My collection of record cover art by my favourite five artists continues to grow. 2015 provided almost fifty new covers on record and CD. The statistics show there were:
– Twenty-seven covers with Andy Warhol‘s art (eleven on CD) and four covers that were Warhol related – more of those later.
– Five covers (well three really) with Klaus Voormann‘s art,
– Five covers with Peter Blake‘s art
– Three covers with Damien Hirst‘s art
– Two covers with Banksy‘s art
– One cover with Nat Finklestein‘s portrait of Andy Warhol
– One cover with images of diverse pop artists works.
ANDY WARHOL COVERS
There were four really rare covers that I got hold of in 2015. These were:
1. Ultra Violet‘s 1973 album “Ultra Violet“, which I bought in April,
2. A copy of The Rolling Stones‘ “Sticky Fingers” nicely autographed by Andy Warhol,
3. A copy of The Rolling Stones‘ “Love You Live” autographed on the inner spread by Andy Warhol and
4. Carlos Chavez‘ “A Program of Mexican Music” with the rarer blue cover.
Other vinyl releases that I found during the year included.
“Tennessee Williams reading from The Glass Menagerie” with the alternative colour variation, I also bought two copies of The Rolling Stones‘ “Sticky Fingers“, an original US release with the title printed over the belt at the top left of the cover and the 2015 reissue with the working zipper, but with the brass drawpull in the shape of John Paiste’s “tongue” design.
Other LPs included The Velvet Underground‘s “Psychedelic Sounds From the Gymnasium” and two versions of The Velvet Underground‘s “Velvet Underground & Nico” – one a picture disc and the other the limited edition “45th Anniversary edition” with the original torso rear cover picture and a peelable banana on the front. I found a UK pressing of Artie Shaw‘s “Any Old Time“. There was also another bootleg, “In 1966 There Was…“, a double album on red vinyl and the official release “The Velvet Underground Live – With Lou Reed“. I also got hold of a Rolling Stones bootleg “Lonely at the Top“, purported to be a limited edition of only 55 copies. I happened upon a modern box set of Margarita Madrigal‘s “Magic Key to Spanish” with the original book and two LPs in a custom box that, however did not use Warhol’s art anywhere.
I also bought some vinyl singles and EPs: John Lennon‘s “Imagine / It’s So Hard” and “Jealous Guy / Going Down on Love” 7-inch singles, Debbie Harry‘s “In Love With Love” 12-inch picture disc, Diana Ross‘s “So Close / Fool for Your Love” and Paul Anka‘s “Happier / Closing Doors” 7-inch singles.
The CDs included both the Q Magazine various artists releases entitled “Lennon Covered #1” and “Lennon Covered #2“. Other official CDs were The Museum of Modern Art‘s various artists release “Open Ends: Musical Exploration in New York 1967 to 2000“, a first CD re-issue of Moondog‘s “The Story of Moondog” on the Prestige label and David Jones & Bill Shute‘s collection of children’s songs “Widdecombe Fair” with beautiful Warhol art on the gatefold cover and the CD booklet. There was also a promotional CD-r collected by MPHO (MPHO Skeef) with DJ Beware called “MPHO and the Art of Pop, Vol 1” with cover art including pictures of record covers and art works by a variety of American Pop Artists.
Sinner that I am, I also bought six bootleg CDs, three by The Rolling Stones: “Marquee ’71 + Sticky Out“, “Rare Tracks +” and “Stereo Baby“. The latter a three CD set in a foldout cover.
The Warhol-related issues included the bootleg LP of Lou Reed’s & John Cale’s “Songs for Drella” LP featuring Nat Finklestein’s Warhol portrait with tambourine and John Cale‘s live recording of “Two Songs for Drella” with cover portrait of Warhol by Robert Mapplethorpe. I also found a cheap sealed copy of “15 Minutes – Homage to Andy Warhol“. This various artists release includes four LPs, three CDs and prints by the artists featured. I am not really clear as to exactly what relationship, apart from the title, this box set has to Andy Warhol, though.
PETER BLAKE COVERS
This was the area where I expected least and found more than I had ever expected. 2015 turned out to be an exciting year! While there was only one official release with Peter Blake‘s art I found four bootleg CDs. The official release is Mark Knopfler‘s “Tracker” LP which has a picture of Peter Blake‘s painting “I Love You” on its inside spread.
The bootleg CDs were all of concerts by Eric Clapton, who’s 70th birthday was on 30th March 2015. To celebrate this Clapton performed two concerts at Madison Square Garden in New York on May 1st and 3rd – he had intended to play the second concert on May 2nd, but the venue was booked for the New York Rangers playoff. A bootleg tripple CD was released on the Mid Valley label with the complete playlists from both nights entitled “Eric Clapton–Madison Square Garden 2015 – 70th Birthday Celebration” with a cover picture of Eric Clapton painted by Sir Peter Blake earlier in the year. Clapton followed up with seven concerts at London’s Royal Albert Hall between 14th and 23rd May. These concerts were also recorded and released in a 14 CD called “Eric Clapton–Royal Albert Hall 2015” set by Mid Valley using the same cover portrait of Eric Clapton. I managed to find the programme from both concerts on Ebay and Blake’s portrait of Eric Clapton is on both front and rear covers.
Finding these two bootlegs inspired me to look for other bootlegs of Eric Clapton’s live shows. I was amazed to find that what appears to be all of his live appearances – at least since the 1980s – seem to be available on bootlegs. However, only two of the hundreds available appeared to use Peter Blake‘s art. These are CDs of the first and fourth nights of Clapton‘s 1991 “24 Nights” series of concerts at The Royal Albert Hall. So I had to chase those, too.
KLAUS VOORMANN COVERS
I have several times thought that I had collected all of Voormann’s covers but I am continuously proved wrong. 2015 was no exception. The first cover I discovered was Harry Nilsson‘s 1982 LP “Flash Harry“, which has a 5 x 5 cm line drawing of Harry by Klaus Voormann on the rear cover. Then towards the end of the year I saw a copy of 10″ EP by Paddy, Klaus & Gibson called, not unsurprisingly “Paddy, Klaus & Gibson“. These three were the remaining members of Voormann‘s group The Eyes when guitarist/vocalist John Frankland left the band. The trio recorded three singles and it is these six songs that make up this EP. The record is a private pressing organised by orthopaedic surgeon and only 300 copies were pressed, 100 on red vinyl, 100 on clear vinyl and 100 on back vinyl. In order to support this great effort, I ordered one copy of each vinyl colour! There is Japanese glamrock band called GLAY and Klaus drew the cover image for their 2015 CD “Music Life“.
There was, however, some not so good news – Thorsten Knublauch, from whom I had bought one of the copies of the Paddy, Klaus & Gibson 10″ – told me about a record with cover art by Klaus Voormann that I had never heard of. The record is a recording of a jazz radio programme. The cover picture is of a man lying in a hospital bed connected to drip bottles. The title is “Wer nie im Bett Programm gemacht“, or something like that. So far I haven’t been able to find a copy… So my Klaus Voormann collection is still not complete!
DAMIEN HIRST COVERS
I was surprised to see two promotional folders for Dave Stewart‘s 1992 “Heart of Stone” single appear on Ebay at ridiculously inflated prices. They didn’t sell and eventually the price came down to affordable levels when I hopped in. The CD singles came in A5 folders with slightly different texts and different catalogue numbers – explaining why I had to have both. In addition I found a promotional copy of the The Hours “Narcissus Road” CD with a cover that I had not seen before.
BANKSY’S COVER ART
There do not seem to have been any new record or CD covers that use Banksy’s cover art since 2008. I did manage to get hold of one version of Blur‘s “Think Tank” CD in a box set with postcards. Then in the last days of December I saw a copy of a test pressing of Junichi Masuda’s LP “Pokémon” with a hand sprayed image of Banksy’s “Flower Thrower” but with a coloured ball substituted for the flowers. There are purportedly on 100 copies of this test pressing and I managed to get one relatively cheap-
So, another successful year’s collecting. But I still guess that none of my collections are complete yet. So I look forward to 2016.