86 plus $12 shipping. Unfortunately, the record had no cover, but I bought another RCA Camden EP with the same rear cover list of other artists on the Camden label and peeled off the cover slick and stuck a Lew White cover slick in its place and – wonder of wonders – I have the Lew White EP, indistinguishable from the real thing – as it IS the real thing (almost) and all for about $40!
The next “classic” cover I managed to get hold of was the “Alexander Nevsky” re-issue sleeve with the green colour blocks. I already had both the original “blue” and the re-issue “orange” covers. Now all I need to find is the “pink” cover variation.
My three “Alexander Nevsky” covers.
When I first started to seriously collect Andy Warhol’s record cover art I saw Wilhelm Loibner’s “Ballet From Vienna” listed as a Warhol cover. The cover is a solarised photo credited to William Hughes. The rear cover has no image. Guy Minnebach informed me that the original copies of this LP had an inner sleeve with Warhol’s drawing of part of an orchestra, the same image as used o the cover of “4 Divertimenti”. The “Ballet From Vienna” cover appears on Ebay with monotonous regularity, but almost NEVER with the inner sleeve. However, one did turn up advertised from Spain in mint condition so I added it to my collection.
“Ballet From Vienna” Front of inner sleeve and front cover.
The other Warhol covers I managed to find included Diana Ross’ “Muscles” and “So Close” seven-inch singles and Billy Squier’s “Everybody Wants You” single.
And then there was an unusual CD that came up on Ebay in August. It was a Japanese promotional double CD with a line drawing of an ear and some arrows with the sole word “ear” beside the drawing. The handwriting was so like Andy Warhol’s that I took a chance and bought the set. Guy Minnebach immediately recognised the drawing as one of a series in a Warhol portfolio entitled “Playbook of you S Bruce 2:30-4:00”.
The other covers with Warhol art were two Velvet Underground bootlegs; “NYC” and “Orange Disaster” which both had pictures from Warhol’s Deaths and Disaster prints.
There were no new record sleeve designs by Sir Peter Blake in 2014 but one old one did surface – the rejected cover for the group Landscape’s 1982 album “Manhattan Boogie-Woogie”. I saw an art gallery advert for a 2009 silkscreen of the cover image. I managed to find a high-resolution copy of the image and could resize it to LP-format and get several slicks printed. I stuck one slick of the front cover to one of the rear cover from the issued album and there was (my version of) the original cover restored.
2014 saw many additions to my Voormann collection. The first cover I found was the last cover needed to complete my set of all twenty “Pioneers of Jazz” EPs. I had managed to find nineteen previously and been searching the Internet for Volume 18, the only one I lacked. In February I finally found it.
The next cover I found was George Harrison’s “When We Was Fab” promo box with the seven inch single. I already had the twelve-inch version and this was a nice addition. I felt I had just about completed my Voormann collection when I found some purely German releases: “Stinker” LP and seven inch single “von Drüben” by Marius Müller-Westernhagen.
Klaus Voormann’s first official cover was for a band called The Typhoons about which I have failed to find any information. Klaus has informed me that he never met the band and could only say that it was a German combo active in the early sixties. Heliodor records had released their cover of “Walk… Don’t Run”, the old Ventures hit. I had made a copy of the cover from an image on Klaus Voormann’s portfolio and I have seen a cover in poor condition sell on Ebay for over €100 but never seen the record until one turned up without the cover. So, true to form I bought the single to live in the cover I had made. I’m still looking for a proper cover…
I had already bought Klaus Voormann’s album “A Sideman’s Journey” on LP with a limited edition poster and eyed the limited edition box set, which included the album on CD, a DVD of the making of the album, a book of drawings and the poster – signed by Klaus. The box was expensive and I felt I did not really need it until a second-hand copy came up for half the normal price.
My friend, gallery-owner Daniel Brant found two copies of Voormann’s poster of John Lennon and Paul McCartney eating breakfast in the Abbey Road canteen during the “Revolver” sessions and he let me have a copy.
The last item needed to complete my Voormann collection was the CD of covers entitled “A Guide to Modern Country Living” by The Twang. There is, however, one cover that has only been released as a digital download and that is “Picasso’s Party” by a band called The Dogs of Bali. I have the download.
So, with the exception of a proper cover for the “Walk… Don’t Run” single, my Klaus Voormann Collection seems complete – at least until Klaus produces more cover designs.
This has probably been the year when I have obtained the largest number of Damien Hirst covers. There were three covers for Babyshambles, including the LP “Prequel to the Sequel” and the two singles from the album, “Nothing Comes From Nothing” and “Fall From Grace”.
Next was The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ LP “I’m With You” with the cover picture of a fly on a medicine capsule. Then Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros promo CD “Tony Adams (The Morning Sun)” and the very rare twelve inch EP “Yalla Yalla”. Somehow, Thirty Seconds to Mars had been allowed to use one of Damien Hirst’s spot paintings for the cover of their CD “Love, Lust, Faith + Dreams”. I got hold of the limited edition box set of the album thinking the box and LP cover were also designed by Damien Hirst – but they aren’t! However, the box set did include a book with the spot painting on the cover. I had to get the CD as well for completeness. A seller in Germany advertised a twelve-inch EP of Dave Stewart’s “Heart of Stone (The Dance Mixes)” which I had never heard of. I could not find a copy elsewhere so I bought his expensive copy. Then I found out there was another remix EP of “Heart of Stone (The Sure Is Pure Remixes)”. That one was easy to find and did not cost an arm and a leg.
My final Damien Hirst find for the year was the USB promotional version of The Hours’ “See the Light” album. A nice little skull-shaped USB stick.
I have not been able to find any new records with Banksy images in 2014. My collection of Bansky records has been touring Sweden throughout the year and I sincerely hope that they will return home in 2015.
Meanwhile, I wish all my readers a Happy and Prosperous New Year – and wish you all success with your collecting in 2015.