Records as Art — David Shrigley.

David Shrigley is a hugely popular artist, sculptor and poet. He has recorded a number of singles, albums, CDs and cassettes with a variety of coworkers. Other artists have recorded his poems. As I wrote in a recent post, I first came into contact with Shrigley’s art when I bought Castle Face Record’s cover of the Velvet Underground & Nico‘s seminal album, for which Shrigley had re-imagined Andy Warhol’s Banana cover.

Since then I have so far come across twenty-one records, books (with records), cassettes and CDs that feature Shrigley’s conceptual art.

BallboyA Guide for the Daylight Hours2002
BlurGood Song2003
David ShrigleyForced to Speak With Others2006
David ShrigleyDing Dong2006
DeerhoofThe Perfect Me2006
DeerhoofFriend Opportunity2007
CompilationHallam Foe (Soundtrack)2008
CompilationWorried Noodles2008
White NightWhite Night (7-inch picture disc)2008
Jason MrazWe Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.2008
David Shrigley / Thee Oh SeesGallerie Fieber edition (2 x 7-inch singles)2011
David ShrigleyBrain Activity (book + 7-inch single)2011
Castle Face & Friends Velvet Underground & Nico 2012
Stephen Malkmus & FriendsCan’s Ege Bamyasi2013
Iain Shaw & David ShrigleyAwesome2013
David ShrigleyI Am an Actor (7-inch picture disc)2013
Malcolm Middleton & David ShrigleyMusic + Words 2014
Iain Shaw & David ShrigleyListening to Slayer (7-inch EP)2016
Lord Stornaway & David ShrigleyDon’t Worry (pink vinyl 12″ LP)2018
David ShrigleyGoat Music (Book + 12″ LP)2019
David Shrigley & Régis LaugierPlay Something Awful2020
David Shrigley’s discography

Several of Shrigley’s records were released in association with exhibitions of his work in galleries and museums. The earliest release that I have thus far found that features Shrigley’s art is for a 2002 CD A Guide for the Daylight Hours by Ballboy. Paul Coombs tipped me off about the second David Shrigley cover for Blur’s Good Song DVD release. David Shrigley had directed the music video and drew the cover art for the DVD single.

In 2006 Shrigley released an LP and CD entitled Forced to Speak With Others: the LP included a poster. The same year he released a seven inch single, Ding Dong, that played a doorbell’s DING on side A and the same doorbell’s DONG on side B. Brilliant conceptual art! This single was released in connection with Shrigley’s exhibition at the Dundee Contemporary Arts museum. In December 2006, Deerhoof released a picture disc single, The Perfect Me, from their forthcoming Friend Opportunity album and original copies contained twelve different cover variations which Shrigley painted .

Three releases with Shrigley’s cover art appeared in 2007: Deehoof’s Friend Opportunity in January and a soundtrack collection CD called Hallam Foe. In addition a book with a series of tracks by a variety of artists recording of Shrigley’s lyrics called Worried Noodles was released. Shrigley had had an exhibition at the Center for Curatorial Studies’ Bard Museum between September 30 – December 14, 2001. Apparently the museum released a book called Worried Noodles in the form of an LP record, though it only contained a card printed to look like an LP.

More recent exhibitions include one at the BQ Gallery in Berlin in 2018. The Gallery had already released Shrigley’s I Am an Actor 7-inch picture disc single in 2013 and released an LP for this exhibition called Don’t Worry. This was a further collaboration with guitarist Iain Shaw.

Probably the rarest of Shrigley’s exhibition releases is the split release together with the band Thee Oh Sees (a.k.a Osees), released as a limited edition (200 copies) double 7-inch on pick vinyl in special packaging drawn by Shrigley.

I suspect that David Shrigley is as obsessed with records as I am. He has designed a frisbee with the text I Collect Records — I Am Obsessed With them.

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