All collectors have a touch of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), or why would anyone want to collect 3,000 egg cups or 200 china elephants, stamps or, indeed, records? Well, I admit that I may have more than just a touch of OCD…
Last summer (2017) I heard that Liam Gallagher would be releasing his first solo album on 6th October 2017. I used to be an Oasis fan and had a really nice collection of Oasis stuff, including signed albums, rare promos and several other rarities. But they all went when I sold the bulk of my record & memorabilia collection. So–in theory–I wasn’t interested in a Liam Gallagher album. BUT. Unfortunately, I read the press release and saw that there would be a special limited edition, white vinyl LP that included a single-sided 7″ single and memorabilia, and–wait for it–an A5-sized Klaus Voormann portrait of Liam.
Now I was in torment. Did this qualify as a Klaus Voormann cover? Should it be included in my collection of Voormann covers and posters? After three months of agonising I decided I’d get the package and see.
So it arrived a couple of weeks ago.
Inside the front cover was the 7″ single in a non-removable pocket. and inside the back cover was the LP in a card cover equally stuck to the outer read cover. Opposite was a pocket containing the CD in a poster sleeve, some reproduction concert tickets, a page of Gallagher writings and the VOORMANN print.
The CD includes three bonus tracks not on the LP. The poster cover is nicely designed.
The inside of the “As You Were” CD cover poster.
The inside of the CD cover shows 24 Polaroid photos that immediately reminded me of an Andy Warhol photo session.
The album hasn’t had particularly great reviews and I certainly hear shades of Oasis in the songs, but they don’t (yet) seem as memorable as Oasis’s early albums.
So I have added the portrait of Liam to my Klaus Voormann collection.
I have already posted the several versions of “The Velvet Underground & Nico” album. I have fallen for the temptation to include albums with cover art that is a pastiche of Warhol’s banana design or designs that influenced Warhol’s designs.
I found six pastiches of the banana cover, including several with removable stickers in various designs.
1. Crue-L Grand Orchestra – Family – 12″ EP – MayDay MayDay Records – 1999.
2. Various Artists – The Velvet Underground & Nico – 12″ LP – Castle Face Records – 2012.
3. Fauré Quartet – Popsongs – 2 x 12″ LP – Deutsche Grammophon – 2009.
4. Bud Benderbe – Slice Slowly & See – 12″ LP – Boo-Hooray Records – 2013.
5. Abwärts – Sonderzug zur endstation – 7″ EP – Virgin – 1990.
6. All You Can Eat / Hickey – Banana Split – Split 7″ EP – Monitor Records – 1995.
The last two of these simply had a printed banana on the covers.
Another Warhol pastiche, this time with soup cans:
1. Mindswings – Spiritual High – 12″ EP – Arista – 1990.
And a cover obviously used by Andy as for the design of the “Progressive Piano” design:
1. Jan August – Plays Songs to Remember – 12″ LP – Mercury – 1955.
On the subject of pastiches, I also picked up a wonderful “Sgt Pepper” pastiche by Jun Fukamachi with cover painted by Fumio Tamabuchi:
1. Jun Fukamachi – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – 12″ LP – Toshiba – 1977.
A while ago I started searching for musicians among winners of the Tate Gallery’s Turner Prize and turned up an astonishing number of artists who were also musicians and had released records with their own art on the covers. In 2017 I could include record cover by two of them–Suzan Philipsz and Wolfgang Tillmans.
Susan Philipsz: Susan Philipsz – Ziggy Stardust – Limited edition Digipak CD (500 copies) Susan Philipsz – Stay With Me – Book / catalogue with CD Susan Philipsz – Lost in Space – Limited edition picture disc LP in box set (300 copies) Susan Philipsz – There Is Nothing Left Here – Limited edition LP
In February I had the good fortune to meet Susan Philipsz at the opening of her “Lost in Space” exhibition at the Bonnier Gallery in Stockholm. She kindly signed the copy of her “Ziggy Stardust” CD and the book/catalogue from her “Stay With Me” exhibition from Malmö’s Konsthall. There was a catalogue introducing the “Lost in Space” exhibition and a limited edition box set of 300 copies that includes a 12″ picture disc of the performance. However, the box set was not available until a couple of months after the opening, so I didn’t get that signed… After considerable searching, I found the catalogue and LP from Philipsz’s 2008 “There Is Nothing Left Here” exhibition at the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporaneo in San Sebastian de Compostela.
Susan Philipsz “Stay With Me” exhibition catalogue with CD.
Susan Philipsz’ “There Is Nothing Left Here” 2008 LP.
The picture disc LP and book of Susan Philipsz’ “Lost in Space” installation.
Wolfgang Tillmans was another Turner Prize winner who’s records I found:
1. Wolfgang Tillmans – Here We Are – 12″ EP – Fragile – 2016.
2. Wolfgang Tillmans – 2016–1986 EP – 12″ EP – Fragile – 2016.
3. Wolfgang Tillmans – Device Control – 12″ EP – Fragile – 2016.
The cover of Tillmans’ latest EP “Thats Desire” EP.
Tillmans’ “Device Control” EP cover.
Wolfgang Tillmans’ “2016-19862 EP cover.
There were diverse other covers: A limited edition LP by Gilbert & George, entitled “The Thoughts of Gilbert & George” released by MoMa:
A Record Store Day soundtrack double LP release called “Ciao! Manhattan” with a cover drawing of Edie Sedgwick:
Having lived in Luleå, in the north of Sweden for more years than I can remember, I am acquainted with Karin “Mamma” Andersson’s art. Mattias Alkberg, poet and rocker, used her art on a 7″ single and a limite edition 12″ EP and I discovered that Beck had used her paintings to illustrate three limited edition 12″ singles, available only through his website.
1. Beck – Gimme – 2 x 12″ EP – Fonograf records – 2013.
1. Beck – Defriended – 12″ EP – Fonograf records – 2013.
1. Beck – I Won’t Be Long – 12″ EP – Fonograf records – 2013.
Beck “Gimme”. Cover art by Karin “Mamma” Andersson.
Beck “Defriended”. Cover art by Karin “Mamma” Andersson.
Beck “I Won’t Be Long”. Cover art by Karin “Mamma” Andersson.
In my music festival days, I got to know singer Henrik Berggren, formerly front man of the now defunct Broder Daniel. Henrik released his first solo album “Wolf’s Heart” after many year’s absence from the music scene. The standard album was released on black vinyl, but six record stores each had limited editions of 300 copies on coloured vinyl. There were yellow, light blue, violet, red, clear and pink vinyl issues. Being totally obsessive I bought copies in each colour.
Henrik Berggren’s “Wolf’s Heart” album on black, violet, red and yellow vinyl.
The pink and light blue vinyl versions of Henrik Berggren’s “Wolf’s Heart” LP.
Well, that sums 2017 up. A record year and the last time I will be publishing a list like this, My collections are so near complete as I can make them. So I feel it’s time to stop. I will try to keep the collections up to date if, and when, any of the artists I collect release new cover art.
I like graphic design and for me minimalism in expression and great typography make a record cover appeal to me. I regularly get asked which is my favourite record cover design. The question is really impossible to answer–could it be “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”? “Revolver”? “Sticky Fingers”? Something by Vaughan Oliver or Peter Saville? Nope!
Despite collecting cover art by some great designers, there are a couple of covers that always excite me. The first is the late Tony Lane’s design for Toto’s 1981 album “Turn Back”. In my book, a contender for the greatest record cover design of all time!
Tony Lane (May 2, 1944–January 1, 2016) is one of record design’s masters, though generally unrecognised. Lane was responsible for revamping the graphic style of Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. He was recruited by Bob Cato and John Berg at Columbia Records and designed covers for a wide range of artists including Michael Jackson (“Bad”), Simon & Garfunkel (“Bridge Over Troubled Waters”), Barbra Streisand (“Greatest Hits, Volume 2”), among a host of others. But for me, his greatest moment was this Toto cover!
He even managed to convince Columbia records to move their Walking Eye logo from the top left corner of the cover (where it appeared on every Columbia LP that I have seen since the early sixties), banishing it to the bottom of the reverse.
What more can I say other than the calligraphic design in all its simplicity really rocks!
Close to this, and almost equally exciting, is Chris Bigg’s cover for Pieter Nooten’s & Michael Brook’s “Sleeps With the Fishes” released by 4AD in 1987. For many years Chris Bigg was Vaughan Oliver’s partner in 4AD’s design team v23. His calligraphy was featured on several 4AD covers including the promotional double CD/book “Lilliput”. The “Sleeps With the Fishes” cover stimulates my fantasy and I see all sorts of figures in the calligraphy. I’ll also admit to having a particular liking for covers that use black/red/white colour combinations. They are always dramatic as these two examples show.
I used to have the poster for this cover on my office wall, so I could see it every day.
I don’t suppose I’ll ever again be able to add as many covers to my collection as I did in 2017–partly because most of my collections are complete or very nearly so.
I added a few new areas of collection during 2016 and added new covers in these in 2017. I managed to find several new covers featuring Kate Moss and some Banksy covers. It was the 50th Anniversary of many important albums. I have already written about “The Velvet Underground & Nico” reissues. 2017 was also the 50th anniversary of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and there was a magnificent box set released to mark the occasion. I also found an interesting pastiche of the Blake / Haworth cover art by Jun Fukamachi. And, while on the subject of pastiches I collected several “Velvet Undergound & Nico” pastiches, too.
So, here’s a list of covers by other artists that came into my collection in 2017: BANKSY: Capoeira Twins – Four (4 x 3) / Truth Will Out” – Promotional 12″ single with hand sprayed cover. Boys in Blue – Funk Tha Police” – 12″ limited edition single. Skitz – Badmeaningood, Vol 1 – Digipak CD. Roots Manuva – Badmeaningood, Vol 2 – Digipak CD. Peanut Butter Wolf – Badmeaningood, Vol 3 – Digipak CD. Scratch Perverts – Badmeaningood, Vol 4 – Digipak CD. Monk & Canatella – Do Community Service – CD.
PETER BLAKE The Beatles – Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – 50th anniversary box set. The Beatles – Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (outtakes) – Bootleg gatefold LP The Beatles – Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – Japanese origami stage set.
Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – Pastiche Jun Fukamachi – The Beatles – Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – 12″ LP.
Gilbert & George. Gilbert & George – The Thoughts of Gilbert & George – Limited edition 12″ LP.
Karin “Mamma” Andersson: Beck – I Won’t Be Long – 12″ single. Beck – Defriended – 12″ single. Beck – Gimme” – Double 12″ single.
Kate Moss: 6majik9 – Kate Moss – Hand painted CD cover. Babyshambles – Shotter’s Nation – 2×12″ LP. Bryan Ferry – Alphaville / Me Oh My – Limited edition 12″ single. Bryan Ferry – You Can Dance – Limited edition 12″ single. Bryan Ferry – Alphaville (Remixes) – Limited edition 12″ single. Bryan Ferry – Olympia – Limited edition, autographed, 2 CD + DVD and book. Bryan Ferry – Olympia Remixes – Digital file. Bryan Ferry – Heartache by Numbers – Promotional CD single. Primal Scream & Kate Moss – Some Velvet Morning – 12″ maxi single. Primal Scream & Kate Moss – Some Velvet Morning (Luke Fair Remix) – 12″ single. Vomit – Kate Moss – 7″ EP.
I had an almost complete collection of covers on both vinyl and CD with Banksy art and was just missing the elusive Capoeira Twins’ “Four (4 x 3) / Truth Will Out” promotional single with the hand sprayed cover. None (apart from a couple sold by art galleries) seemed to have been sold for several years but suddenly there appeared a spate of them on Ebay in the latter half of 2017. I managed to get one of them, though unfortunately not the cheapest. And just as I was congratulating myself on completing my collection, a new Banksy cover appeared by a band I have never heard of called Boys in Blue. This was said to be a limited edition of 100 copies featuring Banksy’s “Rude Copper” on the cover. I snapped up a couple of copies!
“Four (4 x 3)” by the Capoiera Twins (BLOWP008).
The cover of the Boys in Blue’s 12″ single “Funk tha Police”.
I also added some CDs–the four “Badmeaningood” series in Digipak covers and a second copy of Monk & Canatella’s “Do Community Service” that came in a batch of 23 CDs that I bought for £3 plus £7 shipping!
2017 was not a good year for Peter Blake’s record cover art as no new covers appeared. It was partially saved by the 50th anniversary of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and Apple released a generous 4CD box set with a hardcover book and posters to celebrate. The box had a lenticuar reproduction of the original Blake / Haworth cover art. Though initially I thought I didn’t need this in my collection, I finally succumbed and bought a copy only to be pleased to find that each CD had a different version of the original cover art photo session.
The Japanese version of the 50th anniversary box set included an insert which the handier collectors could cut out and assemble into a montage of the Pepper band in a stage-like frame. I found one of these cut outs at a record fair and could buy it to add to my UK box set.
“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” – Pastiche:
The Japanese composer Jun Fukamachi released an album called “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” in 1977. The cover was painted by Fumio Tamabuchi showed the Pepper scene with backs turned to the viewer.
Additions to my collection of covers featuring Kate Moss:
As I already had covers by Damien Hirst and Banksy that featured Kate Moss I thought it would be fun to collect all the covers I could find that she appeared on. I turned up ten more in 2017:
The most interesting were the limited edition 12″ Bryan Ferry singles released by The Vinyl Factory in 2010-2011 with tracks taken from Ferry’s 2010 “Olympia” album. There were seven singles released from “Olympia” but only six made it onto Vinyl Factory 12″-ers. “Heartache By Numbers” was the exception and apparently only released as a promotional CD single in The Netherlands.
There was a hand painted CD entlitled “Kate Moss” by the band 6majik9 that was only made in an edition of 100 copies that I was luck to find on Discogs:
And a 7″ EP by the American grunge/punk band Vomit also called “Kate Moss” that had a fold-out sleeve with about thirteen Kate Mosses all told.
Kate Moss was for a while involved with Babyshambles singer Pete Doherty and she appeared on a few of the band’s tracks. Sje appears in person on the cover of the Band’s “Shotter’s Nation” album:
Kate was also in a duet with Primal Scream on the classic Lee Hazlewood song “Some Velvet Morning” and this was released as a 12″ single and a Luke Fair remix was also released in a black dye-cut sleeve. Some copies, however, had photos of Kate taken by Kate Garner in 1992.
“Some Velvet Morning” remix 12″ with one of Jane Garner’s 1992 portraits of Kate on front and rear covers.
So, quite a number of interesting additions thus far.
2017 was one of my best for I don’t know how long–probably since the mid 2000s when I really started to seriously collect Andy Warhol’s record cover art and it saw the 50th Anniversary of the release of many albums that helped form my musical tastes, including “The Velvet Underground & Nico”–an album I still listen to as often as I do to The Who’s “Who’s Next” or Led Zepellin “II” or “Electric Ladyland”.
There were 16 separate titles added to my Warhol cover collection in 2017: Miguel Bosé – Made in Spain promotional folder – LP, 12″ and 7″ singles + booklet Latin Rhythms by The Boston Pops – 7″ single. Aretha Franklin – Aretha – Original CD from 1986. I’m Talking – Lead the Way – 7″ and 12″ singles. Moondog – The Story of Moon Dog – Original Prestige LP. Sergei Prokofiev – Alexander Nevsky – Two copies: Original 1949 turquoise cover and re-issue green cover. Rolling Stones – Live in Laxington – Bootleg LP. Rolling Stones – Sticky Fingers (outtakes) with David Mongomery’s photo. Diana Ross – So Close – 7″ single in calendar cover. Diana Ross – Who – 7″ single. Skyline – Skyline – 12″ bootleg EP – Original on Four Stars Records label. Skyline – Skyline – 12″ bootleg EP – 2016 Reissue on Paint Noise Productions label. Velvet Underground & Nico – 12″ LP with artist’s name and record title on cover. Velvet Underground & Nico – 50th Anniversary black vinyl LP (2 copies) Velvet Underground & Nico – 50th Anniversary pink vinyl LP John Wallowitch – This Is the Other Side of John Wallowitch – 12″ LP
Perhaps the most important additions to my Warhol cover collection were the Moondog and John Wallowitch albums, particularly as most copies of the former that I have seen come up for sale have been badly yellowed or in otherwise poor condition. My copy is superbly near mint! John Wallowitch’s second album on the Serenus Records label is considerably rarer than his first and I was lucky to find a good copy.
The Story of Moondog with calligraphy by Julia Warhola.
The cover of “This Is the Other Side of John Wallowitch”.
The find that probably excited me most, however, was the Spanish promotional package for Miguel Bosé’s 1983 “Made in Spain” album, which came in a maroon folder and should have included the full album the 12″ and 7″ white label versions of the “Fuego” single as well as a booklet with a fold out poster of Warhol’s cover portrait of Bosé. Mt copy of the package, though, didn’t include the two singles, but they were relatively easy to findon Discogs, so I could completee the package.
The “Made In Spain” promotional folder.
The complete set, including the booklet, which contains a fold-out poster of Warhol’s Bosé portraits.
The “Made In Spain” promotional folder showing the “Made In Spain” LP, the white label 12″ and 7″ Fuego singles.”
Two “new” Warhol covers were discovered in 2017 . Warhol collector Kevin Kinney found the “Lead the Way” single by Australian group I’m Talking, which used a detail from Warhol’s “Marilyn’s Lips” print as its cover art. The single was released as a 7″ single and as a limited edition 12″.
I found the second “new” Warhol cover in the catalogue of the “Adman – Warhol Before Pop” exhibition held in Melbourne in 2016. The catalogue had a picture of a print that I immediately recognised as a slick for a box set of 7″ EPs similar to the “Night Beat” set. I immediately set about making a replica box similar to the one I made for the “Night Beat” set.
The “Night BEat” and “Voices and Events” box sets.
The “Night Beat” and “Voices and Events” box sets.
Another cover I had had trouble finding was the “Skyline” album with the portrait of Suzanne de Maria taken from one of Warhol’s screen tests. Early in the year I saw a copy on Ebay which I managed to win only to find that it wasn’t the 1978 original but a 180g reissue, supposedly limited to fifty copies that included a photo of Suzanne de Maria numbered 49/50. The record was released on the Paint Noise Productions label, not the Four Stars label and the rear cover stated that the cover photo was by “A. Warhol”, the original 1978 album did not have this credit. Later I got hold of a copy of the original 1978 version and a comparison showed the cover photos to be very different. The original version had a clear picture of de Maria, while the reissue was fuzzy.
The cover of the original 1978 version of “Skyline”.
The cover of the 2016 reissue version.
The covers are almost two separate versions of the image.
And as if the Skyline albums weren’t nerdy enough, there were a couple of even nerdier additions to my collection: The original cover for “Latin Rhythms by The Boston Pops” EP as well as a second copy of Warhol’s design–one that without the A Hi-Fidelity Recording” text under the RCA logo on the front cover.
The original cover design which came in various colour variations.
I have reserved the final section to the 50th Anniversary reissues of “The Velvet Underground & Nico” album. I already had the 45th Anniversary LP and 6 CD sets and wondered when they came out why Universal Music had released them with the 50th anniversary so near. Obviously, to sell more copies–so I wasn’t too surprised to read that they would also release 50th Anniversary versions, too. I heard that there eas a very limited pink vinyl version as well as the standard the black vinyl version. I found two copies of the latter at HMV on Oxford Street but they had never heard of the pink vinyl version. It took a while to find a copy but that was added to my collection.
I had also decided to collect other cover designs for the album and bought an eighties reissue with the artist and title on the front cover to add to my collection as well as a bootleg of the Norman Dolph Scepter Studios acetate
The latest bootleg version of The Velvet Underground & Nico’s Norman Dolph acetate superimposed the classic banana image over a photo from the 1966 film of the Velvets in concert.
I hope 2018 will allow me to find copies of the only two LPs with Warhol covers that I still need to complete my collection:
Keith Richards’s – Unknown Dreams – LP with Warhol’s Mercedes drawing,
Prokofiev’s – Alexander Nevsky – LP wit the pink variation of the cover.
In following posts I will list additions to my other collections: Banksy covers, Kate Moss covers, and newer collections including Karin “Mamma” Anderson, Suzan Philipsz, Wolfgang Tillmans, Jeff Koons, Klaus Voormann and Peter Blake as well as pastiches of “The VelvetUnderground & Nico” and “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” covers.
Wishing you a very Happy and successful 2018. See you next time!